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Am 26.08.2015 um 22:48 schrieb Karen Coyle:

> What I'm getting at is that the reason that we struggle with tradition
> authorities in RDF is that they do not have the qualities that an RDF
> graph about a person might have. We might use the existing name
> authorities record identifiers as URIs, but the thing that is today an
> authority record will not be adequate as a graph describing a person o
> corporate body. The other option is to leave name authorities alone an
> create an entire new set of identifiers (parallel, perhaps) that are
> representative of the entity, not just of the label.

I might humbly point out that RDA mandates the collection of /data/
for identification purposes and leaves the crafting of individualized
headings merely as an option. DACS (Describing Archives - A Content
Standard) has a chapter on "/describing/ creators" (emphasis mine).
The archivist's vision of "authority" is communicated by EAC - Encoded
Archival Context without "authority" even in its name, i.e. providing
rich biographical etc. descriptions tailored  to the actual corpus
(admittedly, establishing identity and rudimentary normalization of
name forms is only a tiny albeit important portion of the functions
of these records)

So I am confident that currently most authority files are under way
of being transformed from collections of headings and variant
headings into something more easily recognizable as a databases of
core identifiying information. And of course there are authority
files besides LCAuth which - possibly for a bunch of different
reasons - adopted a more data-centric view on their contents some
decades earlier.

- From the beginning on VIAF has (among other things) been relying on
the ability to extract /data/ from authority records - comparison
of headings can bring you only so far and birth and death dates
as such (and increasingly with granularity to the day, not the
year) are essential to the process, especially if there is no
bibliographical information to back the process, e.g. when trying
to bridge the gap to ULAN or Wikipedia/Wikidata and other datasets
with only loose ties to library-land.

LC records may be lacking explicit (especially death) dates, but
they usually contain a wealth of textual references which more often
than not reveal exact birth dates and other important contextual
information (affiliations, notable works, places of birth, death
and activity). So as information resources to be consulted by
humans for identification purposes these records are absolutely up
to most needs, they are just lacking data-ness. As do biographic
encyclopedias by the way. Other information resources on the
web may be richer in data (and poorer in information at the same
time) and can be used as providers of complimentary data.

In a sense, the actual contents of an authority record don't even
matter that much, the more connections to other resources are
established, the more the identity is determined by these
relations and not by information recorded *in* the record. Any
single data element might be wrong or contrived and still the
identity holds true. Think of pseudepigraphic authors of the
Late Antiquity - not even their name is known and yet they
have a very distinct identity! Eventually not only a name
like "Pseudo Galenus" but also an identifier like no2011008661
by itself serves as a cipher and the act of spelling it out
already evoces (or at least encompasses) everything that
can possibly be known, thought or felt about that entity.
(Semantically. I'm not advocating to encode the complete
information of our universe into triples and pour a substantial
part of them out on the unfortunate soul chanting the magic

viele Gruesse
Thomas Berger
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