The divisions between LC and PCC and within PCC on this question have so far not been bridged successfully, in part because the terms in which it is discussed have been problematic.  As Ian's question indicates, there is a presumption that an authorized access point represents by default one work or one expression; but in the case of translations, LC and long-standing practice have preferred to let one established heading represent a variety of distinct expressions.  

One solution would be to introduce a different default.  If an expression AAP consisting of a work AAP plus a language were understood to represent by default a class of expressions and not a single expression, then libraries that prefer to extend the class-of-expressions AAP with more specific qualifiers, e.g., translator names, could do so without calling into question the assignment of the unqualified AAP.  The class designation would still be true.  The decision about whether to collocate entries with a class-of-expressions AAP or with something more specific to a particular expression or with some hybrid of these two practices could be made locally and case by case and would not pose the kind of dilemmas which the current state of affairs, where all of these AAPs are presumed to represent particular expressions, inevitably does.

A class-focused AAP would also be a more persuasive model for conventional uniform titles and selections, additional cases where the same AAP may represent collections with markedly different contents.  Different libraries would be able to make different decisions about how finely to distinguish aggregate works and expressions falling into such classes; and cases where greater specificity is desired would not invalidate a decision to describe resources only in terms of class AAPs.

And because Ian mentioned the "undifferentiated"--we need to keep in mind that the undifferentiation that exists among the members of a homogeneous class is different from that for members of a heterogeneous class.  The English translations of the Heart Sutra collectively will have a lot in common, where the works of several different persons whose names all fall under an undifferentiated name AAP most likely will not.  It makes sense that we would embrace the former and avoid the latter when constructing AAPs to provide users with meaningful collocations of resources.



On Mon, Apr 20, 2015 at 12:53 PM, Ian Fairclough <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Dear PCCLIST readers,

Although Buddhism is not an area of specialization of mine, I wondered about NAR n  95097640, Tripiṭaka. ǂp Sūtrapiṭaka. ǂp Prajñāpāramitā. ǂp Hr̥daya. ǂl English.  This NAR (included below) appears to be a case represented by  information given in Module 6, "Describing Works and Expressions" SLIDE 76 (available via, which reads:

•       LC catalogers do not record elements in authority records or add elements to authorized access points to differentiate separate expressions in the same language
•       For example, Shakespeare’s Hamlet in French would, for LC, be represented by a single authority record and a single authorized access point even though there are more than one translation
        Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616. Hamlet. French
                = all French translations of Hamlet.

I was about to add this field
670  The Heart Sutra and beyond, 2014.
having in hand the cited book (OCLC 900242090, LCCN 2014946427).  But it occurred to me that doing so would actually turn this NAR        into what might be considered an "undifferentiated" record for multiple expressions.  Right now, the NAR appears to represents only one expression, the one cited in field 670, although the heading might have been used (and controlled in OCLC Connexion) for other translations.

I wondered whether 6.25 would be applicable.  However, reads "For other religious works and parts of those works, record other distinguishing characteristics of the expression by applying the general instructions at 6.12."  Nor do I see instructions in 6.30.3, "General Guidelines on Constructing Authorized Access Points Representing Expressions of Religious Works" that pertain to the Tripiṭaka.

So I did no work on this NAR, pending an outcome of any response to this email.  Perhaps someone specializing in Buddhist literature is planning a project to update all pertinent NARs, if this doesn't count as too much wishful thinking!  I am however in process of adding to the bib record field 730  ǂi Translation of:   and controlled it to NAR n  50082700.

Further complicating factors in this situation are that the English version in hand was translated from a Chinese intermediate version, not from the original Sanskrit, and that the edition has commentary from the perspective of anthrosophy.

Sincerely - Ian

010  n  95097640  ǂz n 2002056551
040  DLC ǂb eng ǂc DLC ǂd OrLoB ǂd InU ǂd DLC
130 0Tripiṭaka. ǂp Sūtrapiṭaka. ǂp Prajñāpāramitā. ǂp Hr̥daya. ǂl English
430 0Elaborations on emptiness
430 0Heart Sūtra
670  Elaborations on emptiness, 1996: ǂb CIP t.p. (Heart Sūtra)

Ian Fairclough
Cataloging and Metadata Services Librarian
George Mason University Libraries
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Stephen Hearn, Metadata Strategist
Data Management & Access, University Libraries
University of Minnesota
160 Wilson Library
309 19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455
Ph: 612-625-2328
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ORCID:  0000-0002-3590-1242