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MODS  July 2004

MODS July 2004

Subject:

Re: legal citations (bills)

From:

Karen Coyle <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Metadata Object Description Schema List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sat, 31 Jul 2004 12:21:39 -0700

Content-Type:

text/plain

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text/plain (93 lines)

On Fri, 2004-07-30 at 16:24, Bruce D'Arcus wrote:

> 
> OK, you're losing me here in library jargon ;-)
> 
> What is a "uniform title" for those that don't know what a "faceted 
> title" is?
> 
> Is it just an artificial natural language identifier of sorts?

Sorry 'bout that. A uniform title, in the library catalog, is a title
that brings together records for a work that can have more than one
title. The easy example is "Hamlet". So Hamlet, Prince of Denmark has
been republished so many times and in so many languages that you would
never find them all (easily) in a large catalog without something to
bring them together. 

Author:  Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616.
Uniform Title: [ Hamlet]
Title: William Shakespeare's Hamlet, Prince of Denmark / edited by
Constance Jordan.

Author: Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616
Uniform Title: [ Hamlet] 
Title: The tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark /

Author: Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616.
Uniform Title: [ Hamlet]  
Title: Amleto. Traduzione dall'originale inglese Hamlet, Prince of
Denmark di Eugenio Montale

The uniform title is a title that you put on all of them IN ADDITION TO
the title of that particular publication, so that you can unite all of
the Hamlet's. (Yes, it sounds very much like the Work in FRBR.) 

So if your H.R. 24, 107th Congr. § 2 (Jan. 3, 2001) is sometimes called
"Probation Officers' Protection Act of 2001" and sometimes called "House
Resolution 24: Probation Officer's..." etc., then the uniform title of
"H.R. 24, 107th Congr. § 2 (Jan. 3, 2001)", or however you decide the
standard will be for that uniform title is what can bring them all
together. So the uniform title is a kind of identifier/unifier.

As for facets, think of a diamond. Facets are different aspects of
something, or different roles. MARC isn't really a faceted system but
you could say, for example, that the subject headings have the "facets"
of topic/place/time/genre.  And each of these gets its own coding so you
know which one you have. Facets are generally in a single field or
somehow connected because they are aspects of the same thing. That's why
I rather dislike the idea of spreading the bill "identifier" out across
multiple MODS fields. There's nothing really WRONG with it, but my
desire to keep aspects of the thing together an in a prescribed order is
strong. In a sense you "faceted" your resolution when you wrote:

> 1)  abbreviation for bill ("House Bill" in this case)
> 2)  Bill number
> 3)  Congress number
> 4)  what the manual calls "pinpoint reference" (e.g. a part detail; in
> this case a section number)
> 5)  date

The question is whether this set of data elements is "universal" or not.
If so, you could turn them into a set of facets that would identify a
bill. 

There are bigger questions, such as: what will be the context for this
facet? If there will be nothing else in the record, then one has to
think about whether this can/should be used for legislation from other
countries. That gets more complicated because there will probably be big
differences between the facets for legislation if you go across systems.
If you can assume that there will be other data, or that you can derive
other data (i.e. it would be pretty easy to go from "HR 24, 107th
Congress" to determining that the "author" of this bill is United
States. Congress. House of Representatives. 107th Session), then you can
have a record that identifies the country and the system, and thus
simplify the requirements for your uniform title.

All that said, I'm NOT suggesting that MARC21 should define a uniform
title for legislative documents. I'm saying that there is a methodology
that is consistent with MARC. (That's so the librarians on this list
don't gather to lynch me.)

kc

> 
> Bruce
-- 
-------------------------------------
Karen Coyle
Digital Library Specialist
http://www.kcoyle.net
Ph: 510-540-7596 Fax: 510-848-3913
--------------------------------------

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