I’m afraid there isn’t a lot of guidance available for legal materials under RDA. As you know, for individual treaties the preferred title is now the basis of the authorized access point. The “collective name” for certain compilations of treaties in 126.96.36.199 applies to only a small number of cases.
Catalogers in the American Association of Law Libraries have identified some issues with treaties, if not necessarily best practices. For example, a full date and not just a year is now used as an addition to the preferred title, and RDA now allows some more flexibility in determining that date. This means that even headings for treaties that were entered under title according to AACR2 are not completely correct under RDA. Previously only the date or earliest date of signing was mentioned, but now the date of adoption is also available. The concept of date of adoption applies to certain multilateral treaties that are the product of an international conference or of a session of the UN General Assembly. Different catalogers will have different amounts of information available at the time of cataloging.
When converting a treaty NAR to RDA, there may be no specific date given in the record, or it may give a date of ratification but not a date of signing or it may give a date of signing for a particular country that is not the earliest date of signing. It’s not clear how much research should be done when converting the record.
Another issue is that a treaty may have a very long “official” title as well as a shorter title by which it is known in legal literature.
Even though it’s out of date as far as RDA is concerned, Cataloging Legal Literature by Melody Lembke and Rhonda Lawrence (3rd ed., 1997) is still valuable for understanding the different kinds of legal literature.
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