Early Printed Resources and Rare Printed Resources

1 August 2016

Early Printed Resources and Rare Printed Resources


Submitted by: Francis Lapka, Chair, RSC Rare Materials Working Group

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40 Responses to Early Printed Resources and Rare Printed Resources

  1. Kathy Glennan says:

    Issue #1:
    I think that RDA should get away from using the term “materials” as a synonym for “resource”. The first thought I have in reading this term in an RDA context is for base/applied materials.

    This would make the clean copy definition:
    A resource manufactured during the hand-press period, before the advent of machine printing in the nineteenth century.

    • Kathy Glennan says:

      Issue #1/Change #1: oh, and the term needs to be singular, to conform to the Glossary style changes rolled out in the August 2016 release.

    • Kathy Glennan says:

      This too could change; the RSC will be considering the use of the term “resource” in the future….

    • Tina Shrader says:

      I agree with this, and I like the clean copy definition you propose.

    • Robert L. Maxwell says:

      I agree with “A resource” rather than “Materials.”

      I’m not so sure about the addition of “during the hand-press period”. If that period isn’t defined anywhere it isn’t very meaningful. Since nearly all 21st century fine printers produce resources using hand presses, one could say we’re *still* in the hand-press period. “Before the advent of machine printing” is the salient point. Although the main thing is that the rare rules apply best to books that were *produced* on a hand press vs. being produced on a machine press, and that could happen at any period.

      • Tim Kiser says:

        I like Kathy’s clean copy proposal. I’m satisfied that the combination of “during the hand-press period” and “before the advent of machine printing” would be satisfactory for the purpose of loosely defining a region-specific endpoint to the timeframe covered by “early.”

  2. Kathy Glennan says:

    Issue #2

    I am interested in hearing from CC:DA about the WG’s choice of option #4. Do you support this?

    • Tina Shrader says:

      Personally, I think that Option 3 would be preferable because it reduces verbiage while maintaining clarity, but I don’t object to option 4.

    • Amanda Sprochi says:

      I like option 4 better. It is a little more wordy, but it is also clearer. One problem is that “early printed resources” are defined but “rare printed resources” are not. In some ways that is good, because defining rare is often like nailing jello to a wall, and we want for cataloging agencies to maintain for themselves what materials they choose to treat as rare. I know here I kinda eyeball/seat of the pants decide what to catalog as rare in certain circumstances, depending on what elements I find in the resource that are unusual or that I feel warrant special cataloging. I wouldn’t want to legislate that cataloger’s judgement out of it.

      • Nancy Mitchell Poehlmann says:

        I prefer option 4 precisely because it mentions both “early” and “rare” printed resources. I have cataloged early texts which would not meet the institution’s requirements of “rare” (more holding libraries than 5, for example), so “early” is not always a subset of “rare” locally.

    • Robert L. Maxwell says:

      I am in favor of the language of change #2, which follows option 4.

      However, I am troubled by the limitation to *printed* resources. I suppose “printed” would cover maps, scores, etc., but what about other formats that an agency might want to treat as rare? Also, what about digital or other copies of rare resources? I would think I would want to apply the same instructions to a digitized version (or microform) as to the original.

      If we must retain “printed”, how about following the pattern of “Printed materials (or images of printed materials) for which an agency chooses …”

    • Mary Anne Dyer says:

      I also like option 4 better. I think it is a little clearer than option 3 and takes into account local cataloging practices.

  3. Kathy Glennan says:

    Issue #2/Change #2:

    As with the definition for early printed resource, I recommend using “resource” instead of “material”, and making the term singular. I also question the use of the term “treatment” in this definition. Would “detailed description” be a better wording?

    The end result could look like the following, although I think it could still be improved:

    rare printed resource:
    A printed resource for which an agency chooses to provide a more detailed description of the resource as a physical object. The detailed description may be applied for any reason, including, but not limited to age, rarity, fragility, or value as part of a collection.

    • Tina Shrader says:

      I agree with this.

    • Amanda Sprochi says:

      Okay, so ignore comment part above about the definition of rare. LOL.

      A printed resource which requires a more detailed description due to its uniqueness as a physical object, as determined by the agency. The detailed description…

      Or, A printed resource determined by an agency to require a more detailed description as a physical object.

    • Robert L. Maxwell says:

      I know it’s done throughout RDA, but I think its bad practice to define a word using the same word (“resource”).

      See above for addition (revised per Kathy’s revision of the language) “(or an image of a printed resource)”

      I’d either say “The more detailed description may be applied” (to follow the language in the first sentence) or just “The description may be applied” (it seems obvious that it refers to what was just said in the previous sentence).

      • Mary Anne Dyer says:

        I agree with this rewording. As noted, using just “The description may be applied” following the first sentence may be enough.

        • Tim Kiser says:

          I like Amanda’s “A printed resource determined by an agency to require a more detailed description as a physical object.” I like Kathy’s second sentence but would prefer it begin “Such description…” rather than “The more detailed description…” or “The detailed description…”

  4. Kathy Glennan says:

    Issue #3:

    Is, Alternative affected by these changes?

    “For early printed and manuscript sheet maps, etc., record the dimensions to the next tenth of a centimetre and use the metric symbol cm.”

    • Lori Robare says:

      From Louise Ratliff:

      Before the 18th century, maps were often produced from wood blocks and engravings, and were printed using a hand press on hand-made paper, so I think they are analagous to textual resources of the period. Thus, this alternative would apply to maps that are “early printed resources.”

      I don’t think this alternative would be applied to “rare” maps printed on machine-manufactured paper or other similar materials; I have never seen it done, although I suppose someone might wish to do so.

      Anyway, I don’t think would be affected by these changes.

      Question: is there a problem with having these RDA sections refer to BOTH early printed resources AND manuscript resources?

    • Robert L. Maxwell says:

      I would say it is–an early printed map is an early printed resource. This should at least be broadened to “rare printed resource”. However, I agree with Francis’s broadening the alternative to include any kind of resource, rare or not.

  5. Chair says:

    From Francis Lapka, of the RSC Rare Materials Working Group:

    “Commenters have keenly noticed that the proposal omits mention of the alternative for early printed resources in The working group has submitted a fast-track proposal to make the alternative here consistent with the alternative in Dimensions of Still Images. We suggest that there is no need to limit the alternative to early/rare resources (as with still images). Thus, we propose: “Alternative. Record the dimensions to the next tenth of a centimetre and use the metric symbol cm.”

  6. Tina Shrader says:

    Passing along a comment from one of NLM’s rare books catalogers: “I agree with proposal. I would have preferred option 3 under issue 2, but option 4 is an acceptable compromise. I recommend that glossary entries “early printed resources” and “rare printed resources” contain a link to the other entry. See example in RDA glossary for “printing” and “woodcut making”.”

  7. Robert Bratton says:

    I prefer option 4 as well, as it makes sense to keep the concepts of early printed resources and rare resources separate. I have two questions about the proposed definition for rare printed resources.

    1) While a great deal of the extra treatment that rare resources get does pertain to physical description, it isn’t entirely about the physical description, correct? There are notes about where a resource is (or isn’t) cited or described, for example.

    2) Is there any reason to restrict the definition to *printed* resources?

    Would it be better to make the definition as simple and open as possible?

    “rare resources: anything for which an agency chooses to provide a more detailed description of the resource. The treatment may be applied for any reason, including, but not limited to: age, rarity, fragility, or value as part of a collection.” Removed: “printed” and “as a physical object”

  8. Diane Napert says:

    I notice the list under item 4 (music publishers numbers) does not match the verbiage in RDA
    Document: music publishers’ numbers (see 2.15.2) and plate numbers (see 2.15.3)
    RDA: publishers’ numbers for notated music (see 2.15.2) and plate numbers for notated music (see 2.15.3)
    While this section itself has not had a change, I mention this because the 028 field is used for both scores and sound recordings (with different indicators) so the word “notated” is key
    The field is important for early scores as well as early sound recordings

    • Mary Huismann says:

      I agree that the document & RDA need to agree. The change to include “notated music” for both 2.15.2 and 2.15.3 happened with the August Toolkit update, btw.

  9. Robert L. Maxwell says:

    I wonder about the comment on (details of colour content example) needing no change of label. I suppose the label “early printed resource” doesn’t forbid me from recording the note “Title and headings printed in red” on other kinds of resources, but it does imply it. I suggest just removing the label and have the example sit uncommented on. It’s an appropriate note for resources other than early printed resources.

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