A concept from the field of librarianship
. Authority control is the standardization of proper names which catalogers strive to maintain within a library catalog
. Authors' names are often written differently on different pieces of work; likewise the names of biographical or geographical subjects may vary. To bring similar materials under one uniform listing is the goal.
Sometimes initials may be used, other times a whole name is written out:
Eliot, Thomas Sterns
Pseudonyms are another challenge:
Place names can be written a variety of ways:
Former Soviet States
Former Soviet Republics
And corporate or institutional names can also be tricky:
Bethlehem Steel Company
Bethlehem Steel Corporation
Aiding the U.S. library cataloger in this quest for consistency is the Library of Congress Name Authority File and Cataloging in Publication data.