Authority control

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Authority control in a library environment is the establishment and maintenance of consistent forms of names and terms to be used as controlled access points (also called headings) in records of the library catalog. Controlled access points must not only be consistent, they must be unique. Traditional library practice focused on controlling names (personal, corporate, governmental, and geographic), titles, and subjects. While authority control has always been important for library catalogs, with the growth of new environments of linked data it is becoming even more, with increasing elements in the catalog being represented by authorized forms. (For example: using authorized terms for occupations in authority records.)


control (verb)
to link an instance of an access point to its authorized form
LC/NACO Authority File
the authority file maintained by the Library of Congress in collaboration with the PCC
Name Authority Cooperative Program of the Program for Cooperative Cataloging. Component of the Program for Cooperative Catalog (PCC) that focuses on name authority records.
name authority file
name authority record