Hi Richard, you're not alone in questioning this. I also recall a discussion on PCC list earlier this year. RDA as written would seem to prevent the construction of variant access points based on a preferred name, but these types of variants nonetheless appear frequently in the NAF. 

That said, ALA has submitted an RDA revision proposal seeking to clarify this issue and to provide greater flexibility to construct variant access points based on a preferred name. 


But we will have to see what the RSC decides on this proposal during their meeting in Frankfurt, in a couple weeks.


On Wed, Oct 26, 2016 at 1:37 PM, Benjamin A Abrahamse <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

I think this has come up before on the pcc list so you may want to search the archive for a fuller discussion. But if you look to the rules: RDA 9.19.1 on constructing access points states, “When constructing an authorized access point to represent a person, use the preferred name for the person (see 9.2.2) as the basis for the authorized access point.” Whereas, 9.19.2 on variant access points says, “When constructing a variant access point to represent a person, use a variant name for the person (see 9.2.3) as the basis for the access point.”


RDA does not state, “Use the preferred name for a variant access point.”

I’m sure some would argue that there are problems with this approach, and indeed there may be other situations in which you would want to use the preferred name plus a different set of qualifiers. But at least in these cases, it strikes me as gilding the lilly. The purpose of qualifiers is to make a name unique, not to express every possible career that an individual has had.



Benjamin Abrahamse

Cataloging Coordinator

Acquisitions & Discovery Enhancement

MIT Libraries



From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging [mailto:[log in to unmask]GOV] On Behalf Of Noble, Richard
Sent: Wednesday, October 26, 2016 12:33 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [PCCLIST] Variant Parenthetical Designation as 400


I'm being presented with ARs for a name with a variant parenthetical designation as a 400, e.g. "100 Name (Teacher of mathematics)" and "400 Name (Mathematician)"; in another case "100 Name (Pianist)" and a newly added "400 Name (Composer and pianist)" in response to information presented in a newly cited source.


This  doesn't seem quite right somehow, but I can't find any positive negative example (so to call it) to justify my uneasiness.


With thanks from a less than coordinated Acting NACO Coordinator -



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