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

Posting to RDA-L

On 12/20/2013 4:15 PM, Heidrun Wiesenmüller wrote:

Are you really sure they can? My feeling is that up to now, both aims have been fulfilled only partly. Maybe this is what makes it so unsatisfactory.

I honestly don’t think that is the real problem. For the public, the collective uniform titles do not exist because they are unfindable. Before making our records even more complicated (and committing more and more ever-disappearing resources) it would make sense to find out if collective uniform titles are/could be useful to the public and if not, why not, and then continue from there. Otherwise, we are all working on personal feelings or beliefs.

That’s what a lot of what RDA is, though….

On a concrete point:

The second aim is also difficult to reach, because a CCT is recorded not in addition to but *instead of* the real work title. Compare: If you have a monograph like “The live and times of X” and you have the English edition and a German translation, then you can collocate them using the title of the work (The live and times of X), formerly called the uniform title. But if you have a compilation like “Best of X’s short stories” in an English and a German edition, you cannot collocate these two in the same way, as the work title hasn’t been recorded as “Best of X’s short stories” but instead as “Short stories. Selections”. The “real” work title (Best of X’s short stories) is identical with the English manifestation title, but not with the German, so you’ll get only half of what you’re looking for.

Not quite correct. According to LCRI 25.11, there is the rule:
“For partial collections containing works in translation, attempt to distinguish between those cases in which the translation is of an existing collection in the original language and cases in which there is no such collection in the original language.
1) If the collection does exist in the original language, use the uniform title of the original or, if no uniform title is appropriate, its title proper, followed by the language of the translation.
2) If the collection does not exist in the original language, use a collective uniform title according to 25.9A or 25.10A regardless of the quality of the title of the translated collection. Follow the collective uniform title with the language of the translation.”

(By the way, the words “quality of the title” refers to the concept of “adequate title” which is both very important and extremely vague)

Determining whether a translation of a collection actually exists in the original can be a lot of work and demands just too much time from the cataloger. If the information is readily available from the item, it is no problem of course, but otherwise, even if you have a huge collection at your disposal, it is very arguably not worth the effort. My rule was almost always “Stay in your chair”, try from a cursory glance at the catalog whether anything looks as if it may be suitable and hope you don’t find anything(!). Otherwise just assign the collective uniform title and go on to the next item.