Michael: this is a larger subject than I can deal with in an e-mail, but I can put some in-house documentation into the post to you.  It deals with the main decisions to be taken, focusing on these questions:


1. Is there a genuine parent entity, or only a sibling group?  If the former, create a parent record. If the latter, link by series-type access points (MARC 4XX and 8XX)


2. Are the items treated as unique or as  multiples? This has implications as to whether you link parent and child at work (bibliographic) level only (e.g. via MARC 773/774), or via work and item (holdings) levels, or only at item level.


3. Are the children physically separable from the parent item and from each other?  Again this may have  implications as to whether you link all the child works to a single parent item record (if they are inseparable) or give each child work its own item record, or follow someother pattern.


Perhaps it would help if I gave an example (not held up as perfect cataloguing, it’s probably rife with errors!).  On the web you can only see the MARC versionof the bib record, not the item record.


Here’s a top level record




From: MARC [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Michael Paige
Sent: 24 July 2006 15:15
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Collection and multi-level description




I am currently cataloguing a collection of architectural drawings using MARC.  There is some concern about recording the context of the drawings, in records management this is done by using a system which records the hierarchical relationships in the collection and gives descriptions at various levels, the collection level, groups of drawings that were associated with a particular project etc.  Does anyone have any experience of using MARC in this way, how could collection level description be implemented using MARC?  How can hierarchical relationships be demonstrated - perhaps by using the host item entry field (773)?


Any advice would be appreciated.




Michael Paige,
Media Manager,
BBC Information & Archives

Tel:      020 8008 1252
Fax:    020 8008 2282

Room BC3 D4,
BBC Broadcast Centre,
Wood Lane,
London W12 7TS

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