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Re: Useful or useless notes (Steve Savage) Marcia Tuttle 24 Jan 1996 16:02 UTC

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 24 Jan 1996 10:41:12 -0500
From: Steve Savage <stsavage@LIBOFMICH.LIB.MI.US>
Subject: Re: Useful or useless notes (2 messages)

I'd like to add my complete agreement to all of Kevin's points below.  It
seems to be that serials cataloging would become completely chaotic if
the content and functions of the 362 and "Description based on" notes were
mixed up as proposed.  I'd like to add another set of points to the
argument for not tampering with those fields as they are used now.

First, the validity of the information in a serial's bib record is
indentified by whether the 362 is formatted or unformatted, sort of
similar to the authentication of access points, in a way.  I
automatically rely more on a record with a formattd 362 than with
unformatted ones, whenever any question of conflict of information

Also, the information in the 362 fields is of tremendous importance for
public service work, in part for the same reason mentioned above.  But
there's another reason, too.  A 362 field that indicates a title started
with any enumeration other than vol.1, no.1, or whole no.1, etc.,
immediately draws attention.  I've even had brand new student workers in
training notice that, because it looks odd until you realize there must
have been earlier titles with separate bib records.  In some cases of
publications about which little is known, such as many newspapers, you'll
find records that do not have any linking entry fields because the
earlier history is not known even in referencse sources, and the only
indication there must have been earlier titles comes from how the 362
fields and the "Description based on" note relate to each other.  Even
inexperienced part time student workers grasp that situation quickly
after the first explanation.

It is hard to imagine, just as Kevin pointed out, how any significant
amount of time could be saved by messing with these parts of the bib record.
And when you stop to think about the confusions it would cause for patrons,
public service staff, and catalogers, the proposal seems completely off base.

Steve Savage
Michigan Newspaper Project
Library of Michigan
Lansing, MI

On Tue, 23 Jan 1996, Marcia Tuttle wrote:

> Date:         Tue, 23 Jan 1996 13:14:45 -0600
> From: "Kevin M. Randall" <kmr@NWU.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: Useful or useless notes (Rosa Montanya)
> The "Description based on:" note is ESSENTIAL in an AACR2 catalog record,
> if the description is not based on the first issue published.  The
> information is necessary for the proper identification of the publication,
> and to determine whether additional information needs to be put into the
> record or whether a separate record needs to be created for an
> earlier/later title. And in a union catalog, you definitely want to
> positively identify a publication.
> Holdings data should never be used to *replace* ANY information in the
> bibliographic record; the bibliographic record is to describe the
> publication *as published*, regardless of the actual holdings of any
> particular library.
> It should not be difficult to justify the note.  I do wonder, though, what
> is the reason behind the desire to eliminate it; what possible savings are
> there?
> Frequency can sometimes be important in identifying a publication, in
> investigating acquisition or binding matters, etc.  I would not advise its
> omission.  What do you mean by "changes are lost"?  If you mean that
> frequency changes are not kept up with (i.e. the publication changes
> frequency but that information is not put into the record), that happens
> to every library.  At least the frequency in the record is correct for the
> earliest date given (either in the frequency note, or in the 362 or
> "Description based on" note).
> It's always easier to record the information you have right now, than to
> have to go back and find it at some later date.  (And if you're talking
> about removing existing notes, that is complete insanity, IMO.)
> Kevin M. Randall
> Head, Serials Cataloging Section
> Northwestern University Library
> Evanston, IL   60208-2300