Place as an RDA Entity

3 August 2015

Place as an RDA Entity


Submitted by Gordon Dunsire, Chair, JSC Places Working Group

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59 Responses to Place as an RDA Entity

  1. Robert L. Maxwell says:

    I am pleased to see the qualifier no longer considered part of the preferred name, but added under instructions for the access point.

  2. Robert L. Maxwell says:

    The qualifier exceptions for places like the United States and Canada seem to be gone, but no examples are given of the implications of this, e.g. perhaps “Medicine Hat (Canada)”, “Zzyzx (United States)” instead of qualifying by the province/state, since there’s no need to distinguish. Yet some of the examples in the document *do* follow the now undocumented practice of qualifying by state or province names, e.g. “Hyde Park (Chicago, Illinois)” — shouldn’t this under the terms of the proposal as written be “Hyde Park (Chicago, United States)” or Hyde Park (Chicago, Illinois, United States)” if there is more than one Chicago in the US?

  3. Robert L. Maxwell says:

    There are also no instructions for form of the name in a qualifier, i.e., the “comma” rule (the Budapest example in the current rules). Following the proposed instructions I’d think we’d use the exact authorized access point form in the qualifier:

    Chelsea (London (England))
    Chelsea (London, England)

    I actually think that would be a good idea, but if it is intended to continue the current practice the instruction needs to be somewhere.

  4. Robert L. Maxwell says:

    I do *not* like the idea of including forms in qualifiers that are not authorized access point forms. Why

    Quartier latin (Paris)

    Instead of

    Quartier latin (Paris (France)) or Quartier latin (Paris, France)? Similarly the examples Villeneuve (Kanton Freiburg) and Villeneuve (Waadt) and others. I don’t see any principled reason for dropping the larger place in these particular cases but not in others. I do see from the footnotes it seems to be a German-speaking practice, but where’s the principle behind doing it one way sometimes and another way others?

  5. Robert L. Maxwell says:

    One element (or “identifying attribute”) left out that I think definitely needs to be included is “Associated institution.” Places of all kinds can be associated with corporate bodies (see the examples in this year’s ALA Appendix K proposal). “Field of activity” should also be considered. Places that are also jurisdictions could well have a field of activity. If nothing else, “government” but perhaps a place could be particularly well known for some activity, like “winemaking.”

  6. Robert L. Maxwell says:

    The document/discussion needs to include relationships between places and other places, places and corporate bodies, places and persons, indeed places and nearly any entity (families, works, expressions, what have you).

  7. Robert L. Maxwell says:

    A slight quibble (I realize this isn’t an actual proposal) under “scope”:

    The preferred name for the place is also used:
    a) as the conventional name of a government, etc.9
    b) as an addition to the name of a family, a corporate body, a place or a work
    c) to record a place associated with a person, a family, a corporate body or a place *or a work*.

    And actually, given recent discussion on the RDA (or PCC?) list, expressions can have places associated with them, too, so I’d include that, too, but that would require revision of the expression elements as well.

  8. Robert L. Maxwell says:

    I want to make a fundamental point that perhaps needs to be taken into consideration by the working group. One basic reason we’ve had big problems dealing with place over the years is that we’re trying to make a single description and access point represent two quite different entities: the jurisdiction and the geographical area the jurisdiction sits on or governs. These are *not* the same thing (our current practice for jurisdictions is in fact a version of undifferentiated records, since the record stands for two different entities) and perhaps now the time has come to separate them. Jurisdictions are corporate bodies and can be perfectly well described using the existing instructions for coprorate bodies (perhaps with the addition of a couple of things like “type of jurisdiction”). I seriously recommend separating jurisdictions out and describing them as the corporate bodies they are in separate records and with separate authorized access points from those of places in the sense of geographic areas. Let the instructions in RDA for places deal only with place as a physical, geographic area. This would be a major change (although the change of treatment of national parks a couple of years ago does exactly this) but I think it would solve a lot of the problems we have with dealing with places.

    • Tina Shrader says:

      I agree with this, and so do most of my colleagues.

    • Mary Anne Dyer says:

      I agree with this as well. I came across an example the other day where it would have made things much more clear if the jurisdiction and geographical area were separated.

    • Kathy Glennan says:

      Posted on behalf of John Attig

      I would like to be able to agree with Bob’s comments. Clearly the jurisdiction and the place governed are conceptually distinct. Part of the problem with the current text is that, like AACR, places are included only insofar as they serve as the basis for the names of jurisdictions. Under those circumstances, we could treat place and jurisdiction as equivalent. However, as we expand the model to include non-jurisdictional places, it becomes more difficult to deal with these as a single concept.

      There are a number of implementation questions to be resolved:

      Will the FRBR Place entity be defined as “a physical, geographic area” as Bob suggests; or will it be more broadly defined; if so, then jurisdictions and geographical areas would need to be treated as sub-categories. Possible, but not as elegant as the distinction Bob suggests.

      If jurisdictions are to be treated as corporate bodies, will we continue to follow the rather arbitrary practice of naming jurisdictions using the name of the place? Or will we apply the general guidelines in Chapter 11 and (perhaps) come up with “Commonwealth of Pennsylvania” instead of “Pennsylvania” as the name for the jurisdiction.

      If our current practice of considering jurisdiction and place governed as a single entity is considered to be an undifferentiated name, doesn’t that suggest that we need to establish the jurisdiction and the place separately and that each needs to have a distinctive name? Are we seriously contemplating doubling the number of “place” names in our authority files? What conventions will be needed to differentiate the preferred names and/or authorized access points for jurisdiction and place?

      Not only will it be necessary to establish these as distinct entities, it will also be necessary to decide which one is applicable in relationship, particularly subject relationships. In some cases, this will be clear, but in many cases it will not — and this will be a difficult decision that we do not currently need to make (at least in most cases).

      So, as much as I admire this distinction at a conceptual/modeling level, I am seriously concerned about the possible implications of implementing such a change.

      I agree that the idea should be included in the ALA response, but I would advise that it be offered very cautiously. As the saying goes: Be careful what you wish for!

      For the record, I do not believe that a recommendation that jurisdictions are corporate bodies and that instructions for identifying and naming jurisdictions should be in Chapter 11 necessarily requires that the guidelines for places exclude jurisdictions.

  9. John Myers says:

    Elements instructions, generally: feels cookie-cutter and formulaic, but I suppose that is the shape of things to come.

  10. John Myers says:

    City or Town associated with the Place: The examples feel distinctly backwards. Yes, Paris is associated with the country France, but so is Marseilles, Carcassone, Chartres, etc. I expected City or Town associated with the Place to be illustrated by examples of places subordinated within such Cities or Towns.

    • Kathy Glennan says:

      I agree. I’m not sure how you get from recording this information to building the AAP based on the instructions on p. 30, “Associated Cities or Towns”.

      It seems like the examples there should be the main ones here too:
      Quartier latin

  11. John Myers says:

    Coordinates of place: While not entirely absent in RDA, the specific formatting and presentation of data has been significantly reduced. I question its presence here. Also, is there a context in which the components of latitude and longitude designations would be rendered as distinct sub-elements? This arrangement is not accommodated with the current rule and alternative.

  12. John Myers says:

    Constructing Access Points, Associated Places: Where the identification of elements feels cookie-cutter and formulaic, these instructions feel hodge-podge, “case-law,” intellectually sloppy, and specifically geared toward Anglo-American historical practices geared toward saving “real estate” on a catalog card. I would favor a more standardized and simplified approach as the primary rule, with our historical practices accommodated as Alternatives.

  13. John Myers says:

    The paper represents significant progress in addressing the treatment of place, but a corresponding chapter on Relationships will be warranted in short order. (As well as further work distinguishing between geography and jurisdiction, as Bob articulates above.)

  14. Robert Bratton says:

    Many thanks the Working Group for all their work on this.

    I agree with Bob Maxwell that it would be ideal if Jurisdiction is treated separately by RDA. The instructions for jurisdiction would probably live in RDA Chapter 11, but I want to stress that you can’t completely untangle them from Place. As John Hostage put it, jurisdictions are a “holy duopoly” of corporate body and place. Bob said: “Let the instructions in RDA for places deal only with place as a physical, geographic area,” and I completely agree.

  15. Robert Bratton says:

    Some specifics:

    “A place associated with the place is a significant location associated with a place”

    And then there are three elements: “Country Associated with the Place, Other Jurisdiction Associated with the Place,” and “City or Town Associated with the Place.”

    What about River Associated with the Place, Ocean Associated with the Place, Mountain Associated with the Place, Mountain Range Associated with the Place, Fault Associated with the Place, Glacier Associated with the Place, Watershed Associated with the Place, etc., etc.

    Wouldn’t it be simpler to have a single element called “Place Associated with the Place” and define it as any kind of place, whether it be a country, county, city, village, river, or fjord?

    Defining “Country Associated with the Place” as “A country associated with a place is a country in which the place is located” seems too restrictive.

    Having Date of Establishment and Date of Termination associated with a Place seems tricky. This seems like it makes more sense with the Jurisdiction.

    • Kathy Glennan says:

      I agree with Robert. For example, there are many places that could be associated with the Matterhorn mountain (Switzerland, Italy, Zermatt, Breuil-Cervinia, Pennine Alps, Alps, etc.). I think the question here comes down to exactly what we want/expect to do with this “related place” information.

      I also share some concerns about the date element here. I don’t think I have an objection to being able to record this information. For example, I think it would be generally possible to name a date for the establishment of Washington, D.C., or for the demise of a city (or other location) due to natural or human-caused disaster. However, I don’t see the value in making this a core element.

      Ah, light dawning now — this is more important if you move the “government” instructions to this chapter.

      • Kathy Glennan says:

        So, if defining “country associated with the place” as suggested in the instruction draft is too restrictive, what would we want instead?

        A country associated with a place is a country associated with a place.


        or maybe

        A country associated with a place is a country in which the place is located or otherwise associated.

        • Kathy Glennan says:

          If CC:DA agrees that places besides countries, jurisdictions and cities/towns should be able to be recorded as related places, then this option (say, “Other places associated with the place”) should be added to the General Guidelines on p. 17 and should also get a set of supporting instructions (presumably at the bottom of p. 19).

    • Kathy Glennan says:

      Posted on behalf of John Attig

      I was also puzzled by what appears to be the treatment of Associated Place as an attribute/element, and the linguistic contortions that are necessary to define it as such. What I would expect — and what would seem to fit better into the emerging FRBR LRM — would be a relationship element: Related Place. Associated with this relationship — as with other relationship elements in RDA — would be a set of relationship designators. This would allow a more precise recording of the hierarchical relationships between places (city–county–state–country), but would also support non-hierarchical relationships (e.g., the relationship between a corporate jurisdiction and the place over which it exercises its jurisdiction). I just do not see this as an attribute.

      • Matthew Haugen says:

        I agree. while nationality might be an attribute of a person, birthplace isn’t so much an attribute of the person as a relationship that person has to the place. And this seems to support the goals of the BL proposals to separate out PPDM statements as an attribute of the manifestation from recording the relationships the manifestation has to the places where it was published/manufactured etc.

  16. Robert Bratton says:

    Also, I agree with Bob Maxwell’s point that it would be ideal if RDA dealt with Jurisdiction as a separate entity from Place. These instructions would probably live in RDA Chapter 11, but I want to stress that you can’t completely untangle corporateness and place for jurisdictions. As John Hostage said, a jurisdictions is a “holy duopoly” of the two.

    Bob said: “Let the instructions in RDA for places deal only with place as a physical, geographic area,” and I completely agree.

    Jurisdiction needs its very own separate instruction.

  17. Robert Bratton says:

    I agree with Bob Maxwell — RDA should have separate instructions for Place and Jurisdiction.

    • Kathy Glennan says:

      So, since there’s support for this so far, should we suggest this as:
      * Jurisdiction = corporate body –> instructions in Chapter 11
      * Place does not = corporate body –> instructions in its own chapter, with references to Chapter 11 as necessary

      This would be a significant change, so I need CC:DA to weigh in on this possibility (voting members and liaisons alike).

      • Steve Kelley says:

        I support this idea.

      • Robert Bratton says:

        Kathy: sort of.

        I would stop short of saying jurisdiction = corporate body, because you can never really completely untangle a jurisdiction’s corporateness with place. As John Hostage said, a jurisdiction is a “holy duopoly” of the two.

        Perhaps for metadata purposes, we can say that a jurisdiction is a unique TYPE of corporate body that needs its own set of RDA instructions.

        • Kathy Glennan says:

          Robert- OK, but where would those instructions for jurisdictions belong? In Chapter 11 or in this places chapter?

          Since I think we’d be suggesting that instructions for jurisdictions would be incorporated into a chapter that’s primarily about something else (either corporate body or places), how would you identify/separate the instructions for jurisdictions? Right now, they’re presented as (essentially) a 2nd option or condition for place names. Is this what we’d like to see changed?

          • Robert Bratton says:

            Kathy, I can discuss this with AALL colleagues, but my gut is that Chapter 11 is probably the best place for instructions about jurisdictions. That’s where the instructions for conferences are. I don’t think it is any more of a stretch to say jurisdictions are a type of corporate body if conferences are considered to be.

        • Robert L. Maxwell says:

          I think the “holy duopoly” problem can be solved if we simply consider a jurisdiction (a corporate body) to have a *relationship* with a place. Usually a very tight relationship with a place. Perhaps this would be a core relationship for jurisdictions. (Remember core means if applicable and readily ascertainable so if a jurisdiction did not in fact have a relationship with a specific place no such relationship would need to be recorded).

      • Robert Bratton says:

        One of the quirks of jurisdictions… Read the LC/PCC PS at RDA which begins with: “This Policy Statement represents a long-standing practice in the U.S. context, not a principled approach to constructing authorized access points for jurisdictions.”

        There was much discussion of this at one of the Committee meetings at the AALL conference and I STILL don’t really understand it completely.

        But I will point out that in existing practice:

        Hawaii (Kingdom)
        Hawaii (Republic)

        are cross refs (variants) of: Hawaii

        Which is the complete opposite of following the instructions for preferred names of corporate bodies.

        • John Myers says:

          I commented above regarding construction of access points that I favored a more principled approach to our current “hodge-podge” of cases. This seems another area where we may have an opportunity to establish a principled approach in the main rule, abandoning the primacy of Anglo-American practice, and allowing such practice to be represented as an alternative.

  18. Kathy Glennan says:

    In various places, the draft instruction text conflates instructions for naming a place with those for naming an agent (see “Using Access Points to Identify Places” on p. 4, and the reference to 8.5 under “General Guidelines on Recording Names of Places”, also on p. 4).

    This does not seem right; instead the appropriate supporting chapters/instructions also need to be developed. In the case of the reference to 8.5, that would mean developing the as-yet-unpopulated Chapter 12, or its moral equivalent.

    • Kathy Glennan says:

      I now see that the WG has suggested incorporating places into Section 6 (Recording Relationships to Persons, Families, & Corporate Bodies) and Section 9 (Recording Relationships Between Persons, Families, & Corporate Bodies)

      Do we agree with the this approach, which would expand the scope (and instructions) of those sections? Or do we think those specific sections should remain exclusive to Agents (persons, families & corporate bodies)? (Does anyone have an idea about how the FR consolidation is planning to model place vs. agent?)

      • Robert L. Maxwell says:

        Yes, I think place should be able to record relationships to persons, families, and corporate bodies, and vice versa. In other words, relationships should be possible across sections of RDA. This would have broader application than just persons, families, and corporate bodies to places–we ought to be able to record relationships between a work or expression and a place, for example. Or a manifestation and a place (e.g. place of publication).

        (I suggested above solving the “duopoly” problem by recording a relationship between a jurisdiction and a place, that is, a corporate body relationship to a place).

    • Kathy Glennan says:

      Posted on behalf of John Attig

      I don’t yet have a clear sense of where the Place entity fits into the emerging FRBR LRM. I think all of the suggestions made are possible, but it is not clear which one is most compatible with the new model. Further point, remember that it is not only the instructions for identifying attributes (and access points) for the Place entity, but also of the Related Place relationship and its associated relationship designators.

  19. Kathy Glennan says:

    Regarding “Different Language Forms of the Same Name” (p. 7), does anyone know why the current Chapter 16 instructions limit this to “language forms”? The equivalents in Chapter 9 & 11 are broader: “different forms”, which includes, but is not limited to different language forms.

    Do the draft instructions adequately address how to select the preferred name when two different ones are available in the same language? An example: Waimea, HI is also known as Kamuela, HI — to help differentiate it from the other Hawaiian places named Waimea. (,_Hawaii_County,_Hawaii)

  20. Kathy Glennan says:

    It appears to me that the draft instructions have largely omitted, Places with the Same Name.

    This is partly addressed by the proposed “Place Names that Include a Distinguishing Word or Phrase” on p. 10, and partly by instructions about creating AAPs.

    The question I have (as a music cataloger!) is whether or not the proposed instructions adequately address the “same name for different places in the same larger place” problem — especially the current 2nd paragraph in Is this distinction only needed in AAPs? Based on the core statement at “Place Associated with the Place” on p. 17, I wouldn’t think so. However, do the instructions there cover the situation in the 2nd paragraph of

    Any/all clarifications welcomed!

    • Kathy Glennan says:

      Posted on behalf of John Attig

      For all entities, the preferred name or preferred title is not necessarily disambiguated from all other names and titles. RDA says that the entire description (i.e., all the attributes) of an entity should make it unique; and the instructions for AAPs assume that those will be unique.

      The reason why was included was that (a) there were no instructions for constructing AAPs for places, and (b) the instructions for naming jurisdictions called for using the name of the place as determined in Chapter 16 — so that preferred place name needed to be unique. That is no longer true now that there are instructions for constructing AAPs for places. Perhaps these new instructions could go further in allowing additions to the preferred name (cf., Type of Family in Chapter 10), but I don’t think that it is necessary for the instructions on recording the preferred name to do all the work of creating unique names for places.

  21. Kathy Glennan says:

    Are we OK with moving the “Conventional Names of Governments” instruction from Chapter 11 (, Exceptions – Governments) to this new chapter on places?

    There’s a similar move under “Recording Date of Establishment”. The final paragraph & examples from have been moved here (p. 21).

    The same thing happens with the final paragraph and examples in & “Recording Date of Termination” in this draft.

    And, all of, Type of Jurisdiction, has been moved here (p. 23), with the final paragraph and examples going to p. 24-25.

    • Kathy Glennan says:

      Posted on behalf of John Attig

      If ALA prefers that the instructions for naming jurisdictions be in Chapter 11, then this means that any attributes relating to place as jurisdiction probably belong in Chapter 11 — even if jurisdiction and place remain the same entity, the use of the place name in naming a jurisdiction should still be part of the instructions for corporate bodies. This applies to a number of the attributes proposed here, as Kathy notes.

  22. Kathy Glennan says:

    Does anyone else think that it might be a good idea to use the phrase “… associated with the other place” on p. 17 and following?

  23. Kathy Glennan says:

    Regarding “Language of the Place” (p. 25): I think that language is better associated with agents than places.

    If it is retained here, I think it would be better to use the phrase “language associated with the place”.

    Obviously, this is another situation in which moving the “government” instructions to this chapter affects the elements and what should be recorded.

    • Robert L. Maxwell says:

      I think “language associated with the place” is a good element for place, in which we could record languages that are or have been spoken in a geographical place. If jurisdictions are separated off into the corporate body instructions there is already “language of the corporate body” that would work to record the language of the jurisdiction.

  24. Kathy Glennan says:

    Should we consider “Coordinates of the Place” as a sub-type of “identifier”?

    • Kathy Glennan says:

      Posted on behalf of John Attig

      First, I don’t think that Coordinates should be lumped with identifiers. RDA is moving (I hope) towards a linked-data definition of identifiers as linking devices, rather than alphanumeric identifying data used for retrieval. Coordinates are a special category of identifying data — machine-readable and highly structured, but NOT URIs.

      It should also be noted that the instructions for this element are terribly incomplete when compared with those in 7.4 for coordinates of a resource. From what is presented here, I would conclude that places could only be represented by a single coordinate point. This is like saying that the United States is a point and Washington, DC is another point and that we are attempting to answer whether Washington DC is in the United States by comparing those two points and observing that the two points do not coincide. Places — particularly large and non-jurisdictional places — need to be georeferenced by bounding boxes or polygons. That is the right way to support geospatial manipulation of geostatial data using coordinates. That is how GIS applications work. RDA should call for recording the data in a way that supports such applications.

  25. Kathy Glennan says:

    Note that the instructions related to jurisdictions in 11.13 have been moved to this proposed chapter.

    • Kathy Glennan says:

      The inclusion of the jurisdiction-related instructions in this draft places chapter is confusing to me, since one of the paragraphs in the introduction says “RDA instructions relating to the name of a government are better included in the treatment of the Corporate Body entity.”

      Have I misinterpreted this situation in the discussion paper, or is this statement inconsistent with the draft instructions?

  26. Tina Shrader says:

    There’s the support among my colleagues for the idea that the instructions for jurisdictions should align with the instructions for corporate bodies and that geographic locations should have their own, separate instructions.

    We also agree that places should have relationships to all of the different entities in RDA.

    We think that you could separate official language of a place which would be included with jurisdictions and languages spoken in a place which could associated with the geographic location and could be historical.

  27. Yoko Kudo says:

    A few notes from CC:AAM chair Charles Riley:

    p.1: ‘accommodate’ > ‘accommodates’
    p.14: need font support for Georgian, Nunavut, and four Albanian examples
    p.22: does ‘insurgent government’ include unrecognized separatist states, for example Azawad?
    p.27: ‘character string’ > ‘text string’?
    p.33: need font support for Georgian string

  28. Lori Robare says:

    From Adam Schiff:

    “A country associated with a place is a country in which the place is located” – I can give some examples where this doesn’t work.

    Cook Islands is a self-governing country in free association with New Zealand. Cook Islands citizens are also citizens of New Zealand. New Zealand is responsible for defense and foreign affairs, but Cook Islands actually has diplomatic relations in its own name with 43 other countries as if 2014. Cook Islands is not located in New Zealand, and is not part of New Zealand – it’ in “free association” with N.Z.

    Tokelau is a territory of New Zealand closer to Fiji and American Samoa than it is to New Zealand. Tokelauans are also citizens of New Zealand.

    Gibraltar is a British overseas territory. If it is located within a country, that would be Spain (or so Spain would claim). As a territory, it has Great Britain as an associated place (or maybe really as an associated government?).

    In each of these examples, there is an associated country, but that country is not added to the name of the place as a qualifier. You can think of many other examples of overseas territories that are similar to Tokelau and Gibraltar.

    • Robert L. Maxwell says:

      Just because it isn’t included in the qualifier doesn’t mean it can’t be recorded in the *element*. The instructions for construction of the access point need to be kept separate from the instructions for recording the elements. I should think in all these cases it would be appropriate to record the country associated with the jurisdiction in the element (MARC 370) even if it isn’t part of the authorized access point.

  29. Lori Robare says:

    From Kevin Randall:

    I support the idea that places and jurisdictions should be treated as separate entities, with separate instructions, and relationships between them. This would be a very significant change, and perhaps very tricky as long as we’re tied to using AAPs, but it seems the only logical way to go.

    Re Kathy’s comment “Does anyone else think that it might be a good idea to use the phrase “… associated with the other place” on p. 17 and following?” — No, instead it should be “Other place associated with the place” on page 17. That is because “place” in the phrase “associated with the place” refers to the place being described.

  30. Lori Robare says:

    More comments from Adam Schiff:

    Page 3: “The variant name or names for the place are used as the basis for variant access points.” If adhered to, this would invalidate numerous 451s in LC/NACO RDA authority records. For example:

    151 Delhi (India : Union Territory)
    451 Delhi (India : State)

    151 Island County (Wash.)
    451 Island County (Oregon Territory)

    151 Paraná (Brazil : State)
    451 Paraná (Brazil : Province)

    151 Quintana Roo (Mexico : State)
    451 Quintana Roo (Mexico : Territory)

    151 Bahia (Brazil : State)
    451 Bahia (Brazil : Captaincy)
    451 Bahia (Brazil : Province)

    151 Hawaii
    451 Hawaii (Kingdom)
    451 Hawaii (Republic)
    451 Hawaii (State)
    451 Hawaii (Territory)


    “The names of places are commonly used in the following ways:
    • as additions to titles of works:

    Shouldn’t this be something like “as additions to titles of works to distinguish between works with the same title”?

    • in recording places associated with a person ….

    Should works also be included here? And possibly expressions? You can record a place of origin of a work without needing to include in the authorized access point for the work.


    “Places include places named in sacred scriptures or apocryphal books …”

    If the JSC approves including this, then examples throughout the rest of the instructions will be needed.


    Page 5: “If a place changes its name, choose a new preferred name …”

    Instructions are needed about what to do when a place name reverts to a former name. For example:

    Saint Petersburg, Russia was founded in 1703, then became Petrograd from 1914-1924, then changed to Leningrad from 1924-1991, and in 1991 reverted back to Saint Petersburg. Does RDA mandate that there are two different entities named Saint Petersburg, or one? In LC/NACO there is only one record for Saint Petersburg (Russia). Would a strict following of these instructions require two NARs?: Saint Petersburg (Russia : 1703-1914) and Saint Petersburg (Russia : 1991- )


    “The preferred name for the place is also used: …”

    Place of origin of work appears to be missing from here.


    Page 9: Alternative: This is footnoted as applying to PCC subject usage. But I think it muddles PCC subject usage with descriptive usage. Sri Lanka and Ceylon are both valid for use as descriptive access points (e.g., for laws from one of these jurisdictions). I think application of this alternative as written would mean that for laws enacted by the government of Ceylon, you would use Sri Lanka as the creator? That is probably not the intent but it appears to be what the instruction is saying.


    Page 10:

    First group of examples: I think a U.S. county example would be useful here. E.g.: Tillamook County


    Page 17:

    Examples at top of page: suggest adding one or more of examples of this sort:

    City of Albuquerque
    Name recorded as preferred name: Albuquerque

    County of Maniototo
    Name recorded as preferred name: Maniototo County

    Province of Santa Elena
    Provincia de Santa Elena
    Santa Elena Province
    Name recorded as preferred name: Santa Elena


    Page 18:

    The examples under “Recording Country Associated with the Place” are simple ones. What about places in Australia, U.S., Canada, and U.K.? How about adding examples like these:

    United States
    Preferred name recorded as: Louisiana

    Preferred name recorded as: Winnipeg

    Preferred name recorded as: Corangamite Shire

    Preferred name recorded as: Klahoose First Nation

    If the definition of “Country Associated with the Place” is broadened, then examples like these could be added:

    New Zealand
    Preferred name recorded as: Cook Islands. A self-governing country in free association with New Zealand

    Preferred name recorded as: Curaçao. A constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

    Alternative under Recording Other Jurisdiction is confusing to see two different practices shown in examples. Normally throughout RDA examples do not show the application of alternatives from other instructions.


    Page 19:

    First paragraph: “county town” – not familiar with this term. It seems to be the U.K. equivalent to what we call in the U.S. “county seat”. Perhaps change “county town” to “county town/seat”.

    The name for this element seems way to broad for the definition/scope for it. I’m also not sure why this is an element rather than a relationship. Might this better be handled as a relationship?, e.g.:

    151 France
    551 $i Capital: $a Paris (France) $w r

    151 Paris (France)
    551 $i Capital of: $a France $w r

    or in non-MARC:

    see also
    Capital: Paris (France)

    Paris (France)
    see also
    Capitol of: France

    Under the Alternative there is no example of a city section.

    Toronto (Ontario)
    Preferred name recorded as: Cabbagetown

    16.4 Date Associated with the Place

    See my comments above on Saint Petersburg. Would there be one record for Saint Petersburg, Russia with two sets of dates, or two records each with one set of dates?


    Page 20:

    The scope of the element says “significant date” but maybe should say “significant date or dates”. Also not clear if centuries are covered by “period of existence”.

    In the instructions on recording dates, there doesn’t seem to be any way to record a single century when the exact dates within the century are not known. Can you just record, say, 17th century?


    Page 22:

    Scope of “Other Designation Associated with the Place”: I think it would be better to say “constitutional, legal, or other status of a place” to give a little more leeway.

    Page 23:

    Perhaps add:

    Preferred name recorded as: Cabbagetown. Type of jurisdiction recorded by an agency in Canada


    Page 26:

    Perhaps one or both of these additional history note examples:

    The city of Ballard in King County, Washington was incorporated in January 1890 and existed from 1890-1907. It was consolidated with the city of Seattle on May 29, 1907, becoming one of Seattle’s neighborhoods.
    History of the place for Ballard

    Joint Base Lewis-McChord is a joint military base of the United States Army and Air Force located in Pierce and Thurston Counties in Washington State. It was established on February 1, 2010 through the merger of two previously separate but geographically contiguous military bases: the Army’s Fort Lewis and the Air Force’s McChord Air Force Base.
    History of the place for Joint Base Lewis-McChord


    Coordinates of the Place: The instructions only seem to provide for recording a single point, rather than a bounding box or even more complex coordinates. continues much better instructions that allow for bounding boxes, and 7.4.3 has instructions for identifying the precise area covered by using coordinates for each vertex of a polygon. At a minimum, the instructions in ought to be included so that bounding boxes can be recorded. There’s a great tool for getting bounding box information:

    Here are a few examples that could be added if these instructions are retained and expanded beyond just recording single points:

    E 29°18ʹ05ʺ–E 29°24ʹ33ʺ/S 3°17ʹ50ʺ–S 3°27ʹ11ʺ
    Coordinates for Bujumbura, Burundi

    W 62°04ʹ00ʺ–W 60°17ʹ00ʺ/N 11°33’00ʺ–N 9°52’00ʺ
    W 61°55ʹ00ʺ–W 60°29ʹ00ʺ/N 11°21ʹ00ʺ–N 10°02ʹ00ʺ
    Coordinates for Trinidad and Tobago from two different sources

    Page 27:

    The Alternative seems to mean that you can only record either degrees/minutes/seconds or decimal degrees. The instructions should be written so that you can do either or both.


    Page 28:

    Add example under General Guidelines for something like this: Kanawha County

    In the example group that goes from the bottom of p. 28 to top of p. 29, it would be good to have an example such as:

    New York (State)
    Washington (State)

    The instructions for adding qualifiers are not clear, particularly when it comes to places in U.S., Canada, Australia, and U.K. On pages 28-29 there are these examples:

    Dorset (England)
    Darwin (Northern Territory)
    Jasper (Alberta)
    Hyde Park (Chicago, Illinois)
    and so forth

    It’s not at all clear why one would choose (Northern Territory) for Darwin over (Australia).

    Page 29:

    Under Associated Country, couldn’t these be valid examples?:

    Saskatchewan (Canada)
    New Orleans (United States) [Note: I’ve verified in GNIS that New Orleans is the name of just one place in the U.S.]

    Under the Alternative, couldn’t this be a valid example:

    New Orleans (Louisiana, United States)

    Page 30:

    I find the instruction on Names of Intermediate Places confusing, and not sure how it is different from the Alternative under Associated Countries. There is no element called “Intermediate Place”. Since the instruction says “country or larger jurisdiction” it’s not clear how this relates to the previous instructions and when you would follow the alternative there instead. This whole section seems muddled to me. I would also expect to see the same Swiss examples illustrated in the alternative on page 31 to contrast the two alternatives.

    Page 31:

    Under type of jurisdiction, some of the examples don’t fit with the instruction. The instruction says “if the addition of the name of the country or larger jurisdiction is insufficient …” but many of the examples do not have a country or larger jurisdiction added at all, so the instruction doesn’t match. Maybe the instruction should say:
    “If the addition of the name of the country or larger jurisdiction is insuffient or there is no appropriate country or larger jurisdiction that can be added…” Otherwise I don’t see how the Darmstadt and Westphalia examples fit under this instruction.


    Date Associated with the Place: see my Saint Petersburg comments up above. Are these both valid RDA access points?:

    Saint Petersburg (Russia : 1703-1914)
    Saint Petersburg (Russia : 1991- )

  31. Robert Bratton says:

    Places and jurisdictions have always been a mess in MARC, and I fear the results of converting this metadata.

    If you search the authority file for “United States” as a subject and then search it as a corporate body, you get different results. United States as a corporate entity is the identical authority record as United States as a subject (151), but all of the AAPS that live under the “umbrella” of corporate United States are encoded as 110s.

    The long standing U.S. practice for AAPs for jurisdictions is (by the Policy Statement’s own admission) not principled: “LC practice/PCC practice: This Policy Statement represents a long-standing practice in the U.S. context, not a principled approach to constructing authorized access points for jurisdictions”–RDA If we want to maintain this practice, can we make it principled?

    I don’t think the jurisdiction of Pennsylvania needs to be changed to “Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.” However, I cannot comprehend asserting that the Kingdom of Hawaii, the Republic of Hawaii, and the U.S. state of Hawaii are the same entity.

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