UNBIS Guidelines for Name Authorities : Policies and Practice

  • Form of the name
  • Order of elements
  • Indicators
  • Additions to names
  • Initials
  • Duplicates
  • - AACR2, Chapter 22. Headings for Persons. See in particular 22.2A, 22.5C, 22.5D.

    - See also, MARC21 format standards in the UNBIS Reference Manual.

    Form of the name

    For a number of years, it was UNBIS policy to establish the fullest form of the name; subsequently, however, the AACR2 policy of establishing the form most commonly used by the author/subject has been adopted. See AACR2, chap. 22.2A. Thus,

      100 1 _ $a Carter, Jimmy
      400 1 _ $a Carter, James Earl

    In general, from the 1990s onwards, it has been UNBIS policy to follow Library of Congress (LC) practice in establishing personal name headings. Where it differs, the LC form may be added as a cross-reference and designated as such by adding the notation "DLC" in subfield $5. For names that are transliterated from non-Roman script languages, such as Arabic, follow the transliteration scheme used by the UN, which may differ from LC's. 

      100 1 _ $a Chinery-Hesse, Mary
      400 1 _ $a Chinnery-Hesse, Mary $5 DLC
      [the spelling "Chinery" confirmed in UN sources.]

      100 1 _ $a ElBaradei, Mohamed
      400 1 _ $a El Baradei, Mohamed $5 DLC
      ["ElBaradei" is invariably used in all official sources.]

    Note: Some old UNBIS headings still have "[LC form]" added to the name in 400, $a.

    Order of elements

    Quick Tip: Pay attention to the language of the author/subject.

    Generally, the form for personal name headings is governed by the individual's language. For most personal names, the elements are inverted, i.e., the Surname precedes the Forename, separated by a comma:

      Cady, Duane L.
      Podporina, Irina Vsevolodovna

    If a person has a compound surname, the rules for the order of elements varies according to the person's language. For example, if the person is Spanish-speaking, both surname elements precede the forename (s):

      Cuervo Pontón, Luis Enrique

    A Used For (400) cross-reference is made from the second surname:

      Pontón, Luis Enrique Cuervo
    If the person's language is English, Portuguese or one of the Scandinavian languages, however, the second of two surnames is the entry element:
      Shearer, Barbara Smith            [English speaker]
      Fogh, Inga Eriksson                 [Swedish speaker]
      Gómez Barrantes, Miguel           [Spanish speaker]
      Penna, Joao Camilo de Oliveira   [Portuguese speaker]


      Basotos Filho, Jayme de Araujo  [special rule--see 22.5C8]

    Note: Portuguese is spoken is Angola, Brazil, Portugal, etc.

    There are also rules for compound surnames with separately written prefixes-consult AACR2 22.5D.

    Some names, for example, Malay names, are entered under the first element of the name, with cross-references from other elements.

      100 0 _ $a Lamin bin Haji Mohd Yunus, Tan Sri Dato'
      [Tan Sri Dato' are titles of honour, rank or position]
    The last section of AACR2 Chap. 22 deals with additional "Special Rules for Names in Certain Languages".


    Note also that the indicator varies according to the entry element-see the UNBIS Reference Manual for the MARC21 standards. Generally, the first indicator is 1 if the entry element is a surname, 0 if the entry element is a forename entered in direct order (e.g., Malay names).

      100 1 _ $a Lancaster, Carol

      100 0 _ $a Abdullah bin Haji Ahmad Badawi, Datuk
      400 1 _ $a Badawi, Datuk Abdullah bin Haji Ahmad

    Additions to names

    Dates or another distinguishing trait, if available, may be added to distinguish between two individuals with identical names-see AACR2, chap. 22.17-22.20.

      100 1 _ $a Koo, V.K. Wellington, 1888-1985 [father]
      400 1 _ $a Koo, Wellington, 1888-1985

      100 1 _ $a Koo, Wellington, 1922- [son]

    But if there is no distinguishing trait, use the same heading for all persons with the same name. In this case, the value in Tag 008/position 32 «Personal Name» would be b (undifferentiated personal name).

    It was long a practice for the Library of Congress to add dates, whenever available, to authorities for personal names. This has not been the practice in UNBIS, but sometimes dates have been added for historical personages. Note also, that according to MARC21 dates should be added in subfield $d, but UNBIS practice has been to use only subfield $a for all information.

    If the LC established heading includes dates but the UNBIS heading does not, record the information in tag 670 [Source Note], subfield $b. For example,

      100 0 _ $a Abdullah bin Haji Ahmad Badawi, Datuk
      670       $a LC name auth. $b Abdullah bin Haji Ahmad Badawi, Datuk, 1939-

    Also as noted in the Introduction, in UNBIS, personal names, whether of speakers in deliberative proceedings or of candidates for appointment to UN bodies, may be qualified by the name of the individual's country, which is added in subfield $g. No information is added to this record. A separate, primary, authority record for the person should be created.

      [authority record no. 663506]
      100 1 _ $a Durrant, Patricia $g (Jamaica)

      [authority record no. 569128, the primary record]
      035       $a A0107659
      040       $a NNUN $b eng $f unbisn
      100 1 _ $a Durrant, Patricia
      670       $a E/2000/SR.18 $b speaker (Jamaica)
      905       $a DHL
      915       $a PN

    If the expansion of initials is known, it should be added in parentheses as a qualifier.

      100 1 _ $a Dwyer, D.J. (Denis John)
      400 1 _ $a Dwyer, Denis John

      100 1 _ $a Baker, James Addison
      400 1 _ $a Baker, James A. (James Addison)


    In UNBIS practice there is no space between letters in initials or abbreviations, whereas AACR2 (chap. 24.1A) specifies that there be a space between a full stop and the following letter.

      100 1 _ $a Dwyer, D.J. (Denis John) [compare to LC form: Dwyer, D. J. (Denis John)]
      400 1 _ $a Gromyko, An.A. (Anatolii Andreevich)
      400 1 _ $a Gromyko, Anat A. (Anatolii Andreevich)

    There are many personal name duplicates in the UNBIS Name Authority File because historically less control was exercised over personal names. For many years, for example, it was UNBIS policy to establish only compound surnames (e.g., Cuervo Pontón, Luis Enrique). For UN documents, personal names are indexed only for specific types of documents.

    Names appearing in the Index to Speeches (ITS) were subject to internal editorial (not Name Authority) control only within the parameters of a single edition and not from one year to the next. The ITS used to be produced from a separate database but was merged with UNBIS in December 1999. A large number of the personal names from ITS have an added subfield $g because of the need to identify the speaker with his or her country or organization. Separate name authority records should be created for the speakers, but owing to the overwhelming number of personal name headings in general, and ITS name headings in particular, no systematic attempt has been made to do so.

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    Last updated: 15 April 2010