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CIG-E-FORUM  April 2015

CIG-E-FORUM April 2015


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Re: Standards and provenance - multiple items bound together


Andrew McAinsh <[log in to unmask]>


Andrew McAinsh <[log in to unmask]>


Thu, 16 Apr 2015 07:21:25 +0100





text/plain (211 lines)

We have a similar collection of bound pamphlets, which have been given spine or cover titles such as "Pamphlets : Medical, vol. 24", "Pamphlets : Glasgow, v. 12". 

The practice here has always been to create a record for the bound volume, with a list of contents in 505a and a list of item numbers or barcodes in a 591. (Not sure why 591 was chosen, but it seems to have been used consistently here for at least 10 years so I am loathe to change it.)

Each individual pamphlet title then gets a separate bib record, with item specific notes in 591 (something like "Copy 1 is item 2 of 7 bound in R1234560424, Pamphlets : Glasgow, v. 12").

This approach usually works well for us, and I think it makes sense to our users. The record for a bound volume can be quite long if there are 20-30 pamphlets in a single volume. Also, if we have multiple copies of a pamphlet appearing in different bound volumes, the 591 field can become complicated: "Copy 1 is item 6 of 9 in [here], Copy 2 is item 1 of 8 in [there]" etc. 


Andrew McAinsh
Information Officer
Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow
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From: CIG E-Forum [[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Jennifer Hillyard [[log in to unmask]]
Sent: 15 April 2015 16:40
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [CIG-E-FORUM] Standards and provenance - multiple items bound together

Multiple items bound together is a problem I keep meaning to tackle…  I have a large Tracts collection which have previously been (partly) catalogued as separate records with a 500 note “In Tracts vol 5 p 5” however they were also (for some unknown reason) given classification numbers which are replicated in the location field so it looks like they are in the main book collection….  Planning to delete those numbers.

I don’t know whether to continue as separate items or whether there should be one record called “Tracts volume 1”, with a 505a that lists all the items, but then I can’t include as much detail and I think it gets too large and confusing?  Some can have 20-30 smaller pamphlets inside.

It’s the layers that confuse me – I make a bibliographic record but then there is an items holding record on top – is that where the Tracts Vol 5 p6 info needs to go?  (I’m in Koha LMS).

I think from a user perspective, separate records for each item will work better but very interested to hear other people’s experience.

Jennie Hillyard

North of England Institute of Mining and Mechanical Engineers
Neville Hall
Westgate Road
Newcastle upon Tyne

+44 (0)191 2332459

The Mining Institute is a registered charity and receives no funding from government sources, it is entirely supported by its members.  Any donations towards the expense of maintaining the buildings and collections are gratefully received by cheque to the address above.  We are registered for Gift Aid which means any qualifying donation is worth 25% more to us.
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From: CIG E-Forum [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Jane Gallagher
Sent: 15 April 2015 15:19
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [CIG-E-FORUM] Standards and provenance

Hello all,

            I’m another latecomer, I’m afraid, though I have been lurking all day and enjoying the conversations.

            I’m more at the ‘user’ end of the spectrum in my current role at the University of Kent’s Special Collections, but I have been involved in cataloguing in the past.

            I’m interested in the use of single record for multiple items bound together and how people generally cope with recording specific copy information for these. So far, it sounds like it can be difficult, but you are mostly recording all item specific information into one record.

            A significant part of our collection deals with plays, produced as separate pamphlets but later bound together, creating a mixture of provenance information for pamphlet and bound volume. In the past, we’ve experimented with creating multiple bib or holdings records linked to single items etc. (using the 3 tiered Voyager hierarchy, as Karen mentioned below), but the in-house suggestion now is that we keep all of the information in a single bib, holding and item record.

            From the user’s point of view, however, it can be a challenge to understand why an item is returned in the catalogue when it appears to have nothing of interest in the main (title) fields.

            Apologies for a rather wide ranging question, but I wonder if anyone had any thoughts on this?

            Best wishes,


Jane Gallagher | Senior Special Collections Assistant
Special Collections & Archives, Information Services, University of Kent
Templeman Library
Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NU, UK
Tel: +44 (0)1227 823127

www.kent.ac.uk/library/specialcollections/index<http://www.kent.ac.uk/library/specialcollections/index> | blogs.kent.ac.uk/specialcollections | @UoKSpecialColls

From: CIG E-Forum [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Karen Pierce
Sent: 15 April 2015 14:53
To: [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: [CIG-E-FORUM] Standards and provenance


I tend to put ‘copy 1’ or ‘copy 2’ etc in the field where I am recording unique detail, I then note in the item record which copy it is (this is using Voyager which has a 3 fold hierarchy – bib record, holding record, and item record)

As I am not on the receiving end of users coming to request items I don’t know how well this works – but I would always assume that the staff member in Special Collections would look up the record to check.


From: CIG E-Forum [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Katie Flanagan
Sent: 15 April 2015 14:37
To: [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: [CIG-E-FORUM] Standards and provenance

Hi Rhiannon,

Where I’ve had multiple copies of the same item, I’ve generally started each field where I want to record something unique with the shelfmark of the item in square brackets, to make it clear which item I’m referring to.


561     [D4.5.10]Armorial bookplate of Fred Bloggs inside front board.
561     [H2.2.4]Pencil inscription on title-page: “Katie’s book”.

It seems to be easier to use a shelfmark (which the user would also use to request the book), than an item ID, which is a string of numbers and, I fear, more chance of introducing a typo?

Katie Flanagan BA(Hons), MA, MCLIP
Special Collections Librarian
T +44 (0)1895 266139

From: Rhiannon Lawrence-Francis [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: 15 April 2015 14:27
To: Katie Flanagan; [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
Subject: [CIG-E-FORUM] Standards and provenance

Hello again everyone

I have also been puzzling over about how best to deal with the knotty problem of how to represent copy-specific information in multiple copies of the same edition.

To me, the most important thing to give readers information about what makes the item “unique” – in the sense of it being in a hand-crafted binding, perhaps with some pages missing, and some inserted, and bearing annotations, inscriptions, bookplates and so on.

To a non-rare books cataloguer the important thing seems to identify the edition, and then the number of copies the library holds.

How do colleagues resolve this? Would you ever create multiple bibliographic records, i.e. one for each copy of the item? Or would you record copy-specific information in one bibliographic record and give details of each copy within that one record?

There are specific MARC codes for recording copy-specific information – 561 for provenance, 562 for details such as decorations, annotations and imperfections, and 563 for bindings. This works if you only have one copy of a certain item, but if you have two more, your MARC record would become very unwieldy and in many cases ambiguous, which I would want to avoid at all costs.

At Leeds we use Sierra for creating book records, but are able then to pull these records through to EMu, the library management system used for Special Collections materials. EMu can cope with having several different records for several different copies of the same edition, and we can link them together, import images, create narratives and so on.

When describing the incunabula here, I took the slightly unorthodox decision of creating a new bibliographic record for each copy of the book. This meant I could record in great detail provenance, decoration, annotations, bindings and so on. It was one solution to the problem for the pore-1500 books, but whether it can be applied more widely across the collections I doubt very much.

I hope my questions / comments makes sense.


From: CIG E-Forum [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Katie Flanagan
Sent: 15 April 2015 14:00
To: [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
Subject: [CIG-E-FORUM] Standards and provenance

Good afternoon, and welcome to the second session of the ‘rare books cataloguing’ e-forum.

This afternoon we’ll be focussing on standards and provenance, but please do continue threads from this morning’s session if you would like to.

Provenance is one of the areas where rare books cataloguing differs hugely from other cataloguing. And, whilst normal cataloguing standards are obviously also applicable to rare books, there are other standards to use on top of this.

I’ve come up with some questions to start things off or please do ask your own on these themes.

-          What is provenance and why would you record it?

-          How should you record it?

-          Have you encountered any problems with recording it in catalogue records, perhaps using a particular library system?

-          Can you recommend any books and/or training material about provenance and how to record it ?

-          What standards do you use when cataloguing rare books? How do they differ from other standards?

-          Has anyone used RDA when cataloguing rare books?

-          What do you do about subject headings?


Please note: I work Mon – Wed each week.
Katie Flanagan BA(Hons), MA, MCLIP
Special Collections Librarian
T +44 (0)1895 266139
Connect with me on LinkedIn<https://www.linkedin.com/pub/katie-flanagan/1b/471/bba>, Twitter<https://twitter.com/KatieDFlanagan>

Brunel University London

Bannerman Centre, Brunel University London, Uxbridge, UB8 3PH, United Kingdom
T +44 (0)1895 266141

Connect with the Library on Twitter<https://twitter.com/Brunel_Library>, Facebook<https://www.facebook.com/#!/BrunelUniversityLibrary>, WordPress<http://bookmarkdaily.wordpress.com/>

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