Why do some names have an expanded form of name at the end (i.e. James, Peter (Peter J.) OR Knight, M. G. (Michael George) instead of Knight, Michael George)?
According to the cataloging rules, the name chosen as the official or authorized form of entry for an author is based on how that author is best known. This is usually based on how the author’s name appears on the title pages of his/her works, although occasionally reference works may also be consulted. Therefore if the author’s works have consistently listed him as “M.G. Knight,” his authorized form would be “Knight, M. G.”
However there is also a cataloging rule that states that the cataloger must add the fuller form of the name (if known) if it is necessary to break a conflict. For example, if the catalog already has an M.G. Knight listed (who is an architect) and you receive a book from a different M.G. Knight (let’s say an archaeologist), you would add the fuller form to your author’s authorized heading. So your database could end up looking like this:
- Knight, M. G. [for the architect]
- Knight, M. G. (Michael George) [for the archaeologist]
There is another optional rule that states that the fuller form may be added to any personal name record regardless of whether the additional information is needed to break a conflict. And the Library of Congress applies this optional rule in every case where the fuller form of the name is readily available. Many times an author’s name is listed with just initials on the title page, but the preface, or other introductory matter, will have the full name. In these cases the author’s name must be set up with the initials, but the fuller form is added to the end.
A cross-reference is always given for the full name without the initials so that patrons can find the name under either search. For example:
- Knight, M. G. (Michael George) [authorized form]
- Knight, Michael George [cross-reference]
However, in many catalogs the authority records are not always present. Since the authority record is the only place where the cross-reference is listed, it is important to search authors by their last name and first initial only, if one wants to be sure that they are getting all books by that author. If a patron (or librarian) notices a split index (i.e. books by the same author under two different names) it is important to report this to the cataloging department. In many libraries, catalogers do not know that a split index even exists until it is reported to them.