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Last modified: January 11, 2002
Nomen Project for Enhanced MARC 21 Name Authority

[January 11, 2002] NOMEN is based upon a thesis project of Antonio M. Calvo, "MARC to XML: an Enhanced Name Authority Record," presented to the Faculty of the School of Library and Information Science, San Jose State University, California. The web site references structured documents based upon records and resources from the Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies, San Jose, California. Sample documents are given for: Beethoven, Archduke Rudolph, Emil Gilels, Boston Philharmonic Society, Goethe, and Bettina Brentano.

Abstract from 'Structuring Biographical Data in EAD with the Nomen DTD,' by Antonio M. Calvo. "Biographical data, including authorized name information, adds depth, richness and retrievability to bibliographic records and archival finding aids. The use of encoded archival description (EAD) has enabled the description of archival collections in fine detail. EAD allows for biographical information to be coded directly into finding aids in several ways. However the process is time consuming and may result in duplication of effort and inconsistency. This article presents the Nomen XML DTD for biographical data, and puts forth the idea that its use could simplify and enhance the encoding of biographical data in EAD. The Nomen DTD provides a record structure for encoding the authorized name, variant names and biographical details of a person or a group being associated with informational items as subjects or creators. The structure of the Nomen DTD is described in relation to the MARC21 name authority format followed by a discussion of how it may be used as a means to create an authority file for EAD biographical data encoding and linking."

Sample Nomen records

NOMEN Project description [from the OCLC Systems and Services article]

Overview: "The objective of the Nomen project was the design of an enhanced name authority record using XML. An examination was made of the existing elements in the specifications for the USMARC/MARC 21 Format for Name Authority Data. Based on this analysis, an enhanced record structure was developed and expressed as an XML DTD. Using this DTD, a sample set of records from the Center for Beethoven Studies were marked up. Finally, the Extensible Stylesheet Language (XSL) was used to display the records using the Internet Explorer 5 (IE5) Web browser."

Relationship of the XML DTD to MARC 21: "The intent of the Nomen DTD is to amplify and add structure to the detail of biographical information about agents as well as to provide an authoritative form of the name and any name variants. In this latter respect, the goal is to fulfill part of the function of the MARC 21 Name Authority Format, which is 'to be a carrier for information concerning the authorized forms of names and subjects to be used as access points in MARC records, the forms of these names, subjects and subdivisions to be used as references to the authorized forms, and the interrelationships among these forms' (Library of Congress, Network Development and MARC Standards Office, 2000). Taking this into account, the first Nomen DTD sub-element, after the obligatory unique identifier element, is for the authorized form of the personal or corporate name. The dissimilarity of the record structure suggested by the Nomen DTD to the MARC authority format becomes readily apparent in the authorized name field (equivalent to the 100 or 110 field in MARC). The MARC format specifies that the full authorized form of the name be in the initial subfield ($a), and allows inclusion of various additional information in subfields like: birth and date years ($d); fuller form of name ($q); titles ($c); a number of subfields to indicate works associated with the name; and general chronological and geographical subdivisions ($y and $z). In contrast, the Nomen DTD subdivides this information differently, and deals with some data elements in other parts of the record structure. For example, the authorized form of the name is handled by four elements of which, the <Additional> element has three sub-elements of its own. Chronological dates and geographical information are dealt with in detail in a separate section of the record."

Motivation: "... The impetus for the creation of Nomen came from problems encountered while doing name authority work at the Ira. F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies located at San José State University in San Josi, California, USA. The Beethoven Center is a special collection of material devoted to the composer Ludwig van Beethoven. The material in the collection is extensively cataloged using the USMARC bibliographic record format with subject headings from a custom thesaurus and name headings from a locally maintained name authority file. The MARC records are stored in an alternate part of the University Library's catalog: the Beethoven Bibliography Database. Because of the domain-specific, historical nature of the collection and the depth at which it is cataloged, positive identification of little-known individuals or groups was often difficult due to insufficient data found on local or Library of Congress Name Authority Records. The Nomen project attempted to remedy the problem by providing for increased detail in the description of persons and groups. The use of XML as the underlying technology allowed records to be created, stored, and viewed on the Web without the use of a proprietary library catalog..."


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