These instructions address the creation and update of name and series authority records (NARs and SARs).  They do not address subject authority records.  For the purposes of this document, "authority record" applies to both name and series authority records.  "Authority file" applies only to the name and series authority records that constitute the LC/NACO authority file (LC/NAF).

LC staff members and libraries participating in the Name Authority Cooperative (NACO) component of the Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC) contribute records to the authority file.

In constructing authorized access points, variants, and recording information, NACO participants and LC catalogers not working in the LC Database may make use of all records in the file against which the searching and cataloging is being done:  OCLC, British Library, SkyRiver, etc.  NACO participants may choose to use only LC records found in the file being searched.  For LC catalogers working in the LC Database, the file is the set of records comprising the "LC database" (see the 670 section of this document).  In this document, "database" refers to whatever file is being used for searching and cataloging.

Use this document (DCM Z1) in connection with RDA: Resource Description and Access, Library of Congress-Program for Cooperative Cataloging Policy Statements (LC-PCC PS), and other sections of the Descriptive Cataloging Manual (DCM).  This document supplements the MARC 21 Format for Authority Data and generally does not repeat information found in the format.  The examples are given in MARC 21 style; an exception is the use of a blank space before and after the delimiter/subfield code combination.  The symbol "#" represents a blank in an indicator position; the symbol "$" is used for the delimiter.

This Introduction covers the following topics:

Name authority records (NARs)

Series authority records (SARs)

Justification of access points and elements

Additions and changes to authority records

NACO normalization

Should an SAR be made?

How many SARs should be made?

Series statement appears only on ECIP data view at galley stage

Searching series

Name authority records (NARs)

A name authority record has the following basic contents:  1) the authorized access point (MARC 21 field 1XX), 2) the sources for justification of the authorized access point, including additions that are part of the authorized access point, variant access points, some identifying elements, and 3) any related access points used to express relationships (MARC 21 fields 4XX/5XX).  Additional information may be recorded in fixed fields (008) and in note areas of the authority record (MARC 21 fields 667, 675 or 678).  Optional MARC fields such as 046 and 3XX may also be given.  Control data and content designation are also included for proper identification and manipulation of the data.

NARs are not made for personal names when the only clue to the person's identity is a non-alphabetic or non-numeric device, topical subject headings, or geographic features.  Under RDA, a name may be used and an authority record may be created for entities that were formerly only used as subjects, such as family names, fictional characters and non-human entities (e.g., animals) when these purport to be responsible for the creation of, contribution to, etc., a work or expression.

Generally, make a name authority record for any person, corporate entity (including geographic), or family name that may be used as an access point in a bibliographic record, whether the name is actually first used as a descriptive or subject access point.  Under certain LC workflow procedures, e.g., Minimal Level Cataloging, an authority record may not be created for every access point assigned.

NACO libraries are not obligated to contribute authority records for every access point generated by their cataloging.  However, any NAR contributed to the LC/NAF must have all necessary elements of the access point established in the following cases:

All bodies that are part of an established hierarchy; e.g., when establishing a corporate entity that is entered subordinate to its parent body, the parent body must also be established.  In other words, if an NAR for the parent body or an intervening subunit is not present in the LC/NAF, it must be established.  This means that more than one NAR will be created for the LC/NAF, and some of those authorized access points may not be used in bibliographic records.

All bodies added to the NAR to reflect a relationship with the 1XX; e.g., if an entity is entered independently and a variant form is given through a higher body or bodies, the higher body/bodies needs to be represented in the authority file as well.  Thus, catalogers may need to create other NARs in addition to the one needed for use in the catalog even if that name is not used on a bibliographic record.

All names and corporate bodies used in a related entry (5XXs) must also be represented in the authority file.  For example, when establishing a name for an author who uses a pseudonym, or a corporate authorized access point representing an earlier and later change of name, the cataloger will need to connect the authorized access point by means of see also references.  In order to avoid blind references, the cataloger will need to make sure that the corresponding authorized access point is established.

Jurisdictional names used as additions to a 1XX must also be established before they can be used.  For example, when using the name of a city as a qualifier for a corporate body, the city must be represented in the authority file.

Certain elements of a name/title access point must also be established; e.g., when an NAR for the conventional collective title "Works" is created under an author who is not established in the LC/NAF, an NAR for the author must be contributed as well.

Additional guidelines for the creation of titles of works or expressions are listed below.

For titles or name/titles, an authority record is often made when one or more of the conditions listed below applies.  Apply these criteria to each element of the full access point (main title, language, part, etc.) and make a separate authority record for each element that meets the criteria.

1.   a reference will be traced on that authority record;

2.   research done to establish that authorized access point must be recorded;

3.   the authorized access point is needed for a related work access point or subject entry and the related work is not represented by a bibliographic record in the LC database, or, for serials, by a CONSER record in OCLC;

4.   certain information needs to be recorded, e.g., citation title for a law.

NOTE:  Currently, authority records are not automatically created for each element of an authorized access point for a work or expression, e.g., when creating a name/title NAR for an expression record such as:  Queneau, Raymond, $d 1903-1976. $t Fleurs bleues. $l English it is not necessary to create an NAR for the work record:  Queneau, Raymond, $d 1903-1976. $t Fleurs bleues.

LC/PCC catalogers may contribute name authority records for works or expressions as needed for cataloging.

Authority records for works and expressions may also be created even if none of the four criteria listed above applies, e.g, when considered important to record identifying elements in 3XX fields.

An authority record for a name/title or a title access point is not required when the preferred title of the work and the title of the expression manifested are the same or would be the same due to normalization.  An authority record may be created for these expressions but 4XXs that represent the original work should not be added regardless of whether they are represented by existing NARs or 1XX/245 combinations.


100  1#  $a Allende, Isabel. $t Eva Luna. $l English


400  1#  $a Allende, Isabel. $t Eva Luna

[Variant not added because that form represents the authorized access point for the work.]

LC music cataloging practice:  As of August 16, 1999, authority records are created for ALL title and name/title headings.  When a name/title see also reference needs to be made, make an authority record for the name/title referred from if such a record had not been made in accordance with the above guidelines.

Series authority records (SARs)

LC series practice:  As of June 1, 2006, LC does not create or update SARs.

PCC series practice:  Transcription of the series statement is mandatory if applicable.  Searching for series authority records, tracing the series, and the creation and maintenance of series authority records are optional.

Creation of series authority records is optional for PCC libraries, but any series that is traced in a PCC bibliographic record (8XX field) must be supported by a series authority record.  For record-keeping purposes, it is recommended that series authority records be created whenever a PCC library decides to class together an analyzed numbered series or multipart monograph, whether or not the series is traced in bibliographic records.

A series-like phrase record also can be made to record information of general interest or application, e.g., the 1XX in the record is an imprint rather than a title.

A series authority record has the following basic contents:  1) type of series code (i.e., monographic series, analyzable multipart item, a serial other than a monographic series, series-like phrase), 2) form of authorized access point, 3) series treatment (classification, analysis, and tracing), 4) series numbering, 5) an LC call number, if classified as a collection, 6) place of publication and publisher/issuing body, 7) the source(s) on which the form of series authorized access point is based, 8) cross references leading to the authorized access point from variant forms and from/to related authorized access points.  Additional information may be recorded in fixed fields and in note areas of the authority record.  Control data and content designation are also included for proper identification and manipulation of data.

Until 1983, series authority records created at LC, for the most part, reflected solely LC holdings and practices.  However, now the authority file is a national authority file, and LC catalogers do not consult, create or update SARs.  SARs in the national authority file now serve primarily to accommodate the holdings and practices of other institutions.

Series treatment information reflects institution-specific decisions.  Therefore, the fields containing series treatment information require the identification of institution(s) following that practice.  Also, series treatment decisions in an institution can change, certain series treatment fields provide the means for indicating variations in practice within an institution.

In August, 2008, the PCC Steering Committee approved a recommendation to allow the creation of post-cataloging series authority records.  The intent is to allow libraries to do series authority control after cataloging without the piece in hand when authority control was not done at the time of cataloging.  When a title is first cataloged, the series statement in the bibliographic record is formulated while examining the piece.  Post-cataloging authority records are created based on that series statement by catalogers who are fully trained and authorized to contribute series authorities.  The authority file must be consulted at that time to prevent conflicts, add qualifiers, etc.  It is recognized that SARs created post-cataloging may lack some references, so they are to be coded as preliminary records.  They must also have a nonpublic general note indicating their origins.  The authorized form is then added as a series tracing to the bibliographic record.

Series authority records may be for works or expressions.  Catalogers should do their best not to mix FRBR entities on the same series authority record.  Elements that are specifically expression-related should not be added into work authority records and work-related elements should not be added into expression authority records.  For example, since form of work (380 field) is a work element, it should not be added to a series authority record that represents an expression of a work (e.g., an English translation).

Use judgment in deciding whether to also record any attribute used as a qualifier in an authorized access point as a separate element (using MARC 21 046 and 3XX fields) and whether to record additional identifying elements (those not needed for differentiation) as separate elements.

When recording attributes as separate elements, prefer to use terms from controlled vocabularies.

Justification of access points and elements

The preferred form of name or title, additions in the authorized and variant access points, and other identifying elements recorded in the 046 or 3XX fields generally should be justified using one of the methods described in the 046 and 670 sections of this document.  When the information recorded is obvious from the 1XX form or the 670 field for the work for which the authority record is being established, additional justification is not needed.  When updating an authority record, additional justification is not needed if already present or obvious in the existing fields.  For example, if the preferred title for the work is Best short stories, it is not necessary to provide additional justification when recording "Short stories" as a form of work recorded in the 380 field.

For specific information about justification of data recorded in a 046 or a 3XX, see the instructions for that field and the 670 section in this document.

Additions and changes to authority records

Almost as common as the need for a new authority record is the need to alter an existing record.  New information can be received in various ways (e.g., new cataloging, investigation in response to a query) and may be significant enough to add to the permanent authority record.

Normally a new reference or a change in the authorized access point must be justified by the addition of new information to the authority record.  Many other types of data can be added to the authority record when judged useful for proper identification.

In order to minimize the impact of database maintenance with associated bibliographic records and/or related authority records, catalogers are urged to refrain from making unnecessary changes to 1XXs.  Although there are guidelines in the RDA instructions and/or LC-PCC PSs that indicate when changes are or are not necessary, the necessity for other changes may be evident only to the agency making the change (for example, to break a conflict when the searching universe for the changing agency and the agency observing the change are different).  Assume that such changes are valid.

Change an authority record when an error in the authorized access point or in a variant access point is discovered.  When the published work for an item cataloged through the CIP program shows a change in the form of name of a person, corporate body, preferred title, or series, change the authority record; add the published source after the CIP source in the 670 field to document the change.  Changes in the imprint date, choice of a primary access point, and title proper do not require changes to authority records created for CIP items.

NACO normalization

When a new authority record is added to the name authority file or when a new 4XX field is added to an existing NAR, each new access point is compared against access points already in the file to determine whether the new access point is adequately differentiated from existing authorized access points.  All partners involved in the exchange of LC/NAF authority data have agreed to a specific set of rules for normalization, and these rules are posted at:  Name authority records are not compared against subject authority records.

Briefly, the process of normalization removes all diacritics and most punctuation, and converts all letters to uppercase and all modified letters to their unmodified equivalents.  Subfield delimiters and subfield codes are retained in the normalized form excluding subfields $w and $i.  The normalized form of the name differs from the authorized form of the name as an access point. 


Authorized form:

Île-de-Montréal (Québec)

Normalized form:



Authorized form:

Smith-Jackson, Tonya L.

Normalized form:


The only mark of punctuation that is retained during normalization is the first comma in subfield $a.  This exception means that the following examples of similar access points normalize to different forms.


Authorized form:

Chung, Hui

Normalized form:



Authorized form:


Normalized form:


To conform to the NACO standard, participants must adhere to the following policies:

Authorized access points.  If access points do not differ after character normalization rules have been applied, they are considered to conflict and must be further distinguished.

Variants.  Do not trace a 4XX variant that normalizes to the same character string as an existing authorized access point in the 1XX in the LC/NAF, including the access point in the record to which the variant is made.  This policy also applies to the linking variants to forms of the name created under previous cataloging rules (see 4XX See From Tracings).  If a linking variant and the access point in the same record normalize to the same form, do not trace a 4XX linking variant.

4XX variant access points are allowed to conflict across records, but a 4XX variant access point should not conflict with another 4XX on the same record.  Apply these guidelines to variants on new authority records and to existing authority records when making some other change to the record.

Should an SAR be made?

When a series authority record is needed for the same entity represented by an existing NAR (usually a name/title NAR), convert the NAR into an SAR by updating the 008/12, 008/13, and 008/16 values, adding 64X fields, and making other changes, as appropriate.

Series authority records should not be made for the following categories:

1.   a republication that does not include the original series statement (see "Republications" section of 64X Series Treatment – General Information);

2.   generally, a periodical (includes several separate articles by several contributors, frequency of publication more often than annual, and usually has both numeric and chronological designations) even if the issue in hand consists of a single contribution (e.g., a festschrift, proceedings of a conference) or may have a special title giving the overall theme of the issue.  An SAR should however be created in cases where a PCC monographic record is being created for a single issue of the periodical, and an authorized access point for the series is needed;

3.   a hardcover (sometimes even softcover) edition of a selected issue of a periodical.

Several publishers (e.g., Haworth Press, Pergamon Press) publish separate editions, with special titles, of selected issues of their periodicals.  These editions are published in addition to the unbound issues received by subscribers.

Do not consider such a separate edition to be an integral part of the periodical; do not prepare an SAR.  Make a separate bibliographic record for it.  Add a note explaining its relationship to the periodical, e.g., "Published also as v. 15, no. 2 of the Journal of children in contemporary society."  Optionally, give a related work authorized access point for the periodical on the bibliographic record (cf. RDA

It is not always clear, especially at CIP galley stage, whether the item in hand is an integral part of the periodical or a separate edition.  Some publishers make clear statements, e.g., saying the title "has also been published as [title of journal], v. _____, no. ____."  Others make ambiguous or misleading statements, e.g., saying that the edition is "Published as a special issue of the journal _____________, v. _____, no. _____ and supplied to subscribers as part of their normal subscription."  The latter statement seems to indicate that the volume in hand is the only one issued and constitutes an integral part of the periodical.  If the information given in the item is ambiguous, check the issue of the periodical or contact the publisher.

How many SARs should be made?

Because the entities represented by series authority records offer limitless possibilities for variation and change, it is sometimes difficult to determine how many authority records should exist.

1.   How many authority records are made if the title or the series-like phrase changes?

Is the change in the series-like phrase or in the title proper of the monographic series/other serial a major change or a minor change?  (Consult RDA and associated LC-PCC PS.)  If it is a major change, make a new SAR.  If it is a minor change, give a 670 citation and a 4XX reference for the different form.

Is a separate SAR made when the title of a multipart item changes?  No; give the other title proper as a 4XX reference.

2.   How many authority records are made if the volumes of a monographic series are in different languages?  Consult LC-PCC PS 6.27 and LC-PCC PS 24.6, Section I, One or Several Series Access Points, Language editions.

3.   How many authority records are made if the same volumes in a series are published separately in the same language by different publishers (e.g., a publisher in the U.S. and a publisher in England)?  Create one SAR if the volumes in the series are published separately in the same language by multiple publishers in different countries, but constitute the same expression of the work, and there is a consistent correspondence in the numbering of parts.

4.   How many authority records are made if the volumes of a monographic series switch from having numbers to lacking numbers and vice versa?  Consult LC-PCC PS 6.27 and LC-PCC PS 24.6, Section I, One or Several Series Access Points, Changes in numbering.

5.   How many authority records are made for main series and subseries?  Consult LC-PCC PS, LC-PCC PS 6.27, and LC-PCC PS 24.6, Section H, Main Series and Subseries.

6.   Has there been a change in responsibility (i.e., different person/body, body's name changes, uniform title changes)?  Consult RDA 6.1.3 and associated LC-PCC PSs at and

7.   When reestablishing a series, is the apparent difference between the "earlier" form of title and the current title due to different transcription practices?  If so, make only one SAR.  Optionally, give the "earlier" form as a 4XX/667 old catalog heading (see 4XX See From Tracings).

Possibilities include the following:

a.   A change in the ALA/LC policy for romanization or word division results in a different title.

130  #0  $a Makedonikē vivliothē

430  #0  $w nna $a Makedonikē vivliothēkē

b.   The title is in a language containing a symbol or numeral that under earlier rules was replaced by the corresponding word or words.

130  #0  $a Soldatenschicksale des 20. Jahrhunderts als Geschichtsquellen

430  #0  $w nna $a Soldatenschicksale des zwanzigsten Jahrhunderts als Geschichtsquellen

c.   The title of the series was transcribed in truncated form under previous rules.

130  #0  $a Occasional papers of the California Academy of Sciences

410  2#  $w nnaa $a California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco. $t Occasional papers

d.   The series title consists solely of the name of a corporate body and the same form of the same series was under earlier rules considered to lack a title.

130  #0  $a Centre de recherches d'histoire ancienne (Series)

410  2#  $w nnaa $a Centre de recherches d'histoire ancienne. $t Publication

[Pre-AACR2 form of heading:  Centre de recherches d'histoire ancienne.  (Publication)]

e.   Evidence indicates that a word such as Bibliotheca, Collection, Edice was always present as the first word of the title but was not considered to constitute a part of the title proper.

8.   How many series-like phrase SARs are made for the same phrase used by different bodies?  There should be only one SAR.

No Existing SAR for Series-Like Phrase

If the authorized or variant access point for an undifferentiated phrase record would conflict with the access point for another entity, add the qualifier "(Series-like phrase)".

If the authorized or variant access point for an undifferentiated phrase record would consist of a combination of letters that is the same as an acronym/initialism or name of a corporate body, add the qualifier "(Series-like phrase)."

In non-conflict situations, variant access points may optionally be qualified by "(Series-like phrase)" or another qualifier if considered helpful for identifying the series-like phrase.

Give the 643 field as "Various places : various publishers."  Do not give a 667 for publisher variations.

Include the following 667 field: "Undifferentiated phrase record:  Covers all instances when this character string used by any publisher is considered to be a series-like phrase; if character string is considered to be a series, separate SAR has been made."

Existing SAR for Series-Like Phrase

If an SAR already exists, use it as an undifferentiated phrase record; delete from the existing authorized access point any qualifier.  If the resulting phrase conflicts with the authorized access point for another entity, add the qualifier "(Series like-phrase)."

If more than one SAR is found to exist for a series-like phrase, consolidate the authority records.  If the resulting phrase already conflicts with the authorized access point for another entity, add the qualifier "(Series-like phrase)."

Series statement appears only on ECIP data view at galley stage  (LC partner practice)

1.   Series is new to the Library.

Return the ECIP data view to a CIP program specialist with request that CIP return the data view to publisher to "refresh" associated text file to include the series information.

a.   When revised copy is received, establish series according to regular partner procedures.

b.   If revised copy is not received within five to eight work days, the ECIP Data Application will be deleted automatically from ECIP system and publisher will be required to resubmit in order to obtain CIP data for the item.  Cancel any CIP record which may have been created in the partner database.

2.   Series is already represented by an SAR.

a.   Series title on data view matches form of title in the SAR:  Transcribe the series statement without brackets in the bibliographic record.  Trace the series if appropriate according to regular partner procedures.

b.   Series title on ECIP data view is considered to be variant form of the title in the SAR:

(1)   Clarify the data with publisher, transcribe the series statement without brackets, and trace the series if appropriate according to regular partner procedures.

(2)  Add reference(s) to the SAR for any valid variant form.

c.   Series title on ECIP data view might represent a title change or situation might require a change in the access point from that in the SAR:

(1)   Clarify the data with publisher and, if appropriate according to regular partner procedures, return the CIP data view to CIP Division with request that CIP contact the publisher (see (1) above for procedures to follow).

(2)  When information from publisher is received, follow regular partner procedures and either add information and reference(s) to the existing SAR or create a new SAR as appropriate.

(3)  If information is not received within five to eight work days, the ECIP Data Application will be deleted automatically from the ECIP system and the publisher will be required to resubmit in order to obtain CIP data.  Cancel any CIP record which may have been created in the partner database.

3.   Series is represented by analytic bibliographic records but there is no SAR:  Create SAR for series according to regular partner procedures.

Searching series

Searching is the most important step in series processing.  You must determine whether your series is already represented in the database; if not, you must know what other series are already in the database so your series will "fit" and not conflict with descriptive access points on authority and bibliographic records (see RDA and associated LC-PCC PS).

Remember that the bibliographic records in the database include series handled under different cataloging codes.  Some of the differences affecting series access are summarized below.

Choice of authorized access point:

AACR1 had a special rule for serials.  Generic titles were entered under body.  Titles containing name or initialism of body were entered under body.

AACR2 has no special rule for serials.  Most were entered under title per 21.1C1.

RDA has one instruction on persons or families considered to be creators of serials (  Most serials, however, have an authorized access point consisting only of the preferred title.

Title truncated:

For a time AACR1 eliminated from the series title the name or part of the name of the body.  "Bulletin of the Department of Education" became "Bulletin."  "Research Department study" became "Study."


Revised chapter 6 of AACR1 specified that space-hyphen-space plus the body's name should be added to generic titles to create titles proper.  The body's name was given in the form found on the item (which could change from one issue to the next).  "Report - Department of Health" might be "Report - Virginia Department of Health" on the next issue and "Report - Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Health" on another issue.  The form in the series added entry depended upon which issue was used when establishing the heading.


AACR1:  If subseries title was "weak," the subseries was entered subordinately to the main series; if subseries title was "strong," the subseries was entered independently.

AACR2:  If the main series and subseries were on the same source in the preliminaries, the subseries was entered subordinately to the main series; if the main series and subseries were not on the same source in the preliminaries, the subseries was entered independently.

RDA:  The title of the main series and subseries do not need to be taken from the same source (  However, the associated LC-PCC PS continues the practice under AACR2 (both the title of the main series and subseries must appear in the same source.)

Also remember that series titles including initial articles appearing on pre-1979 records and in series statements for untraced series (490 First indicator value = 0) do not have the filing indicator set for the initial article.  If the series title on item in hand includes an initial article, do a search including the initial article as well as a search without it.

This Help

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from the specific field or character position to which the instructions apply

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MARC 21 Format for Authority Data:  Contents