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I'm posting this to the BIBFRAME list as well since it seemed relevant...

To me, the original "main entry" concept could more usefully be thought about in a larger context of  "for any field that is repeatable in a set of bibliographic description fields, is it useful to be able to designate one such fields as "primary" for purposes of selection for display, categorization (where a particular application requires one to "select one box" to characterize a resource) or other functionalities?  If so, should the designation be stored with the field, or separately from it?

Other MARC approaches that serve that function include choice of "format" (which one goes in Leader byte 6, which one gets reflected in an 006, when a resource has characteristics of two "formats"?).

For fields like subject, I believe there was a convention that the most important subject (the one upon which the primary classification number was based) had the first position in the record.   Since many modern systems permit or even force re-ordering tags in numerical order, that positional value can and often is easily lost.  Many of us stopped lamenting this a long time ago, but was it valuable?

What I don't think is valuable, is having to pick one author of a work with multiple authors and designate that person as the "main" one, based on the almost arbitrary factor of position of the name on the title page, (which is often alphabetical), and ending up deeming this person "Creator" and relegating the other author(s) to "Contributor" status.  (Nor do I think that dichotomy is particularly useful.)

Laura

Laura Akerman
Technology and Metadata Librarian
Room 128, Robert W. Woodruff Library
Emory University, Atlanta, Ga. 30322
(404) 727-6888
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-----Original Message-----
From: Resource Description and Access / Resource Description and Access [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of J. McRee Elrod
Sent: Tuesday, November 08, 2011 11:24 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [RDA-L] Offlist reactions to the LC Bibliographic Framework statement

Jim said:

>Getting rid of a *single* main entry would be the equivalent of DC's
><creator> and <contributor> where <creator> is repeatable, thereby
>creating multiple main entries.

How would you produce single entry bibliographies?  How would scholars cite in footnotes?  How would cataloguers construct subject and added entries for works?

Libraries are part of a larger bibliographic universe, and should adhere to its standards and practices, which would include returning to compiler main entry.


   __       __   J. McRee (Mac) Elrod ([log in to unmask])
  {__  |   /     Special Libraries Cataloguing   HTTP://www.slc.bc.ca/
  ___} |__ \__________________________________________________________

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