More and more authorities data is online for free in ways relatively easily accessible to machine use, which is actually pretty exciting. In the form of id.loc.gov for LCSH subject authorities, and the VIAF for name authorities from the US and other national files.
But I’m not entirely sure of the scope of either of these services.
Who can explain the following mystery:
“Rote Armee Fraktion” is an LCSH “subject” (600 marc field) heading that appears in our catalog on several items. (It’s the German for “Red Army Faction”). But it’s not in id.loc.gov. Well, not exactly, it’s there combined with a subdivision, “Rote Armee Fraktion — In art”, but normally the main division would be there too, just the combination authority there alone is not enough for machine processing, right?
So I figured, aha, since it’s a name, it’s probably not controlled in LCSH authority files, but in the Name Authority File at VIAF. And yet, it’s not in VIAF either.
So, curious, I resorted to the much slower to use authorities.loc.gov. And sure enough, it SEEMS to be controlled in LCSH after all. (I have no idea if this attempt at a permalink will work for you on that legacy ILS). LCCN 2008030542 on the authority file, there it is.
So, who, perhaps a cataloger, can explain the mysteries of person/corporate-body name control? If this is controlled by LCSH as a subject heading, why is it not in id.loc.gov? On the other hand, if it is instead (or also) controlled by the NAF, why is it not on viaf.org? It’s clearly an official heading, it’s in LC’s catalog, right?
What is the nature of the current gap of LCSH/NAF authorities not available in either id.loc.gov or viaf.org, anyone know what’s going on?
Postscript: But the heading can be found in WorldCat Identities at that same LCCN 2008030542 (or the non-normalized form). The plot thickens! (But I don’t think worldcat identities reveals enough of the information I’m interested in at the moment, and it doens’t provide a bulk download, I don’t think, like id.loc.gov and VIAF do, something I’d need for what I’m thinking of. Identities is a potentially useful service in other ways, and could be more useful if they’d provide a bulk data download).