If an author has used a variant form of her name for some of her writings could it ever be considered an alternative identity under RDA 18.104.22.168 and have a separate NAR or should it always be treated as a different form of the same name under 22.214.171.124?
The case in hand: there exists two NARs for the same person: “Mitchell, Victoria E.” and “Mitchell, V. E.” The author has used the two forms of her real name to differentiate her publications in two different genres. The former heading was used by the author for her professional work in geology, the latter heading for her work as an writer of science fiction.
Should the two NARs be related to each other with 500 cross references or reported as duplicates with her professional name as the preferred name and “Mitchell, V. E.” as a 400 variant name heading?
Although the answer seems to me to be that the two NARs should be reported as duplicates, merging them would do our users a great disservice. In our catalog science fiction fans would have to scan through a long list of Idaho Geological Survey publications (131 records) posted under her name heading in order to find which of her fictional works our library holds (8 records).
Thank you for your guidance.
University of Idaho Library
Moscow, ID 83844-2350