Table of Contents
We have made the LC Name Authority File available for some time at a human user interface and as a web service.
Recently, Ralph LeVan has nicely enhanced the search with a range of fuzzy matching techniques. It works quite well with incorrect or incomplete search strings, often returning what was intended as part of a list of candidate answers. For example, a search on Richard Fineman returns Feynman, Richard Phillips at the top of the list. A search for Walace Stephens returns Wallace Stevens number two. Feynman and Stevens were who I was looking for.
Sometimes it does not help so much (in the current implementation). So for example, say I mistakenly search for Jane Austin (meaning Jane Austen), well then I get a lot of Austins, including at number one, reasonably, Jane Austin. Say I mistakenly search for J.L. Austen (meaning J.L.Austin), well then I get a lot of Austens, including, at number one, Jane Austen.
Now, I am quite attached to my name. I like that fact that Lorcan is not very well known outside Ireland, yet is readily pronouncable and spellable (we have done no such favors for our children Eoghan and Eavan). Many years ago – I think it was my first trip to the US – I travelled to a Meckler Media conference with Derek Law (that’s Derek G. Law to you). We were both speaking. When it came my turn, the person introducing me fumbled and said that they were pleased to welcome Dorcan Lempsey to the stand. Derek has never forgotten this 😉
I am pleased to say that a search on Dorcan Lempsey returns Lorcan Dempsey first, followed by, er, Rhonda Anne Semple.