Refusing to include terms describing sex offenders or adulterers or anti-Semites in an NAR is also a political and moral act, it’s just one that supports the subject of the NAR (frequently a person with power) by refusing to document their actions and that portion of their identity. If we’re providing brief biographies (and I think at this point it’s safe to say we are), why are we restricted to only positive descriptors or achievements (provided it’s cited from a reliable source and 670, etc.)?


Thank you.


Eric Willey (pronouns: he/him/his)


Special Collections and Formats Cataloger

Milner Library

Illinois State University

Normal, IL 61761




From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Herrold, Charles
Sent: Wednesday, January 10, 2018 9:56 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [PCCLIST] n 85387872 (Pres. T.)


<snipped for brevity>

    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


<previous messages snipped for brevity>