Re: [RDA-L] More than one preferred name?

Posting to RDA-L

On 08/02/2017 10:11, Heidrun Wiesenmüller wrote:

Quoting from
(p. 3/4):

“The definite article (“the”) is replaced by the indefinite article (“a” or “an”) where it refers to recording an element. For example, “Determine the preferred name for a person from the following sources” at RDA is replaced with “Determine a preferred name for person from the following sources”. This change and referencing an element in the singular form emphasizes that there are no constraints on the repeatability of RDA elements, giving a cataloguing community the choice of recording one or more iterations of any element.”

Now this is a very interesting statement. Up to now, I would have thought that there were a small number of elements which are emphatically *not* repeatable, e.g., preferred name for the person, title proper, or preferred title for the work.

I guess that I considered this to be a forward-looking rule in advance of linked data. Even though library catalogs don’t seem to work with links very much now, someday they will, or at least they are supposed to. What that means is when you have a record with a link such as
100 0_ |a Confucius.$0 (his record from VIAF)

there is not necessarily a single “preferred form” of his name. Right now, our catalogs simply display what is in the 100$a, so we think of it as a single preferred form, but when configured correctly, the catalog will be able to display any or all the information from the VIAF record instead of the 100$a. In fact, the designers could use the links going from VIAF into Wikipedia (once those links are converted to Wikidata links), and they could even show information from there.

Therefore, displays will become far more flexible than what we see today and many may find it disconcerting. For instance one searcher may prefer the Latvian form Konfūcijs, 551-479 p.m.ē. while a person sitting nearby, looking at exactly the same bibliographic record, will see the Russian form Конфуций ок.551-479 до н.э. while yet another will see the form used in Taiwan (周) 孔丘, all depending on what each searcher prefers. Alternatively, they may see multiple names along with pictures (from Wikipedia) similar to what we see now in the “Knowledge Graph” of a Google search result, once again, in various languages: