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The OLAC Newsletter (ISSN: 0739-1153) is a quarterly publication of the Online Audiovisual Catalogers, Inc. appearing in March, June, September and December. Permission is granted to copy and disseminate information contained herein, provided the source is acknowledged.
|From the President
News and Announcements :
OLAC Cataloger's Judgment:
Music catalogers (and those vexed and perplexed by music uniform titles) have waited a long time for this book … and it was well worth the wait!
Constructing uniform titles for music materials is perhaps the most daunting task catalogers face, no matter whether they are beginning or experienced catalogers. This situation is due in part to the multiple roles that uniform titles perform according to the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules, 2nd ed. (AACR2): they identify works, distinguish works and collocate works.
The genesis of this book occurred out of necessity, in this particular case, the author’s need for a guide to help with teaching the concepts of music uniform titles to the staff of a grant-funded conversion project. The author’s subsequent teaching experiences related to uniform titles also pointed to a need for book-length treatment of the subject.
The author is an acknowledged expert on the subject, primarily through her long tenure with the NACO Music Project (NMP). She is a long-standing independent contributor and reviewer of records to NMP, and was one of the creators of the NACO Music Project Handbook. Koth currently serves as a catalog librarian at the Irving S. Gilmore Music Library at Yale University, and is the creator of the extensive “Music Cataloging at Yale” website. She was recently honored by the Music OCLC Users Group with their 2009 “Distinguished Service Award.”
The introduction clearly outlines the aims and purposes of this volume. The book is aimed at catalogers dealing with music, and who have some musical background (necessary for identification of certain uniform title elements). Familiarity with AACR2, the Library of Congress Rule Interpretations (LCRI’s), and the MARC format is assumed. The volume is not to be considered a replacement for the aforementioned documentation, but rather stands as a fuller explanation with examples. The book does not cover certain situations such as popular music, liturgical music entered under a corporate body heading for a church, or series titles.
After an introductory chapter outlining the principles of uniform titles for music, subsequent chapters are arranged by sequential concepts, rather than by AACR2 rule numbers. Concepts begin with basic generic titles, formulating an initial title element and making additions to this title element to make it unique. Building on this foundation, the focus then shifts to distinctive titles, and additions that may be required to break a conflict among headings. Other chapters cover additions that may be made to both generic and distinctive titles, works of unknown or collective authorship, manuscripts, and references. Three appendices (a list of composer’s thematic index numbers, a comparison of uniform titles for music and Library of Congress subject headings, and a list of resources for authority work), bibliography, and an index round out the volume.
The author writes in a clear, concise style that is extremely welcome, given the potentially dry nature of the subject matter. The text is organized in outline style, and is easily navigated. References to AACR2 rule numbers are provided when applicable. MARC tagging and/or sub-fielding is provided for most examples. Perhaps the most valuable part of the book is the inclusion of extensive examples that illustrate the various concepts and situations in the text.
There are a very few drawbacks to this book. In some cases, explanations of complicated situations and the examples which clarify them are separated by a few pages, due to the compact size of the volume. It was disappointing to see that liturgical music was excluded, since these materials are frequently problematic. However, these minor quibbles are dwarfed by the volume’s contribution to the music cataloging literature.
Uniform Titles for Music may need to be revised if RDA: Resource Description and Access is implemented. In the meanwhile, catalogers have an excellent introduction and explanation to construction of uniform titles for music. This book is highly recommended not only for the music cataloger, but for any cataloger who deals with music uniform titles.
Published in 2008 by: The Scarecrow Press, Inc., Lanham, Maryland and Music Library Association, Inc. (xiv, 277 p.) Music Library Association Technical Reports, no. 31. ISBN 978-0-8108-5281-5 (pbk. $50.00)