Monday, April 04, 2011

Field 720

Why do I so rarely see field 720 used? I just downloaded a record that had two names not in the LC Authority file, yet both were in field 700. Here is the description of field 720 from MARC Full.
Added entry in which the name is not controlled in an authority file or list. It is also used for names that have not been formulated according to cataloging rules. Names may be of any type (e.g., personal, corporate, meeting).

Used when one of the other access fields (e.g., 1XX (Headings) or 7XX (Added Entries)) cannot be used because the level of control and/or structure of the name does not meet the requirements of the other access fields. Field 720 should not be used for uncontrolled names intended to provide subject access. In that case, field 653 (Index Term-Uncontrolled) is preferred.
Sounds like the field to use when the names aren't in LCNAF or some other file.

Just asking, am I missing something?

5 April
It has been suggested, in a comment, that perhaps these are controlled in a local database. Maybe, but in a shared cataloging environment where we don't have access to the local database is it good policy? Just asking. I can see if they were in the German or French or Brazilian authority files but something local not so much. I very rarely see the 720, are people using it? Am I just not clear on the concept?

6 comments:

Mark M said...

It could mean that those two names are controlled in a local authority file. 700 is not limited to LCNAF names only.

Sarah said...

I think it's mainly used when importing possibly uncontrolled metadata into MARC. Instead of trying to figure out if the name belongs in a 1XX or 7XX, it gets dumped into a 720. I find them every now and then in stub records in OCLC, and when I'm upgrading the record I put the name in the appropriate field.

Sarah said...

I think it's mainly used when importing possibly uncontrolled metadata into MARC. Instead of trying to figure out if the name belongs in a 1XX or 7XX, all names get dumped into a 720. I see it every now and then in a stub record in OCLC, and I normally clean it up and put the name in the appropriate field.

G said...

This comment is probably only barely related to your post, but I'd love to see the NACO process opened up to more of us in smaller libraries. That way, when we contribute our original cataloging to OCLC, we could also contribute name authority records & use the gold-standard 700 field.

Big Sky Tracking Dog Club of Montana said...

Hey G, NACO's pretty easy to get involved in. Get a few folks from your area to attend training and join a funnel. If there is a funnel start one for your state

Claudia said...

When you use the 720, you also lose the ability to specify the type of name: personal, corporate, conference. Your institution may not be able to provide LCNAF records, but if you know the type of name it seems to me that using the 720 is simply pushing some of the work you've already done off onto other catalogers (like Sarah, above).