10.3 Variant Forms of Names

Commentary: Variant names are created to help users discover materials that have been classified under one name but a user might reasonably expect to find material using another name. Make a see reference from a form of the name of a person or corporate body or title of a work that might reasonably be sought to the form that has been chosen as the name or uniform title heading or as a title entry.

10.3.1 If an institution maintains records in two or more official languages, record as a variant the parallel form of the authorized name as it occurs in the other language(s).

United Church of Canada (authorized name)

Variant name(s): L'église unie du Canada

10.3.2 Optionally, record as a variant the name of the entity as it would be constructed according to the rules of other cataloging conventions. Indicate the rules and/or source of the name where possible.

Minnesota. Section on Wildlife

Pre-AACR2 form: Minnesota. Division of Fish and Wildlife. Section on Wildlife

Washington National Cathedral

Pre-AACR2 form: Washington, D.C., Cathedral of Saint Peter and Saint Paul

Tolkien, J. R. R. (John Ronald Reuel), 1892-1973

Bibliotheque nationale de France form: Tolkien, John Ronald Reuel, 1892-1973

10.3.3 Record all other names or forms of name(s) that might reasonably be sought by a user but were not chosen as the authorized form of name. Variant names might include:

  • Alternate linguistic forms of names
  • Acronyms for corporate bodies
  • Earlier, later, religious, or secular names for persons
  • Changes in titles for families

Clark, Joe (authorized name)

Variant name(s):: Clark, Charles Joseph

Clark, C. J.

Prichard, Robert (authorized name)

Variant name(s): Prichard, John Robert Stobo

Prichard, J. Robert S.

Prichard, Rob

World Health Organization (authorized name)

Variant name(s): W.H.O.

Organisation de la Santé Mondiale

Massachusetts (authorized name)

Variant name(s): Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Montgomery, L. M. (authorized name)

Variant name(s): Montgomery, Lucy Maud

MacDonald, Lucy Maud Montgomery

Society of American Archivists. National Information Systems Task Force (authorized name)

Variant name(s): National Information Systems Task Force


Cadell, T. (Thomas), 1742-1802 (authorized name)

Variant name(s): Cadell, Thomas, 1742-1802

Cadel, T.(Thomas),1742-1802

10.3.4 Optionally, record pseudonyms and other identities assumed by a person as variant names.

Clemens, Samuel Langhorne, 1835-1910 (authorized name)

Variant name(s): Twain, Mark, 1835-1910

Snodgrass, Quintus Curtius, 1835-1910

Conte, Louis de, 1835-1910