Place of birth / death - countries that no longer exist or renamed

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I have encountered a couple of authors that were born or died in countries that no longer exist, or the countries were renamed, or the borders were altered.

Either the drop down list needs augmenting, or allow for the data to be entered as free text, or just go with the modern name even though it doesn’t relate to the person’s actual nationality.

I think that is the only way it will work if we want to do it correctly. I don’t think it’s possible to list all perished kingdoms and empires in a dropdown menu.

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Related thread: Istanbul was Constantinople, If you've a date in Constantinople she'll be waiting in Istanbul

Free text is not a good solution, in my opinion, because it diminishes the ability to uniquely identify places. I think using the modern entity is the least bad option we have today (and the one that most editors use).


Interesting discussion…thx

Thanks for the link @highstrung It might simply be a case of learning to live with the list of countries available and adapt them as best as possible.

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To add to that, I want to point out two thing:

  1. BookBrainz uses a copy of the country/region/city database as MusicBrainz, although it must be out of date currently and in need of a refresh.

  2. Regions and cities are indeed in the BB database, but currently not accessible due to an issue processing such a huge list of entries. Having cities available could help solve some of the problem at hand: a country of birth might no longer exists while a city of birth could remain unchanged.

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