Technical Services Department Procedures Manual


Section 3C.1 :
Authority Control
Authority control is the process in cataloging that is used to maintain consistency of headings that act as access points in a catalog or database.  This process is traditionally referred to as authority control but is becoming known as access control also.  It allows us to collocate various works under one heading making it easier for the user to find works.Headings that come under authority control are: personal names, corporate names, conference/meeting names, subject headings, titles (series/uniform titles). 

Some very simple examples:

By using the one heading Dr. Seuss as the official name of Theodore Geisel, we are able to draw all of his works under one heading.  The entry would look like  100 1_  Seuss, $c Dr.  and cross references would be made on the record for 400 1_ Geisel, Theodore.

Uniform titles allow us to group like information togehter.  130 0_  Bible. $p N.T. $p Mark could draw together all works on Mark and collocate them in one viewing area.

The LRC will use OCLC’s Online Authority File for the verification of all headings.  A backup would be the Library of Congress’ Authority records that are also available online.  Downloading of authority records into Voyager will primarily be done from OCLC’s Online Authority File, but can be done from LC as well.

The process usually follows this pattern:

For copy cataloging:

Recognition of headings on a record that need to be verified.
Checking those headings in the online authority file.
Making appropriate changes as needed.

For original cataloging:

Determining the headings that need to be checked in the online authority file.
Using existing heading or creating a new heading.

For both:

Determining if an authority record needs to be imported.
Determining if a local authority record needs to be created.

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