Alphabetizing names with Von and van in them and capitalizing?

I have a long list of artists and want to split the names into proper last name and the rest of the name and then check the alphabetical order. I don't know for sure what to do with names like Jay Von Koeffler and James Van Deurzen

Should they be placed with the V's and should the Van/Von be capitalized? What is the practice where these names are more common?


Lots of good information, will have to think about it. Another way of asking the question is: "When is von/van part of the last name and when not?" These are less well known artists so checking a reference or doing a lookup is not likely to work.

6 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    It depends on the person's language.

    According to "Anglo-American Cataloging Rules" published by the American Library Association, for English, enter under the prefix (Van Buren, Martin; Von Braun, Wernher); for German, if it is a preposition or a preposition followed by an article, enter under the part of the name following the prefix (Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von; Muhll, Peter von der). The Van/Von would be capitalized in those cases where the entry would lead with Van/Von (as in the Afrikaans name-- Van der Post, Christiann Willem Hendrik; but not in Dutch and Flemish names such as Wijngaert, Freank van den). You did not ask about "Ver." Enter Ver under the prefix (Ver Boven, Daisy). If the language or the country of residence of the person is unknown, follow the rules for English.

  • 1 decade ago

    Some names especially western people were baptised with two names that there parents gave them like for example Jay Von Koeffler. If you want to arrange them into alphabetical order concentrate on their last names no matter if they have second name like Von or Van it should be the last names to be considered arranging it and yes Von or Van should be capitalize as they are names too...

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Normally names have two parts. One is the given name or what is often called the first name and the other is the Surname. Some times people are given names with more than two parts especialy if they have a long list of relatives whom they respect and would like to remember. I know because I have a four word name which includes my first name, my surname and the names of my two grand fathers.

    In this case Von or Van are essentially similiar to the word "bin" which is commonly used in the Gulf countries and has the meaning " son of". E-g: Abu bin Adam meaning Abu son of Adam.

    In such cases the V need not be capitalised and while placing such neames in alphabetical order use the first letter of the name following Von or Van to guide you. However, a word of warning. This is to be done only if there is a space after the "Von" or "van". E-g the name " Vanderbilt" will have to be under V !

  • 1 decade ago

    It depends on what the name stands for. Some artist add extra names to their own, I would go by whatever the artist real name is, if it is in fact Von whatever, then I would say in "V". My guess. If your alphabetizing it for yourself, you'd know where it was either way, right?

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  • i dont know if this answers your question but i dont think you would capitalize it

    James van Deurzen

    Jay von Koeffler

    but im not positive

  • Betty
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Robert beorrt or Rogue egoru

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