Being

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Structure of Being Principal Element

7. Being and Nothingness?(Vital Records)

Being

Specific identities of tangible or intangible beings (living or dead) and/or personifications

<Being type="human" role="authority">
    <Entry
        <Type set="Personal Name Type">Assumed Name</Type>
        <Forename>Shirley</Forename>
        <Surname>Ellis</Surname>
    </Entry>
</Being>

The Being element is broadly interpreted to accommodate authorities for proper names of identified beings or groups of beings and personifications, whether human or otherwise, real or imagined, living or dead/extinct, as well as concocted names used to identify collected specimens of organisms.In contrast, generic categories of beings without proper names, such as bassoonists or species, are covered by Concept. Although the broad scope of life forms and their spiritual manifestations may appear unseemly at first, attributes that serve to zone these into practical categories are under consideration. Indexing may be configured to take these into account.

This outline of the main elements includes current attributes and their values or sources. Most of this structure has been discussed previously. See Figure 4 for how Being fits into overall naming and how either a Name or a "Personal" name structure may be used as appropriate.

XOBIS expands conventional entries to include names for beings that LC treats only as topical subjects. Because both subjects and authors represent Relationships to a Work, neither was selected as a Principal Element. LC stopped adding subject headings to name authorities around 1986; this was akin to adding Conceptual relationships.See the Relationships section for discussion of the role they have in determining Principal Elements.For Being, similarities in genealogical relationships are evident for people, animals, gods, and characters, especially in contrast to other Principal Elements, for instance, Object.

XOBIS emphasizes identities and relies considerably on their being reflected in proper names to distinguish a particular Being from a class (Concept).This extends to intangible spirits, characters (fictional, legendary, and mythological), deities, etc. Additionally, the same Being may have more than one Record; the issue of separate identities needs further investigation as they change over time and may overlap.Name excludes unqualified scientific names, etc., which refer to a class (e.g. all members of a species are a Concept) rather than to an individual specimen.However, groups with proper names are treated as collective instantiations of Being. Although anthropomorphism extends to the inanimate, named things are covered by Object, as are separate anatomical specimens.

Like UKMARC, and unlike MARC, Forename and Surname are separate elements of the substructure to support improved retrieval. Consider that Albert, Alexander, Ashley, Curtis, Frank, Henry, John, Julia, Kaye, Kelly, Oliver, Rose, Ruth, Scott, and Thomas, to mention only a few, are often surnames. (In 2002, Medline began making this distinction.) Expansion covers spelled out initials (MARC x00 ^q).For other components of Name, see the generic Qualifiers above, which treats enumeration (MARC x00 ^n) and appellation (MARC x00 ^c) as repeated instances of String.Currently, Being is the only case where Type has been extended to Entry; cf. Type in the Generic Elements section and later in this section. See the Object section's discussion of Identifier that could be extended to Being.

The aim of the other examples is to illustrate the variety in naming, the range of categories and attributes, and other related issues.The attributes are emergent and perhaps a different breakdown would work better. The value human intends to subset ordinary flesh and blood people.The value specimen represents collected whole specimens, regardless of organism (cf. Otzi below) or alternation for mounting.Beyond these two, mutually exclusive categorization becomes more difficult. Using Relationships, any number of specific groupings can be established, leaving attributes for broad groupings.The value special intends to cover all intangible beings. Due to differing cultural or religious interpretations and historical obscurity, special is currently broadly interpreted to include cases that are "in doubt" or ambiguous. Plurals for Concept are used in these examples, except as qualifiers.See also Singular for Entry Substitutes under Generic Elements above. An asterisk (*) indicates a "Personal" name structure, cf. the earlier Figure 4.Rules for delineating Name, Surname and Forename would need to be devised, which consider how referential names are handled in indexing. A degree sign (°) indicates some specimens likely to be authorities only in most catalogs.

Being Entry Concept
type (class) Category:(plural)
human (individual)
Hippocrates Physicians

Geronimo, 1829-1909

Chiricahua Indians /
Indian Chiefs ?
*Jordan, Barbara, 1936- African American Legislators
Died: 1996 Time
*Lee, C. P. (Chuan-Pu), 1931- Biochemists
*Preston, Walter (Baritone) Baritones (Singers)
River (Writer) Authors
The Rock (Wrestler) Wrestlers
*Sargis, Saint, 4th Cent. Christian Saints
*Sitwell, Edith, Dame, 1887-1964 Poets
*Ţórđur Jónsson Physicists
*Williams, Ted, 1918- Baseball Players
Died: 2002 Time
human (familial)
*Breckinridge (Family) Families ?
*Medici (House of) Dynasties?
human (collective)
Aborigines, Australian Indigenous Peoples
Asian-Americans Ethnic Groups
Cherokee Indians Ethnic Groups
Zulu (African People) Ethnic Groups
human (undifferentiated)
*Müller Heinrich [none]
human (referential) [none]
Mc [see also M' and Mac]
Owen [see also John]
Owens [see also Johnson, Jonsson, etc.]
St. [see also Saint]
specimen (individual)
° Ain't Misbehavin' (Race Horse), 1993- Race Horses
Bonsai (Phytecellobrium dulce : 1936) Bonsai
° Bucephalas (Horse), d. 326 BC Horses
Cygnus cygnus (Specimen) Whooper Swan
°General Grant Tree Giant Sequoia
° Koko (Gorilla), 1971- Gorillas
° Otzi (Ice Mummy) Ice Mummies
Variant: Oetzi the Ice Man
Nickname: Frozen Fritz
Quercus alba L. (Herbarial Specimen) White Oak
Yersinia pestis (Microscope Slide) Yersinia pestis
specimen (familial)
° The F Family (Chimpanzees) Chimpanzees
Related: Gombe State (Nigeria)Place
specimen (collective)
Butterflies and Moths (Collection) Butterflies/ Moths
Flamingo Colony Flamingos
° Porqupine Caribou Herd Barren Ground Caribou

special (individual)
*Arthur, King Legendary Characters ?
Agamemnon (Greek Mythology) Mythological Figures ?
Audrey II (Fictional Plant) Fictional Characters
Fictional: Plants
Bambi (Fictional Character) Fictional Characters
Fictional: Deer
*Brigit (Celtic Deity) Godesses, Celtic
Caspar (Fictional Character) Fictional Characters
Fictional: Ghosts
Chiron (Greek Mythology) Centaurs / Mythological Figures ?
Devil Demons ?
Eru (Fictional God : Tolkien) Fictional Gods ?
John Henry (Legendary Character) Legendary Characters ?
Loch Ness Monster Monsters
Papageno (Operatic Character) Operatic Characters ?
Phoenix (Mythical Bird) Mythical Creatures ?
Fictional: Birds
Pinocchio (Fictional Character) Fictional Characters
Fictional: Marionettes
*Ruth (Biblical Figure) Biblical Figures ?
*Sartoris, Bayard, 1893-1920. Fictional Characters
Spider-Man Fictional Characters
Fictional: Heroes Comic Strip Characters
*Twain, Mark, 1835-1910 (Spirit) Spirits ?
Vikalen (Angel) Angels
*Weaver, Kerry (Fictional Character) Fictional Characters
Fictional: Physician
Fictional: Physicians with Disabilities
[Disabled Physician Singular?]
Portrayed by: Innes, Laura, 1959-
special (familial)
Hardy Boys Fictional Characters
Fictional: Brothers
*Sartoris (Family) Fictional Characters
Fictional: Families ?
special (collective)
Ewoks (Fictional Creatures) Fictional Creatures
Muses (Greek Deities) Goddesses, Greek

The above examples illustrate a broad range of issues.The examples are not meant to be comprehensive, conclusive, or necessarily consistent. Some values are borrowed from LCSH to illustrate the inconsistency between qualifiers and topical subject headings.For example, LCSH's reference Fictitious animals see Animals, Mythical does not work well with Bambi. Precoordination also interferes with XOBIS' structure; contrast Operatic Characters above with LCSH's Operas --Characters.Routine qualification for fictional beings is questioned, especially when relationships convey the information more accessibly. Punctuation, left to XSL, needs study especially in regard to the Expansion and Qualifiers elements.Some liberties were taken in the examples to illustrate potential alternatives.

Cusp issues occur in any schema. Contrast the collective or familial Being above with an individual Organization (e.g. the Everly Brothers, an individual incorporated for professional practice, or the organized Gambino Crime Family), where the emphasis in on corporate identity. Gradations appear to be the rule, leaving distinctions to be forged by definition. See the Object section for fossils of life forms. Nationalities reflect a Relationship in their affinity with Place, although collective Being may be a viable alternative.

Most entries formulated according to AACR2 are not problematical, despite its emphasis on authorship. The delineation of different identities for the same person in separate records, such as for pseudonyms, stage names, impersonations, etc., is important in XOBIS in that such names may have separate/different Relationships to a specific Work or other Principal Element. In order to accommodate multiple and changing identities flexibly, Type and Duration may be assigned to either the Entry or any individual Variant, since it is relative to the choice of entry made.In effect, this extends equivalence relationships (cf.Varia under Generic Elements above) to the Entry, allowing for example, an Entry to be designated a "Pseudonym," instead of, or in addition to, a Variant.

Being Type Duration
Entry Mishima, Yukio, 1925-1970 Pseudonym 1944-1970
Variant Hiraoka, Kimitake, 1925-1970
Entry Lacks, Henrietta, d. 1951
Variant Lane, Helen. Anonym 1951-

Although technically acceptable, embedded relationships in names are awkward in XOBIS.Since the relationships do not always appear necessary for disambiguation (using Qualifiers), they deserve review in the context of having Relationships recorded separately, at least in some cases.

Also using Relationships, chronological distinctions between reign and lifespan add clarity. Others cases are more complex (cf. Qualifiers and Organization, both above):

Titles in entries are problematic in that they may change and overlap.The last example above includes an attribution qualifier (x00 ^j), which is essentially a Relationship from an anonymous person.Potentially, entries for "difficult" names could be better-structured using identification and qualification, and by not burdening them with extraneous information better left to Relationships.