The Author and the Person: A Foucauldian Reflection on the Author in Knowledge Organization Systems

Heather Lea Moulaison, Felicity Dykas, John M. Budd


Based on Foucault’s exploration of the author-function, the current study investigates knowledge organization systems’ treatment of persons. FRBR and FRAD do well to extend the information in library authority records beyond the personal name as a character string to include attributes of the person, yet aspects of the person as an author and of her author-function are still lacking. This paper briefly compares RDA/MARC and other current initiatives, and finds that Europeana, AustLit, The American Civil War: Letters and Diaries, and DBpedia all have the potential to record both attributes and relationships in authority records for persons. We conclude that additional attributes, relationships, and the previously unused category of events are pivotal to moving toward more Foucault-friendly KOSs in libraries.

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