These comments are in reference to Section I.4, “Series that exist in more than one language expression,” and to the response from SCS included there. With all respect for the work of the Task Force, I share the reservations expressed by SCS.


My specific concern is with bilingual editions of the works of a particular author. Here it might be more accurate to talk about “Series that _contain_ more than one language expression”  -- “Series that exist in more than one language expression” can be understood to refer to translations of series, which is not necessarily the same thing.


I’m talking about such things as an edition of the works of Saint Augustine in English and Latin. As I understand it, such a works edition falls under the RDA definition of a series, because there is a title common to all the parts, as well as individual titles for each part. Further, it constitutes a work in its own right, while each of the individual parts is also a work on its own.

The presence of original text and translation in a particular resource is a criterion that often helps our users select the resource they need.


Under AACR2, we had many records along these lines (using a made-up example):


100 0_ Augustine, Saint, Bishop of Hippo.

245 10 City of God

490 1_ Works of Saint Augustine ; v. 1

800 0_ Augustine, Saint, Bishop of Hippo. Works. English & Latin. 1951 ; v. 1.


I realize that the use of two languages in the authorized access point for the series is counter to the spirit of RDA. But if we change our practice, what do we have to offer to our users that is as useful as the heading above? It still seems to me that this is an efficient way to signal to the user that “here is the edition that meets your needs, that contains the two languages you are looking for.”


I have been wondering about possible solutions to the problem the Task Force has been grappling with. Here is a thought:  In such situations, add a qualifier to the heading such as: (Bilingual version, English and Latin).


Could this be justified as an instance of “Other Distinguishing Characteristic of the Work” under RDA 6.6? Placed in such a qualifier, this information might fit within the parameters of RDA, while retaining the utility of our past practice.


Following the argument presented by the Task Force (and leaving aside the question of replacing the “1951” with some other qualifier), it appears that the recommended practice here would be to have two 800 access points in the bib record:


800 0_ Augustine, Saint, Bishop of Hippo. Works. English. 1951 ; v. 1.

800 0_ Augustine, Saint, Bishop of Hippo. Works. Latin. 1951 ; v. 1.


This puts us in the position of having two access points that both point to the same entity, namely the work entitled “Works of Saint Augustine” – so we no longer have a one-to-one correspondence between entity and access point.


It also means that users browsing a list of titles under the author name Augustine won’t be able to tell which of the works editions listed there are bilingual, and which are monolingual. Instead they would see something like: (I’ll fall back on dates for differentiation, for the sake of the example)


Works. 1948 ; v. 1

Works. 1948 ; v. 2 (for some other edition containing only the Latin text)


Works. English. 1951 ; v. 1 (for our bilingual English-Latin edition)

Works. English. 1951 ; v. 2

Works. French. 1960 ; v. 1 (for some other edition containing French translation only – or it might be a bilingual French-Latin edition; we wouldn’t be able to tell)

Works. Latin. 1951 ; v. 1 (for our bilingual English-Latin edition)

Works. Latin. 1951 ; v. 2


We need an RDA practice that is as efficient as the older practice in meeting the needs of users.

Charles Croissant
Senior Catalog Librarian
Pius XII Memorial Library
Saint Louis University
St. Louis, MO 63108