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Catalogers may catalog pre-1820 imprints in RDA if they so wish, or use a hybrid RDA/DCRM approach.

For more information about hybrid RDA/DCRM records in the current environment, follow this link:

PCC RDA BIBCO Standard Record (BSR), April 2014 revision. Moved to IV.4. 040


Given that the import/export process changes institutional codes, we will leave them as we find them. When creating, choose either LC code or OCLC code based on one's comfort level. We will not worry about inconsistencies. 


In the case of a manifestation containing an expression of the work in the original language and an expression in another language, also known as a parallel translation, record both languages in the 041, omit the 240 and repeat the 700 to include both expressions. For example:

0411 |a eng |a fre |h fre

7001 |a Picasso, Bernard Ruiz. |t Pages de garde.

7001 |a Picasso, Bernard Ruiz. |t Pages de garde. |l English. Moved to IV.4. 041 and IV.4. 7XX



Include relationship designators/relator terms (subfield e) when appropriate. (One is required in the 1XX; if all else fails use "creator".) Terms not on RDA-established lists are acceptable. These lists include:

and others listed on the LOC's Source List

Also helpful is the PCC Table of MARC relators and RDA relationship designators:

In a pinch, we can establish our own; but if this is desirable, such terms need to be discussed by the RBT before using. Once agreed upon, we will use this wiki to keep a list.

Acceptable Local Relationship Designators:

  • Introducer (for use primarily for audio and video recordings) Moved to IV.14. Relator Terms


When cataloging a single sheet printed item that does not have a title, use judgement as to whether the 245 should be bracketed. Always add a 500 note "Title devised by cataloger" or some similar phrasing (see RDA RDA instructions on this situation (2.2.4 (Other sources of information); (Recording devised titles)) are somewhat ambiguous. When in doubt, bracket the constructed title. Moved to IV.6. 245



If the copyright date and the imprint date are the same, do not make an additional 264 for the copyright date Moved to IV.6a 264



Whenever an item has illustrations, these will be noted .See RDA 7.15 for further instructions. The fixed fields should correlate. If the illustrations are deemed important enough, add an additional 336 for them (336 |a still image |b sti |2 rdacontent). If making a 336 for still images, also make an 006 for them.

If following the RDA rules on physical description relating to unnumbered pages or leaves becomes burdensome, use AACR2 or DCRM(B) to catalog an item. Moved to IV.6. 300


Harvard policy until further notice: copy the 337 and 338 fields describing the resource in hand from the bibliographic record into the holdings record. Do not copy field 336 (Content Type) into the holdings record.From:

The codes (‡b) in the 33x fields should not be removed when encountered, but should not be added to new original RDA records (unless using the template created by Honor Moody, which includes them). 

AACR2 and pre-AACR2 copy frequently has 33Xs. If they are in a non-RDA bibliographic record, the 337 and 338 fields may also be included in the attached holding record. Moved to IV.6c. 33X



Per RDA alternative B, add 336s only when other formats are SUBSTANTIVE, as one would add a 006 under AACR2.  If an additional 336 is added, add a 006. Moved to IV.6c.33X



Refrain from using abbreviations (Latin or otherwise) and brackets in notes.

In order to construct the most intelligible notes, use either colons, parens, quotes, or dashes in citing materials.    Moved to IV.8. 500


A quotation should be enclosed in quotation marks. Moved to IV.10a. 520


Supplied information should be in the language of the manifestation. See RDA, "Use the language and script appropriate to the content of the resource being described, except where instructed to use specific terminology," and the LC-PCC PS Alternative, "Devise a title in a language and script preferred by the agency preparing the description." Houghton catalogers have chosen to interpret the latter as, we prefer the language of the manifestation in this instance. Moved to IV.10a. 505


RDA Appendix I.1 says "If the relationship element is considered sufficient for the purposes of the agency creating the data, do not use a relationship designator to indicate the specific nature of the relationship." While we won't require that all corporate access points get relationship designators, they are encouraged - most particularly if the relationship between the corporate access point and the item being cataloged is not clear. Moved to IV.14. Relator Terms

Undifferentiated names

In general, catalogers will follow RDA rules and do their best not to use undifferentiated names, with the exception of any local headings (i.e. those that have a subfield 5 at the end), which can be left undifferentiated. This occurs most frequently with former owners. Questions about individual problematic headings can be addressed to the RBT for problem-solving Moved to III.2 Catalog Maintenance


General: Ward catalogers should catalog pre-1830 imprints in DCRM(b), or use a hybrid RDA/DCRM approach. Moved to IV.4. 040

For more details on the hybrid approach, follow this link to the PCC RDA BIBCO Standard Record (BSR), April 2014 revision.


In RDA, use of the $s Vocal score should follow $k Selections. 



  •  If the copyright date and the imprint date are the same, do make an additional 264 for the copyright date; be sure to include "t" date in 008 even when they match. (Per MLA Best Practices; note that while the Best Practices document makes this recommendation for scores only, Ward catalogers will apply it to all music materials: scores, librettos, &c.)
  • If the date of publication is inferred, resulting in a bracketed date in the 264_1 $c, do make an explanatory 500 note. For example,  
    • 264_1 $a Milano : $b Sonzogi, $c [1902]
    • 500 __ $a Date of publication inferred from date of first performance.
  • If the date of publication of a score is inferred from a copyright date of 1945 or earlier, do add a question mark to the end of the 264_1 $c. There is no need for an explanatory 500 note in this case. For example,
    • 264_1 $a Wien : $b Glocken-Verlag, $c [1943?]
    • 264_4 $c ©1943
  • Due to fact that RDA ("If the resource has multiple copyright dates that apply to a single aspect (e.g., text, sound, or graphics), record only the latest copyright date") has superseded AACR2 LCRI 1.4F6 (whose instructions were to “Ignore copyright renewal dates for works first copyrighted before 1978") always include a 500 note with all of the copyright dates recorded—so that records which should match but which will now be recorded with different copyright dates, can be correctly linked after the fact. For example:
    • 500 __ $a Copyright noted at foot of caption as “1925/1936”. Moved to IV.6a.264

Relationship designators:

Use 700 “|i Libretto based on (work):” for the immediate source;

Use 700 "|i Based on (work):" for twice removed source material, or for "loosely based on" source material. Moved to Appendix E_Libretto Cataloging

(Per MLA-L Daniel Paradis; e-mail communication, Morris Levy) 


TS classification of opera librettos

The document TS Classification instructs that  we are to build a TS number for an opera libretto by following the initial 8 with: ".1-.784 by uniform title / .1-.784 by main entry + 4-digit year." Thus, TS 8206.708 1844 for a libretto for Verdi's Ernani, published in 1844.

Under RDA rules, the creator of a libretto is the librettist (in AACR2, main entry for a libretto was by composer). We will continue to use existing TS numbers where appropriate but, when obliged to generate new numbers, will do so under the name of the librettist. Moved to Appendix E_Libretto Cataloging.


Ballet librettists

Treat ballet librettists as you would opera librettists for designators and relationships.  RDA defines a librettist as an “author of a libretto of an opera or other stage work, or an oratorio” and ballets are stage works. Moved to Appendix E_Libretto Cataloging.

(Per MLA-L Morris Levy)



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