Name Authorities: Policy Overview

GPO's participation in NACO is limited to the following:

  • With the exception of certain titles that do not need to be established (see SHM H 1435), all names and titles used as subjects in 6XX fields of bibliographic records must be confirmed in the OCLC authority files. This includes personal names, corporate/conference names, works and expressions (previously called uniform titles), and jurisdictional geographic names that appear in the 6XX fields of bibliographic records. A temporary exception may be made for Congressionals or other priority titles, when names used in these as subjects (fields 600, 610, or 611) are in the process of having NACO records prepared.
  • For names and titles used as author or title descriptive access points in bibliographic records (fields 1XX, 7XX, and 8XX), consult the specific sections below: Personal Names, Corporate/Conference Names, Works and Expressions, and Places. In all cases, Congressionals or other priority titles may be produced with unauthorized access points (at I level), as a temporary measure, while name authority work for these is still in process.
  • Errors: Transcription and other errors occurring in existing authority records are corrected if they were created by GPO or traced as authorized access points in a GPO bibliographic record.

Personal Names

For all publications, authority records are created or updated for personal names used as subjects in bibliographic records.

Congressional Publications

Personal name authority records are created and existing authority records are updated only for Congressional publications with personal name access points, including main entries (100 field) or added entries (700 field). GPO adds new cross references for variant forms of personal names in Congressional publications, but does not add them for other publications.

Other Publications

Personal names needed to catalog other publications are confirmed in OCLC's authority file. Except when needed as a subject, new personal name authority records are not created. Existing personal name authority records are not updated; new cross references for variant forms of personal names are not added. For more specific instructions see: Name Authorities, RDA, Personal Names and Name Authorities, AACR2, Personal Names.

Corporate/Conference Names

New corporate name authority records, including those for conferences, are created, and existing authority records are updated for all publications requiring corporate body access points, including main entries (110 and 111 fields), subject added entries (610 and 611 fields), or added entries (710 and 711 fields).

Variant Names

Variant forms of corporate names appearing in publications cataloged after an authority record has been created are added to existing records.

Conference Authority Records

These are not created for individual conference papers nor are conference access points included in bibliographic records for individual papers.

Programs and Projects

See RDA 11.0 and Glossary: Corporate body.

GPO provides authorized access points in bibliographic records, and creates and updates authority records for programs and projects, unless these are mere abstract ideas that appear only in a title or within the text of a publication. In other words, the program or project must have some intrinsic existence of its own, apart from a reference in a publication. Note: Studies are corporate bodies. Here are two examples of programs/projects that GPO would establish as corporate bodies:

110 WaterSMART (Program)

670 WaterSMART, 2012: ǂb PDF t.p (U.S. Department of the Interior's WaterSMART(Sustain and Manage America's Resources for Tomorrow) Initiative; WaterSMART Initiative) p.2 (DOI Water SMART Program)

670 WaterSMART (Program) Web site, viewed Apr. 9, 2013 ǂb (U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation, WaterSMART (Sustain and Manage America's Resources for Tomorrow))


110 Measuring Broadband America (Program : U.S.)

670 Measuring Broadband America, 2012: ǂb Background and overview (Federal Communication Commission's Measuring Broadband America program, an ongoing, rigorous, nationwide performance study of residential broadband performance in the United States)

Here is an example of a "program" that GPO would not establish as a corporate body:

245 A history of the Unemployment Compensation Program.

The "Unemployment Compensation Program" would not be established; it is used loosely in this title, as a concept.

Corporate Names for Parks, Forests, Preserves, etc.

DCM Z1: Appendix 1, Section 2.8: Forests, Parks, Preserves, etc., explains that a park, forest, etc. can have two separate authority records, one in the Names file, and one in the Subjects file. Establish corporate names for the administrative aspect of these entities, when functioning as a creator (such as an author), issuing body, sponsoring body, publisher, etc. of a publication (or when functioning as any of the relationship designators in RDA Appendix I.2). For the authorized access point, use the form in the following example: 110 2 Everglades National Park (Agency : U.S.).

For more specific instructions, see: Name Authorities, RDA, Corporate Bodies and Name Authorities, AACR2, Corporate Bodies.

Works and Expressions

If a work or expression (previously called uniform titles) that must be established, such as a series, law, or treaty, is not in the LC/NACO authority file, it is established following the instructions in DCM Z1, and RDA/LC-PCC PSs. GPO authorizes all titles for series, laws, and treaties in the authority file, and creates and update authority records for these as needed.

Authority records for certain other titles (such as monographs, serials, computer programs or applications) may be created and contributed to the LC/NACO authority file per LC's DCM Z1 instructions only if cross-references need to be made. This is usually the case with private and public laws and treaties involving three or more countries. Often the official name of the public law appears on a publication in several manifestations (e.g. the official name, the name of the law in a citation, and the public law number).

If there are no cross references, an authority record is not created. Titles for works and expressions are included in bibliographic records, if required, even though they have not been established (See RDA

Per RDA chapter 6, unique authorized access points are required for publications published simultaneously with different titles (, in different languages (, 6.27.3), or that are translations (6.27.3). However, LC/NACO authority records are not created for them by GPO.

Consider a publication a translation rather than a version in a different language if it contains explicit translation statements, e.g., 500 "Translated by ..." or 500 "Translation of ...."; Prior to RDA, some time before 2002, the Library of Congress requested that GPO not establish uniform titles for translations of individual journal articles. Therefore, GPO will not establish unique authorized access points for translations of individual journal articles.

Multipart (Collective) Titles

New authority records are created and existing records are updated for use in bibliographic records only if a multipart collective title is to be recorded in the series statement of a record per GPO policy. Variant forms found in publications cataloged are added to authority records.


Series titles and series numbering are always confirmed in OCLC's authority file.

For all publications that are not individual issues of serials or articles from serials, new series authority records are created and updated. Series statements are recorded in the 490 field and traced in the 830 or 810 series added entry field. Variant series statements appearing in resources are always confirmed in, and added if necessary, to the authority record. If following specific CONSER or BIBCO guidance, only the 830 field need be entered, if the series statement appears on the resource in its authorized form.

If publications are either individual issues of serials or articles from serials, series authority records are not created for these.

Instead, the serial's title and designation in which an individual article or group of articles appears is recorded in a note.

500 "Journal of elementary education, volume 50, number 1."

The title of the individual article or the title given to a group of individual articles is recorded in the title and statement of responsibility area of the record. Hypothetical example:

100 1 Smith, Jane

245 10 Effective instruction / ǂc Jane Smith.

500 "Journal of elementary education, volume 50, number 3."

If the individual issue of a serial has its own individual title, the individual title is recorded in the title area of the cataloging record. The serials title and numbering are recorded in a note. See hypothetical example below.

245 00 Los Angeles and the future of secondary education.

500 "Journal of elementary education, volume 52, number 11."

If the individual issue does not have its own title, the title and issue numbering are recorded in the title and statement of responsibility area. See hypothetical example below:

245 04 The journal of elementary education, ǂn Volume 52, Number 11.

Series-Like Phrases

In the past, GPO established series-like phrases, but no longer establishes them regularly. Authority records are created only for series-like phrases that are frequently confused with one or more series and are inadvertently, but frequently, recorded as series. Notes giving instructions on usage are added to multipart and series authority records.

130 NPS D

667 Document

667 Give as a quoted note, including the number, if present, e.g., "NPS D-6"; not a report no., but designates a geographic area covered by the publication, do not enter in fields used to record report numbers

Series-like phrases that qualify to be recorded are confirmed for full-level records. Authority records are created only if required for the reasons indicated above.

For more specific instructions, see: Name Authorities, RDA, Works and Expressions.

Places (Jurisdictional Geographic Names)

New jurisdictional geographic name authority records are created in the LC/NACO authority file. These include countries, states, provinces, counties, cities, and towns, as well as water, sanitation, utility, conservation, soil, recreation, park, and ranger districts. Active military installations, city sections, and U.S. Indian tribes as legal entities are also geographic names that GPO establishes and updates. For more details, consult: LC-PCC PS 16.4.1, and: DCM Z1: Appendix 1: Ambiguous Entities.

Existing name authority records for geographic entities are updated as needed. Cross-references and variant forms are added as they are discovered. For all work on geographic NARs, whether creating a new record or updating an existing one, RDA chapter 16 is followed, along with its corresponding LC-PCC PSs. If appropriate, you may apply RDA chapter 11 elements and their corresponding MARC 046 and 3XX fields, which record various attributes of corporate bodies. Include MARC fields 043 and 781 in geographic NARs. In addition, one of the following two sources is always consulted and cited (See SHM (Subject Headings Manual) H 203 for citation method):

The following sources may additionally be consulted as needed:

  • Columbia Gazetteer of the World, 1998
  • National Geographic's Atlas of North America
  • Rand McNally ... Commercial Atlas & Marketing Guide
  • Rand McNally's The New International Atlas
  • The Times Atlas of the World
  • Merriam-Webster's Geographical Dictionary, 3rd edition

Works in which a geographic name is found are recorded in the 670 field, while those in which the name is not found are recorded in the 675 field. New jurisdictional geographic heading authority records are created in the LC/NACO authority file, whether needed in the bibliographic record as a subject or as a name. Below are some examples.

Title of resource cataloged: Flood insurance study. ǂp Town of Milan, New Hampshire, Coos County.

650 0 Flood insurance ǂz New Hampshire ǂz Milan (Town)

Because "Milan (Town)" is needed as a geographic subdivision of a topical subject, the geographic name authority record is established: 151 Milan (N.H. : Town)

A corporate body authority record is needed.

151 Door County (Wis.) (This record may be created so that the following record may be created.)

110 1 Door County (Wis.). ǂb Soil and Water Conservation Department

Occasionally, a jurisdictional name may be needed as a qualifier in another authority record:

245 10 Alaska Native Village Corporation : ǂb report (to accompany S. 924).

610 20 Newtok Native Corporation (Newtok, Alaska)

In order to establish the corporate name: 110 2 Newtok Native Corporation (Newtok, Alaska), the following jurisdictional name is established: 151 Newtok (Alaska)

The resource cataloged may contain a statement on the title page: "prepared in cooperation with the city of Hopkinsville, Kentucky." The following record is created:

151 Hopkinsville (Ky.)

However, this same authorized access point may appear in the bibliographic record as follows:

710 1 Hopkinsville (Ky.)

This added entry will control (authorize) in OCLC, even though it is tagged differently than the authority record. This is true of all geographic names in the LC/NACO (Names) file. It is not true of geographic names that are subjects in the LC/SACO (Subjects) file. See: DCM Z1: Appendix 1: 1.2.a: "Note that when entities tagged 151 in the authority file are used as access points in bibliographic records (110, 710, and 810), the first indicator is set to the value 1."

Another example of this is below.

151 Gary Sanitary District (Ind.) (in the authority record)

710 1 Gary Sanitary District (Ind.) (in the bibliographic record)

For more details and documentation about using geographic names as corporate bodies, coded X10, see: "MARC 21 Format for Bibliographic Data--X10".

For clarification on the treatment of ambiguous geographic entities, see DCM Z1: Appendix 1.

For additional information, also see:

  • LC-PCC PS 16.4.1, which deals with ambiguous entities such as Indian Tribes.
  • AACR2: chapter 23, 24.3E1, 24.6
  • LCRI: 23.1, 24.1A

For more specific instructions, see: Name Authorities, RDA, Places and Name Authorities, AACR2, Places.