Back in the spring OCLC began a project to control headings in Worldcat. In his blog Outgoing Thom Hickey described this project here. Among the reasons behind the project:
Getting more of WorldCat’s headings linked to authority records has a number of benefits. It gives us a chance to merge some variant forms of headings and makes it easier to update the database when names change. This has become a substantial problem for us since LC changed their policy on adding death dates to headings. Right now we are working our way through the a set of fairly easy 26 million headings, personal names that match an authority record on multiple subfields. If this works, we will look at controlling names that are harder to match.
The project was on hiatus for part of the summer, but as Glenn Patton reports to OCLC-CAT in a post on Aug 22, 2008 [permission to quote]
On August 4, 2008, OCLC restarted the project to control headings in WorldCat. As of yesterday, almost 1.3 million headings have been controlled since the project was restarted, bringing the total number of newly controlled headings to just under 17 million.
I think this is an excellent use of resources, and am glad to see that the project has resumed.
UPDATE: On September 5, OCLC completed the first phase of the project to control more headings in WorldCat. A total of about 25.5 million new personal name headings were controlled during this first phase. — from post by Glenn Patton to OCLC-CAT on Sept. 9, 2008.