I am involved in several activities relating to resources that are digitized locally, and have been thinking about how to provide access for the name of the digital collection in the records for the individual items in the collection. We have been asked by our public services staff to provide an access point that can be used to collocate records for individual items in the collection, or to refine searches to resources in specific digital collections.
There have been arguments that access for the name of the digital collection only belongs in the local record, not the national record. However, our users often go to WorldCat first. In addition, users from other institutions may know the title of one of our digital collections, and may want to use that title in their search. Selectors at other institutions may ask their cataloging departments to provide access for everything in a particular digital collection, so it would be helpful for their catalogers to be able to search under the name of the digital collection, pull up all of the records, and export them for their local catalog. We are also trying to keep our local records in sync with the OCLC records as much as possible, and this is probably even more true for those institutions that are using WorldCat Local. For all of these reasons, I think that whatever mechanism we use should be in the national record as well as in the local record.
If access for the name of the digital collection is important, the next question is what kind of access should it be. Is the digital collection a series or is it a title? I was told several years ago that if the name of the digital collection appears when each item in the collection is viewed, then the name of the digital collection can be treated as a series. However, I also understand the argument that users think of the name of the digital collection as a title. If we decide to provide access for the name of the digital collection, regardless of whether it is done only in the local record or also in the national record, I am wondering whether it should it be an 830, or a 730, or something else.
Note that I am only talking about things that we digitize locally here. I'm not talking about the names of vendors which are providing access to digital content. I'm also not talking about mass digitization projects. I'm talking about things that we select for digitization for a particular online collection. An example would be Chopin Early Editions, which is available at http://chopin.lib.uchicago.edu/
So, my questions for this group are:
1. Do you think it is important to provide access for the name of the digital collection in the records for the individual items in the collection?
2. If it is important to provide access for the name of the digital collection, do you think the access should be only in the local record or should it also be in the national record?
3. If it is important to provide access for the name of the digital collection, should it be a series added entry, a title added entry, or something else? (If something else, what?)
Head, Serials & Digital Resources Cataloging
University of Chicago Library