An account of the assassination of loyal citizens of North Carolina, for having served in the Union Army, which took place at Kingston in the months of February and March, 1864 / by Rush C. Hawkins. (OCLC #993606950)

This volume includes this ISBN statement on the title page verso:

    ISBN: 4444000055732PB

though only the digits appear in the book’s barcode.

An ISBN is considered to be structurally invalid when “its length or structure is incorrect or its check digit does not agree with the formula for calculating it.” This one has 13 digits, and the final digit DOES match what would be computed by the check digit formula:

    (4 + 3*4 + 4 + 3*4 + 0 + 3*0 + 0 + 3*0 + 5 + 3*5 + 7 + 3*3
         + digit) mod 10 = 0
      (68 + digit) mod 10 = 0
      digit = 2

But it is otherwise not structurally correct; in particular, it does not start with a GS1 ISBN prefix (978 or 979).

Such ISBNs are still recorded in the 020 field in MARC, but in ǂz instead of ǂa:

    020 __ ǂz 4444000055732

Un catecismo para los negocios : respuestas de la enseñanza católica a los dilemas éticos de la empresa / Andrew V. Abela, Joseph E. Capizzi ; traducción, Francisco J. Lara. (OCLC #956991214)

While MARC 020 $a is for the ISBN for the particular item you are cataloging:

020 __ ǂa 9780813228877 (electronic bk.)

you can include more ISBNs in 020 $z (“Canceled/invalid ISBN”). This subfield is often used to include the ISBN of a different version of the title, such as an eISBN in a record for the print.

020 __ ǂz 9780813228860 (pbk. : alk. paper)

Today I found the ISBN for the (original) English version of this title in the record for its translation into Spanish:

020 __ ǂz 9780813228846

this was included in a $z because though it was structurally valid (correct number of digits, check digit matched), it was an invalid application, being for a different resource.


Support/materialise. Columns, walls, floors / editors Alexander Reichel, Kerstin Schultz ; authors Henning Baurmann, Jan Dilling, Claudia Euler, Julius Niederwöhrmeier ; translation from German into English, Hartwin Busch. (OCLC #864390940)

I initially misread the pipe (“|”) in the title as a capital letter I. I read it over and over, trying to sort out its meaning “Support I materialise”? Fortunately, the initial cataloger had misread it the same way (so did Amazon!) so there was no problem finding copy. However, pipe is not an ALA character, so I had to represent it another way. Though RDA 1.7.5 says to ignore typographical devices that are used as separators, I followed the LC-PCC PS (and the example of another volume in the series) and used a slash, for consistency, and because it can be done without serious distortion or loss of intelligibility. I did include the version with capital I as a title variant.

Also, the ISBN actually on the piece is from an old edition with a slightly different title, and the ISBN in all online records I’ve found for this edition is not actually on the piece. I’ve included both in the record, because I’m not sure which is more authoritative.


Walt Whitman and 19th-century women reformers / Sherry Ceniza. (OCLC #37155132)

Though the copy in hand has a new ISBN, it is really just a reprint of the original 1998 edition, with that same copyright date and no new content. The title page verso has some new metadata giving the 2013 date to the “paperback edition” and the “eBook edition”, but this is not enough to justify a new record, as 2013 is more of a manufacture date.

Though there wasn’t when we received the book, there is now an OCLC record for the paperback edition with a few holdings, but I am still using the more popular ©1998 record and have added the new ISBN locally. The two records may eventually get merged, and having the primary OCLC number locally avoids some discovery problems.


Lebbeus Woods is an archetype. (OCLC #871557316)

This is the longest “cover title” I’ve seen yet! I decided to only include it as a quoted note, as it was so different from the title that appears on the title page and spine.

This is a collection of reproductions from an architecture exhibition, so gets a class number (including first cutter) for the artist (NA737.W66) subarranged by table N6, which says to use A4 for reproductions. This is the second such book from that artist from 2013 that we have in our catalog; if I hadn’t checked, they’d end up with the same call number!

Typically when you have two titles about the same subject by the same author, the item number (cutter) should be adjusted to shelflist, but the N6 table does not allow it; in this case, the call number gets a small letter b after the year:

NA737.W66 A4 2013b

This one also had a surprise in its ISBN. When I scanned in the barcode on the back, it also had a small b at the end! The title page verso has the version without the ‘b’, but the publisher has already used the ISBN for another title, so maybe they needed a way to distinguish between them. I included the version with the b in an 020ǂz in case other catalogers scan it in looking for copy.


Between pulpit and pew [electronic resource] : the supernatural world in Mormon history and folklore / W. Paul Reeve and Michael Scott Van Wagenen, editors. (vendor record) (and others)

One of these last batches of vendor records had some very strange “ISBNs”. I was not checking check digits (though maybe I should), just bad patterns/lengths. Some of these even appear in 020ǂa, not 020ǂz.


Classic problems of probability / Prakash Gorroochurn. (OCLC #757478610).

Mr. Sunday’s Saturday night chicken / Lorraine Wallace. (OCLC #774024192)

The first title was already in our collection; the second was in a DDA record pool and detected as a possible duplicate because their records share an ISBN!

The chicken book does have the ISBN in an 020ǂz (Cancelled/Invalid ISBN) but we are checking those as well because they often contain the ISBNs of the title from other ebook publishers or in other formats.

This particular ISBN (9781118063255) is a popular one; OCLC has it in records for eight distinct titles!