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Amy Turner wrote: 
"What English-speaking catalog user is looking for Tolstoy's Voĭna i mir?"

It seems like it depends on how you conceive the "library world." Certainly in public libraries the uniform title seems superfluous. But in research libraries it makes more sense because there are people who are actually reading the book in the original Russian. However, even in those research libraries it might not make sense for Voĭna i mir to be very prominent in the cataloging record. Maybe burying it down in the 700's is adequate. 

The reason I mentioned the "library world" is that maybe it makes a difference whether you consider the knowledge that libraries provide as a cooperative thing, where all libraries that follow a certain standard like RDA are pointing to that highest level of knowledge that a user can "ascend" to if she wants to put in the effort. In that highest level, the user knows that War and Peace is a translation of Voĭna i mir. Authority records are created so that a person who doesn’t know Russian can find the work by the title she knows. By creating the authority records you are creating a kind of link between the knowledge available in a rural public library and the Library of Congress. 

I remember that AACR2 had different "levels of description," where catalogers could choose to provide less detail if that met their library's needs. Is that true in RDA, too?

One more point: I personally find uniform titles interesting. They make cataloging a more interesting job. They are one of the things that make cataloging more than typing. 

Ted Gemberling
UAB Lister Hill Library 

-----Original Message-----
From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Amy Turner
Sent: Tuesday, February 03, 2015 6:09 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [PCCLIST] use of field 240

I'd like to address the issue of how omitting a 240 could help the reader, but I want to make it clear that I'm not advocating a revision of MARC.  I agree with Gary Strawn that our efforts are better focused elsewhere.  Instead, I would like for uniform titles (to use the old terminology) to be optional, as they were under AACR2.

In the 80s, cataloging staff at Duke did a catalog use survey.  We asked users what they expected from the catalog in terms of detail of description and collocation.  Users were very positive about the usefulness of collocating all the works of an author.  I forget exactly what term we used for collocation, but they really appreciated that this was an important function of the catalog.  However, when we moved on to the question of arranging different editions by means of uniform titles, they were completely baffled. I have also seen a lot of confusion when training catalogers to use uniform titles.  Discussions on this list further illustrate lack of clarity about what uniform titles accomplish and how.  

Perhaps the most useful and easily understood uniform titles are those for translations, but what English-speaking catalog user is looking for Tolstoy's Voĭna i mir?

At Duke, over the years between the implementation of AACR2 and the implementation of RDA, we gradually used fewer and fewer uniform titles in original cataloging, while accepting them on copy.  Our catalog indexes 240s and 130s, but does not display them prominently.  I can't prove that this has resulted in a better catalog than if we had used more uniform titles and displayed them more prominently, but I don't know of a single request from the public to add a 240.  We do get requests to correct typos and forms of authors names, and to reclassify. 

Then along comes RDA and the concept of authorized access points for works and expressions, throwing 240s into the limelight.  And though we are told to look forward to a future where authorized access points are not so bound up in character strings, we are also told to construct character strings that code the complexities of a works and expressions in ways that the average reader would never anticipate.  Maybe it will all work better in the post-MARC environment.   In the interim, I think that we can serve the reader by making 240's optional, and by focusing our attention on other authority control, and on subject analysis and classification.

-----Original Message-, ----
From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Kroychik, Alla
Sent: Monday, February 02, 2015 3:05 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [PCCLIST] use of field 240

Hi,
Agreed with Michael.

Alla

-----Original Message-----
From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Michael Borries
Sent: Monday, February 02, 2015 1:00 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [PCCLIST] use of field 240

Ian,

Why should the cataloger have used the 240 at all in the case below?  I don't see a uniform title, only a variant title, which should have been recorded in a 246, not a 700 author title added entry.

And I really don't recall seeing an explanation of how omitting a 240 will help the reader.

Michael

Michael S. Borries
Cataloger, City University of New York
151 East 25th Street, 5th Floor
New York, NY  10010
Phone: (646) 312-1687
Email: [log in to unmask]


-----Original Message-----
From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Ian Fairclough
Sent: Monday, February 02, 2015 10:46 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [PCCLIST] use of field 240

Dear PCCLIST readers,

Thanks to Amy for her full explanation.

OCLC 875240162, also at my desk, has:

1001 Feeley, Dianne, ǂe author.
24510Leon Trotsky and the organizational principles of the revolutionary party / ǂc Dianne Feeley, Paul Le Blanc and Thomas Twiss.

What you don't see in the OCLC master is that, in the version as used for our acquisitions purposes, this field was present:

700 1  Feeley, Dianne. ‡t Leon Trotsky & the organizational principles of the Revolutionary Party.

I wonder why (1) the cataloger didn't use field 240 in this instance, and (2) why someone saw fit to remove the field.  (Granted that the title with the ampersand rather than the spelled-out word doesn't achieve a whole lot.)    This was not Library of Congress cataloging.

But I don't need any more answers.  Again, thanks to all who've contributed.  Feel free to continue discussing, anyone who's so inclined.

Sincerely - Ian

Ian Fairclough
Cataloging and Metadata Services Librarian George Mason University
703-993-2938
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