Elements of name authority records

Music Cataloging at YaleAuthority control and NACO

For fixed field elements of name authority records, see 008 field for name authority records

Definitions | References (4XX/5XX fields) | Sources found (670 field) | Sources not found (675 field) | Non-public notes (667 field) | 663 field


AACR2-compatible: Denotes the coding on a name authority record (NAR) that was in the database before AACR2 rules came into effect, but was judged to be similar enough to accept in the online catalog without being converted to AACR2 rules. Fixed field: Rules (008/10) code is d.

Conflict: A condition in which certain variant access points match an authorized access point, jeopardizing its uniqueness within the database. Conflicts are to be avoided or resolved wherever possible.

Justification: The practice of giving a citation in the 670 field in an authority record for the forms of a name used as the authorized access point and for variant access points.

Non-unique name: A NAR with a 1XX heading that represents more than one person with the same name because there is insufficient information to make a unique AR for each. Also referred to as a consolidated AR. Synonymous with Undifferentiated personal name. Fixed field: Name (008/32) codes are a (unique) or b (non-unique)

Normalization: The automated process by which access points are compared for uniqueness to prevent duplicate access points and conflicts between records. Under the rules of normalization, all diacritics and punctuation marks (except for the first comma) are removed, all letters are converted to uppercase, and modified letters are converted to their unmodified forms. Subfield delimiters (but not subfield codes) are retained. Access pointsthat differ only in diacritics, marks of punctuation (except the first comma), or special characters normalize to the same form and are thus considered in conflict. Such access points need to be further differentiated.

Preliminary records: Authority records created without an item in-hand, usually created as part of a retrospective conversion project. Fixed field: Auth status (008/33) code is d.

Provisional records: Authority records created when there is not enough information to establish a full record (for example, the cataloger does not have the language expertise to establish the record in full or a subordinate body name is available only in a language that is different from the language of the parent body). Fixed field: Auth status (008/33) code is c.

Qualifier: An addition to an access point or variant access point to further clarify its identify or to make it unique in the database.

Usage: The form of name usually found in a statement of responsibility in the item-at-hand. Variant usages may also appear in other parts of the item, such as in the title proper or in a quoted note.

Variant: A form of the name not chosen as the authorized access point; generally appears in the AR as a variant access point.


References are added to the authority record, including tags, subfields, delimiters, and diacritics formulated according to RDA.

See references (4XX field)

4XXs should be justified by citation in the 670 field or as required by RDA.

Search all cross-references to insure they do not conflict with authorized access points (1XXs). Do not include a 4XX see reference that would normalize to the same form as the 1XX or 5XX in another authority record. 4XX references may conflict with 4XX in other records [except for name/title headings].

Includes a reference from each variant that affects the primary elements of the name. Generally, this means variations in all elements to the left of the comma and in the first element to the right of the comma.
• make one reference from each possible entry element of the name chosen as the heading.
• make only one reference from each variant. Do not trace a reference that would normalize to the same form as the heading on the same record or to the same form as the heading on another record.

See also references (5XX field)

Make a see also reference when:
• a contemporary author uses one or more pseudonyms. Create name authority records for each name and link them with 500 see also references.
• the name of a performing or artistic group contains the name of one or more of its members. Make a see also reference from the heading for each person to the heading for the group and from that group heading to the heading for each individual.
5XX see also references will normalize to the same form as the established heading in another authority record.

Sources found (670 field)

A 670 is required to justify all elements of a authorized access point and variant access points. The first 670 in the record is normally for the work being cataloged.

It is not necessary to add 670 fields to justify references in the following cases:
• References justified by rules or rule interpretations only, usually because the reference is derived from inverting, shortening, etc., the heading or giving a substitute form in the heading.
• References made on the basis of the cataloger's awareness of different romanizations or orthographies.
• Name/title cross references derived from the work being cataloged, from other works cataloged under the same heading, or from information in standard reference sources.

Elements of the 670 field:


  • main entry of the work being cataloged (not required by PCC)
  • title proper of the work being cataloged
    • It is only necessary to cite the title proper; in most cases, other title information need not be given.
    • If the title is relatively brief, cite it in full. If the title is long, shorten it by abbreviating words or by using the 3 dot mark of omission after the first four or five words.
  • date of publication or edition of the work
    • The date in the authority record does not include brackets even when they are used on the bibliographic record.
    • The following should also be included when citing the date:
      • symbols used, including the copyright "c" or phonogram copyright "p," question marks, and hyphens
      • multiple dates, if the bibliographic record has them


  • the specific location(s) of the information found when the work cited is other than a reference source
    • examples: title page, jacket, cover, label, colophon, page 3 of cover, back cover, label, container
    • the information found (enclosed in parentheses)
    • necessary only when information is being provided in support of the formulation and/or identification of the 1XX, 4XX and sometimes the 5XX fields.

‡b immediately follows the date in ‡a

Sources not found (675 field)

The 675 field a reasonable source where information about where the heading is not found. It is not necessary to include in the 675 for every reference source consulted or in every authority record.

Nonpublic general note (667 field)

The 667 field is used to give:
• information of permanent value and general interest to catalogers
• instructions on the subject usage of the heading

Complex see also reference–name (663 field)

The 663 field is used to give:
See also references prepared by the cataloger when the reference is more complex than can be conveyed solely through the contents of one or more 5XX fields