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Descriptive Cataloging for Special Collections, University of Miami Libraries


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A mini crash course on Descriptive Cataloging of Rare Materials alongside University of Miami Libraries cataloging guidelines for the Special Collections Department

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Descriptive Cataloging for Special Collections, University of Miami Libraries

  1. 1. Descriptive Cataloging for Special Collections University of Miami Libraries Mini Crash Course & Cataloging Guidelines
  2. 2. Hesitant to Say “Rare Book Cataloging” What is a “rare book”? A book that’s rare. That’s helpful. Definitions consider: scarcity of extant copies, uniqueness of physical features, age, beauty/relevance to art or design history, cost, condition/preservation concerns “Any book which has value primarily as a physical object” – How to Catalog a Rare Book / Paul Shaner Dunkin Object cataloging? Descriptive cataloging?
  3. 3. Descriptive Cataloging “Descriptive cataloging describes what the information object is, not what it is about. ‘Aboutness’ is the purview of subject cataloging.” -- LIS Wiki DCRM(B) (Descriptive Cataloging of Rare Materials (Books)) draws on some techniques of descriptive bibliography to document the book as artifact. “Descriptive bibliography: the close physical description of books. How is the book put together? What sort of type is used and what kind of paper? How are the illustrations incorporated into the book? How is it bound? …The descriptive bibliographer must have a good working knowledge of the state of the technology of the period in order to describe a book’s physical appearance both accurately and economically.” -- Bibliography Defined / Terry Belanger
  4. 4. Subject Knowledge in Book History Doing descriptive bibliography requires subject knowledge in book history, including the techniques and materials of the book arts. “As the book as artifact comes under closer scrutiny by historians, students, and scholars of literary criticism, an understanding of just how its component parts came together should provide greater insight into its overall material functionality. An appreciation for the basic production methods of bookmaking allows for the recognition and acknowledgement of anomalies when they appear.” – Why Book Arts Matter / Kathleen Walkup
  5. 5. Some Good Places to Start “Glossary of Bibliographical Terms” David L. Gants: an overview of vocabulary terms related to book structures, format, papermaking, type, and printing ABC for Book Collectors John Carter and Nicolas Barker: antiquarian-bookseller-ese A New Introduction to Bibliography Philip Gaskell: descriptive bibliography The Book: The Life Story of a Technology Nicole Howard: history of the book artifact How to Operate a Book: From Punch to Printing Type [videorecording] Book Arts Press: printing a hand press period book ABC of Bookbinding: An Illustrated Glossary of Terms for Collectors and Conservators Jane Greenfield: identifying bookbinding features
  6. 6. Edition Issue & State, too!
  7. 7. Levels of Description FRBR: WEMI Work: distinct intellectual or artistic creation Expression: specific intellectual or artistic form that a work takes each time it is 'realized.' Manifestation: physical embodiment of an expression of a work Item: single exemplar of a manifestation DCRM: EDITION, ISSUE, STATE Edition: all copies printed from roughly the same setting of type Issue: group of copies from an edition published “as a consciously planned printed unit” State: variant within an edition and/or issue
  8. 8. Edition Statements Transcribe as on the resource: do not transpose, shorten, or repeat elements When helpful, supply an edition statement from an external resource (enclosed in square brackets). Add a note about the source, e.g.: 250 _ _ [Sixth edition] 500 _ _ Edition statement from: ...
  9. 9. Publication, Printing & Distribution
  10. 10. General Guidelines Transcribe all names, places, and dates given on the title page, including publishers, printers, and distributors. Use redundant MARC fields (264) and subfields as needed. If no publisher or printer information is given on the title page, look for this information in the colophon, other preliminaries, covers, dust jacket, and external resources (in that order of preference) If information is not taken from the title page, name the source in a note e.g., “Printer information from colophon on page 54″ Only enclose information in brackets if it is supplied by the cataloger. Use a question mark if the information is estimated. Describe the rationale for estimate or the other source of information in a note
  11. 11. Place Names Transcribe place names as given on the original source. If additional information is necessary for clarity — e.g., the modern form a non-recognizable place name, or its fuller form — add this information in brackets following the transcribed name Resource: RBMS/BSC Latin Place Name list Supply larger jurisdictions and/or transcribe full address if considered important for identification or access
  12. 12. Dates Transcribe dates as they appear, including the day and month, if present, and in whatever form the date takes on the item in hand If the date appears in roman numerals, transcribe as it appears, omitting internal spaces and punctuation. Supply the year in arabic numerals in square brackets, e.g., “MDCCCXII [1812]” Special circumstance: if the date appears only as a chromogram, or in a very long form, such as a sentence, supply the date in arabic numerals in brackets, with a note describing how the date is originally printed/worded, where it is located on the resource, and transcribe if possible Fictitious or incorrect dates: transcribe as they appear on the resource, and note correct date or other information about falsehood in a note Copyright date: contrary to DCRM(B) 4D6, include copyright date preceded by copyright symbol (c) as per RDA guidelines
  13. 13. Physical Description
  14. 14. Extent In statement of extent, account for all printed pages, and accurately represent pagination statements on the original work Example: [2] leaves, iv, 422 pages, [8] leaves of plates — for an item that has 2 leaves preceding the numbering sequence i-iv Example: xx, [1], 829 pages — for an item that has an unnumbered, printed page on the verso of p. xx
  15. 15. Illustration Processes Illustration processes are named in parenthesis (when the cataloger can identify them) following the statement of illustration types e.g., “illustrations, portraits (lithographs)” For a reference guide on identifying illustration processes, see: Gascoigne, Bamber. How to identify prints (London [and NY]: Thames and Hudson, 2004) Image Maps of Printmaking Techniques / Spencer Museum of Art Graphics Atlas : Identification / Image Permanence Institute
  16. 16. Dimensions For monographs and serials, there are no special instructions for cataloging dimensions. For graphic materials, however, note exactly what is being measured, e.g., sheet, plate mark, volume, etc. Example: 48 prints (in 1 box) : engravings ; plate mark 4 x 2 cm. Example: 5 drawings (in 1 portfolio) : charcoal ; sheet 20 x 22 cm + 1 print on cover
  17. 17. Format Using evidence such as general size, direction of chainlines, location of watermark, and number of leaves per gathering, identify the format of books where paper has been folded and cut to create gatherings (typically, pre-1820 imprints). Note this in a parenthetical statement following the dimensions. e.g., “16 cm (4to)” Book format is abbreviated as follows: Folio (folio), Quarto (4to), Octavo (8vo), Duodecimo (12mo), (18mo), (32mo), etc.
  18. 18. Signature Statements Signature statements are given in a General Note (MARC field 500), with introductory language, “Signature statement: …” Used for books where gatherings are signed, and the signatures reflect the actual folding and gathering of sheets (note: many nineteenth-century imprints present signings that do not reflect actual gatherings; this is a superfluous, residual practice that need not be cataloged) In general, account for the sequencing of signed and presumed signatures [A]4 B-C4 D2 E-G4 H2 – signature A is in brackets because it is unsigned, but assumed A-C4 D4 (-D3) E-F4 – for a book where leaf D3 is missing
  19. 19. Indexing
  20. 20. Form/Genre Headings Neither MARC nor Dublin Core element sets differentiate between materials and techniques. Both are intermingled under “form” or “format.” Dublin core does differentiate between intellectual genre (type) and physical form (format). MARC: 655 Genre/Form Heading Dublin Core: Format: File format, physical medium, or dimensions of the resource (size, duration) Type: Nature or genre of the resource
  21. 21. Choosing Form/Genre Headings RBMS Controlled Vocabularies Binding terms (rbbin) Genre terms (rbgenr) Paper terms (rbpap) Printing & Publishing evidence (rbpri, rbpub) Provenance evidence (rbprov) Type evidence (rbtyp) Art & Architecture Thesaurus (aat) Artists’ Books Thesaurus (local) U.Miami Local Vocabs (local)
  22. 22. Names Publishers, printers, binders, former owners, and other makers/manufacturers are traced (in MARC fields 700/710), with appropriate relationship designator for: All pre-1800 imprints Contemporary rare and/or handmade materials
  23. 23. Notes Bindings, Provenance, Type Evidence, Illustrations
  24. 24. Colophons For works where a colophon includes information on printing, type, paper, binding, etc., a transcription of the colophon may be preferable over individual notes about these elements. You may choose a note (MARC field 500): “Colophon: …” Image source: Wikimedia Commons
  25. 25. Bindings Binding descriptions are placed in a Binding Note (MARC field 563) Include introductory text, “U.Miami Special Collections copy bound …” Binding descriptions have a two-fold purpose: 1) to identify the copy 2) to serve as a starting point for researchers interested specifically in bindings At very least, aim to fulfill the first objective
  26. 26. Building a Binding Note Binding notes may include description of: covering materials, decoration, added elements, edge treatments, endpapers, headbands, colors, and sewing structures Cover materials are typically either leather, cloth, or paper, and sometimes plain wooden boards. It is sufficient to simply note these material types with their basic color where relevant, (e.g., “blue cloth”). When describing color, choose from one of the following: black, blind, blue, brown, gold, gray, green, orange, pink, red, tan, silver, white, yellow
  27. 27. Binding Decoration Decoration may consist of an illustration, decorative borders and tooling, patterned motifs, and simple titling. Generally, note the decoration type, color, and method. You may name styles where you are able to identify them Example: “Brown leather, with blind tooling, Cambridge style” Example: “Yellow cloth, with Art nouveau style illustration of trees” Example: “Red cloth, with titling information on paper onlay”
  28. 28. Edge Treatments Typical edge treatments include: gilding, marbling, staining, sprinkling, and fore- edge paintings. Headbands may be sewn or stuck-on. Endpapers may be a plain color, printed, illustrated, marbled, paste papers, etc. Include a description of interesting edge treatments, headbands, and endpapers in your binding note Example: “Brown leather, with blind tooling, sewn headbands, marbled edges, and green endpapers” Image source: Wikimedia Commons Image source: Wikimedia Commons
  29. 29. Sewing Structures Sewing structures are usually eclipsed by covering material, and are difficult to describe. When sewing structures are exposed, you may note: style, sewing patterns, number of sewing stations, and materials Example: “Coptic-style binding with two linen threads worked over four stations” Image source: Wikimedia Commons
  30. 30. Identifying Binders and Designers For more recently published material, the name of the binder and/or cover designer may be given alongside other information about the book’s manufacture, usually on the title page verso, or colophon for artists’ books. Designers of publishers’ cloth bindings (ca. 1815-1930) often signed their work with their own monograms or names, and sometimes hidden within the piece. The Publishers’ Bindings Online website provides a handy guide to identified signatures Binders will sometimes add a “ticket” (small label) on or near the endpapers of a book. They may also stamp their name/firm onto the outside covers, endpapers, or box
  31. 31. Provenance & Ownership History Provenance information regarding an item’s original manufacture, binding, etc. is given in a Provenance Note (MARC field 561) Additional indications of ownership history, reader engagement, research, and use (such as marginalia), are also described in a Provenance Note (MARC field 561) with introductory text, “U.Miami Special Collections copy: …” Donation/purchase information is given in an Acquisition Note (MARC field 541) ǂc Purchase; ǂa Book dealer’s name; ǂd Date. [OR] Donation; Donor’s name; ǂd Date. When describing marks of ownership, note the kind/type of mark (e.g., “signature”, “bookplate”, or “annotations”), its place within/on the item (e.g., “front pastedown” or “page 5″), and transcribe as appropriate or relevant to researchers Example: U.Miami Special Collections copy: ownership inscription on front free endpaper, recto, “Joe Smith, August 1950″
  32. 32. Indexing Provenance Evidence Where relevant, subdivide index terms geographically, chronologically, and/or by a name (authorized form), e.g.: Bookplates (Provenance) |z United States |z Florida |y 21st century |2 rbprov Bookplates (Provenance) |x O’Dell, Allison Jai, 1983- |2 rbprov Trace former owners with relationship designator, “former owner” Trace donors with relationship designator, “donor”
  33. 33. Illustrations & Illustrators For full guidelines on the description of graphic materials, especially at the item level, consult DCRM(G). General guidelines for describing illustrations within bibliographic works follow here. A General Note (MARC field 500) may be used to describe illustrations, illustration processes, signed illustrators, etc. For monographs and serials where appropriate, indicate “illustrations” in the statement of extent, along with specific illustration types as usual. When known, add the graphic process or technique in parenthesis, Example: “illustrations, portraits (lithographs)” For graphic materials, the entire physical description will pertain to illustrations: x prints/drawings/pictures/etc (in x volume/box/etc) : illustration process ; dimensions of sheet/plate mark/etc., written as a x b cm + |e additional material (if necessary) Example: 48 prints (in 1 box) : engravings ; plate mark 4 x 2 cm Example: 5 drawings (in 1 portfolio) : charcoal ; sheet 20 x 22 cm + 1 print on cover
  34. 34. Latin in Illustrator Signatures (Compiled by Elisabeth Fairman, Curator of Rare Books and Archives, Yale Center for British Art) after = original design by a.f., aqua forti = etched it caelavit = engraved it composuit = designed it delin(eavit), delineator = drawn by exc, excud(it) = published by f., fec(it) = (usually) etched it (also, engraved it) figuravit = drew it formis = published it imp(ressit) = printed it inc., incid(it) = engraved it inv., inven(it) = designed it pictor = painter pinx(it) = painted it sc., sculp(sit) = engraved (also etched) it sculptor = engraver
  35. 35. Paper Paper stock, if relevant bibliographically, historically, or materially, may be described in a General Note (MARC field 500), with introductory phrase: “Paper: …” Paper notes may include description of sheet size, fibers, color and colorants, mold (‘laid’/'wove’ paper), watermarks, associated mills, and more Papers used as covering and binding material will be described in the Binding Note (MARC field 563)
  36. 36. Indexing Paper Watermarks are subdivided by the images they portray, Watermarks (Paper) ǂx Lion. ǂ2 rbpap Monograms should be indexed simply as, “Watermarks (Paper) ǂx Monogram. ǂ2 rbpap” with initials spelled out or described in the paper note For books and prints made from the mid-19th c. onward, handmade paper is unique, and should be indexed: Handmade papers (Paper) ǂ2 rbpap To provide subject access to the production of specific mills and papermakers, add a name subject heading (MARC field 600 or 610) with subdivision “Specimens”, e.g.: Cartiere Miliani Fabriano ǂv Specimens. For providing access to fiber content (especially for books that feature paper samples), index fibers as a subdivision under “Handmade papers (Paper)” Handmade papers (Paper) ǂx Cotton fibers. ǂ2 rbpap
  37. 37. Indexing Fibers Abaca fibers ǂ2 rbpap Bamboo fibers ǂ2 rbpap Cotton fibers ǂ2 rbpap Cotton linters fibers ǂ2 rbpap Esparto grass fibers ǂ2 rbpap Flax fibers ǂ2 rbpap Floral fibers ǂ2 rbpap Gampi fibers ǂ2 rbpap Grass fibers ǂ2 rbpap Hemp fibers ǂ2 rbpap Jute fibers ǂ2 rbpap Kozo fibers ǂ2 rbpap Linen fibers ǂ2 rbpap Manila hemp (Fiber) ǂ2 aat [USE abaca fibers] Mitsumata fibers ǂ2 rbpap Mulberry fibers ǂ2 rbpap Straw fibers ǂ2 rbpap Synthetic fibers ǂ2 local Woodpulp fibers ǂ2 rbpap
  38. 38. Type Evidence & Typefaces When the name of a typeface is given or known, include a note (MARC field 500), “Typeface: …” When type design, features, etc. are historically relevant, you may include this information in a note (MARC field 500), “Type evidence: …” Indexing: subdivide the RBMS term “Typefaces (Type evidence)” with the name of the face, e.g.: Typefaces (Type evidence) ǂx Baskerville. ǂ2 rbtyp
  39. 39. More on the Intranet! CatalogingforU.Miami SpecialCollectionsDepartment Allison Jai O’Dell | Special Collections Cataloging & Metadata Librarian |