Proposal by BL: Fictitious Families and Corporate Bodies (Revision of RDA 10.0,,, 11.0,,

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4 Responses to Proposal by BL: Fictitious Families and Corporate Bodies (Revision of RDA 10.0,,, 11.0,,

  1. John Myers says:

    My brain was hurting by the time I got to this proposal of that day’s cluster. The impetus for this proposal seems reasonable. My question would be how does it accord with or impact our own work on dealing with pseudonymous corporate bodies, which seems a closely connected concern.

  2. Amanda Sprochi says:

    Speaking for the Task Force on Pseudonymous Corporate bodies here. We have been working on a proposal dealing with roughly the same thing. Although our original charge was to rewrite the text of chapters 10 and 11 to include pseudonymous corporate bodies, we realized that it should extend to families, and to include fictitious corporate bodies and families as well. As such, we’ve been wrestling with these issues for a while. With that background, we have the following comments:

    1) We agree with the BL’s proposal to include fictitious families and corporate bodies in RDA. In doing an analysis of FRAD, we noted that there is nothing in the model that conflicts with the proposed rule.
    2) One of the reasons we decided to look at fictitiousness as well as pseudonymity for corporate bodies and families was because in practice it can be tricky to determine when something is a pseudonym and when it is fictitious (see ad nauseam discussions on Geronimo Stilton in the AUTOCAT archives for an example). We decided to fold these two things in together; if the BL proposal is accepted and is written into RDA our task force would them work on expanding it further to include pseudonymity.
    3) Some particular points about the BL proposal:
    a. A minor point, but the wording in the Impact paragraph should probably be fictitious, legendary, and non-human families and corporate bodies (add an “and” before non-human)
    b. We wondered if the correct term is “fictitious” or “fictional.” Fictitious usually refers to something generically false, while fictional is generally used to describe the arts. The Columbia Journalism Review has a good article on this:
    c. In the examples for Recording type of family, it would be nice to have an additional example of a type of family. For example, the Clan MacKenzie from the Outlander series (or Clan Macleod from Highlander for SciFi buffs). The assumption is the designation will be (Fictitious clan), etc., but a concrete example would be good here.
    d. Type of family Again, an example would be nice: MacKenzie(Fictitious clan)
    e. Fictitious events: would these have the same formulation as real events and follow the same conventions? For example, if a fictitious event is identified, taking place at a certain time and location, would the heading reflect that? For example, it would be possible to have a heading Hunger Games (Fictitious event) (74th : Capitol, Panem) If it takes place in the future it could have a date that would seem nonsensical, i.e. Running Man (Fictitious event) (2025 : United States).
    f. This proposal spells out that real as well as non-fictitious corporate bodies and families are allowed, which is good.
    g. Type of corporate body It would be nice if all the examples given in this section carry down to the next section’s examples. For instance, the UNACO example (Fictitious organization) does not appear in the examples for which would be useful.
    h. Examples for other types of fictitious bodies would be useful as well, for example: WKRP (Fictitious radio station), WJM (Fictitious television station), etc.
    i. “Escaped Pigs” Firstly, pigs should probably not be capitalized under RDA. Secondly, for us Yanks this one was a head scratcher leading many to teh Google. We understand that an example for a non-human but real corporate body is needed, and would suggest the Thai Elephant Orchestra (real elephants that play instruments and have released CDs of their music, or at least their human managers have).
    j. Type of corporate body Would be nice to have a fictional example in this section. We would suggest using the Enterprise rather than the Niagara, as the examples could include Enterprise (Aircraft carrier), Enterprise (Schooner), Enterprise (Sloop), and Enterprise (Fictitious spacecraft).
    In whole, however, our task force agrees with the thrust of the proposal and is glad to see it on the docket for consideration.

  3. Robert Rendall says:

    Comments from Adam Schiff, University of Washington:

    Introduction: the text shown there is not the actual text in RDA 9.0, which is: “Persons include persons named in sacred scriptures or apocryphal books, fictitious and legendary persons, and real non-human entities.” and no example is given to illustrate a real or fictitious non-human family. Would one use just “Family” or “Fictitious family” or would something else need to be used that indicates the non-humanness of the family? “Animal family”, “Wolf pack”, “Fictitious lion pride”, “Race horse family”?? Examples, though not prescriptive, would be useful here.

    An example of a legendary family would also be useful. Perhaps: Legendary dynasty Yngling (Legendary dynasty)

    (see and

    If you look at how 9.6 is organized, it has separate instructions for Persons Named in Sacred Scriptures or Apocryphal Books (, Fictitious and Legendary Persons (, and Real Non-human Entities ( I wonder if should also be similarly subdivided with specific instructions for Families Named in Sacred Scriptures or Apocryphal Books, Fictitious and Legendary Families, and Real Non-human Families. The use of “Escaped Pigs” as a type of corporate body seems quite questionable. If it’s allowable, the second word shouldn’t be capitalized. But surely better and more understandable examples could be found. Here’s a good one, for a real-life cat performing group:

    Performing group
    Preferred name recorded as: The Amazing Acro-Cats

    or if you prefer to be even more specific that it’s a real non-human corporate body:

    Cat circus
    Preferred name recorded as: The Amazing Acro-Cats

    Examples of these kinds of names should also be included at (suggestions: Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry; The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency), Exception (suggested: Justice League International), 11.2.3 (suggestions: at could add:

    Alpha Teens on Machines
    Initialism recorded as preferred name: A.T.O.M.

    and at could add:

    Full form recorded as preferred name: Justice League International

    Presumably, fictitious governments are also covered by this proposed instruction? Governments are covered in This raises the question of whether chapter 16 also needs revision to cover fictitious and imaginary places and places named in scriptures and apocryphal books. Examples will be needed. For example in the exception for governments in, would this example be valid:

    not Kingdom of Genovia

    And if fictitious places/governments are now to be allowed, examples of appropriate types of jurisdiction are needed: “Fictitious kingdom”? “Imaginary place”? “Legendary place”? “Biblical place”?

    Examples that could be used:

    Aaron (Book of Mormon place)
    Bashan (Biblical place)
    South Park (Colo. : Imaginary place)
    Genovia (Imaginary place)

    And what about extinct cities? Are they covered by RDA as well, since they are or at least once were jurisdictions? replace with Escaped Pigs example with something that’s more understandable! On the wiki Amanda Sprochi suggested some good ones.

    Ultimately, I agree with the intent of this proposal, and with the comments from Amanda Sprochi. But it does raise some additional interesting issues that need to be explicitly addressed, such as the ones I’ve raised about about places/jurisdictions. Amanda raised issues about recording dates associated with these entities, as well as the fictional location of an event, so we need to know if RDA permits recording other fictitious attributes of a fictitious entity. My South Park example above also raises the issue about recording the name (real or imaginary) of a larger place associated with a jurisdiction. Instructions would be needed to show how to combine the larger place with the type of jurisdiction (actually is “Imaginary place” or “Biblical place” a “type of jurisdiction” or something else?).

    Finally, although these changes proposed are for chapters 10 and 11, examples are needed elsewhere in RDA, for example in chapters 19 and 20. One such example: under Performers:

    Denver, John
    The Muppets
    Authorized access point representing the performers for: A Christmas together / John Denver and The Muppets.

  4. Steve Kelley says:

    I agree with the general thrust of this proposal, but I think Amanda and Adam bring up a lot of flaws in it, as it is currently written.

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