LTI has enhanced its RDA options for authority control processing, effective September 7, 2011.
A little background information is useful concerning the scope of potential conflicts between AACR2 and RDA. Looking at the numbers of AACR2/RDA authority records, we find that, out of over 8 million name-related authority records currently in the national file, fewer than 12,000 were created with RDA rules. Out of that 12,000, fewer than 600 (about 5% -- primarily personal names) contain an RDA-form in the 1xx that differs from the AACR2 form. This small number has been revised by LTI for use in authority control processing, thereby providing an AACR2 form for client libraries seeking to maintain consistency in their catalogs.
For the past year, libraries have been permitted to add to the national file new authority records created according to either AACR2 or RDA rules. While both sets of rules are now represented in the file, national level standards continue to require a single authority record for a given name or title. If an authority record exists in AACR2 form for a specific name, title, or name-title combination, NACO libraries are instructed not to create a second with an RDA form, nor the reverse. Note that, as LC has not yet adopted RDA, all "DLC" authority records are created according to AACR2 rules.
Per our October 2010 announcement, the current default for LTI processing standardizes all authority-controlled headings in AACR2 form, revising a small number of authority records, created under a RDA form of a name. These revisions impose consistency on the forms of headings in the library's bibliographic catalog. For example, AACR2 headings use "$c fl. [date]" where the RDA form uses "$c active [date]", "Dept." instead of the RDA "Department," and retain the intervening "O.T." or "N.T." in headings for the Bible, rather than omitting them as RDA instructs.
In response to client libraries desiring immediate implementation of RDA form headings, LTI's new (Sept. 2011) RDA-option enables a library to introduce into its catalog the forms structured according to RDA when a national-level authority record exists that was created using RDA rules. This is accomplished by, as usual, extracting and comparing headings against the national authority file. If a link is made, the authority record is pulled (AACR2 or RDA). If no link is found, and the name heading field contains an RDA form of name, it is preserved.
If a library requests a profile change to use the enhanced RDA-option, the library will receive any authority records originally created using RDA rules, in that form, rather than the edited-to-AACR2 revised form currently distributed to libraries. Depending on the specific heading used and authority record received, introduction of the RDA form will cause a "split" file, placing headings of similar type in different places, e.g. a new heading with "$b Department" will necessarily be separated from any existing sequence using "$b Dept.".
Because LTI is maintaining consistent AACR2 forms, we believe that at this time most libraries are best served by retaining the current settings. When national bodies officially adopt the new rules, LTI's goal will be to help client libraries transition to the new rules with as little trouble as possible. Users of Authority Update Processing (AUP) will be major beneficiaries during this transition as the AUP service routinely provides revised authority and bibliographic records.
If you have questions, please contact Marsha Hunt at LTI.