Browse Our Categories



Maxwell's Guide to Authority Work
Robert L. Maxwell
Item Number: 978-0-8389-0822-8
Publisher: ALA Editions
Price: $67.00
Email Friend
  Order Options:  
  Add To Cart  
  Add To Wish List  
275 pages
7" x 10"
ISBN-13: 978-0-8389-0822-8
Year Published: 2002
"Unidentified Flying Objects," not "UFOs" or "Flying Saucers"

Authority work is the linchpin of the library catalog. As the author puts it, "Without authority control, the burden is placed on the user to think of all the possible forms a cataloger might have used to give access in the catalog to a given author or subject." If a subject is not sorted by its authorized heading, then the library and its users and staff are left without a system and ultimately the cost of an unsatisfied user. From one of the preeminent experts in the field, this is the step-by-step guide for ensuring that your library and staff are creating and maintaining authority records with the end user in mind. Comprehensive and definitive, Maxwell's Guide to Authority Work is a must-have.

In this readable text, authority work is broken down to its most basic components so that you can trace and follow the preparation of a complete authority record. Helpful illustrations identify the key characteristics of good authority records, common acronyms are defined, and cross-references throughout reinforce material. Step-by-step, you'll learn how to:
  • Form and record uniform access points
  • Keep thorough and accurate records
  • Share information in an environment of international databases and cooperative cataloging

The authoritative tool for making certain a person, author, corporate body, organization, book, or other media is appropriately classified under its authority name, subject, and form, Maxwell's should be part of any library's toolbox.
Table of Contents


Glossary Of Acronyms

Chapter 1: Introduction
      Authority Files
      Why Do Authority Work?

Chapter 2:  Standards Governing Authority Control
      Standards for the Formulation of Headings
           Names and Uniform Titles
      Encoding Standards (MARC 21)
           Variable Fields
           Fixed Fields
                 The leader
                 The 008 field
                 RLIN and OCLC fixed field displays

Chapter 3: Basic Authority Control Procedures
      Work Flow When Establishing a Heading
      Changes to Established Headings
      Creation of the Authority Record
           The Heading
               The 670 field
               The 675 field
              General principles
               4XX fields
              5XX fields
               The 663 field
         Other Parts of the Record
              The 010 field
              The 040 field
               The 053 field
            The 083 field
            The 667 field
        Fixed-Length Data

Chapter 4: Authority Control of Names
    Choice of Name
        Personal Names
        Corporate Names
        Geographic Names
        Name or Subject?
            Names (events)
            Subjects (events)
        Form of Name
            Personal Names
            Undifferentiated names
        Corporate Names
            Subordinate bodies
        Geographic Names
            Changes to the form as found

Chapter 5: Uniform Titles: General Information
    What Are Uniform Titles and What Are They Used For?
    When Should a Uniform Title and a Corresponding Authority Record Be Made?
    Choosing the Uniform Title
    Creating the Authority Record
        Authorized Heading
        Fixed Fields

Chapter 6: Uniform Titles: Particular Problems
    Collocation Techniques
        Collective Titles
        Laws and Treaties
    Differentiation Techniques
        Standardized Qualifiers
    Works Created before 1501
    Manuscript Headings

Chapter 7: Series: General Information
        Analyzable Serials
        Multipart Items
    Relationship of the Bibliographic Record to the Series _Authority Record
    Identification of the Series
        Choice of Entry
        Sources of Information
        Formulation of the Heading
        Series Numbering
    Change of Title
        Multipart items
    Parallel Titles
        Subseries or not?
        Establishment of subseries
        Bibliographic record: main series unnumbered
        Bibliographic record: main series numbered
        Very generic terms as subseries
        Supplements and special numbers to serials
    Works of Personal Authorship in Series
    Series-Like Phrases

Chapter 8: Series Authority Records
Overview of the Series Authority Record
Detailed Treatment of MARC Authority Format Fields
    The Heading: 1XX field
    References: 4XX fields
        Series entered under author: references from the title
        Series entered under title: name-title references
        Reference from other names
        Title variants
        Qualification of references
    References: 5XX Fields
    Numbering: 640-642
    Identification of the Publisher: 643
    The Library's Treatment of the Series
        Analysis (644)
        Tracing (645)
        Classification (646)
        670 fields
        675 fields
        667 fields
    Fixed Fields

Chapter 9: Authority Control of Terms: Thesaurus Building
    Equivalence Relationships
    Hierarchical Relationships
        Generic Relationships
        Whole-Part Relationships
        Instance Relationships
        Interhierarchical Relationships
    Associative Relationships
        Descriptors within the Same Hierarchy
        Descriptors Belonging to Different Hierarchies
    Choice of Descriptors

Chapter 10: Authority Control of Terms: Subjects
    Subject Thesauri
    Library of Congress Subject Headings
        Choice of Term
        Geographic Names Established as Subjects
        Latest Entry
        Hierarchy in LCSH
        Subdivision Practice
            Independent establishment of headings containing _subdivisions
            Free-floating subdivisions
            Pattern headings
            Geographic subdivision
            Order of subdivisions
    MARC Subject Authority Records
        Fixed Fields Heading
        Library of Congress Control Number
        Library of Congress Classification Number
        Cataloging Source
        Citation of Sources
        Scope Notes
        Form of Geographic Subdivision

Chapter 11: Authority Control of Terms: Genre/Form
    Use of Approved Thesauri
    Prominent Thesauri Containing Genre/Form Terms
    Multiple Thesauri in a Single Database
    MARC Coding of Genre/Form Term Authority Records
        Variable Fields
        Fixed Fields
        Creation of Records Based on Existing Records
        Subfield ?2

Chapter 12: The Library and Beyond
    Sources of Authority Records
        The Utilities
        The Library of Congress
    Cooperative Cataloging Programs
        The Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC)
            NACO (Name Authority Cooperative Program)
            SACO (Subject Authority Cooperative Program)
            BIBCO (Bibliographic Record Cooperative Program)/ CONSER (Cooperative Online Serials Program)
    Maintenance of the Library's System


About the Author
Robert L. Maxwell is Associate Librarian of the Harold B. Lee Library at Brigham Young University, where he also serves as leader of the special collections and humanities cataloging team. He has taught cataloging in the School of Information Resources and Library Science at the University of Arizona and has chaired the Bibliographic Standards Committee of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Section of the Association for College and Research Libraries (ACRL). He is co-author, with Margaret Maxwell, of the current edition of Maxwell's Handbook for AACR2R. Maxwell earned his master's of library science degree from the University of Arizona and his doctorate degree in classical languages from the University of Toronto.
“Robert Maxwell has written a very important book bringing the subject of authority control up to current standards and explaining the complexities in simple language. The writer of this review learned a few things from this book, despite having extensive experience in dealing with authority records. I highly recommend the book to anyone who needs to learn about authority work for the first time and those with some experience who would like to refine their skills.”
Technical Services Quarterly

“A step-by-step text for creating efficient, complete authority records.”
—Public Libraries

  Also of interest:  
Introducing RDA bundle
Item Number:  7000-5941
Purchase this bundle of Introducing RDA: A Guide to the Basics and Library Technology Reports, Understanding the Semantic Web and RDA Vocabularies and save up to $61 off the single-copy prices!
Price: $70.00
Maxwell’s Handbook for AACR2: Explaining and Illustrating the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules through the 2003 Update
Item Number:  978-0-8389-0875-4
Designed to interpret and explain AACR2, Maxwell illustrates and applies the latest cataloging rules to the MARC record for every type of information format. Focusing on the concept of integrating resources, where relevant information may be available...
Price: $88.00
FRBR: A Guide for the Perplexed
Item Number:  978-0-8389-0950-8
FRBR – Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records –i s an evolving conceptual model designed to help users easily navigate catalogs and find the material they want in the form they want it – be that print, DVD, audio, or adaptations.
Price: $67.00