Authority Control Advisory Committee

Authority Control Advisory Committee Minutes


Date: 2004-05-04

Present: Jerry Anne Dickel, Ellen Ellickson, Eric Friede, Marsha Garman, Maria Hunenko, Earl Roy, Rick Sarcia, Manon Théroux (chair and recorder), Susan Tucker.

Absent: Christina Tabereaux, Daniel Vasilaky.


1. ExportQ 2.2.3 Testing

Roy Lechich from Systems has finished version 2.2.3 of ExportQ. The new version does not solve *every* problem that the committee identified in our last round of testing, but it does solve a great many of them. Manon will send the new .exe file out to the group for what should be our final round of testing before Library-wide release. Most staff are currently using ExportQ version 2.1.

2. Accelerated Orbis Heading Cleanup

Sharon Forbes in the Catalog Management Team devotes half of her time to authority record deletes and bibliographic heading changes generated by MARS reports. Since March, a student has also been helping to process these reports. Between them, great progress is being made. We are fully caught up with authority record deletes in Orbis and all of the personal name and subject heading changes associated with these deletes. The corporate name and series changes remain to be done.

We have started to process the MARS changed heading reports, which are quite long. Major subject heading changes completed during the past year include:

-- "Afro-Americans" to "African Americans"
-- "Handicapped" to "People with disabilities"
-- "Australian aborigines" to "Aboriginal Australians"
-- "Sociology, Christian" to "Christian sociology"
-- "Newfoundland" to "Newfoundland and Labrador"

Currently we are working on the switch from "Aged" to "Older people".

Despite these retrospective heading cleanups in Orbis, many bibliographic records imported into Orbis in the future as a result of copy cataloging and acquisitions work will inevitably contain older forms of headings. We will be relying on MARS to correct these headings if they are not corrected at the time of cataloging.

3. "Reference" Label Not Displaying in LCDB

In the Voyager catalog module, cross references are indicated by the presence of a "Reference" label to the left of the heading string in an index. However, in LCDB, the "Reference" label is sometimes not displaying. The label seems to disappear whenever there are no bib records in LCDB that contain the heading (or reference) associated with the authority record. It is problematic because staff may not realize that an authority record does actually exist. The problem only occurs when searching LCDB remotely (which is how we currently do LCDB searches); when systems staff edit their voyager.ini files to search LCDB directly, the label displays as it should. The problem is being reported to Endeavor; it exists in the current Unicode version of Voyager as well.

Given this problem (and the problem of obsolete authority records in LCDB--records that have been deleted from the national authority file), the committee discussed whether to revise the Library's authority control workflows so as to make LC Web Authorities our "resource file" for validating headings rather than LCDB (in those situations when an authority record is not found in Orbis). Searching the LC Web Authorities is free.

The committee decided against doing so for several reasons:

-- diacritics do not display in LC Web Authorities
-- many staff prefer doing all their cataloging within a single application
-- the time it takes to connect to LC Web Authorities (the LC site has a very short timeout so frequent logon would be needed) and retype a search each time one needs to validate a heading would impede cataloging workflow

The possibility of connecting to LC Web Authorities via a Z39.50 connection in Voyager was raised. Manon asked Earl to investigate this option [he later reported that LC was not offering a Z39.50 option at this time:  http://authorities.loc.gov/help/auth-faq.htm#5 ].

The committee agreed that a message should be sent to YULCAT-L to alert staff to the problem and a web page should be created to document the problem.

Marsha has been testing an automated authority delete program that might allow us to eventually start purging obsolete authority records from LCDB.

4. World Biographical Index

Stephen Young, of the Rare Book Team, has alerted Manon to the fact that the current Web version of the World Biographical Index is not suitable for NACO work due to some discrepancies between how birth and death dates are recorded in the Web version vs. the printed volumes. The NACO Coordinating Committtee will discuss this at their upcoming meeting and issue a warning.


Site URL: http://www.library.yale.edu/cataloging/authorities/acac.htm
Comments to: Manon Théroux  <manon.theroux@yale.edu>

© 2004 Yale University Library

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