Christopher H. Walker
Serials Cataloging Librarian
Penn State's representative to the CONSER Operations Committee
Member at Large, ALCTS CRS Executive Committee 2013/2016
126 Paterno Library
The Pennsylvania State University
University Park, PA 16802-1812
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We are creating an authority record for Urquhart Cawley, a composer who wrote Song of the Seraphs and Blessed Are the Dead. The only dates we can find for him are the copyright dates for Song of the Seraphs, 12-21-1925 for the original copyright, and 1-29-1953 for the copyright renewal.
It is my understanding that we can record at least the years as “active” dates. Since the name is unique (and rather unlikely to become non-unique), I don’t plan on using the dates in the heading, lest better information be found later. But what should be recorded in the 046?
Active dates are by their nature approximate. So should we record a day and a month? Or should we record only the years, perhaps even with a spacing tilde? After all, even though we have the dates of copyright, we can reasonably assume that he was “active” sometime before and sometime after these dates. Or should we just give the exact dates?
I am probably overthinking this. The examples and instructions in RDA and DCM Z1 don’t seem to discuss a similar situation.
All thoughts appreciated.
Michael S. Borries
Cataloger, City University of New York
151 East 25th Street, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10010
Phone: (646) 312-1687
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