Re: [RDA-L] Some more examples of qualified conventional collective titles

Posting to RDA-L
On 12/20/2013 2:49 PM, Heidrun Wiesenmüller wrote:

Adger Williams wrote:

Aren’t conventional collective titles really Form/Genre headings? (Poems. Selections, vs. Essays Selections, vs. Works Selections)

Would they not serve their function less confusingly if we treated them that way?

Quite. They could be seen as attributes of the work and recorded in RDA elements 7.2 and 7.3 – in addition to the “ordinary” title of the work for the compilation/collection (RDA element 6.2).

If this was consistently applied, it would give us the possibility to find

A) all editions of a certain compilation/collection (making use of the title of the work)

B) all compilations/collections of a certain type (making use of the attributes of the work)

And everybody would be happy 🙂

But people can do this right now, and they have been to do so for over a hundred and fifty years! As I tried to show, the problem is elsewhere. Something that was designed for a print environment collapsed when transferred into a computer environment and was never fixed.

Nobody can find these titles under any of the forms of titles I have seen (who would ever think to search for the words “works” or “selections” or even worse: “works. selections”). So, if any of it is going to be useful, that means these titles must become findable to the general public, otherwise the collective uniform titles just become complex and useless appendages to our records.

This is a fundamental problem and to fix it, we must do more than just find other words to use (omnium gatherum?) because this goes beyond specific words, just as our 19th-century predecessors understood. They solved it an a unique and brilliant way for their times: by special filing of the cards and what would have been difficult was suddenly very simple. That is why I suggested something new: the word cloud where those titles become obvious.

So the titles that are pretty much useless now could turn out to be useful (at least I think so), but I very well could be shown to be wrong. If new attempts to make these titles findable by the public are not successful and/or it turns out that the collective uniform titles really are simply obsolete holdovers from the card catalog, as suggested by Mac, then let’s get rid of them and good riddance! It would be great to get rid of some work (besides getting rid of the rule of three and similar “savings”).

The worst thing to do would be to continue a practice that is seen to be definitely obsolete–since many people think that is what cataloging is today anyway. That is not what I think of course, but why give ammunition to the budget cutters?