Authority Control

MARS Automated Authority Control from Backstage Library Works is one of the oldest and most reliable authority control offerings on the market. But don't let our age fool you.


With recent system upgrades — including a user-friendly web interface and enhanced efficiency, accuracy, and individual customization — managing your authority records has never been easier.

Backstage offers name and subject authority records based on the Library of Congress name and subject authority databases. The authority control process standardizes name, subject, series, and uniform title headings.


Prior to comparing headings against Library of Congress authority control files, we check for inconsistencies in the record headings, standardizing your headings for optimal matching.

This process corrects errors, deletes or modifies obsolete fields, removes unwanted fields, standardizes punctuation, eliminates obsolete brackets and parentheses, and corrects inconsistencies such as invalid qualifiers and inversion errors.


We match your record headings against the Library of Congress name and subject authority file databases to update these headings:

  • Names (100, 110, 111, 700, 711)
  • Subject-Names (600, 610, 611, 630)
  • Series (400, 410, 411, 440, 800, 810, 811, 830, 840)
  • Uniform Titles (130, 240, 243, 730)
  • Subject-Topics (650, 651)

If the Library of Congress file doesn't have all the authorities you need, we can also match against specialized databases such as:

  • MeSH authority control
  • LC Children's authority control
  • The Art & Architecture Thesaurus (AAT)
  • Guidelines on Subject Access to Individual Works of Fiction, Drama, etc. (GSAFD)
  • The Thesaurus for Graphic Materials (TGM)
  • The Rare Books and Manuscripts Section (RBMS) thesauri
  • A locally created authority database

We can also continue to keep your authorities up to date with periodic notification services.

If you're interested in the nuts-and-bolts of updating your authority records, our MARS Planning Guide explains the complete authority control process in full detail. You can find a PDF version here.

Ready for more information? Want to customize your own authority control profile to see what results your records turn up? Call us at 1-800-288-1265 or drop us a note.