Inorganic experiments / edited by J. Derek Woollins. (OCLC #496229687)

RDA’s General Guideline for English Language Capitalization (RDA A.10) is basically to follow the Chicago Manual of Style. CMOS 10.66 on Naming conventions for chemical elements says that “symbols all have an initial capital” and “names of elements are always lowercased”, as found in various titles in this title’s contents note:

  Two-stage synthesis of Ph₂P(O)(CH₂)₄P(O)Ph₂ 
  Preparation of an iron dinitrogen complex 
  Nickel-catalyzed cross-coupling of alkylmagnesium with haloarene

Nickel is capitalized in that last title, following RDA A.4.1, which says the capitalize the first word of a title.


The G-man and the Diamond King : a true FBI crime story of the 1930’s / William E. Plunkett. (OCLC #915806586)

RDA A.11.8 on Capitalizaiton of Epithets says to capitalize an epithet occurring with, or used in place of, a personal name, so in this title I’ve capitalized “Diamond King”.

RDA A.28 on Capitalization of Single and Multiple Letters Used as Words or Parts of Compounds says to capitalize a letter that refers to a letter of the alphabet, so I’ve also capitalized “G-man” (short for Government Man, slang or FBI agent).

This makes my title proper:

    The G-man and the Diamond King

To provide for the advancement of Rear Admiral Emory S. Land, Construction Corps, United States Navy, retired, to the rank of vice admiral (H.R. 7576). Mr. Vinson of Georgia. (OCLC #925380358)

RDA A.11.5 on Titles Following a Name or Used Alone in Place of a Name has a section on Civil and Military Titles which says not to capitalize a civil or military title.

RDA A.11.3 on Titles Preceding the Name says to capitalize any title or term of honour or address that immediately precedes a personal name.

Both forms appear in this title:

245 10 ǂa To provide for the advancement of Rear Admiral 
    Emory S. Land, Construction Corps, United States Navy, retired,
    to the rank of vice admiral (H.R. 7576).

The Moon is not the Son : a close look at the teachings of Rev. Sun Myung Moon and the Unification Church / by James Bjornstad. (OCLC #2985407)

RDA A.17.1 on Capitalization of Deities says to “capitalize the name of a deity and any term referring to the Christian Trinity”, and includes as examples:

Son of God
Son of Man

That seems to be the “Son” referenced in this book’s title, so it is capitalized there.

Moon in the title refers to Sun Myung Moon (Unification Church members are pejoratively called “Moonies”, referring to his name), so this word is capitalized as well (following RDA A.11).


The archaic revival : speculations on psychedelic mushrooms, the Amazon, virtual reality, UFOs, evolution, Shamanism, the rebirth of the goddess, and the end of history / Terence McKenna ; illustrations by Satty. (OCLC #23976961)

The name of the publisher is printed on this piece as “HarperSanFrancisco”; so what does RDA say to do with CamelCase?

RDA A.16.5 on Capitalization of Other Corporate Bodies says to “capitalize the name of a … company”, but isn’t specific on what that means. The only spacing guidelines I could find described spacing in Initialisms and Acronyms, which is not the issue here.

With no further guidance, I’d fall back on one of RDA’s guiding principles: Representation. Specifically, the data describing a resource should reflect the resource’s representation of itself. In the MARC record, I would capitalize/space this as it appears on the piece:

264 _1 ǂa [San Francisco] : ǂb HarperSanFrancisco, ǂc [1991]

American contributions to the 15th International Congress of Slavists : Minsk, August 2013 / edited by David M. Bethea & Christina Y. Bethin. (OCLC #869343313)

In RDA records, I follow the capitalization rules in RDA Appendix A:

American is the first word of the title, so it is capitalized. It is also an adjective derived from the name of a people, so it is would be capitalized (by RDA A.12) even if it were not the first word.

International Congress of Slavists is a specific corporate body (a meeting held every 15 years), so it is capitalized by RDA A.16.5 (Names of Corporate Bodies). The phrase “international congress” on its own would not be capitalized.

Minsk is a city, so it is capitalized by RDA A.13.2 (Political Divisions). The word “city” on its own would not be capitalized.

August is a month, so it is capitalized by RDA A.21 (Names of Calendar Divisions). A season like “winter” would not be capitalized.


RDA Tip of the Week: Capitalization rules

It is a common description of RDA that “capitalization doesn’t matter”, but that’s not exactly the case. RDA has extensive rules for capitalization of elements, detailed in Appendix A.

For example, RDA A.4 (covering titles of manifestations) says to generally capitalize the first word of a title, and to capitalize other words in the title according to A.10A.55 as applicable to the language involved; those guidelines basically match The Chicago Manual of Style, so many words we think of as “proper nouns/names” (people’s names, corporate bodies, months, etc.) should be capitalized.

Appendix A does include an optional alternative to create an in-house style manual and follow that instead of what is in the appendix, but the LC-PCC PS encourages catalogers to follow the appendix (though it permits “take what you see”), and the NLA PS says to follow the appendix.


The Louisville Water Company project / University of Kentucky College of Design. (OCLC #874556403)

RDA Appendix A.4 describes how to capitalize the title of a manifestation, and includes the instruction to follow Appendix A.10-A.55 as well. For example, A.13 is for capitalization of place names; A.16 is for capitalization of corporate bodies.

But what is this title referring to? A water company project in Louisville? A project surrounding the Louisville Water Company? A named project, called Louisville Water Company Project?

I skimmed the text and found lots of references to the Louisville Water Company (LWC) capitalized as such, but not the Louisville Water Company Project, so I decided to capitalize only the corporate body LWC.

An argument could be made to capitalize Project as well; projects are corporate bodies under RDA, and the book’s text does reference The River Cities Project, which this is part of. Projects are corporate bodies under RDA, so we could follow the rules there and capitalize as The Louisville Water Company Project.

Fortunately, indexing will rarely be affected either way, so it’s mainly a style choice.