Main page content
indexes: personal names
When an article or preposition is part of an English name, it is alphabetized without inversion, e.g. de la Roche, Mazo; De Quincey, Thomas. Names beginning with Mac, Mc or M’ are alphabetized as if spelled Mac. Ignore the apostrophe in treating an Irish name such as O’Flynn; alphabetize it as if it were one unpunctuated word.
French surnames beginning with an article or a contraction of an article and a preposition are listed without inversion, e.g. Le Rouge, Gustave; Du Pont, Georges. Similarly, names beginning with d’ are generally not inverted, e.g. d’Arcy, Jules. There is no standard method for alphabetizing names beginning with de or de la. Adopt the personal preference of the individual concerned or the traditional presentation of his or her name, e.g. Balzac, Honoré de; La Fontaine, Jean de. Christian saints should be alphabetized by their given names, with an identifier added if necessary:
- John, Saint
- John Chrysostom, Saint
- John of the Cross, Saint
The choice between Saint- and St- and between Sainte- and Ste- in personal names depends on the traditionally preferred presentation. When an abbreviated form is used, it should be alphabetized as if spelled out.
For detailed information on the presentation of English, French and foreign-language names, see the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules.
Copyright notice for Writing Tips Plus
© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by the Minister of Public Services and Procurement
A tool created and made available online by the Translation Bureau, Public Services and Procurement Canada