Research and Collections

Research and Collections

Field Authority Lists – Introduction to the Authority Lists

The authority lists are intended to provide vocabulary control for the Subject fields. The Subject fields are listings of terms used to index documents to express content from a number of levels and perspectives. To group shared data in a specific field for retrieval, means that information always must be described in exactly the same way within that field. The authority lists standardize terminology for retrieval. Together these lists comprise an artificial language that links the language of the source (historical newspapers) to the language of the database user. They therefore do not necessarily conform to the exact wording of advertisements. Terms are, however, representative of the content of advertisements. It should be noted that the authority list for SUB differs from the others in that it is not derived from the database, but is directly extracted from an external source (Outline of Cultural Materials).

All other authority lists have been derived from information encountered in advertisements to date: as such, they are not exhaustive listings of all possibilities. The “PREFERRED TERM” may be the one most often encountered in advertisements, or it may be one that does not actually appear in the source, but which best incorporates the term’s synonyms and quasi-synonyms found in advertisements. “USE FOR” does not include all possible variations, but only those words and phrases that as yet have been transcribed from advertisements. All terms (except in the authority list for SUB) occur in the singular for the sake of consistency and in keeping with data entry conventions.

 

PRODUCT TRANSACTION (SPROD) AUTHORITY LIST
OCCUPATION (SOCC) AUTHORITY LIST
LAND TYPE (SLTY) AUTHORITY LIST
LAND FEATURES (SLFE) AUTHORITY LIST
ANNOUNCEMENT TYPE (SGRP) AUTHORITY LIST
SUBJECT CROSS-REFERENCE (SUB) AUTHORITY LIST
RAILWAY (SRAL) AUTHORITY LIST

 

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