Recently there was discussion on this list about how to provide access to named collections. Are they corporate entities, topics, or titles? If the decision is case-by-case, what would the criteria be? Collections were listed in SCM H405 with Group 1 (Named entities always established according to descriptive cataloging conventions with authority records that always reside in the name authority file) and also with Group 2 (Named entities always established according to subject cataloging conventions with authority records that reside in either the name authority file or the subject authority file), adding to our confusion. The Library of Congress has acted on this matter. One of my colleagues spotted the following in the Summary of decisions, Editorial Meeting Number 1 (Jan. 18, 2019) of the Policy and Standards Division (see http://www.loc.gov/aba/pcc/saco/cpsoed/cpsoeditorial.html ):
A named collection is a collection of objects that is formally named, such as the Seuso Treasure (on this list)*, which is a collection of Roman silver. According to SHM H 405 Group 1, named collections are established in the name authority file.
H 405 also includes “Collections, Public and Private” in Group 2. Listing collections in both Group 1 and Group 2 has caused confusion, so the meeting decided to clarify the situation by removing the entry “Collections, Public and Private” from the Group 2 list and revising H 1427, Collections of Objects. Unnamed collections (such as Harvard University—Coin collections and Bronzes—Private collections) will still be established as necessary in the subject file.
A survey of the database has revealed several headings for named collections are established as subjects, and they will be cancelled and established in names. Other subject headings for named collections may be identified in the future, at which time they may also be cancelled and established in names.
* Seuso Treasure (Budapest, Hungary)
This proposal is for a named collection of Roman silver, which should be established in the NAF (see announcement above). The proposal was not approved.
Note that “collections” is found in Group 1 under “N” (Named collections), though all the entries in the list are for named entities. As I understand things from the earlier discussion, we should consider all named collections to be corporate. Although its application is conceptually awkward in some cases, this pragmatic decision will spare us endless investigations into the “agency” of each collection (Does it have staff? Will it be similarly funded next year too? Does staffing several hours a week count?) The assignment of “collections” to Group 1 allows NACO participants to create and also maintain the NARs; Group 2 headings must be maintained by the Policy and Standards Division. Thank you, Kate James & Library of Congress.
Mary Jane Cuneo
Serials cataloging and NACO
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