The red atlas : how the Soviet Union secretly mapped the world / John Davies, Alexander J. Kent ; foreword by James Risen. (OCLC #978389095)

This volume has “atlas” in its title, and has quite a few maps in it, but is it really an atlas? Catalogers disagree; OCLC has multiple records for this title, mostly as a book, but one as an atlas.

Our maps cataloger took a closer look, and said that while it had a large section of maps, they were used as illustrations for the text, not the main content of the work themselves. I did feel the maps were numerous enough to merit inclusion in the content type though:

336  ǂa text ǂb txt ǂ2 rdacontent
336  ǂa cartographic image ǂb cri ǂ2 rdacontent

World maps / prepared by Nancy Amick and Ruth Bogia, the Princeton Braillists. (OCLC #82140461)

I was able to copy catalog this braille world atlas, but took the opportunity to look up all the rules I’d never gotten to apply before, including checking resources to learn more about braille.

The content / media / carrier types are:

336 __ ǂa cartographic tactile image ǂb crt ǂ2 rdacontent
337 __ ǂa unmediated ǂb n ǂ2 rdamedia
338 __ ǂa volume ǂb nc ǂ2 rdacarrier

It is still unmediated (no equipment needed) and in the form of a volume, but the content is of type cartographic tactile image, as it is “intended to be perceived through touch as a still image in two dimensions”. The braille nature is also reflected in the physical description:

300 __ ǂa 1 atlas (1 volume) : ǂb braille and tactile, 
    thermoform ; ǂc 28 x 29 cm

We’ll class this under the atlas call number G1046.A7: maps for the blind.

The record I found included an 007 for map information:

007  a ǂb d ǂd a ǂe z ǂf n ǂg z ǂh n

but not for tactile/braille information, so I looked that up:

  • ǂa f – tactile material
  • ǂb b – braille (not moon!)
  • ǂd a – literary braille, alphabet, numbers, and punctuation marks commonly used in general writing (as opposed to mathematical, musical, etc. notation)
  • ǂe bcontracted

Contracted braille is used for Standard English braille, and I was able to confirm several contractions in the text, such as “bl” (⠃⠇) for blind, “brl” (⠃⠗⠇) for braille, and “grt” (⠛⠗⠞) for great.

Also, I tried the recommendation for teachers, to open to a random page with eyes closed, and try to identify the region shown. It is extremely hard, even for maps of familiar regions.

Any tips from other catalogers of braille material?