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UCLA Film and Television Archive Cataloging Procedure Manual By the UCLA Film and Television Archive
When Martha Yee announced the availability of the UCLA Film and Television Archive Cataloging Procedure Manual (CPM) on the Archive’s Website, I leapt at the opportunity to review it because I knew I would personally profit in the process. As a nationally recognized scholar in the field of moving image cataloging, Martha Yee requires no introduction to catalogers. Moreover, under Yee’s leadership as the Cataloging Supervisor, the UCLA Film and Television Archive has historically set standards for and actively promoted the cataloging of archival moving images for the last decade or so. Last modified on November 2004, the CPM continues to fulfill this tradition with an exemplary documentation of procedures.
In her announcement of September 22, 2004, on the OLAC List, Yee explained: "We use a combination of
Anglo-American Cataloging Rules
, 2nd ed., rev. (AACR2R) and
Archival Moving Image Materials: a Cataloging Manual
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Moving Image Materials: Genre Terms
(MIM) genre and form terms in MARC 21 format records on Voyager. The procedure manual indicates which rules we are following in any given situation and contains many examples. In addition, the CPM contains local rules for uniform titles, supplied titles, local subject headings and genre/form terms, and terms for use in the physical description of archival moving image materials, with an extensive glossary of the latter, including suggested MARC 21 coding. The glossary in particular might be useful to institutions that deal on an occasional basis with film or video".
Indeed, Section 26.5, "UCLA Film and Television Archive Terminology, Definitions, and Abbreviations List", is an excellent reference source for understanding the various film, video, and sound formats and processes, as well as for identifying proper MARC 21 coding. Quite often, definitions will be broader than those found in AMIM2 and include anecdotal history lessons. For example, the definition of frames per second (fps) cites a letter to
from Kevin Brownlow:
"16 [fps] was standard in 1914 …but it was changing as early as 1915. The speed was rendered obsolete by the habit of ‘racing’, projectionists speeding up the film so they could get home early…As a result, cameramen were obliged to increase their speed of cranking, and by 1920 many films were cranked at 20 fps. By the mid-Twenties, the average speed for American films was 22 fps, and they tended to be projected slightly faster. Western Electric engineers, checking the average speed of Broadway theaters, discovered that they were running between 22-26 fps, and this was one reason 24 fps became the standard for sound. I admit that the pioneer cameramen I interviewed insisted that they cranked at 16 fps throughout the silent era. But having had to speed-correct scores of silent features for television, I can confidently state that most of them, apart from D.W. Griffith’s early features, were photographed significantly faster than 16 fps."
In another example, "Busch" is defined as a "…color process used ca. 1928. ‘Additive two-color. The negative is produced by running 35 mm. film horizontally through the camera. Twin lenses form a pair of images upon a single frame area; image pairs are superimposed when projected’--Trimble. (007 byte 13 (Refined categories of color), code c); use in the 903 $b subfield".
Given these examples from the glossary, one might suppose that the manual is not appropriate for libraries with a more commonplace video or sound collection. However, detailed definitions of terms encountered in general collections, such as Dolby, Dolby-A. DTS, monaural, NTSC, etc., are also included, and they should benefit those new to or inexperienced with cataloging audio-visual collections. Beyond the glossary, sections on holdings fields provide additional definitions and clear instructions of MARC 21 coding to further aid in cataloging video and sound recordings.
There are sections, of course, that are more suited to archival collections with unique holdings or apply only to UCLA Archive. One should not forget that the CPM is designed for a specific archive with a targeted audience that does no shared cataloging. For example, sections on inventory inputting, preservation notes, local policy, collection-specific procedure (e.g., "Hearst collection"), and Voyager-specific notation can be ignored unless someone is trying to set up procedures for an archival collection in a similar cataloging environment. When the Archive’s procedures diverge from AACR2R and AMIM2 rules, the manual clearly identifies that, as mentioned by Yee above. In Section 5.1.1, the CPM instructs not to follow "…the option of adding general material designators (GMDs) to the description", and explains that this "…local policy is due to our practice of treating videocassettes as copies of films when necessary". On the other hand, each section provides cross-references to AACR2 and AMIM2, as well as LCRI, when applied and appropriate to serve as further clarification and documentation on procedure decisions.
To improve access to its collection, the Archive also maintains local subject, genre and form headings (Section 6.4.2), such as "Christmas programming", "Academy Award films", and "Student films and video". It also performs double-indexing of proper names (Section 188.8.131.52) to "…allow patrons to conduct a single broad search on a topic such as Wrestlers, without needing a list of every person who ever wrestled". Although the Archive establishes local access headings, it also uses NAF records. More importantly, the Archive is an AV Funnel NACO member and Section 8 provides step-by-step instructions on authority work from searching to creating authority files with a helpful list of abbreviations for commonly cited reference works.
Another extremely helpful section is for the body of description. For those who wrestle on occasion with cataloging television programs or serials, Section 5 provides explicit instructions and detailed examples to address individual episodes, parts, or excerpts. Within this section, instructions on notes fields include a table with explanations and examples of the 5xx MARC 21 fields that serve as an ideal template for creating concise and informative notes, albeit most of the examples are of the Archive’s holdings.
There are other sections and procedures that I found extremely helpful, but lest I lose readers with my rambling analysis, permit me to conclude here by simply recommending the CPM as a fine example of cataloging documentation and training tool for both libraries and archives and catalogers and archivists. If I were asked how to improve this resource, my greedy reply would be to add a search feature to afford better retrieval of all of the desired information by a casual user.
Published in 2004- by: UCLA Film and Television Archive, Los Angeles, California. Available on the Internet at: <
Special Formats Cataloger
New York University