Corp Qualifiers

What qualifications are used to distinguish between identical corporate bodies?
According to the Anglo-American Cataloging Rules, “If two or more bodies have the same name, or names so similar that they may be confused, add a word or phrase to each name.” In addition the rules tell us that we can also add a qualifier “if the addition assists in the understanding of the nature or purpose of the body.”
The basic principle is to try to add a geographic place name as a qualifier, since this is usually sufficient to distinguish between identically named bodies. However, there are some guidelines in AACR2 and some suggestions in case geographic qualification is not sufficient.
The first rule, AACR2 rule 24.4C2, instructs us that “if a body has a character that is national, state, provincial, etc., add the name of the country, state, province, etc., in which it is located.”

Some examples are:

  • Republican Party (Ill.)
  • Republican Party (Mo.)
  • Sociedad Nacional de Minería (Chile)
  • Sociedad Nacional de Minería (Peru)
  • Governor’s Highway Safety Program (N.C.)
  • Governor’s Highway Safety Program (Vt.)

However there are cases where using this broad geographic qualifier is not sufficient. In these cases, we try to use the most relevant, local place name. We add the local place name, whether it is a jurisdiction or not, that is commonly associated with the name of the body, unless the name of an institution, the date(s) of the body, or other designation provides better identification.
Some examples are:

  • Salem College (Salem, W. Va.)
  • Salem College (Winston-Salem, N.C.)
  • St. Peter’s Church (Hook Norton, England)
  • St. Peter’s Church (Sudbury, England)
  • Red Lion Hotel (Newport, Wales)
  • Red Lion Hotel (Newport, Isle of Wight, England)
  • Red Lion Hotel (Newport, Shropshire, England)

Sometimes one must even get as specific as a city section. For example:

  • St. John’s Church (Georgetown, Washington, D.C.)
  • St. John’s Church (Lafayette Square, Washington, D.C.)

However, there are cases where another qualifier would be more appropriate.
In some cases an institutional name is most closely associated with a corporate body and should be used as the qualifier.

Some examples are:

  • Newman Club (Brooklyn College)
  • Newman Club (University of Maryland)

In other cases a corporate body cannot be distinguished by place name. In these cases a year can be added. The year added is the year of founding or the inclusive years of existence.

Some examples are:

  • Scientific Society of San Antonio (1892-1894)
  • Scientific Society of San Antonio (1904-    )

Finally AACR2 instructs us that if “none of the place names, name of institution, or date(s) is sufficient or appropriate for distinguishing between two or more bodies, add an appropriate general designation in English.”

Some examples are:

  • Church of God (Adventist)
  • Church of God (Apostolic)

Please note that there are also a few cases where corporate names are qualified even if there is NO conflict with another heading. As already mentioned, a qualifier may be used to aid in identifying any corporate body. Also, government bodies are qualified by the government that they are a part of, if the name of the government is not already part of the name of the corporate body.

Some examples are:

  • Council on International Economic Policy (U.S.)
  • Dundee Harbour Trust (Great Britain)
  • Baltimore Redevelopment Corporation

Finally a phrase or term is added in English, if the name alone does not convey the idea of a corporate body.

  • Apollo 11 (Spacecraft)
  • Bounty (Ship)
  • Elks (Fraternal order)
  • Friedrich Witte (Firm)
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