Authority Control Basics

Step 1. Search NAF

Determine whether authority record already exists (and if potential conflict exists should name need to be created)

Step 2. If not, determine whether new NAR is needed:

Check Yale document: When to create a new authority record. If the record is cataloged at the non-pcc core level (see SRA slides ), not every access point needs to be established.

For SARs, consider whether series is numbered has editor, etc.

Step 3. Search WorldCat

Other records for same work may have used different forms. Also, note other works by the same author may provide variant forms.

Step 4.

Generate authority record from bibliographic record using Connexion macro [to be continued]

Resources to Consult

Consult MARC21 Format for Authority Data (found in Catalogers Desktop)

NACO Participants Manual (in Catalogers Desktop) has lots and lots of examples of different kinds of 670s, etc.

Descriptive Cataloging Manual, section Z1 is useful (there's a PDF version on the open Web, but the Cataloger's Desktop version is easier to use). Per the introduction: "Use this document (DCM Z1) in connection with AACR 2, Library of Congress Rule Interpretations (LCRI), and other sections of the Descriptive Cataloging Manual (DCM). It supplements the MARC 21 Format for Authority Data and generally does not repeat information found in the format."

Pre-modern rabbinic names are the most challenging. If you find yourself needing to establish one, you will want to consult Guidelines for Rabbinic Names Entered Under Forename

If you are working in a Yiddish context, you will want to consult the document: Yiddish Personal Names of Hebrew or Aramaic Derivation.

Other things to keep in mind:

Fullness of Name

AACR2 22.3A1: If the forms of a name vary in fullness, choose the form most commonly found. As required, make references from the other form(s). LCRI 22.3A1 excerpt: When there is no commonly found form (defined above), choose the fullest form as the AACR2 form.

Form of Name

Sometimes there is more than one form of name to choose from. In such cases follow the order of preference set out in LCRI 22.3C. In most cases, you will be using option 2 (a found roman-script form) or option 4 (systematic romanization).

Non-Verbal Persons

AACR2 22.1B states that "if the person works in a nonverbal context (e.g., a painter, a sculptor) or is not known primarily as an author, determine the name by which he or she is commonly known from reference sources issued in his or her language or country of residence or activity."

Normalization rules

Authority File Comparison Rules: Appendix A


Here's a sample record in Connexion. If you click on the hyperlinked fixed field labels, you'll be taken to OCLC's version of the MARC21 documentation:

Here's the same record in Voyager. Note that this one provides more readable labels for the fixed fields ...


Here is the typical leader:

and 008

The last item is "Cataloging Source c: Cooperative cataloging program".

Here are the fixed fields as they appear in compressed form, followed by the variable fields:

And here's a table of important variable fields in the authority record for the same heading:

Tag Ind Data Comments
  ‡a nr2006008670 lccn
  ‡a CtY-J ‡b eng ‡c CtY-J cataloging agency and language of catalog
1_ ‡a Goldstein, Aliza Heading: found roman-script form; see LCRI 22.3C
1_ ‡a Goldshṭain, Alizah Variant: Systematic romanization from Hebrew
  ‡a Regesh, maga, ḳesher, 2005: ‡b t.p. (Alizah Goldshṭain) t.p. verso (Aliza Goldstein [in rom.]) Source of information. Usually t.p. and t.p. verso of book cataloged