Walid Raad, walkthrough. (OCLC #890913763)

This title consists of one pamphlet and seven posters, gathered inside a colorful case. There are several records for it in OCLC, and each handles the physical descriptions in different ways, depending on what the cataloger judged to be was the primary content:

300 __ ǂa 2 v. : ǂb col. ill. ; ǂc 22-24 cm., in slipcase 25 cm. 
+ ǂe 6 posters.
300 __ ǂa 6 v. (in slipcase) : col. ill. ; 26 cm.
300 __ ǂa 96 p. ǂb ill. ǂc 25 x 18 cm

I preferred the conciseness of this record:

300 __ ǂa 1 case : ǂb color illustrations ; ǂc 26 cm.

with the details of the contents in a 500 note. RDA (Recording Extent) says to use units from the list of carrier types (“case” is not on this list), but provides an alternative to use a word in common usage (including a trade name) instead.

British Library has an interesting PS for this rule:

Apply alternative b) for hand held digital resources if the appropriate term in common usage is readily ascertainable; for example, use the terms CD-ROM, DVD and DVD-ROM in preference to using a term from the list of carrier types at


The mummy / adapted by David Levithan ; retold by Mike Dean. (OCLC #276480317)

A series can have different kinds of subseries: its parts can be named or numbered, and that distinction is indicated by which subfield is used for the parts. Named parts use ǂp, as in:

    ǂa 20 questions ǂp History

Numbered parts use ǂn, as in:

    ǂa Bitlet. ǂn Series 2

If the part has both a name and a number, both subfields might be used:

    ǂa British idealist studies. ǂn Series 3, ǂp Green

Catalogers may disagree on whether a phrase for part of the series is a name or a number. For example, the sets of low-vocabulary books I’m cataloging are in a main series called “Penguin readers” with subseries for the levels of vocabulary: EasyStarts, Level 1, Level 2, etc. I don’t think these really describe a sequence of parts (as mentioned in the docs for MARC field 830) but rather a descriptor of the reading level based on the number of headwords. Headings for these subseries have already been established in OCLC using ǂn for all except the lowest level:

    ǂa Penguin readers. ǂp EasyStarts
    ǂa Penguin readers. ǂn Level 1
    ǂa Penguin readers. ǂn Level 2

I am using the form that has been established to reduce future hassle in cataloging. Though it seems odd to me, it should not affect searching or display.


In the shadows of the Tetons / Ward + Blake Architects ; foreword by David J. Buege and Marlon Blackwell ; original project text by Anne Parsons. (OCLC #881300202)

Cataloger’s judgment seems to vary quite a bit when it comes to architecture books – who is the creator: the architect? the writer of the text? the photographer? Is the architect’s name after the title proper actually a subtitle, or a statement of responsibility?

Opinions vary in the three records for this title (I have already requested a merge), but I settled on recording the architect as the creator (with relationship designator “architect”) and that phrase to be a statement of responsibility.


Партийно-политическая работа в Вооруженных Силах / Генерал-лейтенант М.Г. Соболев. (OCLC #879351239)

For this publication about political party work in the Soviet armed forces, the statement of responsibility included the author’s military rank of Lieutenant general. Though my library’s practice is typically to abridge a statement of responsibility (removing non-essential information such as titles, ranks, or affiliations), in this case I felt it would aid with selection of the title, so retained it. Both the LC-PCC and NLA policy statements say typically not to abridge, so our policy may change in time.


中国民俗故事 = Chinese folk tales / 编绘 侯冠滨. (OCLC #46315682)

This book has as its first subject heading Tales–China–Juvenile literature, which according to Classification Web is most highly correlated with GR335 (Folklore, China). I do like the classification already in the record though (PL1117: Chinese language, Readers, Intermediate and Advanced); the piece is a picture book with text in both Chinese and English, so will likely be more useful to our library’s foreign language learners than to our folklorists.


安妮日记 / 安妮 · 弗兰克著 ; 奥托 · 弗兰克, 米莉亚姆 · 普雷斯勒编 ; 高年生译. (OCLC #436270933)

I classed this diary of Anne Frank (translated to Chinese from the original Dutch) under DS135.N6 (The Jews, Netherlands, Biography and memoirs) to parallel what Libray of Congress did – so why does Anne Frank have a class number in her authority record (PT5834.F68: under Dutch authors, 1800-1960)?

It turns out that Anne Frank did author more than her diary, and these works, along with any criticism of those works are classed there. There is a spot under this classification for autobiography (PT5834.F68 Z46) but the DS classification is probably more helpful.


Mensonges d’États / Xavier Daugreilh ; mise en scène de Nicolas Briançon. (OCLC #859669542)

This play is no. 1351 of the series “Avant-scène. Théâtre”. The authority record for that series suggests classing together (PN2003: Drama, Periodicals, French). The branch that bought this volume has only a couple of others from that series, all classed separately. I followed this practice, classing the title as a separate work under the author’s class number (PQ2664.A78), and recorded this variation in our local authority file:

    646 __ ‡a c ‡5 DLC
    646 __ ‡a s ‡5 YOUNG

Now the title is more easily discoverable on the shelf among works by similar authors, and there is no stray call number ending in “no.1351”, leaving you wondering where the other volumes are.


Small : thoughts and projects / Carl Turner Architects. (OCLC #868008743)

Where to classify a book when its subject has more than one facet? I often class architecture books under one of the “Special artist” call numbers for the country where the firm is based (e.g. NA997 for England), but this title is about a specific type of architecture: small buildings.

I searched our catalog for other titles in the small buildings classification (NA7533) and found quite a few; we must be collecting in that area, so I classified there.

Subject headings will provide access to this title for those looking for English architects.


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.


Computer programs for chemical engineering education. (OCLC #1434748)

The set containing the volume on the left is on its way to storage; we happen to have two additional copies of this volume in a smaller format. The smaller edition (also headed to storage) had been cataloged on its own monograph record, but as far as i can tell it is just a shrunk down copy of the larger one, except for the publisher (which sounds more like a printer/manufacturer to me), so I considered these to be added copies of the volume.

There is potential benefit to making that one volume more discoverable though subject access on its own record, but also benefit to tidiness and keeping the set together, so this was a judgment call. The title/author are included in a contents note in the set record, so the volume is still discoverable that way if somebody is looking for it.