Thursday, April 30, 2015

Compilations, Selections, Translations in RDA & AACR2 & Cutter Numbers : Questions & Answers


How do you cutter a translation of a new collection of stories or poems by one author? How would you account for the collection title in the original language?

Under the new guidelines in RDA, many compilations of poems, stories, etc. by one author that used to be cuttered and treated as separate works according to the old LCRI 25.10 because the collection had a “distinctive” title are now given a conventional collective title and cuttered as collections or selections according to CSM F633. 

However, there isn’t an example in F633 which illustrates what to do with the original title proper of a translation of collected poems, stories, etc. if the original collection title was “distinctive”. In some cases, the collection in the original language wasn’t published long enough ago for it to have necessarily “become known” by that title (the original collection and translation may even be published in the same year). So, according to RDA 6.2.2.10, the translation of such a collection would be cuttered as a translation of selected works and have the conventional collective title in the 240. However, it seems like there should also be some way to trace the collection title proper in the original language. Would it be appropriate to trace it in an author-title added entry as in LCCN 2014007357?

Here’s an example:

The title “Lashing skies” by Madeleine Monette, is an English translation of the French collection of poems, “Ciel à outrances” (LCCN 2012493907)

Here’s another:

“Seasonal time change” is an English translation on LCCN 2013465420 “Umstellung der Zeit”

Should the preferred title for these translations be the conventional collective title, “Poems.‡k Selections.‡l English” and should you use the A2 cutter from Table P-PZ40, or, in cases like this in which the record for the collection in the original language has already been cataloged according to AACR2 rules, should you make an exception, use the original collection title as the preferred title, and cutter it as a translation of a separate work?

Question by Rachel F. (Librarian, United States) on RDA Blog


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Please find answer to above question from Janis L. Young , Policy and Standards Division, Library of Congress.  RDA Blog on behalf of all the users thanks Ms. Janis for her expert help....


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Dear Salman,

The policy on the classification of collections that are translations did not change significantly with the implementation of RDA.  The policy is just pertinent to more collections now, because of the prevalence of RDA conventional collective titles due to LC’s current interpretation of 6.2.2.10. 

Collections in the original language that are assigned conventional collective titles are classed in the “collected works” or “selected works” number.

Translated collections (or collections of translations) that are assigned conventional collective titles are classed in the “Translations (Collected or selected)” numbers.

Here’s a made-up example of a poet who writes in German, and whose latest poetry collection was translated into English.  Let’s assume the use of Table P-PZ40:


050 00 $a PT2702.E47 $b A6 [date]
100 1# $a Bergman, Heidi.
240 10 $a Poems. $k Selections
245 10 $a Frühling / $c Heidi Bergman.

050 00 $a PT2702.E47 $b A2 [date]
100 1# $a Bergman, Heidi.
240 10 $a Poems. $k Selections. $l English
245 10 $a Spring / $c Heidi Berman ; translated from the German by August Heier.

The collection in the original language and the collection in translation are not shelved together.

CSM F 633 sec. 1.a provides guidelines on the use of collected works, selected works, and translations. The Rainer Maria Rilke examples in sec. 3 are also pertinent.

As for cases in which the collection in the original language was cataloged under AACR2 and classified as a separate work, and now the translation is being assigned an RDA conventional collective title: the general practice is to class the translation according to the above rule. That is, class it with collected and selected translations, not with the original work.

All the best,

Janis L. Young
Policy and Standards Division
Library of Congress

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