Winston Churchill


The name authority for Winston Churchill changed in 2010.  The Library of Congress removed the ‘Sir’ from his name authority.

The correct authority for the British Prime Minister is: Churchill, Winston, 1874-1965.

Many library catalogs that I checked have him entered both ways which lessens accessibility.  Authority file maintenance is time consuming, but worth the extra effort for collocation and database integrity.

001       n 78085430
003       DLC
005       20100414060711.0
008       781117n| acannaabn |b aaa
010 —    |an 78085430
035 —    |a(OCoLC)oca00220648
040 —    |aDLC|beng|cDLC|dDLC|dDLC
053 -0    |aPR6005.H83
100 1-    |aChurchill, Winston,|d1874-1965
400 1-    |aCherchillʹ, Vinston,|d1874-1965
400 1-    |wnna|aChurchill, Winston Leonard Spencer,|d1874-1965

510 1-    |aGreat Britain.|bPrime Minister (1940-1945 : Churchill)
510 1-    |aGreat Britain.|bPrime Minister (1951-1955 : Churchill)
667 —    |aMachine-derived non-Latin script reference project.
667 —    |aNon-Latin script references not evaluated.
670 —    |aHis London to Ladysmith via Pretoria … 1900.
670 —    |aHis The American Civil War, 1985, c1958:|bCIP t.p. (Winston S.
670 —    |aWikipedia, Dec. 17, 2008|b(Winston Churchill; Sir Winston Leonard
Spencer-Churchill, KG, OM, CH, TD, FRS, PC (Can) (30 Nov. 1874-24
Jan. 1965); British politician; served as Prime Minister of the United
Kingdom from 1940 to 1945 and again from 1951 to 1955)

From the 2001 amendments:

British terms of honor (“Sir,” “Dame,” “Lord,” “Lady”) will no longer be included in headings (22.1C 22.12) but will be retained in statements of responsibility (1.1F) and can be used to resolve conflicts in headings (22.19B).  The Library of Congress began to apply this rule revision to headings being newly established after November 30, 2001.   (LCRI 22.1C)

This amendment is confirmed in CSB 116 page 17


4 responses to “Winston Churchill

  1. Thanks for the heads-up. I’ll take “Sir” out of the name right away.
    In general, should I be looking for “Sir” to drop out of other authorized names as well, or is this sort of change begin done case by case?

    (Eventually I hope to be able to automatically check against a downloaded set of authorized names, like I do now for authorized subjects, but I can’t get them yet from

  2. It would seem that LC is changing these name authorities gradually, so ‘case by case’ is the answer.

  3. Looking through my own lists of names with “Sir”, I see some of them have now changed in LC authorities and some have not. I’ll try to update the most common ones that have changed, but I’d love to know if there’s an underlying policy change that I can look at to anticipate future changes. Are all “Sir”s going to eventually be dropped, for instance, or just certain ones?

    I already know to look for certain kinds of changes if RDA is adopted. Though I didn’t think this was one of them (especially since there hasn’t yet to my knowledge been an official decision at LC to go with RDA).

  4. Ian Fairclough

    For those wishing to be advised of concerns about personal name headings, such as the unfortunate deknighting of Sir Winston Churchill (who is not to be confused with his American author namesake) I suggest you subscribe to PERSNAME-L. Further information here or write to the list owners at You can view the PERSNAME-L list archives here

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