Image via WikipediaExcellent news from LC on cataloging reproductions. As it is now it is just too confusing. Determining original format is just impossible in many cases. If something crosses my desk that is a print-out, is it a Word doc that was meant to be printed or was it from a PDF and meant to be distributed electronically? How much difference does it make to the user? Is describing it as a remote-access text document in the body of the record but including a note that says it is on paper the best way to provide access and describe the resource? I'm personally so glad this is being reviewed.
Reconsidering the cataloging treatment of reproductions
The cataloging treatment of reproductions at LC is being reconsidered as part of a full-scale reevaluation of cataloging policy decisions necessitated by the upcoming test of Resource Description and Access (RDA). The basic approach to reproductions is the same in RDA as it is in AACR2, but LC and many other US libraries continue to follow an AACR1 approach as documented in the Library of Congress Rule Interpretation (LCRI) for Chapter 11 (microform reproductions) and LCRI 1.11A (non-microform reproductions).,p />In order to perform a more accurate test of RDA's provisions, those LC catalogers participating in the US National Library Test of RDA will follow RDA as written for the period of the RDA test (Oct. 1-Dec. 31, 2009), which entails basing the record for a reproduction on the item in hand and providing information about the original in the record when the decision is to have separate records for the original and the reproduction.
A discussion paper is available at http://www.loc.gov/acq/conser/reproductions.pdf that provides some background information on how LC’s policies came to differ from AACR2’s treatment of reproductions, possible approaches to implementing an AACR2/RDA-compatible treatment, and LC’s decisions on how its RDA testers will treat reproductions during the US RDA test.