It is not required to search VIAF for Library and Archives Canada authority records for Canadian authors, but the legal deposit form used by LAC asks for a creator's year of birth. Therefore LAC C.I.P. and LAC NARs found in VIAF often already include the birth year. 

Searching VIAF can be an easy way to find a birth year, even if the year is not required to disambiguate a name.

As for emailing authors, my experience has been that they are more willing to give a birth year than a birthdate. 

Karen Jensen
Concordia University

On Jan 12, 2018, at 5:32 PM, Stephen Hearn <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

I agree with Netanel's reading--"Optional" is language carried over from RDA. The LC-PCC PS is a ruling on whether and how to exercise the option. It instructs us to add a known date to the heading. It does not require that a date be known to establish a name, only that it should be added if known.

That said, there are also exceptions. Some persons request that their birth year not be included in catalog headings. LC and PCC respect those requests and have removed dates, both from the heading and from other parts of the authority record. As someone who's called on to do such work, Paul Frank may have been sensitive to oversimplifying the date "requirement."


On Fri, Jan 12, 2018 at 4:18 PM, Jessica Janecki <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

The NACO training slides for describing persons (updated April 2017) say dates associated with a person are a core element, and as such must be recorded if they are available.


From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging [mailto:[log in to unmask]GOV] On Behalf Of Jesse Lambertson
Sent: Friday, January 12, 2018 5:10 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [PCCLIST] Adding birth dates (or death dates) to new access points


This is very interesting.

Netanel, you and I were in the same NACO training in 2016 and I don't remember Paul Frank saying adding these dates was required - just good to have.

I remember the the ongoing discussion that we need not create conflict over disambiguation where no conflict exists.

    - which of course goes along with RDA very well.

    - I can tell you that i DO e-mail authors to ask birth dates - but only when I need to distinguish.

What do you think?

Have I misunderstood this?


thank you



On Fri, Jan 12, 2018 at 4:58 PM, Netanel Ganin <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

Hi Jesse, 


My understanding is as follows:


The PS says it is an optional addition because it is optional for RDA itself. RDA is used by many communities outside of LC and the PCC and each can come up with their own rulings for the various options.


But if you're contributing to the Name Authority File via the PCC of which NACO is a part -- then the LC/PCC practice at at is indeed required and you must add a birth and/or death date [if known] to a new AAP even if not needed to distinguish between access points.


Adding dates in the 046 is useful for machine processing but does not override the requirement to record them [if known] in the AAP.


Regarding emailing creator/contributors -- I certainly don't email them all. Sometimes I can readily ascertain dates from various online/print sources, but if it is not known, then I do not record it. Once in a while though when a person has a very common name and their contact info is readily available, yes I'll e-mail them.




Netanel Ganin




Any opinions in this email are solely those of Netanel Ganin and not to be construed or represented as those of any institution.


On Fri, Jan 12, 2018 at 4:40 PM, Jesse Lambertson <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

Happy friday everyone

I have a question about birth dates.

I just had a discussion with someone who suggested that new AAPs were required to have a birth day (year) in the 100 $a Surname, name, $d 2018-


For the creation of AAPs..

RDA states: Include a date of birth (see 9.3.2) and/or a date of death (see 9.3.3) if needed to distinguish one authorized access point from another. Record the year alone.

LC-PCC PS for presents an optional addition:

LC practice/PCC practice for Optional addition: Add a date of birth and/or date of death to new authority records, even if not needed to distinguish between access points.

I was taught by my trainer not to add qualifying information to AAPs unless needed - but that it is generally good practice to add 046s if that information is available.


This practice of adding birth dates to AAPs is optional, correct?

If it is not, why does the PS say it is for optional addition?


Also, If I did add a date to 046 $f ____-__-__ $2 edtf, am I also required to add that date to the heading? If so, where does it say it is required?


Are the NACO contributors out there e-mailing to acquire birth date for EVERY new access point being produced?


This seems excessive to me.


What do people think?


Thank you much



Jesse A Lambertson

Head of Cataloging & Metadata

Georgetown University Law Library



Jesse A Lambertson

Head of Cataloging & Metadata

Georgetown University Law Library

Stephen Hearn, Metadata Strategist
Data Management & Access, University Libraries
University of Minnesota
170A Wilson Library (office)
160 Wilson Library (mail)
309 19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455
Ph: 612-625-2328
Fx: 612-625-3428
ORCID:  0000-0002-3590-1242