Authority Record Conversion & Pinyin Day One

The Library of Congress and OCLC have reached a milestone in the Pinyin Conversion Project -- OCLC has completed the conversion of 156,000 records in the national authority file (NAF).

Due to a delay in conversion and distribution, approximately 40,000 records will not be available in the OCLC or RLIN databases until Tuesday, October 3.

On October 1, libraries should begin to use pinyin in all new bibliographic records, even though not all converted authority records appear in the bibliographic utilities. Any bibliographic record created that contains systematically romanized Chinese language data must include the 987 Local Romanization/Conversion History field.

NACO libraries may create new name authority records on October 2, 2000. But because not all the converted authority records will be present in the bibliographic utilities, NACO participants may have to search both pinyin and Wade-Giles forms in order to confirm that an authority record does not already exist for a particular heading. This extra searching will only be required until October 4, when all the records will be available in the utilities. LC recommends that NACO participants defer any changes to Chinese language authority records until October 4, 2000. This is to eliminate the possibility that a changed record will fail NACO contribution because the latest version of the record was not available in the utility.

In monitoring the load of early files of converted authority records, LC identified some records that were converted incorrectly or that should not have been converted at all. For example, some place names in Pennsylvania and Kansas that should not have been converted were incorrectly changed, e.g., Lancaster County (Ba.). Headings and references with the term "San Juan" may have been converted incorrectly, as were some headings in Japanese. Many records that were not converted by program were nevertheless identified as converted in 008/07 (Romanization scheme) with value "c". Staff at the Library have already corrected many of these early problems. Later files had many fewer errors in conversion. Users should report problems on authority records to:

Philip Melzer
Team Leader, Korean/Chinese Team
LC's Cataloging Distribution Service (CDS) will make the converted records available to its customers via the regular distribution of products and services. The Research Libraries Group is continuing to make progress in the conversion of bibliographic records in RLIN. We will notify users when RLG delivers the converted LC bib records and they are available in the LC Online Catalog.

More information about the Pinyin Conversion Project, including background documents, timeline, and FAQ, is available on the Pinyin Homepage at:

Posted by
Ann Della Porta
Assistant Implementation Coordinator
ILS Program Office
Library of Congress
Washington, DC 20540-4010

Originally posted on PCCLIST September 30, 2000