Dear Matthys,

You are quite correct, you should not need to input data more than once, once for indexing and once for displaying.

Unfortunately, unlike the 246 tag, which indicates what sort of title is being handled, the 240 does mix up translated titles and uniform titles required for any other standardization purpose, such as the plethora of variations that are used for classical works or music.

Understandably, as sometimes they are hard to unravel. But the translated title is clear in that it uses the subfield "l". However I wouldn't be able to specify a different public display label for our OPAC on the basis of inclusion of a subfield with our current system.

If the first indicator of 240 could be revisited, and was able to carry more useful data than the hangover from printed cards in indicator 1, then we could have an easy way of telling the system that this is a translated title and an appropriate label :
    Translation of :
could be used.

An example from our catalogue could then be displayed as :

Author: Brecht, Bertolt, 1898-1956.
Title: The good person of Szechwan / |c by Bertolt Brecht ; translated by John Willett
Translation of: Gute Mensch von Sezuan. English

(we display the 240 below the 245 in our OPAC)

However, as MARC currently does not do this, I can see why you have chosen to add the title to the translation note. But both that and the 500 are uncontrolled, and only suitable for keyword indexing.

Perhaps 240 is overdue for review? I can't find anything re the 240 tag in MARC proposals for the last few years.

Patricia Scott

p.s. in the above example, this and several other catalogue records from reputable sources have dropped the article and used the second indicator as zero, rather than 4, with the  title as usualyy published : Der gute Mensch von Sezuan

Matthys Rosa wrote:

Dear all

The public libraries in Flanders (Belgium) are just about to start with M21 cataloguing and we often dream that "a little pop-up box would appear on the monitor screen saying" a 'with-note' (501), 'a content note' (505), a translation note,etc.
We are not used to repeat our input : once for displaying and once for indexing.

Nevertheless a translation of the field 240 in a bibliographical note "Translation of" would not be totaly satisfying because :
- 240 is also used for uniform titles of Anonymous classics, Bibles, Works in classical music,etc. and they need other labels in the opac.
- here in Flanders we are used to add the language of the original language in the translation note, e.g. "Original Spanish title : Ensaio sobre a Cegueira".
This is an interesting data (which is not included in the 240): a search in the <keyword index> on "original spanish' gives you a lot of Spanish titles in translation.
We also think of using the 041 $h (language original title) as well.
We first thought of using a local note field : 591 'original title' but now we think a 500 note would be more appropriate.

We thought of using the 546 note for the different languages you have on a dvd-video. A summery of the spoken languages and the subtitles. Is it not common in the US to add those data ?

Rosa Matthys
Stedelijke Openbare Bibliotheek
Dienst Catalografie
Graaf van Vlaanderenplein 40
9000 Gent

Tel. 09 266 70 22
Fax 09 266 70 49
e-mail : [log in to unmask]

-----Oorspronkelijk bericht-----
Van: Ian Fairclough [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Verzonden: donderdag 29 april 2004 21:52
Aan: [log in to unmask]
Onderwerp: Re: Revisiting the LC view of Translation note (in 546 or

Dear MARC readers,

Without a bibliographical note "Translation of", one must accept trustingly
that a uniform title in field 240 actually pertains to the item in hand.
This is a pity, because those two words convey important information about
the original title (which in many cases is in a language the user does not
readily comprehend - and field 240 does not give any such explanation).  A
translation note is a form of bibliographic history.  The catalog is, in
effect, educating the user, as a good reference tool should.

It was about ten years ago, if I remember correctly, that LC decided to
eschew such notes.  LCRI 1.7B2 (Nov. 2002) p. 4, under the subheading
Translation note, reads: "LC practice: For translations of monographs,
generally omit the note giving the original title if the original title is
used in the uniform title main entry or is used in the uniform title under a
personal or corporate name main entry."  The presence of the word generally
allows the LC cataloger a little license, but not much, and the LCRI does
not discuss under which circumstances an exception is to be made.  And so
truly, you generally don't see a translation note in an LC record.

Omitting the note is not what I would have them do, given my druthers!  I
wish that every time field 240 is entered in a record being composed in an
electronic database, a little pop-up box would appear on the monitor screen
saying "500 Translation of: " with the original title from field 240 filled
in.  The cataloger could then choose either to accept the note, or to edit
the information, or to omit the field.  But if wishes were airplanes, then
catalogers would fly business class to conferences.

TFR - Ian

Ian Fairclough
Marion (Ohio) Public Library
[log in to unmask]
"... to be high quality records, they will need to be created by properly
trained catalogers exercising good judgment" --


Patricia Scott
Bibliographic Services Librarian
Barr Smith Library  fax: +61 8 8303 4369
University of Adelaide  telephone: +61 8 8303 5373
South Australia 5005

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