The national database of authoritative records is one of the major components of information and linguistic support of the electronic catalog. Authoritative / normative files are search elements to bibliographic records of documents which are part of electronic catalogues of the National Library of Belarus and libraries – participants of the corporate cataloguing system.
Authoritative / normative records are search elements of bibliographic records (names of authors and persons, names of organizations, patrimonial names, thematic terms, geographical names, trade names, unified titles etc) presented in conformity with certain rules. Authoritative records identify unequivocally objects and concepts allowing, on the one hand, to consider all variants of names when doing information search, and on another hand, to differentiate objects or concepts with equal names. The database includes information on accepted (established) headings, various alternative forms (alternative and erroneous, former and currently existing, absolute and conditional synonyms, original and spiritual names, abbreviations, pen-names and other forms of the name). Besides authoritative records they contain factographic and other information on a wide spectrum of both national and foreign objects.
The national database of authoritative records is developed in two state languages: Belarusian and Russian. Foreign names have also their variant written according to the national language tradition. The principle of bilingualism is always applied in authoritative files which reflect subject, genre, kind and physical characteristics of documents, as well as the geographical name, the trade mark and the place of publication. Records for all other types of objects are created taking into consideration the language of the document and, if necessary, with alternative forms in other languages.
Developed records are both complete and partial, according to the form of representation of necessary information.
Authoritative records for national objects contain a maximal set of reference data on history, geography and policy while authoritative records for foreign names may not contain the additional information. User has an opportunity to do information search of national objects in both state languages – Russian or Belarusian.