Proposal by BL: Place Associated with the Corporate Body (Revision of RDA 11.3.1,

8 July 2014

Place Associated with the Corporate Body (Revision of RDA 11.3.1, — revised to correct the example at the bottom of p. 7

British Library (BL)

6JSC/BL/22/rev/ALA response: Place Associated with the Corporate Body (Revision of RDA 11.3.1, (August 27, 2014)

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27 Responses to Proposal by BL: Place Associated with the Corporate Body (Revision of RDA 11.3.1,

  1. John Myers says:

    Repositioning my comment on the initial version:
    The overall thrust of the proposal has merit, but I think the specifics are problematic. In splitting out the “location of headquarters” into three distinct categories of place, it preserves the misnomer that the locale in which the various examples are located serves as a “headquarters” for schools, congregations, hotels. The expansion of the rules under 11.3 into three subcategories of place seems unwieldy, especially when contrasted with the conciseness of the rule addressing their incorporation into the AAP at

    What if 11.3.3 is changed from “location of headquarters” to “location of organization” with corresponding alterations to clean up the Scope, then reformulate the rule to prefer recording the location to the degree of specificity warranted by the scope of the organization’s character/activities? I could play with substitute language, if this approach meets with favor.

    • Tina Shrader says:

      I agree that ‘location of organization’ is a better label for the concept than ‘headquarters’, and I agree with Kathy’s comment further down that the proposal should allow for recording localities below the level of state, province, etc.

  2. Robert Bratton says:

    I like that this proposal makes Country Associated with the Corporate Body and Other Place Associated with the Corporate Body explicit data elements (always wondered why they weren’t). I also like that it explicitly states there can be multiple locations associated with corporate bodies.

    I see John’s point that for a lot of corporate bodies, it feels awkward to use “headquarters,” and perhaps “Location of Organization” would be more encompassing.

  3. Kathy Glennan says:

    In part, this proposal points out deficiencies in the FRAD model. While the expanded info does map back to the same FRAD attribute (Place associated with a corporate body), I wonder how advisable it is to expand RDA’s granularity at the same time that major work is being done on the FR models.

    Additionally, I wonder if the same problem should be addressed for Families. FRAD says (under 4.2, Attributes of a Family):
    Places associated with family
    Information pertaining to places where the family resides or resided or had some connection.

    RDA says: “A place associated with the family is a place where a family resides or has resided or has some connection.”

    Why isn’t the same granularity between residence & other place desired for family attributes too?

    • Kathy Glennan says:

      For reference purposes, this is what FRAD currently says about Place associated with the corporate body (from 4.3):

      A geographic place at any level associated with the corporate body.
      Includes countries, states, provinces, counties, cities, towns, regional municipalities, etc.
      Includes a location in which a meeting, conference, exhibition, fair, etc., is held.
      Includes location of headquarters.

  4. Kathy Glennan says:, Scope: I don’t see a need to remove the e.g. statement; these are just exemplars of what is addressed in this instruction. Alternatively, a 3rd “item” could be added to the e.g., but that adds redundancy to the list (putting “country associated with the corporate body” just restates things that are already in the definition).


  5. Kathy Glennan says: Scope: If the definition of “location of headquarters” is changed here, it also needs to be modified in the Glossary.

  6. Kathy Glennan says:

    As proposed, there’s no ability to record a local place (anything below a province, state, etc.) unless it’s the location of a headquarters.

    Isn’t this a problem?

    • Kathy Glennan says:

      Are there times we’d know the location of headquarters at a more general level (like province, state, country) without knowing the actual local place? If so, this proposal would not let us record that information as “headquarters”. It would be relegated to “other place associated with the corporate body” (or, if we only know the country, it would be “country associated with the corporate body”).

      Is this a problem?

      • Dominique Bourassa says: has 3 examples that shows the location of the headquarters as a county. It’s smaller than a state but still each corporate body’s headquarter is probably located in a city, village, or at least something more local than a county. This makes me wonder what the definition of “local” is in their mind. How local is local? Here are the examples:

        Washington County, Ind.
        Preferred name recorded as: Washington County Historical Society (it’s really in Salem, Ind.)

        Washington County, N.Y.
        Preferred name recorded as: Washington County Historical Society (it’s really in Fort Edward, N.Y.)

        Chittenden County, Vt.
        Preferred name recorded as: Project HOME (The corporate body has changed name to HomeShare Vermont and is now located in South Burlington, VT; I don’t know where it was located when it was called Project Home)

  7. Kathy Glennan says:

    The new sub-elements, “Country associated with the corporate body” and “Other place associated with the corporate body” need Glossary definitions.

  8. Kathy Glennan says:

    In the new example boxes in, the “country” box is fine. The following box, entitled “Country, State, Province, Etc.” needs to be changed as follows:
    – Remove “country” from the title
    – Remove the four country examples that were pulled into their own example box

  9. Kathy Glennan says:

    In looking at the equivalent instructions for place associated with a person in both FRAD and RDA, the content is (in this order):
    – Place of Birth [OK, I don’t think the equivalent is really important for corporate bodies. If it were, I guess it could be “place of incorporation”.]
    – Place of Death [same situation as place of birth]
    – Country Associated with the Person
    – Place of Residence [corporate body equivalent: headquarters/other local place]
    – Address of the Person

    This raises the question for me about the order of these proposed new instructions for corporate bodies. I think I would prefer a top-down approach (country – then state/province – then local). I know that would mean renumbering, and it also calls into question where the “location of conference” instructions really belong.

    I wonder why FRAD went into the actual address attribute for Persons, but not for Corporate Bodies. Is there a reason *not* to consider adding this as well (besides the fact that it’s not currently in FRAD in the first place)?

  10. Kathy Glennan says:

    In the revised, first example block – remove the following example:

    Duisburg, Germany
    Essen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
    Preferred name recorded as: Universität Duisburg-Essen. Corporate body has headquarters in two locations

    Add this to the proposed final example block in this instruction instead.

  11. Kathy Glennan says:

    In the new Scope statement, a minor rewording is needed. The sentence should just start “Other place associated …”, instead of “An other place associated …” — this is based on the model for “Other designation associated with the person” at

    • Dominique Bourassa says:

      Section 11.3.4 could also be modeled after the wording at 9.10.2. Country Associated with the Person.

      If so should be parallel to and “or countries> be added to the sentence: “Take information on country or countries associated with the corporate body from any source.”

      Then should be parallel to and start with the sentence ” Record the country or countries associated with the corporate body. Record the name of the name of the other place associated with the corporate body by applying the basic instructions at 11.3.1.”

  12. Kathy Glennan says:

    While I sympathize with the BL position that “location of headquarters” is not the same thing as “the place in which a corporate body carries out its activities”, the current instruction at 11.3.3 does cover both situations. So, I’m not sure RDA is “broken” in this aspect, although I agree that it could be more granular.

    If a distinction needs to be made, then I think I’d be more inclined to separate out these two aspects (HQ & activities), rather than going down the path that BL took.

  13. Kathy Glennan says:

    To really clean this up would require substantial reworking of Chapter 11 (using the country-province-local organization, bringing the instructions for address closer to place, etc.) That kind of work is really too extensive for a response to this proposal.

    That leaves us with the question about how to respond. There are several comments above with editorial corrections, etc., and those certainly should be included in our response.

    However, I also would like to know if we support this at all. How broken is RDA here? Does the proposal (with the revisions suggested above) solve the problem, or compound it?

  14. John Myers says:

    Since the proposal references the MARC mapping, I looked into the genesis of field 370 in the MARBI/MAC documentation. Here is the originating discussion paper on a set of MARC additions for RDA:
    Here is the actual proposal:
    Here are the minutes where 2009-01/1 was discussed: (scroll to the actual proposal; there are comments under general and under “621”–the original designation of 370)
    My casual reading doesn’t afford any additional insights, but I thought it worth sharing the references.

  15. John Myers says:

    In re-reading the proposal, I remain unconvinced of the underlying assumption as presented in the introduction, that there needs to be a parallel granularity of elements between Persons and Corporate Bodies. Furthermore, I am gaining the sense that 11.3.3 only exists as a parallel for 11.3.2. Since the examples under the scope of 11.3.1 differentiate between conferences and organizations as subcategories of corporate body, I reiterate my recommendation that “location of headquarters” be changed to “location of organization” as the caption for 11.3.3. In attempting to resolve its perception of a semantic inconsistency with the treatment of persons, it introduces a more problematic semantic inconsistency in the proposal by articulating corporate body as a subcategory of _corporate body_! To wit, its proposed 11.3.4 and 11.3.5 are articulated in terms of corporate bodies, but by the examples are clearly meant to address organizations, not the superset of corporate bodies as a whole — the subset of Conferences is adequately covered by 11.3.2

    • John Myers says:

      I would far prefer a reorganization of 11.3.3, recaptioned as Location of Organization:
      Scope: Location of Organization is a country … in which a organization is associated by either its scope of activities or its headquarters.
      Sources: [unchanged, except switching headquarters to organization.]
      Recording: Record the name of the place associated with an organization to the degree of specificity appropriate to its scope of activities or as limited by available sources of information. Apply the basic … 11.3.1

  16. John Myers says:

    A slightly tangential observation, the examples under 11.3.3 all address the application of this element in the context of its “coreness” — when it is needed to distinguish between organizations of the same name. In non-core applications, such as for the American Library Association, I get the right result if I pay close attention to the rule as written, but I could easily be led astray by “location of headquarters” to record Chicago.

  17. Tracey L. Snyder says:

    I would be hesitant to do any substantial revision along these lines before we see what the new FR consolidated model will have to say about places associated with a corporate body. It would be a lot of work, that may wind up needing to be undone or redone later.

  18. John Myers says:

    ALA thanks the BL for its proposal. We are sympathetic to the concerns raised, but have reservations regarding the degree to which RDA is “broken” and the subsequent solution. Furthermore, we are concerned about venturing prematurely into addressing place with respect to corporate bodies when the FR consolidated model is likely to be in flux on this point, possibly necessitating further revision to undo the matter under consideration. We have our own ideas of a potential solution. [Elaborate as much or little as is felt necessary.] Our chief wish however is to defer deliberation until the FR situation is more clear.

  19. Adolfo Tarango says:

    I’m in support of John’s draft response.

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