NACO: Preliminary Headings
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Princeton University Cataloging Documentation

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Preliminary headings in the NAF

Preliminary headings in the NAF are headings established without the availability of usage from an item in hand. Records for preliminary headings are coded with the fixed field code STH d in RLIN/Auth status d in OCLC.

The most common source of these records are headings established by LC from NUC reports contributed by outside libraries. Such records have a 670 field beginning with an nuc control number. A more recent source of preliminary records in the NAF are the machine-generated records currently being contributed by OCLC.

NACO libraries may not input preliminary records without special permission from LC, but they may upgrade preliminary records to fully established status (STH a/Auth status a) under the conditions described here.

If the heading on a preliminary record is not based on the usage recorded on the record, or if no usage is present in the record, add usage from the item in hand and reconsider the heading on that basis. If necessary, change the heading to match the usage on your item, or the usage on the record, using any information available for qualifiers, dates, etc. Otherwise accept preliminary headings in the same way as headings on any other AACR2 record: use them unless error is evident.

Generally, observe the following restrictions on changing preliminary headings based on usage recorded on the record:

  • Do not change a personal name heading to add qualifiers or dates except to resolve a conflict. Accept qualifiers and dates in headings, unless they are factually incorrect. Often an NUC heading, as on the library report, will be the only source of such additions.

  • Do not change a personal name heading to reflect different fullness based on usage on the item in hand, unless the 80% rule (RI22.3A) applies. Instead, add a 670 and a reference if needed.

  • Do not change a corporate heading to add, delete, or change a parenthetical qualifier, except to correct one that is factually wrong, or to resolve a conflict. Exceptionally, if the item in hand is the one already cited on the preliminary record, and it can be determined that the usage was taken from the imprint of the bibliographic record, where standard abbreviations are often used, reconsider the heading and base it on the name as it actually appears in the item. Change it to an unabbreviated form if necessary.

Upgrade preliminary records to full status by changing the value in STH/Auth status to a.

If you are cataloging the same item already cited on the record:
  • Retain a 670 NUC citation as found. The only change to the record will be to the STH/Auth status field (change to a). The result is a record that looks exactly like the preliminary version, except for the coding. If there is more information from the same item, add it to the end of the NUC citation. Cite the location(s) in the item and the usage, etc., as usual in 670s, beginning the addition with book (e.g., book t.p.). Record usage even if it repeats that given in the preliminary record.
      Preliminary heading: Gruber, Hiram
      usage in NUC citation: Hiram Gruber
      usage on book t.p.: Hiram Gruber, Ph. D., Professor of History at Coe College [plus other information in the preface]
      670 add at end: book t.p. (Hiram Gruber, Ph. D., prof. of hist., Coe College) p. 12 (Hiram Clancy Gruber, b. 12/31/1899) p. 27 (d. 1/1/65)
      [N.B. Do not add the dates to the heading, since it otherwise matches the NUC usage]
    Add subfield b to the 670 field, with usage from your item cataloged, if the 670 citation is incomplete, as on machine-generated authority records.
If you are cataloging a different item, add an additional 670 field to the record, with a complete 670 citation from your item, as for a new authority record.

Add 670s or 675 as usual to record reference tools or other searching.

Add or correct references if needed according to current policy. Do not delete references that were appropriate under earlier guidelines.

Preliminary records sometimes contain 667 fields noting problems or variations from usual procedure (e.g., a suspected typographical error, or NLC not consulted for Canadian headings.) If information is available to resolve the problem, remove the 667 field when updating the record.