The need to alter a record already in the LC/NAF is almost as common as the need to create a new authority 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 heading 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.

Change an authority record when errors in headings or cross references are 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, or uniform title, change the authority record; add the published source after the CIP source in a separate 670 field to document the change.  Changes in the imprint date, choice of main entry, and changes in title proper do not require changes to authority records created for CIP items.

Not all authority records in the LC/NAF have been coded c (AACR2) or d (AACR2- compatible) in Descriptive Cataloging Rules (008/10).  These headings must be coded for AACR at the first instance of use.

Generally, do not add or take away any information to authority headings (1XXs) coded AACR2 or AACR2-compatible (descriptive cataloging rules fixed field 008/10 will be coded c or d) unless there is a clear error or the addition/removal is called for by the rules (e.g., if birth dates become available for a heading with "flourished" dates (see LCRI 22.1)).  Though this may seem counterintuitive, the purpose of this practice is to minimize the amount of bibliographic file maintenance that would need to be done in library catalogs worldwide if headings were routinely changed.

While information may not generally be added to the established 1XX, the cataloger may add references as justified by the rules and additional 670 fields to record new or updated information.  The most common situation under this policy of not adding information to or removing it from authority headings (1XXs) is the wish of catalogers to add the death dates of deceased persons to their authorized headings.

An example is the NAR for Katharine Hepburn.  When adding a new 670 with the actress’s death date and other data, the cataloger realized that Hepburn’s forename had been misspelled.  In correcting that error, the cataloger applied LCRI 22.17 and added the death date.  The old heading, Hepburn, Katherine, 1907— accordingly became Hepburn, Katharine, 1907—2003.

Additions and changes are governed by the same guidelines used for creating original authority records, i.e., AACR, the LCRIs, and the DCM.

See also:

Section II:  Additions and Changes to Authority Records