guidelines are intended to supplement the
UNBIS Reference Manual for Name Authority Records. While the manual
specifies the format of the records (information to be included in each
tag and each subfield), these guidelines cover in greater detail the
form of personal, corporate, conference and title headings in the UNBIS
authority records - definition
authority record is a tool used by librarians to establish forms of
names (for persons, places, meetings, and organizations), titles, and
subjects used on bibliographic records. Authority records enable
librarians to provide uniform access to materials in library catalogs
and to provide clear identification of authors and subject headings.
Authority records also provide cross references to lead users to the
headings used in the catalog". [from Library
of Congress Authorities Help]
is responsible for name authority?
is the responsibility of the authority reviser to ensure that the form
of name headings conforms to established standards and policies.
However, in order to accurately describe the contents of a document or
publication, the creators of bibliographic records
need to be familiar with some of the basic rules governing the form
that personal, corporate and conference names and the other categories
of bibliographic elements falling under authority control should take.
So, much in these guidelines is intended for their reference.
responsibility of creators of bibliographic records to search the
database indexes to see if an authority record already exists for a
"named entity" that is to be added to an author, title or subject
field, and to attach the bibliographic record to that authority. If
such a record does not exist, a new authority record is generated
automatically when the new heading is added to an authority-controlled
field. If there are variant forms of the name in the publication at
hand, search under those forms as well. Indexers and cataloguers must
submit new headings, clearly marked, to the authority reviser, together
with either the document or photocopies of relevant pages.
of bibliographic records should also alert the authority reviser to
duplicate and incomplete name authority records.
policies and practice
UNBIS policies originated, in the pre-AACR 2, the pre-MARC and the
pre-Internet environment, to accommodate the recording of the numerous
and diverse elements needed to describe UN documentation, as well as
their inclusion in different publication formats. Generally the Dag
Hammarskjöld Library follows AACR2 and U.S. Library of Congress
guidelines for bibliographic description, but UNBIS practice, as it has
evolved over the years, does deviate from those in a number of ways.
Just as UNBIS policy and practice has evolved in the past, they
continue to undergo change. When change is contemplated, one must
consider all the ramifications, including consistency with UNBIS
where UNBIS practice differs from the standard is in the use of MARC21
subfields. Since the format used before MARC did not include subfields,
it was decided at the time of conversion to continue the practice of
including all data in a single subfield. This has more or less been the
practice since then; however, a few additional subfields are now being
employed where they serve a particularly useful function: in the 670
note field, for example, where subfield $u
is used to record Uniform Resource Identifiers.
should be noted that UNBIS name authority records display only in
the internal system, not in the OPAC (UNBISnet), so library clients
cannot see explanatory notes (or the chronological relationship between
linked records). However, the Use For cross-references allow the user
to go directly from the name variation under which he may be searching,
to the bibliographic record in which the established form of the name
appears--at least in the UNBISnet Browse (alphabetical) List.
Unfortunately, the linkage does not function in the UNBISnet Keyword
Search, so, unless users consult the Browse List to ascertain the
established heading, they may fail to retrieve results.
cataloguing environment is changing and AACR2 is evolving into RDA:
Resource Description and Access "to respond fully to the
challenges and opportunities of the digital world". RDA, released in June 2010, will not
invalidate current standards for name authorities. The Joint Steering
Committee for Development of RDA "... agreed early on that
created by using RDA would be compatible with AACR2 records" so that, "if
you are familiar with AACR2 you should find it easy to use RDA once you
have familiarized yourself with its organisation and vocabulary". RDA
will provide a set of guidelines on formulating descriptive
data and access point control data, and it is the latter that covers the
elements traditionally recorded in authority records.
by the Department of Public Information (DPI), Dag Hammarskjöld
Library. Comments as well as suggestions for further
additions/enhancements may be directed to the Dag Hammarskjöld Library.
© United Nations 2007-2009. All rights reserved.
updated: 8 July 2010