Pinyin Conversion Project


In the course of converting approximately 156,000 name authority records as a part of the Pinyin Conversion Project, references from the former Wade-Giles headings were added to 131,000 of these records. These references were added in accordance with cataloging policy; their presence aids librarians in maintaining their catalogs. They are identified in the "w" control subfield of the 4XX field with the values "nne" for previous established AACR2 heading. However, such references were not initially present on approximately 25,000 of the converted records because such references are not in accord with LC cataloging policy. That policy does not provide for cross references to be added solely for maintenance purposes.

LC's partners in the Pinyin Conversion Project, OCLC and the Research Libraries Group (RLG), and the library community have made clear the value these references would have as a mechanism to maintain and improve their catalogs. Therefore, in response to users' needs, and in collaboration with LC and RLG, OCLC has added these references as an exception to our general policy. OCLC/WLN used automated tools to identify authority records that converted to pinyin, but lacked references from the former Wade-Giles headings, and added the references, coded $wnnea. These records were then contributed to the national authority file and distributed by LC's Cataloging Distribution Service (CDS) to OCLC, RLIN, and other subscribers to its authority products.

This extraordinary step is being taken because the magnitude of the Pinyin Conversion Project can be compared to the effort to convert pre-AACR2 name headings when AACR2 was adopted. References were routinely provided from pre-AACR2 forms as a service to libraries and their users. However, because these references will be added contrary to established cataloging policy, and only to assist libraries' efforts to accomplish bibliographic file maintenance, LC plans to remove the references from the authority records after two years have passed.

CDS is making available a special file of approximately 150,000 converted pinyin name authority records. This file contains all name authority records with the appropriate romanization scheme code (c' or n' in 008/07) that were updated as part of the Pinyin Conversion Project. The file includes records with Wade-Giles references coded as $wnnea. This is a one time, "snapshot" file. Updates to these records are only available via a subscription to MDS-Name Authorities. For additional information re the availability of this special file, contact CDS at