Print

Print


I had something like this happen to me while I was creating an authority
record.  We assume that a person will write or create works on the same
subject.  Not necessarily so.  I discovered that my person made big
professional shift, from a big law firm in New York (I think) to a "softer"
subject field.  That info I put in a 678 field so the patron would not be
confused.

Gene Fieg

On Fri, Sep 25, 2015 at 10:17 AM, Ted P Gemberling <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Brenna,
>
> Part of what the confused user will do, I assume, is see which works have
> been collocated under the “Active 1862-1893” author. We generally assume
> that like subjects point to the same author, and that’s usually right.
>
>
>
> I do think subjects are a bigger clue most of the time than dates. If I
> see a large number of works all attributed to one author, but the
> attribution seems doubtful based on the subjects, I am likely to want to do
> some more research to determine who really authored them.
>
>
>
> One of my pet peeves in cataloging is when catalogers have apparently been
> told they should use established headings for all access points, so they
> take one that is doubtful to put on a record, based on some very limited
> similarity between subjects. I think it’s better not to use established
> headings than to do that. Just transcribe the name as you find it on the
> book if you can’t find a real match and don’t have time to create an
> authority. Create a local authority for your own catalog if you need to
> make the name unique for your own database, but don’t attribute books in
> OCLC to the wrong people. I have seen large numbers of works all attributed
> to the wrong people because of that practice.
>
>
>
> Ted Gemberling
>
>
>
> *From:* Program for Cooperative Cataloging [mailto:
> [log in to unmask]] *On Behalf Of *Bychowski, Brenna
> *Sent:* Friday, September 25, 2015 11:33 AM
>
> *To:* [log in to unmask]
> *Subject:* Re: [PCCLIST] Changing "active" date to full dates?
>
>
>
> I think that there are a lot of interesting points being made here, but
> there are some caveats to these lines of thinking.
>
>
>
> First, we cannot put off solving problems because linked data will solve
> them.  We are not at linked data yet, and we don’t know when we will get
> there.  We need solutions in the meantime that will work in our current,
> limited environment.
>
>
>
> Second, and more importantly, the solutions that do not involve changing
> the access point itself involve adding information to the authority
> record.  We can add birth and death dates, we can add cross references, and
> we can add “public” 678 notes.  The problem is, the vast majority (I would
> almost go so far as to say all) OPACs I have experience with DO NOT show
> authority records to the public.  Any information that we add to the record
> is essentially invisible to most (if not all) standard catalog searchers.
> We can direct all patrons to LoC to look at the authority file, but users
> are, I think, unlikely to do that.  If an author is listed in her access
> point as “Active 1862-1893” and the record says she died in 1896, the
> average user with a book from 1900 is not going to be able to tell if this
> author is the author they’re looking for, because they cannot see the other
> information.
>
>
>
> My two cents, as both a cataloger and a patron who is frequently
> frustrated by catalogs.
>
> Brenna
>
>
>
> --
>
> Brenna Bychowski
>
> Cataloger, North American Imprints Program
>
> American Antiquarian Society
>
> 185 Salisbury St.
>
> Worcester, MA 01609
>
> 508.471.2145
>
> [log in to unmask]
>
>
>
>
>
> *From:* Program for Cooperative Cataloging [
> mailto:[log in to unmask] <[log in to unmask]>] *On Behalf Of
> *Ted P Gemberling
> *Sent:* Thursday, September 24, 2015 6:24 PM
> *To:* [log in to unmask]
> *Subject:* Re: [PCCLIST] Changing "active" date to full dates?
>
>
>
> John, Amy, and Gene,
>
> Yes, I guess pedantry is a problem. I think pedantry might be more
> appropriate in some fields of cataloging, such as special collections.
>
>
>
> Gene, your point about the value of stability of access points is good, as
> is the suggestion to have 400’s with no suppress code and the 678 note so
> patrons can identify persons confidently. But I do think expecting a
> certain amount of change and even confusion is a normal part of life. We
> can’t shield people from that completely. I suppose real researchers might
> be more tolerant of it than people coming to check out fiction.
>
>
>
> Ted Gemberling
>
> *From:* Program for Cooperative Cataloging [
> mailto:[log in to unmask] <[log in to unmask]>] *On Behalf Of
> *John Gordon Marr
> *Sent:* Thursday, September 24, 2015 3:58 PM
> *To:* [log in to unmask]
> *Subject:* Re: [PCCLIST] Changing "active" date to full dates?
>
>
>
> Amy:
>
>
>
>   Careful!
>
>
>
>   If a person was to keep their birth date “a deep dark secret”, then it
> would probably ought appear *anywhere* on that person’s authority record
> at all.
>
>
>
>   See how imperfect the term “active” can be? “Active” at what?
>
>
>
>   You give an excellent example of the problematic assignment of “active”
> dates to living persons. Better they should be dead first. J
>
>
>
>   PS: pretty tough to be “active” between 1932 and 1851, eh?
>
>
>
>   There’s a big difference between “correction” and “improvement”, and
> “correction” is duty, while “improvement” is art.
>
>
>
>   “Equation” of opposites in subject headings helps to avoid having to
> analyze the middle ground (e.g., not quite literate).
>
>
>
>   The problem we have with associating our work with the perceptions of
> library patrons is that our pedantic attention to detail, upon which our
> “pride” relies, far exceeds the needs of the patrons. This is just one
> manifestation of the self-obsession that has come to dominate or entire
> society.
>
>
>
> Cheers!
>
>
>
> John G. Marr
>
> DACS
>
> Zimmerman Library
>
> University of New Mexico
>
> Albuquerque, NM 87010
>
> [log in to unmask]
>
>
>
>          **"I really like to know the reasons for what I do!"**
>
>                                              Martha Watson
>
>
>
> Opinions belong exclusively to the individuals expressing them, but
> sharing is permitted.
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> *From:* Program for Cooperative Cataloging [
> mailto:[log in to unmask] <[log in to unmask]>] *On Behalf Of
> *Amy Turner
> *Sent:* Thursday, September 24, 2015 12:58 PM
> *To:* [log in to unmask]
> *Subject:* Re: [PCCLIST] Changing "active" date to full dates?
>
>
>
> Ted,
>
>
>
> The former principal cataloger here once “established” her name as
> “Branson, Barbara, flourished 1956”  I’m not sure that I remember to date
> correctly, but the joke was that “flourished” under AACR seemed to indicate
> that one period of a lifetime was especially significant.  The same can be
> said of “active” and we could speculate about a person who was active as an
> author for just a few years, then went on to rock climbing and running
> marathons.  If they then published one more book (while keeping their birth
> date a deep dark secret), would the heading with active dates need to be
> revised?  I don’t read “active 1932-1851” as ONLY active in that period.
> On the other hand, if a work is attributed to an author who wasn’t yet born
> when the work is published, something has gone wrong.
>
>
>
> I’m playing with ideas now, and everyone will have different feelings
> about when an access point cries out for correction.  LC/PCC tradition
> tends to legislate this tightly, and another approach would be to leave
> more room for judgment.  And then, linked data could make it all moot.
>
>
>
> As for pride in our work, I find it helpful to look at the catalog as a
> whole.  Some “absurdities” are required by the rules.  One of my favorite
> examples is the subject cross reference “Illiteracy USE Literacy”  Others
> may see no problem with equating opposites in this way, but it bothers me.
> But, in spite of this sort of thing, in spite of the Byzantine complexities
> of the rules, in spite of absurd errors that we love to laugh at when we
> find them on somebody else’s copy, catalogs fulfil their function pretty
> darn well.  Users take them for granted, which is probably one reason that
> not many errors are reported. But when they are reported, or stumbled
> across, they can be corrected.  Meanwhile, behind the scenes, catalogers
> work away to provide multiple access points to millions of works, and only
> a few are problematic.  What’s not to be proud of?
>
>
>
> Amy
>
>
>
>
>
> *Sent:* Thursday, September 24, 2015 12:52 PM
> *To:* [log in to unmask]
> *Subject:* Re: [PCCLIST] Changing "active" date to full dates?
>
>
>
> Amy,
>
> Thanks for giving us your experience from that list. If there are seldom
> complaints from patrons about access points, that is strong evidence for
> what you said.
>
>
>
> On the other hand, I do think there can be some fairly extreme
> discrepancies sometimes. For example, something published in 1899 being
> attributed to a publisher active from 1832 to 1851. I believe that carries
> “arbitrariness” too far.
>
>
>
> I suppose it’s possible no patron would complain about that discrepancy.
> But as catalogers, shouldn’t we be able to take pride in the work we do?
> It’s hard to be proud of something with obvious absurdities.
>
> Best, Ted Gemberling
>
>
>
> *From:* Program for Cooperative Cataloging [
> mailto:[log in to unmask] <[log in to unmask]>] *On Behalf Of
> *Amy Turner
> *Sent:* Thursday, September 24, 2015 6:22 AM
> *To:* [log in to unmask]
> *Subject:* Re: [PCCLIST] Changing "active" date to full dates?
>
>
>
> I little editorializing on my (perhaps overzealous) use of the word
> “arbitrary”:
>
>
>
> In most cases, the rules allow us to construct access points that make
> sense to users, but with common names and obscure authors, the “character
> strings” become practical constructs rather than ideal labels.  “Active”
> dates are used when searching all that data available on the Internet turns
> up nothing better. Though a birth date may eventually surface, it is
> clearly known to very few, and so the modification of the authorized access
> point benefits very few, while it potentially creates work for many.  An
> authorized access point such as “Smith, John, active 1926” serves to
> segregate the work of an obscure person with that name from that of others
> with the same name.  People who actually know the work of that one person
> may also know the title(s).
>
>
>
> Others have pointed out that current rules do not allow this particular
> change. But rules evolve and are not always followed. (In this community,
> “breaking” the rules is much more often accidental than deliberate; their
> elaborate nature makes it very hard to follow them in all cases). This
> discussion is bigger than the question of “active” dates. My point is that
> changes to authority records should not be just to make the LCNAF “better”
> but also to make bibliographic records “better.”  In this imperfect,
> pre-linked data world, the two aims are not as closely linked as they
> should be.
>
>
>
> In thinking about what changes to make to authorized access points, it
> would be good to have more data about what changes users request.  I
> believe the users that most often make these requests are the authors
> themselves, and LC/PCC practice is to honor those  requests.  Good.  Most
> online catalogs have some sort of “report errors” or “feedback” button.  At
> Duke, feedback thus received (or given to public services staff, or to the
> head of Cataloging and Metadata Services), comes to a mailing list of
> technical services staff.  I don’t have statistics, but in the seven years
> that the list has been in existence, we have gotten very few requests to
> change access points.  We have been informed that we have confused one
> author for another, and that there are typos and misspellings in access
> points.   We are usually able to address these issues without modifying 1XX
> fields ARs, but sometimes we have corrected real errors.  I would be
> willing to bet that changes suggested by users are a VERY small percentage
> of the changes made to the LCNAF, and that most of the changes made would
> baffle users.
>
>
>
> *From:* Program for Cooperative Cataloging [
> mailto:[log in to unmask] <[log in to unmask]>] *On Behalf Of
> *Stephen Hearn
> *Sent:* Wednesday, September 23, 2015 3:39 PM
> *To:* [log in to unmask]
> *Subject:* Re: [PCCLIST] Changing "active" date to full dates?
>
>
>
> I agree with Amy on this one. In the linked data paradise over yonder,
> there will be better and richer exposure of identifying metadata for
> personal names than anything we get now from authorized access points, and
> that richness will offset most ambiguities in individual data points.
>
>
>
> I also agree that BFM is still an issue. But in the linked data paradise
> over yonder ...
>
>
>
> Stephen
>
>
>
> On Wed, Sep 23, 2015 at 1:54 PM, Ted P Gemberling <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
>
> Amy wrote:
> "Until linked data, headings are arbitrary constructs to keep works
> collocated."
>
> I think you're overdoing the arbitrariness. If an active date is just one
> year off, this creates no problems. But if it is a few years off, patrons
> may question whether it is the right person. The text string needs to be
> plausible to users, who frequently know more about an author than
> catalogers know.
>
> I suppose this is a problem with active dates in general. So much depends
> on which resources happen to have been cataloged at present. Including
> "approximately" before the dates helps some, but if the discrepancy is more
> than several years, even that may not be satisfactory.
>
> I wonder if we could hire history graduate students to do bibliographic
> file maintenance. I did that some when I was in history graduate school at
> Indiana University. They gave me a list of headings to look up and fix in
> the catalog. I was paid the minimum wage. This shouldn't have to be a real
> expensive thing for libraries.
>
> Ted Gemberling
> UAB Lister Hill Library
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
> On Behalf Of Amy Turner
> Sent: Wednesday, September 23, 2015 1:12 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [PCCLIST] Changing "active" date to full dates?
>
> And my responses to your responses follow.
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
> On Behalf Of Laurence S. Creider
> Sent: Wednesday, September 23, 2015 1:47 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [PCCLIST] Changing "active" date to full dates?
>
> Good points, my responses are interpolated.
>
> Larry
> --
> Laurence S. Creider
> Head, Archives and Special Collections Dept.
> University Library
> New Mexico State University
> Las Cruces, NM  88003
> Work: 575-646-4756
> Fax: 575-646-7477
> [log in to unmask]
>
> On Wed, September 23, 2015 11:31 am, Amy Turner wrote:
> > I can offer three reasons for not making this sort of change:
> >
> >
> > 1)      Looking forward to the linked data environment, when it is
> > identifying an entity that is important, not the exact character string.
> >
> >>Where does one draw the line?  Misspellings should be changed, incorrect
> dates, what?
>
> I'd like to leave this up to individual discretion, with encouragement to
> leave the heading as is. But if some catalogers like to keep getting
> headings more and more accurate while others want to leave well enough
> alone, no harm will be done by the two methods coexisting (except possibly
> the harm described in point 3 below).
>
> > 2)      Putting more priority on creating new authority records than on
> > maintaining new ones.  I’d like to say to catalogers who “want to
> > do the work,† that I don’t want to stop you, just to point out
> > that those who don’t make that choice are probably not using time
> > saved to get  off work early and have a beer, but rather dealing with
> > expanding workloads and ever-diminishing staff.  A lot of time goes
> > into not just making these changes, but discussing whether or not to
> > make them. I prefer to correct headings on existing authority records
> > only when there is a clear error that I believe hampers access.
> >
> >>An "active" date calls out for update because it does happen that one
> discovers something created and first manifested outside the dates.  If one
> runs across >>a correct date (as opposed to searching for a date), I am in
> favor of changing the one heading.  With linked data, such changes should
> become easier and less >>labor intensive.
>
> Debatable.  I think that if a person has been described as "active 1922"
> (commonly done when only one work is known) the discovery of a second work
> a few year later does not make the established AR wrong.  Until linked
> data, headings are arbitrary constructs to keep works collocated.   After
> linked data (if it delivers as promised, and I understand those promises)
> there will be no more headings to be maintained, just collections of
> attributes identifying an entity, so yes maintenance will be easier.
>
>
> > 3)      Avoiding BFM, which while it is easier than it used to be, is
> > still a factor.  Often BFM simply doesn’t get done, so that changing
> > an AR can change existing headings from “right† to “wrong.â€
> >
>
> >>Why doesn't BFM get done?  Lack of commitment is one reason, pressure of
> other work is another, but I think that the biggest problem in my
> experience is >>jumping through the organizational hoops that prove to be
> obstacles (How many individuals have to "bless" a particular change?  How
> many people have to >>scent mark a particular change?).  I think it would
> be better to devote more time to eliminating these issues.
>
> The big reason that BFM doesn't get done is a long tradition of each
> library maintaining only its local catalog.  Fine, for the headings that
> are there when the maintenance is done.  But then, many (most?) libraries
> accept copy from OCLC without verifying the headings.  So if, for example,
> a name has been differentiated in the NAF, but old headings have been left
> in OCLC, the old headings go into uncounted local catalogs.  Automated
> authority control can catch changes such as replacing active dates with
> birth and death dates only if there is a reference, or a mechanism to make
> references from formerly used headings.  It cannot make distinctions such
> as Turner, Amy vs. Turner, Amy, 1957-
>
> Now that OCLC allows changes to records that an institution doesn't hold,
> I don't think there is anything stopping us doing better BFM there, except
> for the magnitude of the task and the lack of global search and replace
> capabilities.
>
>
> > Amy
> >
> > [log in to unmask]
> >
> > From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging
> > [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Benjamin A Abrahamse
> > Sent: Wednesday, September 23, 2015 1:07 PM
> > To: [log in to unmask]
> > Subject: Re: [PCCLIST] Changing "active" date to full dates?
> >
> > Regardless of current PCC policy, replacing inexact dates with exact
> > dates when they beomce known fulfills the Ranganathanian dictum to
> > "save the time of the user."  It also seems kind of silly to record
> > information in the 046 that does not match what's in the 1xx.
> >
> > If BFM is no longer quite the painstaking process it once was, what
> > (outside of "because them's the rules") is the rationale behind not
> > making the change?
> > --Ben
> >
> > Benjamin Abrahamse
> > Cataloging Coordinator
> > Acquisitions and Discovery Enhancement MIT Libraries
> > 617-253-7137
> >
> > From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging
> > [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Theroux, Manon
> > (Secretary)
> > Sent: Wednesday, September 23, 2015 12:57 PM
> > To: [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
> > Subject: Re: [PCCLIST] Changing "active" date to full dates?
> >
> > Replacing flourished dates with birth/death dates was PCC policy in
> > the AACR2/LCRI era. The NACO Participants’ Manual (3rd ed.) had this
> > to say on p. 73:
> >
> > Generally, do not add or take away any information to authority
> > headings
> > (1XXs) coded AACR2 or AACR2-compatible (descriptive cataloging rules
> > fixed field 008/10 will be coded c or d) unless there is a clear error
> > or  the addition/removal is called for by the rules (e.g., if birth
> > dates become available for a heading with "flourished" dates (See  LCRI
> 22.1)).
> >
> > It was in the 1st edition too (p. 71).
> >
> > I thought it was a good policy.
> >
> > Manon
> >
> > --
> > Manon Théroux
> > Head of Technical Services
> > U.S. Senate Library
> > SR-B15 Russell Senate Office Building
> > Washington, DC  20510-7112
> > 202-224-3833 (phone)
> > 202-224-0879 (fax)
> > [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
> >
> >
> >
> > From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging
> > [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Robert Bratton
> > Sent: Wednesday, September 23, 2015 12:23 PM
> > To: [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
> > Subject: Re: [PCCLIST] Changing "active" date to full dates?
> >
> > I agree with Bob Maxwell, and I might take it a step further.
> > RDA 9.19.1.5 states:  "Add the period of activity of the person (see
> > 9.3.4<http://access.rdatoolkit.org/document.php?id=rdachp9&target=rda9
> > -4587#rda9-4587>
> > RDA) if needed to distinguish one access point from another. Make this
> > addition when the person's date of birth or date of death is not
> > available."
> > Since Jay now has the birth and death dates, I think he is justified
> > in changing the AAP since RDA as currently written prefers them.
> > The old NACO stricture to 'never ever change an AAP unless you
> > absolutely have to' has evolved and continues to evolve.  For example,
> > we now have the option to add death dates to vampiric AAPs like:
> > Smith, William,
> > 1702-
> >
> > Robert
> > --
> > Robert Bratton
> > Cataloging Librarian
> > Jacob Burns Law Library
> > George Washington University
> > Washington, DC
> >
> >
> > On Tue, Sep 22, 2015 at 7:17 PM, Robert Maxwell
> > <[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>> wrote:
> > Well *I* support your wanted change, Adam, and I think it’s a pretty
> > common practice even in the absence of permission from RDA ☺
> >
> > Responding to the original question, I would change the activity dates
> > to the actual dates.
> >
> > Bob
> >
> > Robert L. Maxwell
> > Ancient Languages and Special Collections Librarian
> > 6728 Harold B. Lee Library
> > Brigham Young University
> > Provo, UT 84602
> > (801)422-5568
> >
> > "We should set an example for all the world, rather than confine
> > ourselves to the course which has been heretofore pursued"--Eliza R.
> Snow, 1842.
> >
> > From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging
> > [mailto:[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>] On
> > Behalf Of Adam L. Schiff
> > Sent: Tuesday, September 22, 2015 4:33 PM
> > To: [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
> > Subject: Re: Changing "active" date to full dates?
> >
> > I wouldn’t consider making such a change if he had been established
> > as “Adam, William ‡c (Missionary)† or something of the sort
> > (though I would still add the form with dates as a 400).
> >
> > This issue came up before a few weeks ago.  RDA says to use a variant
> > name as the basis for a variant access point.  That would mean your
> > suggested
> > 400 is not allowed.  I think the variant access point ought to be
> > allowed but didn't get much support for a change to RDA instructions
> > to allow you to use a preferred name in a variant access point.
> > Adam L. Schiff
> > Principal Cataloger
> > University of Washington Libraries
> > Box 352900
> > Seattle, WA 98195-2900
> >
> >
> > On Tue, Sep 22, 2015 at 3:06 PM -0700, "Shorten, Jay"
> > <[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>> wrote:
> > I found from research the birth and death dates of n  82236641 ARN
> > 1060906 Adam, William, ‡d active 1821-1861 . Can some remind me of
> > the general PCC practice as to whether I should therefore change the
> > authorized heading to “Adam, William, ‡d 1796-1881† or just add
> > this form as a 400? Technically the active dates are not an error,
> > though I think full dates are more useful.
> >
> > I wouldn’t consider making such a change if he had been established
> > as “Adam, William ‡c (Missionary)† or something of the sort
> > (though I would still add the form with dates as a 400).
> >
> > Jay Shorten
> > Cataloger, Monographs and Electronic Resources Associate Professor of
> > Bibliography Catalog Department University Libraries University of
> > Oklahoma Co-owner, PERSNAME-L, the list about personal names in
> > bibliographic and authority records
> >
> > jshorten@ouedu<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
>
>
>
>
>
> --
>
> Stephen Hearn, Metadata Strategist
>
> Data Management & Access, University Libraries
>
> University of Minnesota
>
> 160 Wilson Library
>
> 309 19th Avenue South
>
> Minneapolis, MN 55455
>
> Ph: 612-625-2328
>
> Fx: 612-625-3428
>
> ORCID:  0000-0002-3590-1242
>