I recall there was some discussion of this as part of the conversation about series policy under RDA.  It was originally proposed that the practice of capitalizing the second word be dropped, because there is no support for it in RDA, and because there should be no suggestion of ambiguity about where the title starts.  Another view held that grammatically this is an appositive construction, where capitalization of the second word respects the intended nuance in those European languages where such series titles are common. A third view was that it isn’t consequential, so cataloger’s judgment can say.  The absence of the instruction from current documentation may be interpreted to mean “don’t capitalize.”  I’m still inclined to capitalize, because respect for the language seems a better choice in our global context.  But we’re not instructed to do this anymore.

Mary Jane Cuneo

Serials cataloging and NACO

Information and Technical Services

Harvard Library


From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Langford,Gerald G
Sent: Tuesday, March 15, 2016 3:54 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Capitalization in series title when first word is "generic"


Under RDA, are we still capitalizing the second word in a series title when the first word is a “generic” indication of a series?

For example, Collection Genres et discours, Serie Manuales educativos

Apologies if I’m missing the answer in RDA or related documentation.


Gerald Langford

Sr. Archivist

Cataloging & Discovery Services Department, Smathers Libraries, University of Florida


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