Example of uniform title: OCLC bib #40249814 for Cicero's "On the commonwealth; and, On the laws " (1999 translation of De republica and De legibus).
Notice that the uniform titles are put in as 700's with subfield t.
The first uniform title itself presents something interesting. The uniform title for Plato's book of the same subject as De republica is set up as Republic. Why not in the original like Cicero's work? I'm guessing because Plato's work is better known and so generally referred to with its English name Republic. But the authority allows you to look it up under the original Greek Politeia as well as Latin Respublica and De Republica and various other language forms.
There is also an authority for Plato. ǂt Republic. ǂl English that links the user to other English forms like "Republic of Plato" and "Plato's Republic for readers."
The point I'm making in bringing this up is that the way uniform titles are set up presents catalogers and library patrons with lots of interesting aspects. It makes libraries more interesting.
From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Ted P Gemberling
Sent: Tuesday, February 03, 2015 9:46 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [PCCLIST] use of field 240
Amy Turner wrote:
"What English-speaking catalog user is looking for Tolstoy's Voĭna i mir?"
It seems like it depends on how you conceive the "library world." Certainly in public libraries the uniform title seems superfluous. But in research libraries it makes more sense because there are people who are actually reading the book in the original Russian. However, even in those research libraries it might not make sense for Voĭna i mir to be very prominent in the cataloging record. Maybe burying it down in the 700's is adequate.
The reason I mentioned the "library world" is that maybe it makes a difference whether you consider the knowledge that libraries provide as a cooperative thing, where all libraries that follow a certain standard like RDA are pointing to that highest level of knowledge that a user can "ascend" to if she wants to put in the effort. In that highest level, the user knows that War and Peace is a translation of Voĭna i mir. Authority records are created so that a person who doesn’t know Russian can find the work by the title she knows. By creating the authority records you are creating a kind of link between the knowledge available in a rural public library and the Library of Congress.
I remember that AACR2 had different "levels of description," where catalogers could choose to provide less detail if that met their library's needs. Is that true in RDA, too?
One more point: I personally find uniform titles interesting. They make cataloging a more interesting job. They are one of the things that make cataloging more than typing.
UAB Lister Hill Library