Re: Linked files

Posting to RDA-L

On 22/04/2011 18:33, Karen Coyle wrote:

Quoting “J. McRee Elrod” <mac@SLC.BC.CA>:

So these identifiers link to *inhouse* files? “Shakespeare” once rather than repeated as author, added entry, and subject, in multiple bibliographic records?

Again, separate linking from identification. Identifiers identify. That’s what they do. There is great importance in identification for sharing, as we know from library authority work. The difference between identifiers and creating authorities, however, is that authorities in libraries today are represented with text strings, thus making them language dependent. Also, if you wish to change your display you also change the string that identified the entity — and that breaks a fundamental rule of identification, which is that the identifier must not change.

There is another way of looking at our headings than solely as textual strings, which is not entirely correct, but rather as identifying something *unambiguously*. This is exactly what our headings are
designed to do. An identifier does not have to be composed only of numbers, but any string. This is why I have suggested reconsidering our headings *as* identifiers, since catalogers have worked very, very hard for a long time to keep them unique, or unambiguous. We can see how this works in VIAF, which allows you to search exact name in the LCNAF form for, e.g. Tchaikovsky’s heading, e.g.,%20Peter%20Ilich,%201840%201893%22+and+local.sources+any+%22lc%22&stylesheet=/viaf/xsl/results.xsl&sortKeys=holdingscount&maximumRecords=100,
or for the Swedish form,,%20Pjotr,%201840%201893%22+and+local.sources+any+%22selibr%22&stylesheet=/viaf/xsl/results.xsl&sortKeys=holdingscount&maximumRecords=100

This works for all forms. I think it would only take a change in mindset for this to work.

There is a VIAF api right now, and I would like to try to implement it.  Has anyone done so?