Tip #119: Names with multiple initials – space or no space?

Question: When creating or editing MARC records, is it J.K. Rowling or J. K. Rowling? Is it Rowling, J.K. or Rowling, J.K.?

Answer:
In the 100, 700, or 800 field, always enter a space between initials of a personal name: Rowling, J. K.
In the 245 field, type the name with no spaces between initials: J.K. Rowling.

Examples:

100 1_ |a Griffin, W. E. B. (spaces between initials)
245 14 |a The traffickers / |c W.E.B. Griffin and William E. Butterworth IV. (no spaces)
100 1_ |a Beaton, M. C. (spaces between initials)
245 14 |a There goes the bride / |c M.C. Beaton (no spaces)

In contrast, never put spaces between initials of a corporate name, no matter where it appears in the record.

Example:

110 2_ |a J.C. Penney. (no spaces)
260 __ |a New York : |b W.W. Norton, |c 2001. (no spaces)

The basic rule in a nutshell: Anytime a personal or corporate name is in direct order, there are no spaces between the initials. If the format is last name, first name, then put a space between the initials.
Originally published on February 3, 2012.


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