Name Authorities: RDA, General Policies

This section focuses only on general policies for all RDA name authority records. More detailed information is provided in the topic specific articles.

Use this section in conjunction with the following sources:

Hybrid Records in RDA Name Authority Records (NARs)

In authority work, an entire NAR may be a hybrid, i.e., contain mixed RDA and AACR2 elements, e.g., an RDA access point (1XX) + AACR2 linkage (4XX/5XX) when the NAR reflects a horizontal relationship(s), e.g., predecessor / successor. However, an indirectly-constructed 1XX within an NAR may not be a hybrid when that field represents a vertical relationship(s), e.g., superior / subordinate bodies. According to the Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC) Post-RDA Test Guidelines, every element in an RDA 1XX must be coded RDA. PCC disallows a hybrid 1XX field.

A common situation will occur with the creation of a new RDA NAR for a subordinate body that resides within a long-standing government agency. When the NAR for the parent body was established according to AACR2, and that parent body appears as part of the access point (1XX) for the subordinate body in an RDA record, then the cataloger must re-code the NAR for the parent body as RDA.

For example, in order to create this record (LCCN no2013009922, see below) the NAR for National Guard Bureau (LCCN n50064765) needed to be recoded.

110 United States. ǂb National Guard Bureau. ǂb Family Program Office

See 4 of the PCC Post-RDA Test Guidelines.

When to Recode an Existing NAR to RDA

In the guidance below and in the PCC Post RDA Test Guidelines, GPO will not take the encouraged action, wherever the phrase "strongly encouraged" appears.

  • Be familar with the PCC Post RDA Test Guidelines.
  • Be familair with the Frequently Asked Questions: Program for Cooperative Cataloging and RDA (PCC-RDA-FAQ Update 20130401), 1-6. Especially note: 5.1, 5.6, and 5.7.
  • If an authority record coded AACR2 (or earlier rules) has a 667 field stating "THIS 1XX FIELD CANNOT BE USED UNDER RDA UNTIL THIS RECORD HAS BEEN REVIEWED AND/OR UPDATED," it is not RDA-acceptable, and must be evaluated and re-coded to RDA before being used in a PCC bibliographic record coded RDA.
  • If making any updates whatsoever to an existing NAR which is RDA acceptable (i.e. coded AACR2, but the heading would be constructed the same under RDA) PCC catalogers are required to evaluate and recode the record to RDA. This includes adding cross references, adding other identifying characteristics, fixing a typo, etc. There is one exception to this required recoding, however: when a record is being updated only to change a 5XX field, in response to changing a 1XX in another record, evaluation and recoding of the record with the 5XX is strongly encouraged, but not required. See 5) and 6) of PCC Post RDA Test Guidelines for more information.
  • If an AACR2 authority record does not have the 667 field, it is considered RDA acceptable and may be used in the PCC bibliographic record coded RDA. If using an RDA acceptable heading in PCC cataloging, PCC catalogers are strongly encouraged but not required to evaluate and recode the authority record to RDA whenever possible. "Evaluate" means you should check the usage(s) of the entity as recorded in the 670 field(s) of the authority record and assess the correctness of the heading based on the usages recorded.

How to Recode an Existing NAR from AACR2 to RDA

  • Change coding in Rules ("z") and 040 (ǂe "rda") to identify the record as RDA.
  • Ensure the 1XX is RDA compliant. If it is not, change it.
  • If you change the 1XX, enter the former 1XX in a 4XX field. Add a ǂw to this 4XX field using either of the following values: (a) nnea for an old, valid AACR2 heading, or, (b) nne for a valid RDA variant access point. In case of doubt, use nnea. Don't forget to apply the rules of NACO Normalization to ensure that this 4XX does not normalize to the same form as the 1XX. If it does, remove it.
  • If there is a 7XX field in the record:
    • If the 7XX field matches the 1XX field, delete the 7XX field.
    • If the 7XX field has a 2nd indicator 4, delete the 7XX field.
    • If the 7XX and the 1XX field do not match, then do not delete the 7XX field.
  • At the time of the re-coding, add references (4XX and 5XX) and 670 citations to the authority record as needed, either with new information, or using information already contained in the record. You may optionally add optional fields such as 046, 368, 37X, etc., if the information is readily and speedily available. Otherwise, do not add any optional fields.
  • 5XX references in AACR2 format do not need to be changed to RDA. They are acceptable under PCC rules.
  • If present, delete the MARC 667 instruction to re-evaluate before use in RDA.

Upgrading (re-coding) RDA acceptable records: GPO will not evaluate or upgrade (re-code) RDA acceptable records (coded AACR2) to RDA, unless we are already updating the record for another reason. Where the above guidance,including the PCC Post RDA Test Guidelines, uses the phrase "strongly encouraged," GPO will not take the encouraged action.

Field Specific Guidelines

Optional RDA attribute fields: For the optional fields in an RDA name authority record, follow the field specific guidelines below, and in the other sections cited above. Otherwise, include or add these fields when the information is readily available in the resource being cataloged, and can quickly be added. No significant research should be done, and no extra sources need be consulted, to find values for the optional attributes in a name authority record.

Consult and follow the relevant sections of DCM Z1, unless instructed otherwise below.

ǂu and ǂv in the 046 and 3XX optional fields

Use of ǂu is optional, and must always be preceded by ǂv. Use of ǂu is not encouraged, since URLs frequently become broken. Instead, when using a ǂv instead of a 670 field, identify the source by name, whether the source is online or tangible.

046 ǂf 1962 ǂv U.S. Surgeon General Web site

For more details and examples, catalogers must consult and follow: DCM Z1: Field 046. Following this instruction, the cataloger may decide on the following use of ǂv and ǂu:

370 ǂc United States ǂe Palo Alto (Calif.) ǂv Stanford University Mechanical Engineering Web site, Center for Design Research sub-page, Dec. 20, 2012 ǂu

Source of Information: 670 vs. ǂv in the 046 and 3XX optional fields

A 670 field must be used to support information used as part of an access point in 1XX and 4XX.

Give information in subfield ǂv, or in 670 field, whichever is most efficient. If the same source is already cited in a 670, there is no need to include a ǂv. "If the source is given in a 3XX or 046 field, information is only the source [the information that would be given in a separate 670 ǂa], not what was found in the source or the date of the search." You do need to cite the source, but you only need to cite the information found if using a 670, not if you are using the ǂv of the 046 or attribute field.

For more details, catalogers must consult and follow: DCM Z1: Field 046.

046 – Special Coded Dates

ǂf, ǂg, ǂk, ǂl, ǂs, ǂt, ǂ2

See also: ǂs and ǂt

Include if readily available in the resource cataloged. Follow instructions for coding the dates and for including "ǂ2 edtf" in: DCM Z1, MARC 21 Format for Authority Data, LC-PCC PS, and "MARC 21 Encoding to Accommodate New RDA Elements 046 and 3XX in NARs and SARs".

Follow instructions for coding the dates and for including "ǂ2 edtf" in: DCM Z1, MARC 21 Format for Authority Data, LC-PCC PS, and on page 8 of "MARC 21 Encoding to accomodate new RDA elements 046 and 3XX in NARs and SARs".

ǂ2 – Source of Term

This subfield may be included in the 046 and 3XX optional fields, to indicate the source of the term or terms in the subfields that immediately precede it. GPO will almost always enter naf, lcsh, or occasionally, lcgft as the source of term(s). Include this subfield when appropriate, in the following fields, unless instructed otherwise in specific guidance for these fields:368, 370, 372, 373, 374, and 380.

Subfield ǂ2 follows the subfields to which it applies. If there are multiple terms in a single field which have different sources, repeat the field rather than the subfields. Use a separate field for each source.

373 Sandia Ranger District (N.M.) ǂ2 naf ǂs 1976 ǂt 1991

373 Smokey Bear Ranger District (N.M.) ǂs 1991


373 Sandia Ranger District (N.M.) ǂs 1976 ǂt 1991 ǂ2 naf ǂa Smokey Bear Ranger District (N.M.) ǂs 1991

Note: in the 046 and 3XX attribute fields, ǂ a is repeatable, but ǂ2, ǂs, and ǂt are not repeatable.

The example above illustrates two instructions:

a. The source of "Sandia Ranger District (N.M.)" is the naf (Name Authority File), while the source of "Smokey Bear Ranger District (N.M.)" is not, therefore, these two associated "institutions" or groups are listed in two separate 373 fields, not in repeated subfield a of the same 373 field.

b. The "ǂ2" source subfield immediately follows the subfield or subfields to which it applies.

ǂs (start date or start period) and ǂt (end date or end period)

See also: 046 – Special Coded Dates

Always record an 046 field when dates are readily available in the resource cataloged. When adding a start and end period/date to other fields, consider: is there a change in function/scope/activity, etc. which needs to be expressed? If so, and the information is readily available, please include. The following fields are for a personal name, when the work cataloged contained biographical information in a curriculum vita (resume) format.

373  Peace Corps (U.S.) ǂ2 naf ǂs 1983 ǂt 1985

373  Hastings College of the Law ǂ2 naf ǂt 1989

373  United States. Department of State ǂ2 naf ǂs 1991 ǂt 20120912

373  National War College (U.S.) ǂ2 naf ǂt 2010

374  Diplomats ǂ2 lcsh ǂs 1991 ǂt 20120912

374  Ambassadors ǂ2 lcsh ǂs 20120522 ǂt 20120912

When the start date/period and end date/period are the same, enter both subfields with the same values. For example, a conference held for one day on July 1, 2013 should be coded as:

046 ǂs 20130701 ǂt 20130701

336 - Content Type

Do not supply this field.

368 - Other Attributes of Person or Corporate Body

Include for corporate bodies if this does not involve too much deliberation. Do not include for personal names.

370 - Associated Place

Add "ǂ2 naf" following those subfields containing place names that are taken from the Name Authority File.

Record the subfields in alphabetical order. Include ǂc Associated Country, even when ǂe Place of Residence/Headquarters is present.

In most cases for government publications, the country will be United States. Subfield c is defined as associated country. If the associated place is not a country, use subfield ǂe or subfield ǂf. For example, Europe and North America are not countries. Instead, they are non-jurisdictional geographic names from LCSH. Since these names are not from the NAF, enter these in the 370 ǂe or ǂf, and indicate the source of their names in subfield ǂ2.

370 ǂf Europe ǂf North America ǂ2 lcsh

371 Address

Do not include or revise.

372 - Field of Activity

Include if readily available and helpful. Do not include when it involves too much deliberation.

There is no need to provide justification (source of information, information found) for the terms used. Record a field of endeavor, area of expertise, etc., for persons, or a field of business, area of competence, responsibility, or jurisdiction for a corporate body. Use discipline words instead of full sentences. Single, general terms are sufficient.

In general, when adding a geographic scope as part of the field of activity, the geographic scope should reflect the entire potential coverage of the body or activity, rather than simply the location of the body or person.

Prefer to use a topical term from Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH), adding ǂ2 lcsh following the final term in the subject heading string. Capitalize subdivisions as they occur in LCSH. The entire subject string is entered in ǂa without internal subfield coding.

372 Military readiness—United States ǂ2 lcsh

Not: 372 Military readiness ǂz United States ǂ2 lcsh

372 Water resources development—Economic aspects ǂ2 lcsh

Not: 372 Water resources development ǂx Economic aspects ǂ2 lcsh

When using multiple terms from the same vocabulary, repeat ǂa rather than the field.

372 United States--Foreign relations administration ǂa Middle East--Politics and government ǂa Africa, North--Politics and government ǂ2 lcsh

Caution: Carefully evaluate including the topical subdivision "research." According to Subject Headings Manual (SHM) H 2020, the topical subdivision "research" should only be assigned "for general works that discuss comprehensively all aspects of research, such as proposals, finance, goals, etc., as applied to the topic. Do not assign the subdivision to works that discuss the results of research in a particular field." When in doubt, do not include "—Research" in the field of activity for a corporate body or person who performs research.

373 - Associated Group

ǂa = Affiliation for a person, Associated institution for a corporate body

Use the 510 field for related bodies that can be described using one of the relationship designators found in RDA Appendixes K.2.3 or K.4.3.

Record the preferred name for the group (i.e., body), per RDA 11.2.2. Use the form of the name in the LC/NACO Authority File, if found there, and cite "naf" as the source in subfield ǂ2. The entire name is entered in ǂa without internal subfield coding (such as ǂb).

373 United States. National Archives and Records Administration ǂ2 naf

Not: 373 United States. ǂb National Archives and Records Administration ǂ2 naf

373 Peace Corps (U.S.) ǂ2 naf ǂs 1983 ǂt 1985

377 - Associated Language

Include whenever possible. In most cases for government publications, the language will be English.

377 eng

4XX - See From Tracing

When reevaluating and recoding an AACR2 NAR to RDA requires a change in the 1XX, the AACR2 established (1XX) form must be included as a variant access point (4XX). Make a see reference for the old valid form of heading, using ǂw nnea, unless the reference itself is a valid RDA variant access point, in which case use ǂw nne. In case of doubt, use ǂw nnea. Take into account NACO normalization rules. For additional information, see the "FAQ on creating Personal Name Authority Records (NARs) for NACO" on the PCC NACO Web site for the FAQ entitled "When should AACR2 established (1XX) form be included as a varient access point (4XX) when AACR2 NAR is evaluated and re-coded to RDA?".

110 1  United States. ǂb Department of the Interior

410 1  United States. ǂb Dept. of the Interior ǂw nnea

5XX - See Also From Tracings

When applying RDA relationship designators in 5XX fields, use terms from RDA Appendix J or K. Capitalize the initial letter of the term and follow the term with a colon (DCM Z1: 5XX section). Use subfield ǂi in conjunction with ǂw code "r" for relationship designators. When describing a relationship between persons, families, and corporate bodies, use only terms from Appendix K (LC-PCC PS K.1). However, pre-existing 5XX references in AACR2 format (i.e., ǂw values without ǂi) do not need to be changed to RDA when updating or recoding the record. They are acceptable under PCC standards.

670 - Source Data Found

For general instructions, see the section: Name Authorities, General Field Specific Guidelines.

Always include at least one 670 field. Generally, the first 670 field cites the resource for which the authorized access point is being established. Include, at a minimum, the 670 for this resource.

A 670 field must be used to support information used as part of an access point in 1XX and 4XX. For more information of whether to use a 670 field or a ǂv in another field, see the earlier section: "Source of Information: 670 vs. ǂv in the 046 and 3XX optional fields."

678 - Biographical or Historical Data

Include this field only if the information is readily available and does not require significant time to construct.

Remember to code the first indicator: 0 - Biographical sketch or 1 - Administrative history.