Revision to RDA 3.12 Book Format and Related Terms

1 August 2016
Revision to RDA 3.12 Book Format and Related Terms


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


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23 Responses to Revision to RDA 3.12 Book Format and Related Terms

  1. Robert L. Maxwell says:

    Change no.1. Definition and terminology.

    I agree with the change from “book” to “bibliographical”, though I disagree that “book” excludes serials. “Book” does not mean the same thing as “monograph.”

    In the definition, I’m not convinced that we need to list the types of things that can be folded (“paper or vellum”). Other things could be folded to create a book. I suggest simply “… the proportional relationship between the whole sheet in a printed or manuscript resource, and the individual …”

    I am confused by the “e.g.” — a “leaf” in folio occupies half the original sheet, but a “gathering” in folio occupies the entire original sheet–the gathering is simply the sheet folded in half. So I don’t get why “gathering” is in there. I’d just say “e.g., a leaf in folio occupies half the original …”

  2. Robert L. Maxwell says:

    Change no. 2. Glossary

    18mo was added to but was left out here.

    Same comments on the glossary entry for “bibliographical format” AND “details of bibliographical format” as above under change no. 1.

  3. Jennifer A. Liss says:

    Change 1: the proposed language in the first sentence of reads, “For early printed resources, etc., record…”. In order to address the concern that manuscript materials are inappropriately excluded in the definition of “book format”, I recommend changing the first sentence of to “For early printed or manuscript resources, etc., record…”

  4. Tina Shrader says:

    Passing along a comment from one of my NLM colleagues:

    I don’t like this because the term does not suggest to me what it actually is—but I admit I’m not a rare book cataloger. Since there is precedent in rare book resources to just call it “format” I’d prefer that, but we can’t do that because of all the other “format” terms in RDA. I’d like to expand the definition of “presentation” format and allow it to be used with printed material as well as motion pictures, because that seems like a more appropriate term, than “bibliographical.” Bibliographical seems applicable to all resources we catalog, not just things on paper.

  5. Robert Bratton says:

    From a colleague who catalogs rare books: “Some formats are cut and folded, not just folded, so the existing RDA definition is misleading. However, the idea of proportionality does not come from standard authorities such as Gaskell or Tanselle, but rather from an obscure regional journal (apologies to bibliographers from Australia or New Zealand). I would prefer a definition that is based on Tanselle’s “number of page-units … on each side of a sheet,” because I think that’s easier to understand. That said, the proposal does represent an improvement.”

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