On 8/26/15 3:17 PM, Thomas Berger wrote:
> 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).
You say "usually," but I see "occasionally." As an example, here's the 
LC authority record for me:, and if you 
can find "other important contextual information" you are a better 
reader than I am. Plus, when that information is available it's in a 
note field and can be quite cryptic:

"found:Phone call to Curbstone Press, 07-13-94(Michael H. Cooper is a 
pseudonym of Michael Clark; b. 6-11-51; res. in Alaska)"
"found:Message from J. Baker, 11/08/88(Michael D. Cooper; b. 10/30/41) "

Thomas, I think you are being overly optimistic about the state of 
authority data today. I agree that it can get better, but I don't agree 
that VIAF extracts much "data" -- it basically gets what you can get 
from a MARC name heading field, and adds in titles of works (which it 
gets from the WorldCat database). There may be more information in 
non-US authority files, but rather than relying on impressions it would 
be better to have a good study of available data.


Karen Coyle
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