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RDA Tip of the Week: Misleading page numbers

When recording pagination of a “typical” book (sequential page numbers on both sides of pages), record the last numbered page of each page sequence, followed by the term “pages”: (RDA 3.4.5.2)

  • xi, 213 pages
  • 210, 29 pages

If you know that those numbers don’t exactly describe the number of pages, for example:

  • a few pages are unnumbered (common in front matter!)
  • a few page numbers are skipped
  • a few page numbers are repeated

that is fine. As long as the numbers you record give a rough idea of the extent of the book (and no content is actually missing!) such abnormalities do not need to be recorded in the extent, or even noted in the record.

If, however, the number is very misleading, for example:

  • the number on the last page is a typo (such as 119 for 191)
  • pages are printed on both sides but sequentially numbered on one side

this strangeness should be recorded in the extent, for example:

  • 119, that is, 191 pages
  • 101 leaves, that is, 202 pages

(RDA 3.4.5.5)

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