|David Ferriero, Archivist of the United States, |
introduces Daniel Pitti, seated, and launches the
National Archival Authorities Cooperative meeting.
May 21, 2012.
On the face of it, this may not seem like a history-makin’ moment. In fact, for most people, it might elicit a long, refreshing yawn. But stay with me here a moment.
Controlled vocabularies are the standard names that have long allowed researchers to look up someone or something in a card catalog and have a reasonably good chance of finding relevant materials. They also serve to provide the historical context, for example, information such as a birth date that allows for disambiguation. With authoritative records, you can be sure that the John Muir you’re looking up was the grandfather of the American environmental movement, rather than the fellow who published a Volkswagen repair manual (to use an example provided by SNAC collaborator Ray Larson in his talk).
|Ray Larson, University of California Berkeley, |
describes the role of archival authorities in