Tongue-Tied by Authorities: Library of Congress Vocabularies and the Shakespeare Authorship Question
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Boyle, W., Dudley, M., & Hatinguais, C. (2022). Tongue-Tied by Authorities: Library of Congress Vocabularies and the Shakespeare Authorship Question. Cataloging & Classification Quarterly, 1-39.
Despite the existence of a vast literature reflecting hundreds of years of scholarship questioning the authorship of the works of Shakespeare, the conventional Library of Congress Name Authority File and Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) are unable to accurately describe this literature owing to their assumption that the author was William Shakspere of Stratford-upon-Avon. Adopting a pragmatic, philosophically realist perspective based in social epistemology, this article highlights past and current deficiencies in the authority records concerning Shakespeare and proposes changes that would better reflect the nature and purpose of this literature, as well as the historic signifiers of the named persons in question.