Access Control Records : 1996 presentation by Linda Barnhart

Posted September 19, 2008 by Lois Reibach
Categories: access control

After my last post, I wanted to read more about the concept of access control and found the best explanation in this presentation given by Linda Barnhart at Authority Control in the 21st Century: An Invitational Conference.  She gives a history of the concept, which was under discussion as early as the mid-seventies, and gives a definition, including the following: 

One of the key concepts with the access control record is removing both the label and the notion of “authority.” The access control record is evolved from the current authority record by the fact that it links the variant forms of a name without declaring any one as the “authorized” form. A central concept is that a library or user should be allowed to choose their preferred form of name, or to have displayed a default heading.

There are also numerous examples of current authority records and hypothetical access control records, with an emphasis on cataloging music.


Authority Control on the Web : 2000 presentation by Barbara Tillett

Posted September 8, 2008 by Lois Reibach
Categories: access control, authority control, Barbara Tillett, FRAD, VIAF

I have been reading the final version of a presentation that Barbara Tillett gave in Nov. 2000 to the Bicentennial Conference on Bibliographic Control for the New Millennium. There is also a print version,  Proceedings of the Bicentennial Conference on Bibliographic Control for the New Millennium (2001), 574 pages, ISBN 0-8444-1046-2.  I especially like her concept of “access control”:

This also gets to a point I’ve been pushing for a long time – that of “access control” instead of “authority control.” I still haven’t found another term to use for this concept, but the idea is to control collocation, so the library or the user can select the form of the controlled heading they want to see – the system could switch the display to the chosen form or a default form set by the library. Authority control pulls together all the various forms and relates entities in a way that leads the user to the desired materials and provides a big picture of what is available. With “access control” the same underlying authority records provide control, but the display form is user-selected.

Strides have been made in some areas since this presentation, particularly in the prototype of VIAF and the conceptual model for FRAD, but the library world still has a way to go in implementing her vision.

A Cooperative “Identities Hub”

Posted August 27, 2008 by Lois Reibach
Categories: authority data, identities, OCLC

Amanda Hill announced on the Names Project Blog that OCLC is going to prototype a cooperative Identities Hub. Among the reasons for this project:

The current LC/NACO contributor model has severe limitations, both in who is enabled to add and edit authority records and the rules that constrain what information can be entered (even if the cataloger knows more information).The intellectual work that librarians who are not NACO contributors do in the course of creating bibliographic records is untapped.

There has been discussion of the need for such a project here among other places.  I am glad to see the prototype moving forward.

Project to control headings in WorldCat

Posted August 22, 2008 by Lois Reibach
Categories: Glenn Patton, OCLC, Worldcat

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.

Subject headings derived from authority records

Posted August 21, 2008 by Lois Reibach
Categories: authority data, subject access

On Everybody’s Libraries John Mark Ockerbloom describes a project to add subject headings to the records for an online book collection.  The collection had brief records that lacked subject access, but did have call numbers.  Recognizing that subject authority records frequently include call number ranges, he created a program that used the call number to search authority records and return subject headings.

After filtering out some bad data in a few authority records, and suppressing some terms to break ties, I ran the program, and instantly got subject terms for tens of thousands of books. Some of them were pretty generic (thousands of books were simply labeled “English literature”, for instance), but many were quite specific, and I’d say over 90% of the time were useful descriptions of the book. The maps I built largely based on these assigned subjects worked pretty well from day one.

I really like the way he leveraged the work of the catalogers that created the authority data and the existing call numbers to create subject access for a collection.

IFLA discussion on FRSAR

Posted August 12, 2008 by Lois Reibach
Categories: FRAD, FRSAR, Glenn Patton

Over on The FRBR Blog, William Denton reports on the Working Group on FRSAR meeting. The section most relevant to this blog was:

Glenn Patton of OCLC was at the table to discuss FRAD, he chairing the WG on that, and FRAD took up the first hour of the meeting. He said they’d made some changes to the latest draft based on comments, and part of it will be removed and made available separately.

There was some involved discussion of what is an entity, why name and controlled access point are two different entities and not the same, etc. Patton said they wanted to separate the attributes of a person, the names by which they are known, and the access points by which they are found. It seemed easiest to do this by having different entities. Person is related to name is related controlled access point. “Define your entities at least in part by what you want to do with them,” he said, which is why, for example, Family and Agency are different from Corporate Body though they’re really kinds of Corporate Body.

Since I’ve been trying to get a handle on attributes of a person and how this relates to controlled access point, I found these comments interesting.

International Society for Knowledge Organization 2008 conference

Posted August 9, 2008 by Lois Reibach
Categories: Names Project

Amanda Hill reports on ISKO 2008 here.  It was the first I had heard of the Names Project, which I see I will have to follow, given these comments:

The questions at the end of my talk included one from a librarian who took exception to the Names project’s aim of not having a preferred form of name for individuals. I had thought that this would be more acceptable now than it had been in the past – it’s a distinction between authority control and access control that has been fairly widely discussed in the library literature, but apparently it is still controversial. Interesting!