With respect to collective titles, it seems to me that there are two
trends at present which are quite contrary to each other.
On the one hand, what we see is an increase of the use of collective
titles, especially in LC's practice: Not only was the LCRI for AACR2
25.10A abandonded (which said: no collective title if the title proper
of the collection is "distinctive"). The rather extreme interpretation
of the first sentence of RDA 220.127.116.11 is also a symptom of this
tendency. The aim seems to be to reduce the exceptions to an absolute
minimum, so that (almost) all collections get a collective title.
On the other hand, there are many people who are highly sceptical of
collective titles, and therefore would prefer to get rid of them in as
many cases as possible. In the German-speaking community, there even was
a suggestion that *every* collection which has some sort of title proper
(even something like "Collected prose") should be seen as being known by
this title and therefore fall under the first sentence of 18.104.22.168. So,
the only candidates for a collective title left would be cases where the
source of information lists only the titles of the works contained.
These would, however, usually fall under 22.214.171.124.3, where the use of a
collective title is not prescribed, but merely an alternative (the
proponents of the "no collective titles" view of course prefer the basic
rule here, i.e. giving the titles of all works contained).
These two tendencies perhaps reflect two different aims:
#1: to collocate all collections of the same type
#2: to collocate all manifestations of a certain collection
The first aim can be reached by collective titles, but only if these are
used consistently and comprehensively. Therefore, every exception is
problematic. To get a perfect result, even something like "Leaves of
grass" should get a collective title.
The second aim would be best reached if collections were treated just
like other works (i.e. if the first sentence of 126.96.36.199 would apply to
them all). Then, the "real" title of the work could be used to collocate
the manifestations. For example, a German edition of Roald Dahl's "Kiss
kiss" with the title proper "Kuesschen, Kuesschen" should get "Kiss
kiss" as the title of the work, and not "Short stories. Selection".
In my opinion, both these aims are perfectly valid ones, and ideally,
RDA should cater for them both. One possibility I can think of is using
the "real" title of the work as an additional attribute in the AAP, e.g.:
Dahl, Roald, 1919-1960. Short stories. Selections (Kiss kiss)
Note that the distinguishing attribute really needs to be the title of
the work and not the title of the manifestation (as seems to be common
PCC practice now). If the title of the manifestation was used, the AAP
for a German translation would not be the same as for the English version:
Dahl, Roald, 1919-1960. Short stories. Selections (Kuesschen, Kuesschen)
So, the two manifestations wouldn't collocate.
I can also think of a more radical solution along the lines Bernhard has
already suggested: Use the "real" title of the collection as the title
of the work in RDA element 6.2, and give information about its
collective character in some other element, as an attribute of the work.
Actually, these elements are already there: We could use 7.2 "Nature of
the Content" to record something like "Collection of works" or
"Collection of novels", and 7.3 "Coverage of the Content" to record
something like "complete" or "selected".
Bernhard Eversberg wrote:
There can be no excuse for not recording a title in the title element.
This is what even MARC is in fact doing. All that's needed for
collections, and this is from long-time experience outside MARCistan
again, is not a made-up uniform title but an indicator or flag saying
the thing is a collection. This is language-independent.
Presentation software again can turn that into "Collection" or
"Sammlung" or whatever the context requires, placed conveniently
where it doesn't irritate but still add to the information displayed.
Prof. Heidrun Wiesenmueller M.A.
Stuttgart Media University
Wolframstr. 32, 70191 Stuttgart, Germany
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