Shocked by "illus."?! I've seen that form in every pre-AACR record reflecting a book with illustrations! Admittedly, it should not be showing up in new records, but "let he who is without sin cast the first stone" when it comes to missing an element to update when deriving a new record. "Illus." is certainly less egregious than overlooking publication date in this context -- an error I've seen often enough.
As to the consistency issues raised here, and the multilingual issues raised elsewhere, I have been convinced by the vision of Diane Hillmann and others that vocabulary registries, even in non-transcribed descriptive cataloging areas such as the presence of illustrations, is the way to go. After all, this is what the duplication of information between the textual 300$b and the coded illustrations byte in the MARC format was trying to achieve in the context of 1960s computer technology. We now have the ability to simply embed the coding within the description -- thereby avoiding the multiplicity of evolving terms and of typos, while simultaneously offering linguistic flexibility by setting the language of display. In OCLC, we already have the ability to use drop-down menus for inserting a variety of fixed field values: this would be no different -- except that the interface would offer drop down options in real language, then translate the selection into the coding of the registry, ultimately converting back into real language for display, in the language of choice.
We have the technology, we can rebuild this.
John F. Myers, Catalog Librarian
Schaffer Library, Union College
807 Union St.
Schenectady NY 12308
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J. McRee Elrod wrote:
Roy Tennant said:
>But we nonetheless seem to have focused too much on consistency of
>descriptive data (for example, "ill." in collation statements) ...
What consistency? We have in our database "il.", "ill.", and now
"illustrations". To my shock, I found "illus." in a few derived
records, which so far as I know was never a standard.
In terms of access points, LAC had four forms of my name as main
entries, and their authority for me differed from LC's, until I
complained. Ditto VIAF. How many authors will check themselves in