Posts Tagged ‘Heading Matching’

Announcing: Heading Tracker a death date fix and more

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009

Backstage Library Works is pleased to announce Heading Tracker, a much-anticipated enhancement to the MARS Authority Control Service. This enhancement is free to MARS clients using ongoing authority control services — Current Cataloging, Notification Services, or both.

In response to requests from many of our clients, the MARS team has developed this Heading Tracker enhancement to bridge the gap between antiquated and updated headings provided by the Library of Congress, when LC does not formally establish a see reference to connect the old heading to its new version.

This gap is most often noticeable in the problem whose solution we’ve long referred to as the ‘death date fix’ — where LC adds a death date to a name heading, causing a disconnect between your records with open death dates and the new authorized headings with closed dates — but it shows up in changes to uniform titles and other headings as well.

To resolve this problem, the Heading Tracker subroutine automatically generates a see reference (4XX) in your authority record, using the old Library of Congress heading. This see reference is marked as a local tag with a subfield ‘5’ and Backstage’s institution code: $5UtOrBLW. The see reference is also prefaced with a subfield ‘w’ and the appropriate coding to hide the reference from the library’s public access module: $wnnea.

An example of a see reference (4XX) correcting for the addition of a death date would look like this:
(Note that the $w and $5 are highlighted in yellow.)

001 __ n 50000918
003 __ DLC
005 __ 20090218072944.0
008 __ 800208n| acannaabn |a aaa
010 __ $an 50000918
035 __ $a(OCoLC)oca00036619
040 __ $aDLC$beng$cDLC$dOCoLC
100 1_ $aParker, Fan,$d1908-2004
400 1_ $aPockrose, Fania M.,$d1908-2004
400 1_ $wnnea$aParker, Fan,$d1908-$5UtOrBLW
670 __ $aOCLC, Feb. 17, 2009$b(hdgs.: Parker, Fan, 1908- ; Parker, Fan, 1908- ; usage: Fan Parker)

As with most functions of MARS 2.0, options for the Heading Tracker can be selected in your profile. For instance, if you want to display in the Public Access module, we can do that. If you want the enhancement, but you would rather not include undifferentiated or generic headings, we can specify that, too. The standard options available for this feature are listed below.

  • Display in public access, or not. The default will be to not display.
  • Create an undifferentiated or generic see reference, or not. The default is to create the reference.
  • Clean up see references (other than a 430) by making the second indicator of that tag blank, in compliance with Library of Congress standards. The default is to not adjust the LC-provided indicator.
  • Run a second file without Heading Tracker data, directly after the first file, to remove the Backstage-created see references. This provides the connection between old and new headings when importing the files to your ILS, but removes the old references when the second file is loaded. The default is to not provide a second file.

If there are options that you are interested in that are not listed above, let us know and we’ll work to accommodate your needs.

To incorporate the Heading Tracker process on your next Current Cataloging or Notification run, please contact your MARS project manager.

The MARS staff hopes this enhancement will further streamline your automated authority control process. Your input is always appreciated. Contact us if you have questions or concerns.

To learn more, ask questions, or make comments on this enhancement, click over to the Heading Tracker thread on our Control Center Community Forum.


John Reese
Vice President, Authority Services
Backstage Library Works
1-800-288-1265 x.249

Open Ended Subject Dates

Thursday, February 5th, 2009

What do you do with open ended subject dates, when the Library of Congress has created authorities with closed dates and no open ended see references? This was the question we sought to answer over the last week.

Take for example, you have a bib record with the following heading:
650 _0 $aWorld politics$y1955-

The authority for this heading has the following authorized and see references:

sh 85148226
150 _0 $aWorld politics$y1955-1965

Although these records are related, in an automated process they wont be linked, and the ending date will not be supplied. We decided there had to be a better way to link these up, and the process wasn’t very difficult, in fact, we’ve been doing it for names forever!

The answer is in the hierarchy. If we allowed our hierarchy system to include the closing date for subjects, we could provide the open ended bib dates a form of hierarchy to match against.

In essence, our Authority record above would create 2 possible heading matches. They would be (after following our normalization routine):
$aWORLD POLITICS$1955-1965

Now your bib heading $aWorld politics$y1955- could match and update against the proper LC Authority record. When we started researching this, we discovered another caveat. In some cases there are 2 authorities, one with an open ended date and one with a closed date. Our conclusion is that it’s obviously better in this case to trust what the original cataloger selected and match the open ended authority, rather than the closed authority. An example of this would be the authorities:
sh 85007061
151_0$aArgentina$xPolitics and government$y1810-
sh 85007060
151_0$aArgentina$xPolitics and government$y1810-1817

In this case, our bib record heading of 651 _0 $aArgentina$xPolitics and government$y1810- would match the first Authority.

After figuring that out, we discovered a real surprise, headings that were exactly the same, but had different closing dates. For example, France — History — 1789 has the following Authorities:

sh 85051348
sh 85051347
sh 85051346
sh 85051314

Obviously there are different meanings for different time periods starting from 1789. Now, if the bib record had an open ended date, it would take the open ended authority. And, if the bib record had any of the closed dates, it would take the authority with the matching date.

Our focus here, has been making sure that open ended authorities take the best possible match, and if there are no open ended authorities, matching it to the correct closed date authority, without creating false positive results.