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Catalogers are responsible for authority work related to the works they are cataloging. This includes assuring that all name headings follow those in the NAR file or, if authority records are not available, are set up in prescribed RDA form. Topical headings should conform to LCSH, and be coded properly.  Harvard doesn't encourage adding 650s which are not in LCSH, but does not prohibit this.

Authority record standards and practice are governed by MARC 21 Concise Format for Authority Data.

Index Resolution & Authority Record Maintenance

  • Alma's authority control is aggressive, and has been known to flip unqualified names incorrectly; check earlier versions of a record if a heading seems odd, or is linked to an incorrect authority record.
  • Catalogers are strongly encouraged to avoid creating unqualified headings; for specific guidance, please see the Metadata Standards Working Group document:
  • Catalogers are responsible for cleaning up split files of fewer than 10 records; split files larger than 10 records should be reported to Houghton's database management librarian (Vernica), or to LTS via Footprints:
  • Remember to browse names in the subject indexes; catalogers should browse names AND subjects in Hollis as well, while Alma is correcting sorting problems with $q, etc
  • Catalogers should forward any perceived authority problems, or corrections/additions to National authority records, to the Head of the Rare Book Team.

Creating Authority Records

  • Catalogers should search the NAF carefully for all names, as the rules for access point creation have changed over the years.
  • If a cataloger feels that a heading requires an authority record, this information should be forwarded to the Head of the RBT.
  • At this time, Harvard catalogers do not create local authority records for any reason other than bib maintenance; any local records which are created will be deleted in a week.