In this topic:

C4.1.  Name authority records


C4.2.  Series authorities


C4.3.  Subject authorities


C4.4.  Communication


C4.5.  Documentation

The Library of Congress realized some time ago that it was unable to catalog all items and to establish all headings needed by libraries in the United States.  As a result, the Name Authority Cooperative (NACO) Program was begun in 1977 to foster development of the LC/NACO Authority File through cooperative contributions of name and series authority records.  Cooperative Subject Cataloging Projects (CSCP) was begun in 1983 to foster development of LCSH through cooperative contributions of proposals for new subject headings and changes to existing subject headings.  The CSCP is now known as the Subject Authority Cooperative (SACO) Program.  Both programs are currently carried out within the Cooperative Programs Section, Cooperative and Instructional Programs Division at the Library of Congress.

This chapter addresses procedures related to authority records to be followed by full and associate CONSER participants that have completed the initial training and review period for CONSER (see A4.6).

All new CONSER records carry RDA forms of name or series (FN 1), whether or not that form of name has an equivalent authority record.  The authentication code will indicate whether authority records are available for all headings in a record (see C1, C2, and 042).

Bibliographic records containing names or series for which the authority work is being provided by the CONSER participant are authenticated with the code "pcc".

C4.1.  Name authority records

C4.1.1.  Background and scope

CONSER cooperation in the area of name authority records (NARs) began in the summer of 1981, with three CONSER participants submitting NARs as part of the NACO Project.

Since April 1988, the technical responsibility for the NARs contributed by participants resides in the Cooperative Programs Section at LC.

C4.1.2.  Establishing an authoritative form of name

CONSER participants apply RDA and LC-PCC Policy Statements in the formulation of name headings and cross references.  The participants follow the procedures in the Descriptive Cataloging Manual (DCM Z1) to prepare the associated NARs.

As part of establishing a name, the LC/NACO Authority File and LC bibliographic files, as found on OCLC or the LC ILS, must be searched to determine whether the name has already been established.

Participants also identify LC monograph records or CONSER records that contain the name being established and, if necessary, change the name on the CONSER records.  The monograph records are reported to NACO for modification by LC.

C4.1.3.  Canadian headings  [See also C12.5]

Follow instructions in DCM Z1 to create and contribute the NAR based on the information found in the resource being cataloged.

As of August 2012 LC and PCC catalogers creating RDA name authority records are not required to search Library and Archives Canada (LAC) to determine the form of the authorized access point for either personal or corporate names.  In cases of conflict, etc. a search for the LAC form of name may be conducted in the VIAF ( or other databases.

C4.1.4.  Difficult and problem name headings

If a participant has difficulty in establishing or updating a name heading due to complexities having to do with the language or related established headings, the participant may create or update the record and ask their institution's NACO liaison to review it.  A listing of LC Cooperative Programs Sections staff acting as PCC liaisons is available from:  When necessary the appropriate surrogates are sent along with the request.

Alternatively, the institution can input a minimal level bibliographic record authenticated as "msc", and not attempt to make a name authority record.  The participant may not, however, code as "msc" any record with a heading that conflicts with an existing NAR.  If a heading appears in a 410 field on a NAR and the heading is also a valid form of the name, the heading is separately established, the cross reference removed, and the record coded as "pcc".  If the heading cannot be established by the cataloging institution, the NAR may be referred to the institution's NACO liaison along with all available documentation.

C4.1.5.  NARs review and verification

Independent NACO status is required prior to joining CONSER as full or associate members.  A designated trainer reviews all or a sampling of NARs submitted by the CONSER participant during their initial training period.  Once in independent status, a participant may ask their institution's NACO liaison to review NARs when having difficulty in establishing or updating a name heading. (See C4.1.4.)

C4.2.  Series authorities

CONSER participants create SARs online under the technical direction of their NACO series reviewer.  To find out more about options for PCC series training, working with a series reviewer and contact information for PCC series questions and records see:

C4.3.  Subject authorities

Optionally, CONSER participants submit new subject headings and revisions to subject headings for LCSH.

C4.3.1.  Background

CONSER libraries have had the opportunity to contribute to LCSH since the Library of Congress issued an invitation in the Summer 1988 Cataloging Service Bulletin for interested individuals to begin submitting proposals.  CONSER libraries were further encouraged to contribute proposals at the 1993 Subject Seminar.

C4.3.2.  Establishing subject headings

Libraries interested in contributing proposals for new subject headings and changes to existing subject headings for LCSH should follow instructions provided on the SACO home page:  Inquiries about the proposal process may be sent to:

C4.4.  Communication

Participants may communicate with LC via electronic mail, telephone, or fax.

Cooperative Programs Section NACO liaisons (telephone numbers and email addresses):

NACO queries:

SACO queries:

CONSER queries:

Cooperative Programs Section Fax:  202-252-2082

Problems that are difficult to resolve via the phone are mailed or faxed with appropriate documentation to the participants.  Responses can be through whatever means is preferred by the participant.

C4.5.  Documentation

NACO supplies CONSER/NACO participants with a single set of DCMs and LC-PCC Policy Statements.  For additional documentation, tools, rules, etc., consult the NACO Web site at

Related fields, etc.

A4, C1, C2, C12, 042

See also:

Section C.  Procedures and Instructions

CONSER Editing Guide:  Contents