RDA-L Re: Title translated by the publisher

Posting to RDA-L

On 8/7/2014 5:21 PM, Wagner, Leslie wrote:

For the Hebrew title, would a transliterated title be used in the 246 if no transliteration of the title is offered? If it is offered, might there be additional 246 fields to allow for varying transliterations/spellings?

For a transliterated title, it depends on how you want to do it. I have never entered a non-Roman script title into a MARC library catalog, so I don’t know if it is still done with 245/880 linking fields or not. I have always transliterated using the LC transliteration tables. Since most databases are now Unicode compliant there seems to me to be little reason for the 245/880 linking fields any more, but there could be reasons I am unaware of. I know there have been some discussions about getting rid of transliteration practices and whether it is necessary but that is another topic.

For translated titles that appear on the item, it is necessary to decide if they are actual parallel titles or just another title on the item. If the cataloger supplies the translation, it goes into 242.

Since the final result is merely another title added entry that is searched by the user in exactly the same way as other titles (i.e. “Find title”), and that the user experiences in the same way as all other title added entries (because nobody understands the labels “Uniform title” “Parallel title” “Spine title” etc.), I personally think that a lot of this discussion is rather academic and of exceedingly little importance to the public. On the other hand, the distinctions are important to catalogers for reasons I have mentioned already.

While these considerations may be diverting as an intellectual exercise, I am still hoping that there could be a discussion concerning the actual utility of many of our current practices and the need to continue them (or not) instead of even more abstruse discussions on topics that the public neither needs nor wants.

“Does a user (or librarian) need to this information by “Find title” or is it superfluous?” is one of the questions that would be interesting on its own.