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The question of what to do with “interesting” biographical information came up for me the other day.  While researching/establishing the name for a coin auction house, I learned that the proprietor is currently facing multiple indictments for fraud and has had to close the business.  This information is useful in that it supports an 046 $t, and allows me to code the serial title for this auction house’s catalogs as “ceased.”  However, I’m not comfortable stating the circumstances so I will stay with just the facts of business closure/publication cessation.  Even if the coin dealer had already been convicted, I would probably do the same.  In the coming linked data environment, our identifiers will readily connect to more detailed information on the web, so no need to copy it (IMO).  I guess it comes down to what we see as the intended use for the authority metadata we create.


Mary Jane Cuneo

Serials cataloging and NACO

Information and Technical Services

Harvard Library



From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Herrold, Charles
Sent: Wednesday, January 10, 2018 10:56 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: n 85387872 (Pres. T.)


   With all due respect, the link given by Ms. Billey is an article analyzing gender identity in authority records; the word “offensive” appears only once. I think it has little to do with the current discussion. That the library profession is dominated by women does not justify ad hominem attacks in the authority file, does it?

   The Wikipedia citation for Matt Lauer does indeed justify the end date of his association with the Today show, but the lurid details are not necessary. Note also the categories assigned to the article:


    I don’t see sex offenders or the like. While we do provide “little biographical sketches” in name authority records, as time permits, the purpose of these is not to identify the “horrible things” done by these persons. I condemn without equivocation what these men did, but I disagree about using our authority records to make political and moral statements. One could use the Wikipedia article on Martin Luther King, Jr. to discuss his adulterous behavior, but is that central to his identity? Richard Wagner was a virulent anti-Semite, but the AR makes no mention of that.

    In the past, I have criticized LC catalogers for the cut-and-paste transcription of purple prose from obituaries, initially noting this one:


New York times WWW site, Feb. 27, 2006 ǂb (in obituary published Feb. 26: Don Knotts; b. in W. Va.; d. Friday [Feb. 24, 2006], Beverly Hills, aged 81; skinny, lovable nerd who kept generations of television audiences laughing as the bumbling Deputy Barney Fife on The Andy Griffith show)


     This was quickly removed from the record by LC. For cataloging purposes, identifying Knotts as a “skinny, lovable nerd” playing a “bumbling” character is not necessary. There are other more appropriate venues for such subjective information.


Chuck Herrold


From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Amber Billey
Sent: Wednesday, January 10, 2018 10:23 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [PCCLIST] n 85387872 (Pres. T.)


We have politics and bias all throughout NAF and LCSH. Don't pretend this is nothing new. Catalogers have used 670s to record all kinds of personal and political information about an individual, some of it very offensive to justify information in a NAR.

If the information in any of these new 670s justifies the $t in the 373, then I think the 670 should be left in the NAR. We are not longer just creating unique access points in our NARs. We create little biographical sketches to provide contextual information to achieve FRBR-LRM user tasks. With those little biographical sketches, we have to provide facts to justify our statements. The fact is that these men did horrible things, and many of them lost their jobs because of their actions. We record the end date of an affiliated group in the $t of a 373. To record that end date we need to provide justification in a 670. Wikipedia is an approved source for 670. For many of these updated records, I think the cataloger in question was in the right.  


And yes, I'm going here -- for a profession that is dominated by women, I think we'd have a little more nuanced understanding of this kind of metadata being recorded in the NARs for some these men.




Amber Billey


Sytems & Metadata Librarian

Bard College


On Wed, Jan 10, 2018 at 9:30 AM, Ahava Cohen <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

It does appear that in a small number of records (e.g., Weinstein, Lauer) the new 670 justifies the $t on 373. On most, though, I can't see what the new 670s are in support of within the records.


-          Ahava


Ahava Cohen    |Head

Hebrew Catalogue Department

Mobile: +972-54-549-3644

Tel.:  +972-74-733-6231

The National Library of Israel, Jerusalem

[log in to unmask]  |






From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of violeta ilik
Sent: Wednesday, January 10, 2018 4:26 PM
To: [log in to unmask]

Subject: Re: [PCCLIST] n 85387872 (Pres. T.)


Please let's keep a high ground and remove this unnecessary information from the authority records. Let's leave this subject to historians and some other academics.



Kind regards,

Violeta Ilik


On Wed, Jan 10, 2018 at 9:13 AM, Herrold, Charles <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

     Not to point a finger, but apparently the same institution added the information about sexual misconduct to these records as well as the one for Trump. By including such data we are stooping to his level. Ad hominem attacks lend a sleazy aspect to our authority records.


Chuck H.


From: Colin Bitter [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Wednesday, January 10, 2018 8:46 AM
To: Program for Cooperative Cataloging <[log in to unmask]>; [log in to unmask]; Herrold, Charles <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: [PCCLIST] n 85387872 (Pres. T.)


Also see:

010  no 93004145
1001 Franken, Al

010  no2001040887
1001 Weinstein, Harvey, ǂd 1952-

010  n  82137324  ǂz n  82152590
1001 Thomas, Clarence, ǂd 1948-

010  n  94024435
1001 Rose, Charlie

010  no 98099183
1001 O'Reilly, Bill

010  no2005078095
1001 Moore, Roy ǂq (Roy S.)

010  no 99046722
1001 Lauer, Matt, ǂd 1957-

010  n  82052577  ǂz n  50018139
1001 Cosby, Bill, ǂd 1937-


Colin Bitter


On Wed, Jan 10, 2018 at 8:38 AM, Moore, Richard <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

The last three 670s contain no information justifying data in the NAR, nor any name variants, nor any information needed to identify the person. I agree they are inappropriate; they are also unnecessary, and in my opinion ought to be removed.







Richard Moore

Authority Control Team Manager

The British Library


Tel.: +44 (0)1937 546104                                  

E-mail: [log in to unmask]      




From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Herrold, Charles
Sent: 10 January 2018 13:26
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [PCCLIST] n 85387872 (Pres. T.)


Dear colleagues:

     While I have no respect whatsoever for the person currently holding the office, is such non-objective information what we really want in our authority records?:


010    n  85387872

670, 16 November 2017 ǂb (When has Trump been accused of rape or attempted rape? Allegations include a child, his wife and a business associate) ǂu

670, 6 December 2017 ǂb (President Pussy Grabber damn near stumps for accused Sex Offender Roy Moore, because of course he would) ǂu

678  Donald Trump (born 1946) is a U.S. real estate developer, billionaire, television personality, political candidate, and author. Trump has been accused of sexual assault and sexual harassment, including non-consensual kissing or groping, by at least fifteen women since the 1980s.


    Following that perverse logic, I would expect such additions as: 372  Sexual harassment of women  $2 lcsh


    Seriously, I try to exclude all judgmental characterizations—positive or negative—from my authority work, and I believe others should do so as well.  IMO, whoever added the data in bold-face ought to remove it. It just adds fuel to an already out-of-control conflagration.



Chuck Herrold

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh



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