At present non-MARC-8 characters are not allowed in authority records and one shouldn’t substitute other letters so basically the only option is number 1. This is a sorry situation and we have long since passed the point when we should be restricted to only MARC-8 characters. I tried a workaround for a while, putting non-MARC-8 characters in the 670s but not in 1xxs & 4xxs but even that is not allowed and I had to help OCLC clean them out of the NARs. The problem is not with OCLC—they can easily handle these but for some reason they won’t properly load at LC because of the stricture against non-MARC-8 in NARS.
Asian Materials Specialist/PCC Liaison
Western Washington University
Bellingham, WA 98225-9103
From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Lammert, Richard
Sent: Thursday, December 17, 2015 1:25 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [PCCLIST] Urdu vernacular in authority record
I am trying to create an authority for the English translation of Maudoodi's Islām kā ak̲h̲lāqī nuqt̤ah-yi naz̤ar. The problem I have encountered applies to the title of the work, so my discussion below focuses only on the work.
The title of the work in the vernacular script is:
اسلام کا اخلاقی نقطہ نظر
However, OCLC's Connexion client complains about the last letter of the third and fourth words. Both of these are Arabic letters that are *not* in the MARC-8 extended Arabic character set, and so OCLC will not validate them.
I see three possibilities in this situation:
(1) Avoid putting the title in the vernacular script into the record at all.
(2) Substitute other Arabic letters for the two Urdu characters, giving:
اسلام کا اخلاقي نقطه نظر
(3) Substitute NCRs for the characters that will not validate, giving:
اسلام کا اخلاقی نقطہ نظر
(That mixture of Roman and Arabic characters will likely come out in the wrong order.)
Any one of these solutions will get the record into the authority file. Solution (2) has the advantage of being able to be input and be readable (and a good search engine will find the title in whichever form it is searched). However, the title as thus written is not the title of the work. Solution (3) has the disadvantage of being unreadable on input, and unsearchable in a Web browser. However, the input should *display* properly in a Web browser (assuming NCRs in an authority record work like NCRs in a bib record), and the NCRs could be changed programmatically to the correct character when the capability of using any Unicode characters becomes available.
Is there a best practice in this situation, and what is it?
Bonus question: Do all PCC NACO nodes have this problem, or do some allow these Urdu characters to be input?
In case my (our your) email program mangles the characters, here are the relevant titles: (1) romanization; (2) Urdu title; (3) Urdu title with substitution; (4) Urdu title with NCRs (the NCRs are right-to-left, but otherwise the text is correct). I am using a Naskh font since I don't have a good Nastaliq font on my computer.
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Richard A. Lammert
Concordia Theological Seminary