Wednesday, July 09, 2014
This message has been cross posted to the following Discussions: Technical Services SIS Descriptive Cataloging Advisory Group and Technical Services SIS Cataloging & Classification Committee .
I wrote this up in consultation with Phil George who is the chief expert for the LC Law Cataloging Section. I suggest it might be a basis for a Descriptive Cataloging Best Practices for the law cataloging community. I suggest this might be a good topic to discuss at the Descriptive Advisory Group's meeting, in particular. I suggest that some LC practices should be adopted by everyone, and that an effort should be made to get the LC Law Cataloging Section to change some practices to be more in line with everyone else's.
If anyone needs to contact me between now and the conference, email me at home firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook, as I get get to my LC email from outside the LC firewall. --Aaron
Senior Cataloger, Law Cataloging Section
Library of Congress
$cqualifier to avoid conflicts
If a date can not be found, prefer (Lawyer), rather than “solicitor” or “advocate” or “barrister” or (Law teacher) rather than “professor” or “dean”. Note that the qualifier is singular. One may no longer use academic degrees such as “Ph.D” or titles of rank such as “Q.C.” or “M.B.E.”. It is preferable to based the qualifier reflecting professions on LCSH wherever possible, since this also links them to the 374 field in the NAF. Note that the qualifier is singular.
Note the example of Lewin, Bryan ‡c (Writer on British trading standards) for which PSD was consulted and they expressly objected to using “M.B.E.” (which appears on the title page and author’s website and of which he is apparently quite proud) and suggested the “writer…” qualifier.
Under current policy, it is unacceptable not to resolve a conflict since one can always use a profession or even a “Writer on …”. Undifferentiated name authorities, in which multiple authors have identical headings, or no long allowed. “Editor” or “Author” are very undesirable since almost everyone we deal with is one of those, but a profession such as (Legal editor) is acceptable.
In all cases limit oneself to those listed in the RDA appendix I. If the terms there are inadequate, LC practice is to propose a new term to PSD. While there are separate lists for “Creators” there are some situations where we would use terms from other lists in the 1xx field (such as Issuing body after a heading for an agency issuing a regulation and the indicators for parties to law suits for libraries that catalogue pleadings and court documents, which LC rarely does).
Note that an editor is not a creator and is never the 1xx heading, and also note that the former indicator for “editor of compilation” is no longer used due to it causing excessive confusion. The term writer of added commentary is the correct term for someone who wrote a commentary on a legal work (e.g. a statute), and is never a creator; if the person is the main entry (meaning the work is primarily that of the person writing the commentary, and the original work is incidental), then the person is an author (though perhaps we might want two relationship indicators in that case: $e author, $e writer of added commentary (the term “commentator” is reserved for something totally different in the performing arts area).
While one can add indicators for writers of prefaces and introductions, one need not have 7xx headings for them unless it is truly important. The same goes for translators, illustrators, publishers, etc. At LC, Law catalogers tend not to go overboard in adding 7xx headings. Just because there is a $e available for a relationship, does not mean the relationship has been deemed worthy of receiving an added entry (7xx heading). The only exception pertains to illustrators of juvenile works, which most law libraries rarely encounter.
Administrative laws issued by agencies will receiving an indicator for issuing body in the 110 field, and statutes will have enacting jurisdiction in the 110 field. There is an indicator of jurisdiction governed but it is rarely used (since there is an implicit assumption that an “enacting jurisdiction” is legislating for itself). An example that might warrants its, would be for an edition of the British North America Act of 1867 (enacted by the British Parliament) if cataloged under RDA, which would probably get “Canada, jurisdiction governed” in the 110 field since RDA calls for “main” entry under the jurisdiction governed – however it is rare to find such a work to catalogue.
Note that honouree is spelled with a British spelling and is not limited to a conventional festschrift but includes any work issued in honor of someone. If a collection of essays by an author is published to honor the author, one gets a heading [name of person], $e author, $e honouree in the 100 field. Corporate bodies can also be honored.
When using an unfamiliar relationship indicator, check the definition. Remember that just because there is an indicator for something does not mandate having a heading for the person or body that is in that relationship, and the absence of a term from the list does not mean there is no relevant indicator, but rather one needs to be proposed through the official channels.
If available, include the author’s birth date in the NAF in a 670 and in the 046 even if not needed (at this time) to break a conflict.
For the 372 field, put the term in LCSH, such as Law $2 lcsh. Use the most general term unless the person has clearly established themselves in one area (meaning a more specific term is likely only for someone at the end of their career, and never for someone at the start of their career). For the 374 field, prefer the general term in LCSH Lawyers $2 lcsh or Law teachers $2 lcsh , and more specific terms only if they are well into their career as, for example, Judges or Corporate lawyers. For the 375 field, it is useful and easy to add the gender of the author, and is very helpful to do so for foreign authors whose names aren’t obviously gender specific. In determining gender look for use of a pronoun (he/she). While there are ways to indicate gender change, don’t expect to encounter this very often.
It is probably a good practice to always attempt to locate the author’s personal web page, typically at his/her firm or academic institution. This way you may pick up other variants of the name and whether this is their first book. Checking VIAF for foreign authors might also be a good practice.
240 Citation titles.
For statutes, look for a short title. Most English speaking countries have them and the practice is spreading. To the extent RDA allows, we should try to follow the “Blue book” practices. If RDA conflicts with standard citation practice, we should undertake to change RDA (as we did for treaties).
240 Recording the Preferred Title for a Compilation of Works of One Person
This is RDA rule 188.8.131.52, sometimes referred to as the “Leaves of grass” rule due to its application to Belles lettres situations that have no relevance to law cataloging. For legal (and probably most social science literature), it is normal for works to be created out of, at least in part, journal articles the author has written. If the work is created out of previously published articles that have been edited to serve as chapters of the book, and all the more so if most of the chapters were never published but were written for the work, consider the “book in hand” to be a new work, and do not make a collective title. The need to have a 240 Works. Selections or more likely Essays. Selections or occasionally Judicial opinions. Selections will arise but not every often (e.g. someone publishing the works of someone to honor them, which is common is some countries). If the essays are edited into a new work, then it isn’t a compilation and the rule doesn’t apply. In effect, we want to see the work “jumping up and downing and saying “I am a compilation, not a new work” before we give it compilation treatment.
245 $c author statements
Try to record what is on the title page (or equivalent), which often includes the author’s current or recent past position. A typical example of being “burdensome” is found on many British books where the author appears to be trying to reference his life story on to the title page – in which case one should prefer information indicating current status or position (such as “Q.C.” being more important that the author’s academic degrees).
250 Edition statement.
Record what appears in the work in the form it appears. If the book abbreviates, the cataloging shows the abbreviation.
264 Publisher statement
Record the first named place and name of publisher as it appears on the title page, or if not on the title page, the title page verso. One isn’t required to add on to it, though it is allowed. In almost no situation will one ever use Place of publication not identified (what used to be “S.l.”) since one can guess, i.e. a $a [United States?] is acceptable. While one can record data for distributor and manufacturer, it is probably not necessary to do so except in exceptional circumstances such as for books that didn’t get published commercially. Also note that non-published works are “produced”, meaning one uses indicator “0” (264 -0).
264 indicator 4 and subfield c: Copyright dates
If the only date on the primary sources of information is the copyright date, LC practice is to record the copyright date in $c in brackets. A separate field for copyright date (264 -4)will only be used if there is a copyright date that is different from the publication date (which is unusual). The logic is that in adding a second 264 field is extra work and provides no benefit for users, since the same date, taken from the copyright date, is being used for both the copyright date and the publication date.
300 $b Forms
Law catalogers should always record $b Forms for works with form (and also indicated “k” in the fixed field for contents, and add 655 Legal forms). For other specific types of illustrations, LC Law catalogers usually only record $b illustrations.
LC policy is to ignore serial authorities and only record the serial name as found in the work in the 490, however LC policy allows catalogers to download records with serial heading and does not require them to be deleted.
505 Contents notes
The Law Cataloging section at LC strives to add contents notes wherever possible. Often this takes the form of a digitized (scanned) file as a pdf linked to the record, though there is a hope of switching to a format that allows keyword searching. I frequently double check OCLC and the publisher’s websites to see if there is table of contents that can be cut and pasted into the record (which renders it fully searchable).
RDA suggests contents notes aren’t need for conferences, but LC Law section practice is to try to get them. An important consideration is whether the materials being recorded in the contents notes are likely to be cited in legal literature (and be listed on the author’s resume).
There is an RDA “rule” encouraging a 7xx heading for the first article in a compilation, but that is oriented towards a belles lettres situation in which the best known poem or best known story is the first item in a compilation, and is irrelevant to the situation in legal publishing in which all articles in the compilation are of equal importance.
The “new” fields are not mandatory, and there is no policy on their use. Depending on circumstances it is often easier to use the “old” fields, the 700/710/730 and to make notes. If at some time it is possible to look at an older edition (or the original of a translation, etc.), and click it and immediately send the data into a structured field, these new fields could be more useful.