Re: [RDA-L] Collective cities (that is, Collective uniform titles)

Posting to RDA-L

On 17/12/2013 20.33, J. McRee Elrod wrote:

I think we need to keep clear the distinction among:
1) A collective title on the manifestation transcribed in 245.
2) A collective title supplied by the cataloguer in 245 when the collection lacks such a title, as opposed to transcribing part titles.


3) A collective uniform title supplied in 240.

I support the first two, and oppose the third, as a useless holdover from cards.

It is true that the 240 collective uniform title as it has been implemented in computer catalogs certainly has not worked, but I would hesitate to get rid of it without at least an attempt to make it functional in modern tools and without some research into what users would like. When they were easy to find, they were used.

As a single example, I decided to try something with a tag cloud of Aristophanes uniform titles that I took from the LC catalog. I worked with it just a bit, put it into “tagxedo” and played with it. The final product is here:

I have made this interactive with Worldcat, so if you click on, e.g. “Plutus” you will search Aristophanes as author and “plutus” as title, and will get his “Wealth”. “Selections” and “Works” are very clear to the searcher in this view and, at least in my opinion–very, very useful. Of course, once you are in Worldcat, you then have all of the facets at your disposal.

Naturally, this is simply a quick-and-dirty prototype and there are lots of things wrong with it, but it demonstrates how some old tasks can be done in the new environment and done successfully. This is why I keep reiterating that it is necessary to reconceive, to reimagine, what we do and how we do it. These kinds of tools can display the information we have in new ways that are interesting and revealing to the searchers.

And it doesn’t require new rules that are too expensive or even new formats (although that would still be nice). Most (all?) of this technology is free. All it requires is a willingness to experiment to be wrong. And these are the sorts of projects that could attract funding.