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PCCLIST  April 2019

PCCLIST April 2019

Subject:

Two works or one?

From:

Kathie Coblentz <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Program for Cooperative Cataloging <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 30 Apr 2019 21:41:50 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

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text/plain (26 lines)

I have an incunable edition of the anonymous 12-century German work known as "Lucidarius" (NAR: n 95016078; the 130 is simply "Lucidarius"). There is another NAR, which seems to have been created at the same time (1995), for "Lucidarius (1479)" (n  95040261).

The intent seems to have been to use the unqualified "Lucidarius" for editions edited directly from medieval manuscript sources (or facsimiles, or of course the manuscripts themselves), and the qualified "Lucidarius (1479)" for early printed editions in a form some editors have called a "Volksbuch." (The 19th-century genre term "Volksbuch" has come into some disrepute in recent years.)

The notes on the record for "Lucidarius (1479)" emphasize that the version in the early printed editions is abridged and the "language [has been] changed from Middle High German ...  to early modern German." I note that both the Library of Congress Subject Headings and the MARC Code List for Languages consider the period for "Middle High German" to extend from 1050 to 1500. In other words, the language may well be modernized, but by the standards we work by, it can't have been "changed" to "early modern German." 

I think the NAR for "Lucidarius (1479)" should be deleted, and all editions should use a preferred title in the form "Lucidarius." I have a lot of complicated reasons for this, but to keep it simple, consider this: 

In the case of most incunabula derived from medieval manuscript sources, no distinction is made in the authority file between the manuscript forms and the first printed editions, which almost invariably modernize the text to a degree. "Der deutsche Lucidarius," published in 1994 (the first true modern critical edition of "Lucidarius" from the manuscripts, evidently the occasion for the creation of the two NARs) includes in its list of manuscript and printed "textual witnesses" no fewer than 64 early printed editions from 1479 to 1621 and 5 more editions under the title "Kleine Cosmographia" from 1605 to approximately 1806. All were derived from the first, the 1479 Lucidarius. I found around 140 records in OCLC dated from 1479 to 1750 for printed works in German with the title "Lucidarius." Many of these employed the uniform title "Lucidarius," often controlled to the "unqualified" NAR. I found exactly two (OCLC 2840588 and 129688680) that employed the uniform title "Lucidarius (1479)." 

If nothing else, I find the use of the date as a qualifier to be confusing at best, as more than sixty editions were published after that date, many in a far more modernized textual form. Some of these were also textually quite altered. 

Finally, RDA 6.2.2.5 (under "Preferred title for work") says "For works created before 1501, choose as a preferred title the title or form of title in the original language by which the work is commonly identified in modern reference sources." That would be "Lucidarius," decidedly not "Lucidarius (1479)." See: https://gesamtkatalogderwiegendrucke.de/docs/LUCIDAR.htm

I would be grateful for your opinions.
--------------------------------------------------------
Kathie Coblentz
Rare Materials Cataloger
Special Collections/Special Formats Processing
The New York Public Library
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building
476 Fifth Avenue, Rm. 313, New York, NY 10018
[log in to unmask]

My opinions, not NYPL's

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