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MARC DISCUSSION PAPER NO. 2006-DP03

DATE: Dec. 16, 2005

REVISED:

NAME: Incorporation of Former Headings into MARC 21 Authority Records

SOURCE: Program for Cooperative Cataloging, Task Group on the Function of the Authority File

SUMMARY: This paper discusses the incorporation of former heading information into MARC 21 authority records, in cases where the former heading might not be considered a valid or useful reference, to facilitate the locating of instances of the former headings in bibliographic records that may need to be corrected. A note field for this requirement is discussed to hold former headings in authority records.

KEYWORDS: Former headings (AD); Note fields (AD); Field 683 (AD)

RELATED:

STATUS/COMMENTS:

12/16/05 - Made available to the MARC 21 community for discussion.

01/22/06 - Results of the MARC Advisory Committee discussion - The participants favored incorporating former heading information into authority records. However, they were undecided on whether to use a 4XX field (See from tracing fields) with subfield $w (Control subfield) or to define field 683 (Former heading) to do this. The 4XX field option was discussed because it would support accurate machine processing. However, a 683 note field would provide a unique location in which to record former headings. A new discussion paper will be written that explores various options.


Discussion Paper 2006-DP03: Incorporation of Former Headings

1 INTRODUCTION

In 2003, the Final Report of the Task Group on the Function of the Authority File was presented to the Standing Committee on Standards of the Program for Cooperative Cataloging. In it, the Task Group cited several instances where it is not valid to make a reference from an invalid former form of a heading because of possible conflicts with other references, possible misleading of users, and duplication of references upon normalization. The recommendation was that these former headings should be recorded in a note field to enhance the ability of correcting these former headings in bibliographic records. The following specific circumstances where a note would be useful were described in the Report. The illustrative examples include a new note field (specified as 683 and structured like existing 682) that is described later in Section 2.4.

2 DISCUSSION

2.1 Cancelled headings (Recommendation #8)

When an authority record is deleted from a shared authority file, the record number of the deleted record is usually recorded in a record number field (e.g., 010 or 035) of the related authority record that is being kept. However, the form of the cancelled heading, when it differs, is not necessarily recorded in the authority record, making it difficult to identify the headings in the bibliographic records in the catalog that might need correction. The task group recommended that the cancelled heading be recorded in a note field in the record that is being kept, if the cancelled heading differs from the kept heading. This will facilitate the task of identifying headings that might need correcting in the bibliographic file.

Examples:

010 ## $a[LCCN]$z[cancelled LCCN] 
100 1# $aPhilips, Gina,$d 1958- 
400 1# $aPhilips, G. E.$q(Gina Evelyn), $d 1958- 
683 ## $iRecord covers cancelled heading:$aPhilips, Gina E.

010 ## $a [LCCN] $z [cancelled LCCN] 
110 2# $a Auschwitz (Concentration camp) 
683 ## $i Record covers cancelled subject heading:$aAuschwitz (Poland : Concentration camp) 

2.2 Former name headings (Recommendation #10)

In some cases a former heading is not a candidate for becoming a reference because of conventions associated with the name authority file or the cataloging rules for forming references. In addition, when a former cataloging rule heading is not a valid reference for the current cataloging rules, catalogers are usually instructed not to make linking references. Some of the specific cases are the following.

- When a qualifier is added to a heading to break a conflict;
- When the old form of heading "normalized" to the same string of characters as the new form;
- When the only change being made is the correction of a typographical error in the old form of heading;
- When the only change being made is the closing of what has been an open date in the heading.

The task group recommended that these headings be recorded in a note field to facilitate the task of finding headings in bibliographic records that may need to be corrected.

Examples:

100 1# $a Haase, Felix, $d b. 1742 
683 ## $iFormer heading:$aHaase, Felix
 [Date added to former heading to resolve conflict]

110 2# $a Brown and Sons (London, England) 
683 ## $iFormer heading:$aBrown and Sons
 [Qualifier added to former heading to resolve conflict] 

130 #0 Archives of toxicology.$pSupplement
683 ## $iOld heading:$aArchives of toxicology :$pSupplement
[The old form normalizes to the same string as the new form as they differ only by
punctuation.]

100 1# $a Parra, Manuel 
683 ## $iFormer heading:$aParra, Manual
 [Former heading contained typographical error]

100 1# $aWarhol, Andy,$d1928-1987
683 1# $iFormer heading:$aWarhol, Andy,$d1928-
 [Former heading had open date]

2.3 Former subject headings (Recommendation #12)

Another specialized case that would benefit from this field is for references not allowed in the subject authority records because of thesaurus rules. For example the Library of Congress’ Subject Cataloging Manual states that former subject headings are added as references, except in the following situations.

- When the old form of heading "normalized" to the same string of characters as the new form;
- When the only change being made is the correction of a typographical error in the old form of heading;
- When the only change being made is the closing of what has been an open date in the heading or in a period subdivision under the heading;
- When a [heading]-[subdivision] record is being changed because the basic heading itself is also being changed and the 4XX field containing the old form of the heading has been added to the authority record for the basic;
- When the former heading was considered offensive by contemporary standards.

The Task Group recommended that the former headings to which the above exceptions applied be retained in a note field to facilitate the ability to correct headings found in bibliographic records.

Examples:

151 ## $aVenezuela$xPolitics and government$y1974-1999 
683 ## $iFormer heading:$aVenezuela--Politics and government--1974- 
 [Date in period subdivision was closed]

150 ## $aAfrican American women domestics 
683 ## $iFormer heading:$aMammies 
 [Former heading considered offensive]

2.4 Definition of a note field for former headings

The Task Group recommended that a note field be defined to contain former heading information in the cases described above. Defining a new note field for former heading provides a unique place in which to record former headings, enabling more automated library catalog amendment processes. The Task Group rejected use of field 667 (Nonpublic note) because it is currently coded to hold several different types of data. They thought that field 688 (Application history note) could be redefined to hold former headings information but it also had mixed use in the past. One alternative is to define a special "former heading" note field in the authority format, structured similarly to the 682 field to enable the isolation of the heading string for matching purposes. Separate iterations of field 683 would hold one former heading and thus, field 683 should be defined as repeatable.

Field 683 - Former heading (R)

 Indicators
 First indicator Undefined
 Second indicator Undefined

 Subfield codes

 $a - Former heading (NR)
 $i - Explanatory text (R)
 $6 - Linkage (NR)
 $8 - Field link and sequence number (R)

3 QUESTIONS

1) Should former headings be included in authority records separately from the 4XX fields, thus allowing references to be made only in relation to the form of heading currently in the 1XX?

2) Are there other example of use of this field? (Note that the PCC report had a recommendation (#11) concerning invalid Wade-Giles transliteration references that were temporarily added to records as 4XXs. This field would be a place for those references when they were to be deleted, although LC is no longer planning to delete them except on an as encountered basis.).

3) Would a subfield for the time span of the former heading be feasible, helpful, or worth the effort? Or could the date span be given as part of the $i if a specific institution was interested in retaining such information?

4) Is defining field 683 for former headings the best solution or could 667 or 688 be used?


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