The Manual entry at the start of Table 3A Subdivisions for Works by or about Individual Authors, which gives much advice about choice of numbers for individual literary authors, says nothing about pseudonyms. In particular, the discussion of literary periods says nothing about pseudonyms. Here is an excerpt from what the Manual entry says about choice of literary period:
Use only one literary period for an author and all of the author's works, including works that may have been published earlier or later than the dates covered by that period. Determine the literary period in accordance with scholarly consensus about when an author flourished. . . . In the absence of scholarly comment, use the weight of bibliographic evidence to determine when an author flourished. For example, class an author who published one novel in 1999, one novel in 2000, one in 2001, and one in 2002 in the literary period beginning with 2000.
The Decimal Classification Division of the Library of Congress (LC) decided that an author who chose to establish a new literary identity with a new pseudonym in the 21st century should have the new literary period notation assigned to that new pseudonym. For example, consider the literary identity of Lauren Kelly, an American writer of “novels of suspense.” Her publication timeline begins in 2004. The Decimal Classification Division has given her fiction the DDC number 813.6 American fiction—2000– . A look at the LC authority record for Kelly shows that Kelly is a pseudonym for Joyce Carol Oates: “Works by this author are entered under the name used in the item. For a listing of other names used by this author, search also under Oates, Joyce Carol, 1938– .”
The publication timeline for Joyce Carol Oates begins in 1963. Oates has written many kinds of fiction, including domestic fiction, love stories, bildungsromans, historical fiction, horror fiction, romans à clef, and biographical fiction, as well as suspense fiction. The Decimal Classification Division has given her fiction the DDC number 813.54 American fiction—1945–1999. A look at the LC authority record for Oates shows that she published under several pseudonyms: “For works of this author entered under other names, search also under Fernandes, 1938– ; Smith, Rosamond, 1938– ; Kelly, Lauren, 1938– .”
We are reconsidering the policy of using a new literary period notation for new pseudonyms. Some have argued that everything by the same real author should be classed in the same literary period. Others have noted that sometimes a work originally published under a pseudonym is later republished under the author’s real name.
We should point out that if the same DDC number is preferred for all names used by the same author, each library can make its own decision about what Cutter number or book number to use: alphabetic arrangement is a local issue with DDC. For example, if DDC number 813.54 American fiction—1945–1999 is used for all fiction by Oates under all her names, some libraries may choose to assign a Cutter number for a work by Kelly based on “Kelly” instead of “Oates.”
We are asking for advice. Should we treat pseudonyms as separate literary identities and assign literary period notation according to when the pseudonym began to flourish? Or should we assign the same literary period notation to all the names under which an author publishes? Please reply directly to this blog entry by August 15, 2008. If you prefer, you may also send comments and suggestions directly to email@example.com.