Arabic NACO Manual
Table of contents
Examples from the NAF
Arabic NACO Funnel
| Classical names
What is a classical author?
A classical author is one active prior to the 20th century. Any author who died before 1900 is treated as classical. Authors whose life spanned the 19th and 20th centuries may be treated as modern if it is determined that they were primarily active during the 20th century.
How to establish a classical author
Preferred forms for names originally written in the Arabic alphabet are covered in RDA F.1.1. Names for persons active before the 20th century are constructed by choosing a first element, and essential parts according to F.1.1.2 and F.1.1.3, putting the parts together according to the order specified in F.1.1.4, and adding an appropriate date. Long-standing practice is to add a date if at all possible even if this means using a period of activty.
Choosing the first element
The first element may be any of the various elements of a name--khitab, kunyah, ism, patronymic, laqab or nisbah. "Determine this from reference sources" (F.1.1.2), keeping in mind that the piece in hand is a reference source, though a low-ranking one as regards choice of entry element.
If the author is very well-known, or if the classical person is not an author, reference sources such as the Encyclopedia of Islam, Encyclopaedia Britannica, etc. may be consulted and their data (dates, etc.) quoted in headings as they appear. In general, consult at least one reference source aside from the piece in hand.
- When consulting Zirikli, choose the element(s) in the entry-heading as the first element. (note: if forename surname is given, enter under surname and add forename and father-patronymic as usual)
- When consulting Brockelmann, choose the italicized element(s) as the first element.
- When consulting Kahhalah, if the entry/heading contains an element which is not a forename, use this as the first element (i.e., Haymi in the heading Muhammad al-Haymi). If the elements in the entry/heading are all forenames, choose the element(s) in the article or in the piece in hand designated by a phrase such as "al-shahir bi-" or "al-maruf bi-" for the entry element if such a phrase occurs.
- If the author is not found in any of these sources, choose as the entry element a surname in this order:
- any unusual surname (i.e., not derived froma place-name or a madhhab)
- a surname derived from a place-name (i.e., Baghdādī)
If there are no surnames, choose the element(s) following the ism and father-patronymic, if any (i.e. Ibn al-Lamish in ʻUmar ibn Ṣādiq ibn al-Lamish). If there are no such elements, enter the ism and father-patronymic in direct order.
- a surname derived from a madhhab (i.e., Ḥanafī)
NOTE: In cases where the first consulted reference source disagrees with data from the resource being cataloged or if it seems inappropriate or inaccurate, catalogers may choose to consult a second reference source.
Choosing essential parts of the name
The entry element must be determined before additional elements are chosen. According to F.1.1.3, if the entry element is not the ism or a patronymic derived from the father, these elements should be included in the heading "unless they are not customarily used in the name by which the person is known"--i.e., unless his name is well-known and short like that of Suyūṭī, Abū Nuwās or Jāḥiẓ.
This rule also calls for the addition of "an additional name, descriptive epithet, or term of honour that is treated as part of the name if it aids in identifying the individual". LC practice is to add additional names very seldom, apparently in accord with the statement, "Generally omit other parts of the name, particularly patronymics derived from anyone other than the father."
Determining the order of parts
One the first element and the essential parts have been determined, the first element is placed first--place a comma after the first element unless it is the first part of the name. Give the other parts in the following order: khiṭāb, kunyah, ism, patronymic, any other name.