Metropolitan Museum of Art
notes for NACO records and workflow

The Metropolitan Museum of Art compiled the following notes during the training period for Art NACO participation. They passed it on to me as trainer and coordinator. Some of the notes are specific to the Met but still may have application to other institutions. If you have questions, do not hesitate to ask me or one of the Met artnacoisti.

Abbreviations: KD = Ken Dinin; SC = Sherman Clarke; JRD = Ross Day; DAS = Daniel Starr; NAF = Name Authority File; RLIN = Research Libraries Information Network; LC = Library of Congress; NACO = Name Authority Cooperative of the Program for Cooperative Cataloging


NACO Participants’ Manual, 2nd ed. (1996), p. 11-12 describes the process by which name authority records are created, reviewed and produced during and after the training period for new NACO participants.

KD question:
What is the time lag between entering a record into production and its appearance in NAF?

SC reply:
Upon production, an authority record goes from RLIN to LC, then LC processes it and redistributes it, then RLIN loads it. If everything was really an overnight process and it happened every day, the minimum time might be as little as about two-three days. We used to say wait a couple days and the record might be out of pending status. Generally, it has taken longer since LC moved to Voyager though it's pretty good now.

Libraries’ Manual, Authorities Workflow (2/11/02), sect. 9 describes the procedures for importing produced authority records into Watsonline and performing local database maintenance http://intranet/tsm/Docs/authorities_workflow.htm [local URL for Met]


NACO Participants’ Manual, 2nd ed. (1996), p. 13-14 describes the authority file and bibliographic file search procedures required of NACO participants:

In order to create an original heading, participants need to follow NACO searching procedures. This is generally limited to the NAF and bibliographic records in the RLIN and OCLC bibliographic files. If no information is found in these locations, formulate the heading based on the piece in hand. In special cases, as dictated by AACR2 or the LC Rule Interpretations, you will also need to consult reference sources.

I. Authority File Searching

Search the NAF, using RLIN, OCLC or the LC database via Internet. Be sure the heading you wish to create does not already exist in the NAF. Remember to search any variants as well. Use the proper bibliographic utility documentation to determine the most effective way to search. Some examples:


fin pn smith, w p - [to find personal name William Peter Smith]
fin cp philadelphia pri# - [to find Philadelphia Print Shop]
fin hp shakespeare#merchant - [to find Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice]

Keep in mind that in RLIN verified authority records and saved authority records are kept in two separate files. To find records in the Save or Pending Record file, use the following command:

fin prp simmons# - [to find all saved or pending headings which begin with "simmons"]

More detailed instructions for searching the NAF in RLIN can be found in the RLIN Searching Manual.

II. Bibliographic File Searching

A. If the heading is not found in the NAF, the cataloger may next search the bibliographic files in RLIN or OCLC in order to find the predominant form (for personal authors) or usage of name, and any other relevant information. Usage refers to the forms of name found in the 245 field of the bibliographic record, or other transcription of the name from the work, such as an "at head of title" note, not the form found in the 1XX, 6XX, or 7XX. The cataloger must also note any LC bibliographic records which contain the proposed heading or variations of that heading. Valid LC bibliographic records are defined in RLIN and OCLC by memoranda found at the back of this manual as Appendices III and IV. Be sure to search all appropriate files for the name you are trying to establish (in RLIN, select all files before beginning your search). Use documentation for the specific bibliographic utility to determine the most efficient search strategy. Some examples:


Select all files before beginning your search.

fin pn williams, j p - [to find bibliographic records with the heading "Williams, Janice P."]
fin pn williams, j p/als li dclc - [to find all LC bibliographic records with that heading]
fin cp philadelphia print# - [to find bibliographic records with corp. phrase "Philadelphia Print Shop"]



Logon to dedicated authorities account
Command : cre

Default Workscreen

NAF/SAVE  NAF         INP                              AUT/Create       NYMA-XXX
ID:                                 ST:s      EL:n   STH:a     MS:n   UIP:a     TD:               
KRC:a       NMU:a    CRC:c   UPN:a   SBU:a   SBC:a   DID:n     DF:02-26-02      
RFE:  CSC:c  SRU:b   SRT:n   SRN:n   TSS:n   TGA:?   ROM:?   MOD:  LCT:      
010   __                                                                       
040	   NNMM ‡beng ‡cNNMM                                                       
090   __                                                                       
1XX  __                                                                       
4XX  __                                                                       
4XX  __                                                                       
5XX  __                                                                       
5XX  __                                                                       
670   __
Change UPN and REF values as required
Complete fields 1XX-670, inserting additional 4XX, 5XX, 670 fields as needed ; add 675, 667 fields if needed
Add field 678 with initials and either OK, or questions / comments for reviewer prior to production
ENTer the record

N.B. The defaulted length of time for completing and ENTering the record is one-half hour. If you anticipate that more time will be required to complete the record, you should ENTer it prior to completion, then call it back up using either the command prp, or the commands fin st s and dis [file #] to retrieve the record, then upd to resume editing.


Logon to dedicated authorities account
Command : upd
Edit record [do not add field 678 to an existing record]
ENTer the record


Logon to dedicated authorities account
Command : cal rlin(cat)
Command : set fun cat/sel fil bks/fin ...
Type gen and field tag, e.g. gen 710, or gen 710-2


Insert a line above the variable fields
Type INS in the field tag position
Double tab and type d in the text portion of the string
Go home and ENTer


FAQ on Reporting BFM including headings labelled "[from old catalog]"


KD correspondence with SC (10/31/01) regarding need to check the LC database rather than the RLIN bibliographic files :

KD question:
In your reply to one of my questions you stated: "LC bib precedence may be found in RLIN or OCLC or directly in LC. Overall, you are not obligated to search anything but RLIN."

Appendix III of the NACO participants' manual states:
"NACO participants not online to LC may use and cite information from LC created and input and LC level records in any file being cataloged against" (DCM Z1.15.10 (b))

Inasmuch as we have access to the LC online catalog, however, are we obligated to to search it whenever an RLIN search comes up empty?
E.g. NAFR200137604 and NAFR200137606: neither heading was found in RLIN but both appear in the LC database (ac 36000401) and require bfm.

SC reply:
You are NEVER obligated to search the LC database. If you have searched RLIN or OCLC, that is adequate.

My default database for searching when I'm doing NACO work is LC; you needn't follow suit. My bias toward LC is based on the "good old days" when searching there mixed bib and authority records. I happen to think that the displays in LC's catalog are well arranged which cannot be said about RLIN.

The bib record in question -- ac 36000401 -- is marked "OCLC replacement" in the 985 field. Those records were not redistributed on the MARC Distribution Service and are not therefore in RLIN though a version of the record is probably in OCLC (not marked LC). According to the FAQ on bfm, you needn't report OCLCREP bfm.

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