I'm far from being an expert on PCC or RDA rules. But I have seen that we have a lot of messages on this list discouraging people from changing AAPs. I'm guessing if Chris Williams actually wrote and said he wanted his qualifier changed, that would be grounds for changing it, however much bibliographic maintenance it required. So the persistence of AAP's doesn't seem to be an absolute rule. If they're imperfect, they can be improved in some circumstances. 

But it seems there's a conflict between the right to create AAP's and the right to modify them. People are highly encouraged to create them and highly discouraged from changing them. It would be wonderful if there was some way to change AAP's as soon as we had better information, but at this point we don't have that capability. And what makes information better anyway? I get the impression there isn't full agreement on that point in the PCC community. Some see almost no reason to change them. 

I only found one bib record, OCLC #915123697, with that AAP, and it was coded PCC. Did the cataloger create this authority just so he or she could code it PCC? Another English record, #913791729, is not coded PCC and doesn't have that qualification (it has Williams, Chris, editor). PCC records are supposed to be really high quality records, but what if they contain AAP's that are awkward and hard to change? I realize that in adding the qualification, they did add information for users, since the phrase wasn't included in the transcriptional part of the bib record. 

I suppose a question is whether the very first time we catalog a resource with a contribution by a person, we should have a unique identity for her. But it seems that wouldn't be a very practical demand. Let's say Chris moves to a university in London and edits something without that occupational title. Will we have any way of making the identification? 

Another way of approaching the question: should our authority files be complete representations of the entities in the bibliographic universe, or are they adjuncts to our bibliographic records? I think I prefer the latter approach. We create authority records when we have noticed ambiguities in attributions of authorship or subject and have some well-founded, stable way of removing the ambiguities. Our primary access to resources is via bibliographic records. 

So I guess that means I think there may be too many PCC records, or that the criteria for them may need to be changed. 

Just my two cents. 

Ted Gemberling

-----Original Message-----
From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging <[log in to unmask]> On Behalf Of Moore, Richard
Sent: Monday, May 14, 2018 1:46 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [PCCLIST] 374 field in NARs


Just a quick comment on this:

"Let’s look at the question from the opposite angle. Can someone’s qualifier be too specific? I remember some years ago we had a discussion about n 2015187569:

Williams, Chris ǂc (Research and knowledge exchange impact officer)

Notice the qualifier doesn’t come from a thesaurus. The danger with a qualifier like that is it may not represent more than part of the person’s career. Later he may even object to the qualifier when that ceases to be his occupation. It seems this authority was created just so there’d be an authority for him. I would rather not create an authority in a case like that. "

I don’t recall the discussion, but just to say that there is no automatic way to tell whether a qualifier used in an AAP (which does not have to be from a controlled vocabulary) is intended as an Occupation, or an Other Designation. The latter can be virtually any description at all; things that might be doubtful as Occupations will usually qualify as Other Designations.

I agree that a very specific qualifier can become outdated. If it becomes so outdated as to be inaccurate, then it might be reasonable to change it, on the grounds of being wrong “in fact”. But I think we’d add to the sum of confusion by constantly “improving” each other's records (which I’ve always discouraged our cataloguers from doing). I disagree on the utility of creating an authority in this case. Creating one enables that person’s works to be collocated. We’re creating unique access points above all (alongside adding all the machine readable metadata that might one day be useful on Planet Linked Data).


Richard Moore
Authority Control Team Manager
The British Library

Tel.: +44 (0)1937 546104
E-mail: [log in to unmask]

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