Merging linked records?

Topic Labels: Base design
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4 - Data Explorer
4 - Data Explorer

I’m not quite sure how to word what I want to do in abstract terms, so I’ve described my set up below. Any help would be so appreciated!

I’m using Airtable to track my English dissertation research and I have the following tables: primary titles, secondary titles, authors, topics, and people. The primary and secondary are separated because I need different info for each category of source, but I’m using linked records to keep track of how the primary and secondary titles relate (eg Macbeth and a scholarly article about Macbeth). Both tables link to the authors table where I can see everything an author has written and track topics that author deals with, which then goes to the topics table.

So, what I want to do is create a “people” table where I can aggregate information from many of these tables and combine it with new info. I have a list of historical figures whom I need to keep track of, so I’d like to create a link between that list and any secondary titles about them, which is easy enough. But a good number of the people I’m tracking are authors, and I’d like to bring all of the info that’s in the “authors” table over to the “people” table. I can’t figure out how to make row that includes linked authors (so I can have relevant lookup rows) but also people that aren’t anywhere else in the base. Do I just need to make a list in a single line entry row and then have a separate column where I have many of the same names, just with links?

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