System for including noble and landed titles etc in Author name?

Hi there,

I just wanted to reach out to see if anyone has any decent and consistent systems in place for recording the noble and landed (as well as political and occupational) titles of document creators? Some of these details seem important to the metadata

So for example, if a letter was written by John Erskine, Earl of Mar, what would be the best way to enter this in the Author field? Erskine, John, Earl of Mar? Or Rev. Adam Fergusson? Would it make sense to record this as Fergusson, Rev. Adam?

I’ve yet to find a coherent and consistent way of inputting this data, so just wanted to see what solutions others have come up with.


Eventually, we are planning to add a special widget for entering names; by using a special data type for names we’ll also be able to display the names according to user or locale preferences as well as have better control over how names are sorted. One added benefit of using a consistent way to input names in the meantime is that we might be able to parse them automatically and convert them to the new data type when it’s ready.

In the past, I’ve been using the conventions used in BibTeX to record names, but there might be better options.

As a side note, here is a more general resource on international personal names that I’ve found helpful in the past.