The medieval French poem known as "Roman de la Rose" represents the work of two authors, writing independently at different times. The quote below is from Wikipedia, but all sources I've consulted essentially agree:

"The poem was written in two stages. The first 4058 lines, written by Guillaume de Lorris circa 1230, describe the attempts of a courtier to woo his beloved ... Around 1275, Jean de Meun composed an additional 17,724 lines."

The AAP in the NAR, lccn n  79095628, was originally (March 1984) just the title, "Roman de la rose." Later that year it was changed to an author-title: "Guillaume, de Lorris, fl. 1230. Roman de la rose." At that stage, notes were added pointing out the divided authorship. The AAP, now coded RDA, remains the same to this day, except that the "fl." has been changed to "active." No variant access point for Jean de Meun is now or ever has been on the record.

I don't see how even under AACR 2 the creation of the AAP for this work as a combination of the first author's name and the title was justified; see AACR 2 21.7B1. Under RDA, how could it be considered anything but a "Compilation of Works by Different Agents" ( "If the work is a compilation of works by different agents, construct the authorized access point representing the work by using the preferred title for the compilation (see 6.2.2)."

Why was the AAP for this work changed from title only (as noted in the record, it was thus on the LC manual authority card; see NUC Pre-1956 Imprints and the older records in LC's own online catalog)? Why was this change made under AACR 2, and then confirmed as correct under RDA? I can only guess that the intent was to treat the work as one "produced by the collaboration of two or more persons" (AACR 2 21.6A) or one that "two or more agents are collaboratively responsible for creating" (RDA But how can collaboration be a factor here, when the author of the second part was probably not even born when the first part was created?

For a modern analogy, consider a hypothetical publication that presents Ibsen's "A Doll's House" and Lucas Hnath's "A Doll's House, Part 2" together under the title "A Doll's House, Parts 1 and 2." What would the AAP be for the work as a whole?

Should the AAP for "Roman de la Rose" be changed back to title only? How would one handle editions of only Guillaume's or only Jean's parts of the work, or commentaries on them? Should editions of or commentaries on the whole work also have access points for Guillaume's and Jean's individual parts?

Perhaps partly answering that, in 2015, the following NAR was created (lccn n 2015016319), already coded RDA: "Jean, de Meun, approximately 1240-approximately 1305. Roman de la Rose. Verses 4059-7230." The work for which it was created is an edition in Italian and Old French of this relatively brief selection from the poem, which is entirely taken from Jean de Meun's part. There is no mention of Guillaume de Lorris, and there is no connection with the AAP for the whole work. Before 2015, there was nothing in the authority file (other than a couple of notes in his NAR) to connect Jean de Neun with "Roman de la Rose," and this remains the only record that does so.

Incidentally, note that this last record has "Rose" capitalized, whereas the record for the entire work has it lowercased in the AAP, but capitalized in some variants. Which is correct?

Kathie Coblentz | The New York Public Library
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