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Learner guide: Connexion client 6 - Authority control

Course overview

This course provides the basic skills needed to work with authority records in Connexion client. At the end of this course, learners will be able to find detailed help on authority records and authority control in Connexion client; explain the purpose of authority control; control headings in bibliographic records; search and browse the Library of Congress (LC) authority file; and export authority records.   

 Note:  This learner guide is designed to accompany the Connexion client 6: Authority control course.


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About authority records

An authority record contains information about a name, a uniform title, or a topical subject heading. Each authority record may contain the established form of the heading, see from references, see also from references, and notes. The record also contains coded data that describes the characteristics of the heading or record.

You can search the authority file to determine if an authoritative heading exists. If an authorized heading exists, it is described in an authority record.

Records have fixed-length fields that contain coded information from the MARC 21 Leader, 005, and 008 fields. Records have variable-length fields that contain coded and textual information. 

Learn more at Understanding MARC authority records .

MARC authority fields

Tag Field Information
010 LCCN
1XX Heading
4xx "See from" tracing
5xx  "See also from" tracing
6xx Notes
670 Source data found
680 Scope note

Authority control

The procedures by which consistency of form is maintained in the headings (names, uniform titles, series titles, and subjects) used in a library catalog or file of bibliographic records through the application of an authoritative list (called an authority file) to new items as they are added to the collection. See ODLIS — Online Dictionary for Library and Information Science      

Authority tags and the bibliographic tags they control

Heading Authority Tag Bibliographic Tags
Personal Name 100 100, 600, 700, 800
Corporate Name 110 110, 610, 710, 810
Conference Name 111 111, 611, 711, 811 
Uniform Title 130 130, 440, 630, 730, 830
Chronological Term 148 648
Topical Subject 150 650
Geographic Subject 151 651
Genre / Form Subject 155 655
Topical Subdivision 180 6xx $x
Geographic Subdivision 181 6xx $z
Chronological Subdivision 182 6xx $y
Form Subdivision 185 6xx $v

Control headings

  • Control headings function links headings in bibliographic records to matching Library of Congress authority records, if available. 
  • Once you control a heading (and add or replace the record in WorldCat), the heading in the bibliographic record is automatically updated whenever the linked authority record changes 
  • Clicking a controlled heading hyperlink in a bibliographic record opens the authority record in a separate window. 

Control all headings

  • While viewing a bibliographic record: 
  • Click Edit>Control Headings>All 
  • OR <Shift><F11>
  • OR use the toolbar icon   

Control single heading

  • Click in the field for the heading 
  • Click Edit>Control Headings>Single 
  • OR <F11> 
  • OR use the toolbar icon   
  • If the requested control is for an unqualified personal name, If a matching authority record is found, click on the heading to view the authority record to verify it is the correct record 
  • Close the authority record 
  • Click Insert Heading 

Uncontrol headings

  • Uncontrol all headings:  Edit>Control Headings>Uncontrol All 
  • Uncontrol single heading:  Edit>Control Headings>Uncontrol Single 
  • OR (right click) > Uncontrol Single  
  • OR <Ctrl><F11> 

Edit a controlled heading

  • First, uncontrol the heading using the steps above 
  • Edit the heading as needed 
  • Control the heading using the steps above 

Library of Congress (LC) authority files

  • The Library of Congress and NACO libraries create and maintain the authority records.
  • Records are stored and displayed in the MARC authorities format.

Searching and browsing in LC authority files

See Authorities: Format and indexes for comprehensive information about the format of OCLC authority records. Also, view available authority indexes and indexed fields organized alphabetically.

  • Browsing and keyword searching use the same indexes (same fields and subfields are indexed for both)
    • Exception: numeric indexes LCCN (Library of Congress Control Number) and OCLC ARN (OCLC Authority Record Number) can only be searched
  • Indexing differs for derived searching.
  • Derived indexes are unavailable for browsing.
  • How you specify an index varies with the search or browse method you use:
    • When you search or browse using the Command Line Search box in the Search LC Names and Subjects dialog, you must type the index label.
    • When you use the Keyword/Numeric Search boxes of the Search window or when you use the Browse LC Names and Subjects window, do not type the index label. Instead, select the index from the list provided.


  • Search Authority File:   Authorities > Search >LC Names and Subjects 
  • OR <Shift><F2> 
  • OR use the toolbar icon   


  • Browse Authority File:  Authorities > Browse >LC Names and Subjects 
  • OR <Alt><F2> 
  • OR  use the toolbar icon 

Expanded browse 

Useful for name-title headings, and subject headings with subdivisions.  You can use this feature either when doing an initial browse, or from the root Browse results list. 

  • To use when doing an initial browse: Browse as above and enter a subheading in the Expanded Term box. 
  • To use from the Root Browse results list, enter a subheading in the Expanded Term box and click Do Expanded Scan. 

Exporting authority records

You can export:

  • Records retrieved from the Library of Congress (LC) authority file, from the online authority save file, or from the local authority save file
  • Workforms (new records you create) from the online or local authority save file. You must set an option in Tools > Options > Export.
  • A mix of authority and bibliographic records in the same file.

Create an authority record export destination

  1. Navigate to Tools > Options or press <Alt><T><O>.
  2. Click the Export tab.
  3. In the New Export Destination window, select one of the following export destination types, and then click OK.
    • File
    • LPT Port
    • Connection
    • OCLC Gateway Export
  4. In the window appropriate for the destination type, select settings and options, and then click OK. See Types of export destinations and settings for more details.
  5. In the Export Destination Name window, the client provides a suggested name for the destination that reflects its type and settings or location. Click OK to accept the default name, or enter a new name and then click OK. The name appears in the Select an export destination list. See Export Destination Name - General rules for more information about creating your own name.
  6. When finished, click Close to apply the settings and close the Options window.
    Click Apply to apply the settings without closing the window.

Export authority records 

  1. Display the record you want to export.
    Select records in a list.
    • To select adjacent records, click to highlight the first entry, and then press and hold <Shift> and click the last entry.
    • To select nonadjacent entries, click to highlight the first entry, and then press <Ctrl> and click to highlight each additional entry.
  2. Click Action > Export, click the Export button (Export button), or press <F5>.
  3. Continue exporting more records if needed. If exporting to a file, the client appends exported records to any records already in the export file. You can mix bibliographic and authority records in the same file.
    • The client exports the record immediately to the destination you created and selected.
      If you export to a file and selected the option File:(Prompt for filename), after your first export per session, the client prompts you to locate or enter the file, and then exports the record.
    • If exporting to a file that already exists, the first time during a session that you export record(s), the client asks if you want to overwrite, append, or cancel the export and use another file.
    • For the remainder of your current logon session and until you close the client and reopen it, any time you export, the client automatically appends records to any records already in the export file (on the assumption that you are building a file of exported records).
    • The record's Export status changes to C (completed) or F (failed).

See batch export authority records to discovery how to batch export authority records in Connexion client. 

Test your knowledge

  1. What field in the authority record contains the "see also" reference?
    1. Field 4xx (400, 410, 450)​
    2. Field 670​
    3. Field 1xx (100, 110, 150)​
    4. Field 5xx (500, 510, 550)
  2. True or False? If the heading in the authority record changes, the controlled heading in the WorldCat bibliographic record is updated?
  3. Which steps will allow you to search for authority records?
    1. Cataloging > Search or F2
    2. Authorities > Search > LC Names and Subjects or Shift + F2
    3. Authorities > Show
    4. Cataloging > Show
  4. Using Connexion Client, search for the bibliographic record with this OCLC number:  870426698.  Control as many headings as possible.  
  5. Using Connexion Client, search for the bibliographic record with this OCLC number: 214309412.  Add ǂz Hawaii to this subject heading: 650 0  Seismology ǂx Statistical methods ǂv Congresses  and control the new heading. 
  6. Using Connexion Client, search the authority file for the following: 
    • LCCN: sh 85056208.  What is the OCLC ARN? 
    • OCLC ARN: 2133462.  What is the heading in the 150 field? 
  7. Using Connexion Client, browse the authority file for the subject heading Digital photography.  What is the established form of this heading? 
  8. Using Connexion Client, browse the authority file for the country name Tanganyika.  Is this name valid to use as a subject heading in a bibliographic record? 
  9. Using the expanded term browse functionality in Connexion Client, find an authority record for Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616. Taming of the shrew. What is the authority record number? 
  10. Using the expanded term browse functionality in Connexion Client, find an authority record for this topical subject heading:  Law -- Interpretation and construction  What is the authority record number? 
Answer key


  1. d.) Field 5xx (500, 510, 550)
  2. True
  3. b.) Authorities > Search > LC Names and Subjects or Shift + F2
  4. For this OCLC record, 870426698, many of the uncontrolled headings are unqualified personal names.  As a result, each name is controlled singly.  Follow the steps for controlling a single heading. The 650 and 651 fields and any qualified personal name headings will be controlled. Genre headings tagged 655 with second indicator 0 can be controlled; 
  5. Follow the steps for controlling all headings. To add a subdivision to a controlled heading, you must first uncontrol it: Right-click in the field and select Uncontrol Single; or click on Edit, then Control Headings, then Uncontrol Single; or press <Ctrl><F11>.  Then type ǂz Hawaii and control the heading again. 
  6. For LCCN sh 85056208, the OCLC ARN is 2036127. For OCLC ARN 2133462, the heading in the 150 field is Cereal products. 
  7.  Choose either Topicals or LCSH as the index.  The ARN is 2755164, and the established form of this heading in the 150 field is Photography ǂx Digital techniques. 
  8. Follow steps to search Authorities. Type Tanganyika.  Choose Geographic Names as the index, and click OK or press <Enter>.  Select Tanganyika, then select the line with [151].  Code b in the Subj use fixed field, as well as the 667 field, indicate that the heading Tanganyika is not valid for use as a subject.  However, Tanganyika may be used as a main or added entry in a bibliographic record (indicated by code a in the Name use fixed field). 
  9. Follow steps to search Authorities. Type Shakespeare, William in the Browse for box.  Select Personal names as the index, and click OK or press <Enter>.  In the Expanded Term box, type taming of the shrew, then click Do Expanded Scan.  Select the line with ǂt Taming of the shrew [100]. The ARN is 1578794.   
  10. Click on Authorities, then Browse, then LC Names and Subjects; or press <Alt><F2>.  Type law in the Browse for box.  Select either Topicals or LCSH as the index.  In the Expanded Terms box, type interpretation and construction; then click OK or press <Enter>. Select the line with ǂx Interpretation and construction [150].  The ARN is 2159632. 


Additional information

We look forward to seeing you in the next class!