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a standard format for entering the names of authors who bore noble titles?

Recommend Site Improvements

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1proximity1
Edited: Sep 27, 2018, 10:56am Top

regarding author-name entries of authors who bore noble titles:

As the author-name entry is designed, the LAST NAME, FIRST NAME(s) format is easy to use for most authors' names.

However, when it comes to authors who are often known as well or better by their titles (of nobility), one is probably either going to leave out reference to the noble's title or try to devise some way to get it into the format's requirements.

I want to suggest adoption of a standard format for author-names which include the author's title of noble rank:

As these people were often referred to in their own lifetimes, once they'd come to bear a title's, their titled place-name came to be used where others' family-names (their surnames) would otherwise be used.

So, for example, a "John Smith, the First Earl of Sedgefield" would be referred to as "Sedgefield", as though that were his surname.

It could be entered in the author-name field as

"Sedgefield, John Smith First Earl of" (with or without a "the" after the family-name, "Smith")

and would appear: "John Smith First Earl of Sedgefield"

2elenchus
Edited: Sep 27, 2018, 11:38am Top

I am not well-informed on the proper address of nobility, and find this suggestion worth considering. However, is it not true that various traditions will style their nobility in different ways? Presumably any changes would need to accommodate as many as possible. The British examples are legion and for me confusing enough, and then we have not only other Continental (European) traditions, but so many others.

I point to Alfred, Lord Tennyson's entry for a current and prominent example. The OP could improve this example, but it remains to be seen how other examples would be served.

3gilroy
Sep 27, 2018, 11:27am Top

Um, this would require people to read instructions.
This would require library sources to import with the same format, which means changing their internal inputs.

Much as it seems like a good idea, not sure it will be able to happen.

4andyl
Sep 27, 2018, 11:28am Top

>2 elenchus:

That link goes off to advocatehealth.sharepoint.com

5elenchus
Sep 27, 2018, 11:38am Top

>4 andyl:

Thanks, fixed.

6AndreasJ
Sep 27, 2018, 1:57pm Top

Tim once said that author names should ideally be entered in the form they're typically credited on their works, so say Lord Dunsany should be entered thus, not as "Dunsany, Edward Plunkett 18th Baron of".

This of course also means that there can't be any standard form, since different authors used or didn't use their noble titles in different ways in this context.

7PhaedraB
Sep 27, 2018, 2:54pm Top

Pope's names and Dalai Lama names are all over the place, too. Other names is a good place to put all the variants that show up.

8AndreasJ
Sep 27, 2018, 3:15pm Top

I guess a Tibetan Buddhist might argue all the Dalai Lamas should be a single author.

9Crypto-Willobie
Sep 27, 2018, 4:30pm Top

>8 AndreasJ:

{applause!}

10paradoxosalpha
Sep 27, 2018, 4:37pm Top

Look out, I'm tempted to combine Eliphas Levi and Aleister Crowley.

See http://www.sacred-texts.com/oto/aba/chap7.htm - the passage beginning "It is a very great assistance to the beginner if he happens to have some intellectual grounds"

11Maddz
Edited: Sep 27, 2018, 6:13pm Top

You want to look out for the Lord Halifaxes... There's two of them - father and son. The spooky one is Charles Lindley Wood, 2nd Viscount Halifax (1839–1934), and the (second) political one is Edward Frederick Lindley Wood, 3rd Viscount Halifax (1881–1959) (created Earl of Halifax (4th creation) in 1944).

And I see they've got combined again: https://www.librarything.com/author/lindleycharles

The 2nd Viscount is the author of Lord Halifax's Ghost Book, the 3rd Viscount is the author of Fullness of Days.

Give how names run in aristocratic families, you do need to add in the title and which holder they are. (And to add complications, the title of Lord Halifax has had 4 creations: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earl_of_Halifax)

So it's probably best to enter aristocratic authors with their full name and title to avoid incorrect auto-combining should two different holders of the title both be authors.

12MarthaJeanne
Edited: Sep 28, 2018, 1:45am Top

>11 Maddz: I've played with Lord Halifax, but right now the author pages need to settle down. In the process I have also combined works.

https://www.librarything.com/author/halifaxedwardfrederi

I'm not sure what is going on with https://www.librarything.com/work/7567823

https://www.librarything.com/work/4441550 is currently the only book attributed to 'Lord Halfax' https://www.librarything.com/author/halifaxlord

Fulness of Days is where it belongs after combining.

13Maddz
Edited: Sep 28, 2018, 2:43am Top

>12 MarthaJeanne: See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malines_Conversations, so https://www.librarything.com/work/4441550 is probably relating to the 2nd Viscount not the 3rd although it's anyone's guess as to which one authored it. It depends on the original publication date.

This link may help: http://anglicanhistory.org/halifax/

14Maddz
Edited: Sep 28, 2018, 2:47am Top

Harking back to the original topic, this link may help: http://www.leighrayment.com/

So, in the afore-mentioned Lords Halifax, the family name is Wood so the respective author pages should be headlined:

Charles Lindley Wood, 2nd Viscount Halifax
Edward Frederick Lindley Wood, 3rd Viscount Halifax and 1st Earl of Halifax

Both are known as Lord Halifax. (And just to note the 'of' is only applied to peers of the rank of Earl and above.)

>6 AndreasJ: Lord Dunsany is Edward John Moreton Drax Plunkett, 18th Baron Dunsany

15MarthaJeanne
Sep 28, 2018, 3:50am Top

>3 gilroy: Not just library sources. Libraries sometimes try to give better name identification than the publisher does, but when the publisher and Amazon (not Amazon's fault in this case) just say Lord Whoever, what the libraries input isn't really important.

16Stevil2001
Sep 28, 2018, 8:01am Top

I agree with what some of said, that LibraryThing Canonical Names (when needed) should adhere to the most recent, common way of crediting an author-- which I think was basically Tim's intention with the new Canonical Name policy. I don't think Lord Dunsany, for example, was usually credited as "Edward John Moreton Drax Plunkett, 18th Baron Dunsany," so I don't think that should appear as his Canonical Name, though it certainly could appear under "Other names." So the 3rd Viscount Halifax's name should only be rendered as "Edward Frederick Lindley Wood, 3rd Viscount Halifax and 1st Earl of Halifax" if that is how he is usually listed on title pages.

(I have a copy of Benjamin Disraeli's Tancred, or The New Crusade that just says the Earl of Beaconsfield on the title page, nothing else, so that's how I entered my copy into LibraryThing, but since he's most often just called "Benjamin Disraeli," that's what his author page is called, even if technically speaking he was "Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield.")

17proximity1
Sep 28, 2018, 9:32am Top


>16 Stevil2001:

"(I have a copy of Benjamin Disraeli's Tancred, or The New Crusade that just says the Earl of Beaconsfield on the title page, nothing else, so that's how I entered my copy into LibraryThing, but since he's most often just called "Benjamin Disraeli," that's what his author page is called, even if technically speaking he was "Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield.")"

My main point was that, for anyone who might want to enter such an author as this with his or her title, it can't be done straight-forwardly as,

"LAST NAME, FIRST NAME"

and so, to get around this, one could enter, in this case,

"Beaconsfield, Benjamin Disraeli 1st Earl of"

because, if one enters,

"Disraeli, Benjamin 1st Earl of Beaconsfield"

the resulting author-name field reads : "Benjamin 1st Earl of Beaconsfield Disraeli"

18Maddz
Sep 28, 2018, 10:04am Top

>17 proximity1: Hmm. What happens if you input the name as Disraeli, Benjamin, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield?

I see where you're coming from, but technically the author's canonical name is Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield, but he's usually referred to as Lord Beaconsfield. Benjamin Disraeli Beaconsfield does not exist, but Benjamin Disraeli, Lord Beaconsfield (or more formally Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield) does. The problem is that many people don't understand that Beaconsfield is not the author's family name but Disraeli is. Beaconsfield is the place to which the peer's title refers to.

This is why it gets messy with multiple holders of the same title being authors (the Lords Halifax, for example) - because if you use the canonical name Lord Halifax LT thinks they're the same person when in fact they're not.

19proximity1
Edited: Sep 28, 2018, 10:26am Top

>18 Maddz:

" Hmm. What happens if you input the name as Disraeli, Benjamin, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield"

I think the product is two 'authors' : one showing up as "Benjamin Disraeli" and the other as "1st Earl of Beaconsfield", which, as a name, though quite specific, is not as satisfying as an author-name as "Benjamin Disraeli 1st Earl of Beaconsfield", in my opinion.

"The problem is that many people don't understand that Beaconsfield is not the author's family name but Disraeli is. Beaconsfield is the place to which the peer's title refers to."

Perhaps many people don't; but those who own--and, especially, who've read -- a book about Disraeli probably know that it was common practice to have referred to him simply as "Beaconsfield."


"Why, is not Oxford here another anchor?"

___________________________________

-- ('Queen Margaret', Act V, scene iv) "The Third part of King Henry the Sixth" by Edward (Earl of) Oxford, writing under the pen-name, "William Shakespeare."

20norabelle414
Sep 28, 2018, 10:59am Top

>18 Maddz: I'm pretty sure that does work. I have done that in the past but it has been awhile so I'm not 100% certain.

>19 proximity1: Adding extra commas does not result in multiple authors. At most, it would be one author with commas in the wrong place.

21proximity1
Edited: Sep 28, 2018, 11:10am Top

>20 norabelle414:

RE : " Adding extra commas does not result in multiple authors. At most, it would be one author with commas in the wrong place."

Actually, I think you're mistaken: it does result in what appear to be two authors--or, if not exactly two separate authors, then at least the result is a mash-up of first-name and whatever was entered next to it, placed after commas.

Here is the result of testing your supposition regarding an example case,

Letters from Sir Robert Cecil to Sir George Carew

Before putting a comma between "Cecil" and "First Earl of Salisbury" we have:

" by Robert Cecil - First Earl of Salisbury (Author), George Carew - First Earl of Totnes (Author), Sir John Maclean (Editor) "

After putting a comma between them, we get the following:

" by First Earl of Salisbury Cecil, Robert (Author), George Carew - First Earl of Totnes (Author), Sir John Maclean (Editor) "

notice the difference.

22norabelle414
Sep 28, 2018, 11:16am Top

Experimenting on a less popular author, I set the canonical name for James Buckley Jr. as "Buckley, James, Jr." and it displays as "James Buckley, Jr."

23norabelle414
Edited: Sep 28, 2018, 11:24am Top

>21 proximity1: It just rearranges the order of the clauses separated by commas, it does not make multiple authors. If you set the canonical name to "Cecil, Sir Robert, First Earl of Salisbury" it will display as "Sir Robert Cecil, First Earl of Salisbury"

ETA: the format needs to be "{lastname}, {firstname}, {suffix}" not "{lastname}, {suffix}, {firstname}"

24proximity1
Edited: Sep 28, 2018, 11:29am Top

>23 norabelle414:

I'm referring to the author-name entries in "Your book" data, not the "canonical author-name" -- which, by the way, is available to each LT member to set for himself (?) where is that? In "Common knowledge" data?

I never bother with "canonical author-name" records. I only treat the data in my "Your book" records, where, as I say, adding a comma alters the results.

25norabelle414
Sep 28, 2018, 11:41am Top

>24 proximity1: My mistake, I thought we were talking about the canonical author this whole time? I'm not sure I see the point in having a standard format for users to enter the authors in their personal catalog. The vast majority of users are going to use whatever the source data says, without change, and if that is egregiously messy it can be overridden by the canonical author.

Yes, the canonical author is the first field in the common knowledge section of an author page. Any member can change it.

My answer still stands for the personal data. If you enter "{lastname}, {firstname}, {suffix}", it will display as "{firstname} {lastname}, {suffix}"

26Maddz
Sep 28, 2018, 2:45pm Top

>25 norabelle414: I've just tested the Lords Halifax, and setting their canonical names to be "{lastname}, {firstname}, {suffix}" displays as "{firstname} {lastname}, {suffix}"

27norabelle414
Sep 28, 2018, 3:47pm Top

>26 Maddz: Yeah, I think that's the best way to do it.

28Maddz
Edited: Sep 28, 2018, 4:39pm Top

And guess what, there's a third Lord Halifax - https://www.librarything.com/author/halifaxgeorgesavilem

29elenchus
Sep 28, 2018, 4:49pm Top

>28 Maddz:

Sneaky peers.

30proximity1
Edited: Sep 29, 2018, 5:57am Top

>25 norabelle414: "My mistake, I thought we were talking about the canonical author this whole time? I'm not sure I see the point in having a standard format for users to enter the authors in their personal catalog."

Right. You'd been mistaken since, as you point out, within the "canonical name" field of "Common Knowledge" --which, by my experience, is rarely other than left blank-- there's simply no issue with the use of commas separating author-name data--and so, had that also been the case in the data contained in "Your book" files, then I wouldn't have bothered posting the thread because there'd have been no issue to raise; on the other hand, in the "Your book" data, (which comes up in various versions when key-word searches of the site-wide data are conducted) there's what you refer to as the "egregiously messy."

So, unlike your being unsure that you see the point in a "standard format for users to enter the authors in their personal catalog" I'm sure that you don't see the point. And I'm also sure that, after having explained this, you still don't get it.

So, 'end of discussion' for us.

31Maddz
Edited: Sep 29, 2018, 6:57am Top

>30 proximity1: I think the best way to add titled authors to your library is to use whatever way suits your catalogue and the searches you will do.

In terms of LibraryThing as a whole, then it becomes more tricky. If you enter a book as being written by Lord Halifax then you must ensure you know which Lord Halifax that refers to otherwise you end up with an unholy mess which needs periodic sorting out because of the auto-combining functionality. I suspect that for the Lords Halifax you need to link your work to a disambiguation page for Lord Halifax and then edit the division to assign your work to the correct Lord Halifax - which are aliased into the correct canonical author.

So you would have 2 author pages - one for the conversational title (Lord Halifax, Lord Dunsany, Lord Beaconsfield etc) which is aliased to the canonical author page (either directly or via a disambiguation page):

George Savile, 1st Marquess of Halifax
Charles Lindley Wood, 2nd Viscount Halifax
Edward Frederick Lindley Wood, 3rd Viscount Halifax and 1st Earl of Halifax
Edward John Moreton Drax Plunkett, 18th Baron Dunsany
Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield

(You know this has the potential for a RSI - when you save a book record with a split author it should trigger a pop-up (or link) to 'edit the division' so you can immediately assign your newly entered book to the correct author.)

32jjwilson61
Sep 29, 2018, 10:22am Top

If we're just talking about the data in each user's personal catalog, then that's up to each user. What do you want LT to do about it?

33norabelle414
Sep 29, 2018, 2:44pm Top

>30 proximity1: The commas work exactly the same way in "your books" data as they do in the canonical name field.

34proximity1
Edited: Sep 30, 2018, 6:39am Top

This message has been flagged by multiple users and is no longer displayed (show)
>33 norabelle414: "The commas work exactly the same way in "your books" data as they do in the canonical name field."

LOL! Is that so?!

Then what was your point exactly when you posted, at >25 norabelle414: :

"My mistake, I thought we were talking about the canonical author this whole time?" (Sic) ?

By the way, you're also confused about what is and what is not properly formulated as a question. Do you always throw question-marks around so carelessly? That's a question.

Look, it's not complicated. You started out confused. You posted rude, ill-considered comments which were off the point and then you scrambled confusedly to combine covering up your mess with half-baked excuses and admissions of having misread the point and stubborn insistence on claims you've already recognized as not to the point.

You're welcome to keep digging in the hole you're in--but personally, I've concluded that you have nothing interesting to tell us here and so I'm now dropping out of further comment with you.

35Stevil2001
Sep 30, 2018, 8:36am Top

Well, I for one think the gracious way you're engaging with other posters is certainly winning me over to your point-of-view.

36proximity1
Edited: Sep 30, 2018, 9:42am Top

This message has been flagged by multiple users and is no longer displayed (show)
>35 Stevil2001:

"Well, I for one think the gracious way you're engaging with other posters is certainly winning me over to your point-of-view."

That is snide sarcasm. Why is that any more respectable that what you're unfairly implying about my posts? Haven't you got anything else? Haven't you got anything better than that? If so, why not post it instead?

I return graciousness for graciousness. In this case, none was due. And your opinion and your little red flags which fly in the face of these facts simply don't impress me. You may have a cranky bunch of people who'll join you in throwing a red-flag tantrum but that is not a substitute for a cogent counter-argument, something you don't have and don't even try to bother with. Pathetic.

37Stevil2001
Sep 30, 2018, 10:00am Top

>36 proximity1: I don't see anything ungracious in post #25, which is what started you off here. You stated you were done discussing with norabelle in #30, and then re-engaged anyway in #34 to criticize her use of question marks and laugh at her.

I don't really see how LT can force people to enter data into the author fields of their catalogues in a particular way, so the whole proposal doesn't really require "a cogent counter-argument." Heck, I know from combining that plenty of people do "Firstname Lastname" when it ought to be "Lastname, Firstname" so forcing people to do "Lastname, Firstname, Suffix" (or something else like that) seems unlikely.

38Maddz
Sep 30, 2018, 10:40am Top

>37 Stevil2001: Hence my comment in >31 Maddz: about using whatever suits you and the searches you will be doing.

The important thing is that upstream, the LT author page needs to be correct which means checking if there's another version of that author and making sure your book is referencing the correct version.

39proximity1
Edited: Sep 30, 2018, 11:21am Top

This message has been flagged by multiple users and is no longer displayed (show)
>37 Stevil2001: (Quote) "I don't really see how LT can force people to enter data into the author fields of their catalogues in a particular way, "...

Seriously? Did you bother to think before you wrote that?

Where and by whom in this thread was there anything about some intention to "force people to enter data into the author fields of their catalogues in a particular way, " ?

Is this is the stuff I'm supposed to treat "graciously" ?

What's gracious about your comment in which you imply that somewhere it's suggested that the idea is to "force people to enter data into the author fields of their catalogues in a particular way, " ?

40jjwilson61
Sep 30, 2018, 12:35pm Top

>39 proximity1: You put this suggestion into the Recommended Site Improvements group which is for suggestions on how LT itself can be improved so how else are people supposed to take your idea.

41Stevil2001
Sep 30, 2018, 12:46pm Top

>39 proximity1: I don't remotely understand what has happened here, or why you are so hostile. I'm not sure what's ungracious about interpreting a Recommended Site Improvement that there be a standard way of formatting data as wanting LT to force people to enter data in a certain way.

42Collectorator
Sep 30, 2018, 1:40pm Top

There is much that could be done to improve the way author names are entered when cataloging. However, that would require action on the part of the site owner and we see o-so-very-little of that. I'm surprised it even says, "Last, First."

43proximity1
Edited: Oct 1, 2018, 9:23am Top

>41 Stevil2001:

"I'm not sure what's ungracious about interpreting a Recommended Site Improvement that there be a standard way of formatting data as wanting LT to force people to enter data in a certain way."

Well, "site improvements" needn't be compulsory, right? They might just be other-than-compulsory in character, might they not? Those are questions which, again, you're entirely free to ignore--not that ignoring such questions is ungracious of you, of course.

Rather than a standard way of formatting (as in computer-field regulated terms, which, by the way, is already the longstanding case) , no: a standard of voluntarily-adopted practice in entering author-name data, in order to help (in one particular kind of instance) somewhat relieve the site of the continuing clutter of a potpourri of mangled author-name entries under the canonical author-name.

"I don't remotely understand what has happened here, or why you are so hostile."

Let me help you:

There's no "force" about it and no "force" was either suggested or implied. That was your misconstruction of my actual comments.

And, about that misconstruction, I wonder: how do you like having your repeated and clarified words misconstrued by people who demonstrate a marked incapacity to read and comprehend plain English?

And just how is it that your doing so isn't a demonstration of your own failure to live up to this standard of graciousness you expect from me, hmm?

It's as though you replied,

"So I misconstrued your words; and so I did that again and again even after you took the trouble to explain it to me. I don't get it. Where's the problem? What? I'm supposed to read and understand?"

44Stevil2001
Oct 1, 2018, 5:56pm Top

And, about that misconstruction, I wonder: how do you like having your repeated and clarified words misconstrued by people who demonstrate a marked incapacity to read and comprehend plain English?

I'm a teacher, so I'm used to it by now.

45proximity1
Oct 2, 2018, 5:39am Top


>44 Stevil2001: "I'm a teacher, so I'm used to it by now."

As lame excuses go, that's truly pathetic--especially coming from a professor.

Yes, I saw that you're a teacher--I learned that in reviewing your member-page. All the more reason you really ought to understand what you're failing to understand here.

A teacher's responsibilities to students are to help them raise the standards of their deficient practices, not simply accommodate himself to those deficiencies and, thus, leave them as they are. I'm not used to it and I have no intention of getting used to it.

I don't spoon-feed my readers and, really, if you're effectively doing what amounts to that for your students then you're doing them an immense disservice.

46Stevil2001
Edited: Oct 2, 2018, 11:29am Top

>45 proximity1: I'll be sure to take your pedagogical advice under consideration.

(It was a joke.)

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