After Rebecca's message arrived yesterday, I did some searching in OCLC's
database to see to what extent existing records for publications in
Norwegian contain information that would allow the two new codes to be
applied to those existing records (along the lines of the procedure that I
described earlier which we apply to cases in which a language is broken out
from a collective code). I searched for the language code 'nor' and the
appearance of the words 'Bokmal' (or 'Bokmaal') or 'Nynorsk' in a note.
The statistics indicate that we would be almost completely unsuccessful. Of
the 73,164 records that are coded as Norwegian, only 25 contain the word
'Bokmal' and 53 contain 'Nynorsk'. These include records created by the
University of Minnesota (and other academic institutions in that state). An
examination of a sample of recently created records for Norwegian titles
published since 1998 shows many other records created by the same libraries
that contain no reference to either Bokmal or Nynorsk. Since most of the
notes are quoted ones, I'm assuming that most U.S. catalogers are including
information only when it is explicitly stated on the item.
Based on this sample, I'm not optimistic about catalogers' ability to use
the new codes accurately.
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