Re: Atlantic (monthly?) John Radencich 05 Apr 2007 11:18 UTC


    Well said!  I haven't seen it done better in my 33 years of
cataloging serials.  This should be given to every budding serials
cataloger as a training device.

John Radencich
Library-Cataloging Dept.
Florida International University
Miami, Florida 33199

Elmer Alvin Klebs wrote:

>Thanks for asking an excellent question!! I figure you will likely be
>deluged with responses, and so have tried to be concise, but couldn't
>help lifting the hood and poking around a bit with some underlying
>issues that have been on my mind of late.
>Atlantic monthly/Atlantic is one of those titles which have gone back
>and forth numerous times over the decades, at least so far as the cover
>presentation goes.  I think the short answer is that, after a while,
>folks in the cataloging world got tired of creating new records all the
>time for what was essentially the same publication.
>So, with the latest (1993+) record, we came up with a solution.  We
>noticed that, regardless of the cover presentation, the masthead inside
>the magazine continued to consistently refer to itself as "Atlantic
>monthly."  So we decided to base our description on the masthead
>effective with that record (this is noted both in the 500 source of
>title and in a 936 catalogers' note) and give "Atlantic" as a cover
>variant. That way, only if/when the masthead title changes we would we
>need a new record.
>We realize that this might cause confusion to those who want the main
>entry to match the cover (the cover being what folks tend to pay the
>most attention to).  But we also don't want the confusion of having
>holdings for a single title spanning over half a dozen records, and
>check-in staff constantly receiving current issues on the wrong record,
>which then further confuse patrons looking for specific issues.
>This highlights one of the dilemmas of serial cataloging.  What do we
>do when publishers do weird things that confuse the very people who are
>trying to find their publications?  Those of us with years of experience
>can regale the captive audience with no end of tales of bizarre title
>changes, cryptic variants in numbering schemes, and other baffling
>oddities.  There are even awards within the cataloging community for
>some of these things now.
>Our job as catalogers is to do our best to put an end to confusion --
>to create structured bibliographic metadada (i.e., a catalog entry) that
>succeeds in its mission.  That mission: to ensure that users of the
>collection (including library staff) clearly understand what the library
>has in its collections, no matter which of an increasing number of
>approaches the user takes to discover the answer to that question
>(author, title, publisher, series, subject content, issuing body,
>keyword, etc.).
>So, when a publisher located on the Atlantic coast (namely, Boston)
>continues to waffle about the name of a certain Monthly they have been
>issuing for over a hundred years now, we eventually get to the point
>where we figure continuing to add new records on top of the half dozen
>or so already there will be more confusing than nailing down a
>consistent title (even if from a less prominent source) and sticking
>with it as long as we are able.
>Such are the challenges of the cataloging profession.
>Elmer Klebs
>Senior Serials Cataloger
>Library of Congress
>[Standard Disclaimer : I represent myself, and not my institution, in
>the above missive.]
>>>>Lee Carlton <kopycatalyst@YAHOO.COM> 04/04/07 5:26 PM >>>
>This may be a very basic and stupid question to the serial catalogers,
>but why is The Atlantic still cataloged as The Atlantic monthly
>(*Atlantic monthly (Boston, Mass. : 1993)*)?  It has caused
>confusion and problems for serials students where I work.  From what
>little I know of AACR2 and CONSER practices with major/minor changes,
>this should be a title change dating back to 2003/2004.
>  Any enlightenment would be appreciated.
>  Lee
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