Text authority when text not shown

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I am working on the 1818 book of the hymns of Benjamin Beddome, with 830 hymns, mostly originally published there. I created the hymnal as instructed, but got bogged down in resolving text authorities. After a few days, the hymnal was deleted, completely understandable since it was far from finished, and I'm sure I made mistakes. (By the way, the resolution form says "Leave blank if you wish to create a new text authority." Does this mean deleting the single underscore that automatically appears in the field?)

My major concern, though, is the number of text authorities based on a single hymnal where text is not given, neither page scan nor full text. I have no way of knowing if the text is the same as that in the hymnal I'm working on, unless I can find the source of the existing authority somewhere on the web. Searching for these takes some time, and was unsuccessful in a number of cases – which is why I got bogged down. Especially difficult are generic titles without unique words that would cue a search engine. Suggestions:

  • Add a field to every hymnal citing the source the editor used. If the source is available for view on the internet, give the url.
  • Give the url of the hymnal in a library website or better, worldcat.org.
  • Cite the hymnal using a shortened title, but give the entire title including all subtitles on the hymnal's page.
  • Avoid creating a text authority until the full text or page scan is posted. The word authority carries with it an implication of complete citation, doesn't it?

I live in a place where the libraries are not good for old hymnals, much less research on them – but they're closed now anyhow!


The hymnal HAPW1818 has not been deleted. It is unpublished, so it is not appearing under Beddome's name. I am not sure creating new text authorities from the resolution page works, so, yes, leave the underscore in these, and resolve the authorites that already exist - the ones that have Beddome as the author. Then go back into the hymnal and add the authorities to the instances that need them. I put in the first few words and see if there is an authority that matches. If not, I put in the rest of the first line to create a new authority. If there is one that matches, it may need some investigation.

For example, there is a hymn "Thy throne, O God, forever stands" written by Isaac Watts, however the second line is different than Beddomes. Ideally, you would add a qualifier to both authority ids with the first (or so) word of the second line. I would try the existing authority, then click on the first line to get to the text authority page, see that this hymn is by Isaac Watts and the second line is different, change the id to add the qualifier "grace", which will change the authority id for the Watts text and the Beddome text, then go back to Beddome and change "grace" to "founded." In this case, we have a page scan of the Watts text. If there is not a page scan, it is likely we have an author, but if there is doubt about whether the Beddome text is the same or different, add a qualifier to the Beddome authority id to create a new authority. We have a list of 195 texts by Beddome, so it is likely that you will be creating 600 or more new authorities. There is no need to do a lot of searching for sources,

We use the term "authority" in the sense of library authorities - authorized headings or names, under which we locate together the variations of the text, tune, pseudonyms or name variations. Many of our hymnals were indexed as part of the DNAH project, and they came to us with first line, author, and the hymnals they are found in; sometimes that is all the information we have.

Thank you for your gracious reply. I am working though this hymnal now. God bless you and keep you safe and healthy.

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