Authority Working Group

In 2014, APAC formed an authority working group of interested members as a direct outcome of APAC sessions and workshops that addressed issues and challenges relating to authorities datasets available to the performing arts collection sector in particular.

The group takes up issues identified in performance-related authorities (and the lack thereof), seeking potential solutions of benefit to APAC members and other professionals looking after performing arts materials.

A long-term ambition for APAC has been to compile an online National Performance Database, recording what production happened, when and where, and who was involved. This resource is envisioned to be a UK performance repertoire authority dataset, which collection managers can link to their individual holdings to enrich cataloguing information. It will also help users to identify productions, creative team and cast members. It is hoped that this database will show where primary resources relating to these shows are held across the UK. This is a substantial project.

The APAC Authority Working group aims to support this long-held vision by identifying small work packages that will contribute towards the longer term ambition, as well supporting users and collection managers with resources in the interim.

In September 2014, the Authority Working Group agreed that an accurate and up-to-date UK theatre venue authority dataset would be beneficial to collection managers. It would allow coherent cataloguing of names of theatre venues across library, museum and archive cataloguing systems. It would also help users in discovering relevant resources in local catalogues.

The group therefore is working to create:

  • a resource on the APAC website listing UK theatre venues with recommended cataloguing name format, along with relevant dates and location co-ordinates.
  • cataloguing guidelines on how to use this resource alongside international cataloguing standards for museums, libraries and archives.

APAC’s Authority Working Group may be contacted at authority@performingartscollections.org.uk.