The Prentice-Hall Model letter desk book : ready-to-use letters for every occasion. (OCLC #11252172)

This volume has a note in its front matter indicating its relationship to another work, which has been recorded in a note:

500 __ ǂa "Reprinted from Secretary's standard reference manual and guide."--Page 2.

and as an access point:

700 1_ ǂa De Vries, Mary Ann. ǂt Secretary's standard reference manual and guide.

This volume is 64 pages long, where “Secretary’s standard…” is 307 pages long, so this is likely an excerpt of only the parts about letter-writing. So which relationship designator to use?


Chem sources-international–1998 edition. (OCLC #39262429)

This is the thickest book I’ve ever received for cataloging:

300 __ ǂa iv, 2259 pages : ǂb illustrations ; ǂc 29 cm

It made me wonder if RDA had exceptions in the rules for recording Dimensions of a volume related to a book’s thickness (as there are for the cover’s width). There don’t appear to be; it’s probably covered by pagination.


For memories’ sake / Lovell Films & Preservation Project present, a film by Ashley Maynor ; producer, Paul Harrill. (OCLC #651057604)

RDA on Details of Colour Content describes recording “details of the presence of colour, tone, etc., in the content of an expression, and the specific colours, tones, etc., including black and white, present. Record details of colour content if considered important for identification or selection.” There was a specific rule for color of moving image, but it has been deleted in a revision to RDA.

The OLAC best practices guide for DVD and Blu-Ray gives more detailed examples, including the one used in the physical description of this video:

300 __ ǂa 1 videodisc (29 min.) : ǂb sound, color with 
    black and white sequences ; ǂc 4 3/4 in.

One hundred letters home / Adam Aitken. (OCLC #947042420)

Recently on the Troublesome Catalogers facebook group, somebody asked when it is appropriate to include both “text” and “still image” as content types for a textual book with illustrations:

336  ǂa text ǂ2 rdacontent
336  ǂa still image ǂ2 rdacontent

This appears to be a matter of catalogers judgment, as well as differing policy between cataloging agencies. Some include it when a book has any illustrations, others only when a book is chiefly illustrations (such as a picture book or a graphic novel), or if the illustrations are particularly noteworthy.

I don’t think I’ve used this much, but when considering it, I typically think – if a patron were to limit their search to images, would they be happy if they found this book?

This particular title had about 30 mostly-small black-and-white illustrations (including portaits, facsimiles) spread out over 300 pages. This did not seem substantial enough to merit the added content type, so I removed it for our local copy.


I am not your Negro / Magnolia Pictures ; Amazon Studios ; Velvet Film, Inc. (USA), Velvet Film (France) present in coproduction with Artémis Productions, Close Up Films ; in coproduction with ARTE France, Independent Lens, RTS Radio Télévision Suisse, RTBF (Télévision belge), Shelter Prod ; written by James Baldwin ; directed by Raoul Peck ; produced by Rémi Grellety, Raoul Peck, Hébert Peck ; a Raoul Peck film. (OCLC #976436785)

RDA defines the on-screen participant relationship designator to mean:

An agent contributing to an expression of a nonfiction moving image work by taking an active role as a participant. Appearance on screen to provide contextual or background information is excluded.

The record for this documentary includes designated several people this way:

    700 1_ ǂa Baldwin, James, ǂd 1924-1987, ǂe screenwriter,
        ǂe on-screen participant.
    700 1_ ǂa Belafonte, Harry, ǂd 1927- ǂe on-screen participant.
    700 1_ ǂa Brando, Marlon, ǂe on-screen participant.
    700 1_ ǂa Cavett, Dick, ǂe on-screen participant.
    700 1_ ǂa Bush, George W. ǂq (George Walker), ǂd 1946-
        ǂe on-screen participant.

Resistance / Film Buff ; an Uji Films production ; directed & edited by Michael Graziano ; produced by Michael Graziano, Ernie Park. (OCLC #892627517)

In RDA, the relationship designator commentator is defined as:

A performer contributing to an expression of a work by providing interpretation, analysis, or a discussion of the subject matter on a recording, film, or other audiovisual medium.

I tend to think of the word as referring to someone providing live / running commentary of events (as a news or sports commentator), but the term seems slightly more general, as used in this record:

700 1_ ǂa Aarestrup, Frank M., ǂd 1966- ǂe commentator.
700 1_ ǂa Cox, Ed ǂq (Edward M.), ǂe commentator.
700 1_ ǂa Flynn, William ǂc (Veterinarian), ǂe commentator.
700 1_ ǂa Eisen, Jonathan, ǂc Dr., ǂe commentator.
700 1_ ǂa Kar, Avinash, ǂe commentator.
700 1_ ǂa Glickman, Dan, ǂe commentator.
700 1_ ǂa Creech, Buddy ǂq (Clarence), ǂe commentator.
700 1_ ǂa Laxminarayan, Ramanan, ǂe commentator.
700 1_ ǂa Levy, Stuart B., ǂe commentator.
700 1_ ǂa McKenna, Maryn, ǂe commentator.
700 1_ ǂa Price, Lance ǂc (Physician), ǂe commentator.
700 1_ ǂa Rex, John H., ǂe commentator.
700 1_ ǂa Slaughter, Louise M., ǂe commentator.
700 1_ ǂa Spellberg, Brad, ǂe commentator.
700 1_ ǂa Hansen, Gail ǂq (Gail R.), ǂe commentator.
700 1_ ǂa Chiller, Tom, ǂe commentator.
700 1_ ǂa Dahl, Jan ǂc (Veterinarian), ǂe commentator.
700 1_ ǂa Philpott, Tom ǂc (Food writer), ǂe commentator.

What do you think? Is there a better relationship designator for experts providing information in a documentary?


Your Bar/Bat mitzvah : Pareshah and Haftarah with commentary. Vayishlach, Genesis 32:4 to 36:43 / Union of American Hebrew Congregations. (OCLC #1002064723)

The title proper of this piece “Your Bar/Bat mitzvah” has a forward slash in it, which is a punctuation mark used in ISBD to precede the first statement of responsibility. Is anyone going to be confused by this record, and think it is the title “Your Bar” written by “Bat mitzvah”? It doesn’t seem likely.

AACR2 had this concern with a few punctuation marks, as described in AACR2 1.1B1:

If the title proper as given in the chief source of information includes the punctuation marks … or [ ], replace them by – and ( ), respectively.

But RDA’s primary rule for this (1.7.3) is “Transcribe punctuation as it appears on the source” allowing the Alternative “If transcribing punctuation as it appears on the source significantly hinders clarity, either omit or modify the punctuation, as necessary.”

So if we thought our patrons might be confused and read this as an author named Bat Mitzvah, we could modify punctuation in the title proper for clarity.


Trees of Appalachia : a guide to common native species / photos & text: Keith A. Bradley. (OCLC #930539164)

This guide to trees in Appalachia is laminated; if you’re specifically looking for a resource that won’t be damaged when you cram it into your hiking pack or drop it into the river, this feature would be nice to see in the catalog record.

RDA 3.6 on Base Material says that the element is not core, but should be recorded if considered important for identification or selection. A list of values is provided, with the instruction that “If none of the terms in the list is appropriate or sufficiently specific, use another concise term or terms to indicate a base material.” We didn’t feel like any of them (even “plastic”) were precise/clear enough, so we went with “laminated paper”. The RDA-MARC mapping in RDA Toolkit says that this element (along with many others) is recorded in 300ǂb:

    300  1 folded sheet (12 unnumbered pages) :
      ǂb laminated paper, chiefly color illustrations ;
      ǂc 24 cm

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.


Daniel Boone / by Reuben Gold Thwaites. (OCLC #994154857)

Here’s a fun one from our Special Collections cataloger: This volume had a publication date of 1909 on the title page, a copyright date of 1902 on the verso, but no edition statement anywhere, except next to the title’s entry on the series list in the front matter:

Daniel Boone.
By Reuben Gold Thwaites. Third Edition.

So is that usable in the record?

RDA says that Designation of Edition may be taken from anywhere inside the piece and used unbracketed. Given the difference in years, it made sense that this would be the third edition (and didn’t make a lot of sense that they would reference that edition in the series title list if this was not it), so we included it as an edition statement:

250 __ ǂa Third edition.