• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • Browse and search Google Drive and Gmail attachments (plus Dropbox and Slack files) with a unified tool for working with your cloud files. Try Dokkio (from the makers of PBworks) for free. Now available on the web, Mac, Windows, and as a Chrome extension!


2008-10 Folger Meeting Minutes

Page history last edited by Kate Moriarty 12 years, 9 months ago


Bibliographic Standards Committee Manuscripts Working Group

Editorial Meeting

October 2-4, 2008

Folger Shakespeare Library


Members in attendance: Alison Bridger, Folger Shakespeare Library; Diane Ducharme, Yale University; Kate Moriarty, Saint Louis University (recorder); Liz O’Keefe, Morgan Library & Museum; Margaret Nichols, Cornell University (chair); Heather Wolfe, Folger Shakespeare Library.




1.      Discuss and edit Areas 0-4

2.      Select a member to be a speaker for Bill Landis’s Companion Standards workshop at SAA 2009

3.      Develop a work plan for the rest of the fall


As we were able to make edits directly in the wiki the minutes will serve to document decisions and discussion not recorded in the rules.


We will continue to use color in the wiki. Once we have a final wiki version we will convert it to a Word document, omitting all color.


We aimed the rules at both catalogers and archivists and tried to stay away from MARC, EAD, etc. language. Occasionally that language crept into the discussion to clarify questions and is recorded here. We became aware that the structure of DCRM(B) (which we will continue to use) both helps and hinders the discussion and development of rules that will address the needs of both communities. We put this on the Unresolved Issues list (see list at end of minutes) as something to be conscious of.



Discussion of Issues

We identified three particularly tough issues that need to be addressed:

1.      Transcription and normalization

2.      Square brackets

3.      Dates

Discussion of these issues continued throughout the meeting, a summary of which follows.


Discussion: Transcription & normalization

This is an issue that will need further work. What must be transcribed, how, and why? The four areas identified for transcription in DCRM(B) 0F1.1 are based on a principle of faithfulness to the title page in order to permit comparison between different copies. This may occasionally come up with manuscripts (the example provided was: different copies of documents, one in Thomas Jefferson’s hand, the other in another hand), but is the exception rather than the rule. For now, we decided to continue to think about and discuss it and will develop our guiding principle from the decisions we make on individual transcription-related rules. The plan is to address this in the Introduction, Area 0, and wherever else it is needed. This was put on the Unresolved Issues list.


In the Introduction we will explain the role transcription plays in the description of unique items. We will include discussion of the importance of an accurate (which usually means supplied) title in the access, preservation and security of manuscripts.


In cases where a formal title appears on the item but is not used as the supplied title we may add an instruction to transcribe the formal title in note.


Discussion: Square brackets

This issue relates both to the discussion on transcription and normalization and the discussion on dates. How do we define normalization? How do we balance access, faithful representation of text, and accuracy? Manuscript titles are usually supplied and dates normalized. Does the nature of manuscripts justify changing for DCRM(MSS) the DCRM(B) rules on square brackets, transcription, and normalization? Several members would like to be sparing with the use of square brackets.


The current use of square brackets may be misleading. Some questioned whether one has a true transcription if square brackets are used. Current use also may be perceived as inconsistent due to the dual purposes of square bracket (supplying information that is not in the source and providing text for symbols that cannot be reproduced).


Discussion: Dates

After much discussion we decided to follow archival tradition and put the date with title information. One problem cited with keeping the date in Area 4 is OPAC labels often read “production/distribution,” leading researchers to believe the record represents a published book.


We also will follow archival tradition in prescribing a normalized, and hence supplied, form of date without square brackets. Dates will be recorded as year, month, day.


See the end of Area 1 for additional decisions regarding dates.



Discussion of Areas

Prior to this meeting we rewrote Area 0. We began the editorial meeting by reviewing that area.


Area 0. General Rules

0A. Scope

We discussed the value of retaining a cut-off date as the factor determining whether one uses AMREMM or DCRM(MSS) and decided our users would be best served instead by basing the decision on the characteristics of the manuscript: use AMREMM for scriptorium-produced  codices, use DCRM(MSS) for everything else. This statement will go in section II of the Introduction, “Relationship to other standards.”


We will need to define this framework in the Introduction, define the terms scriptorium and post-scriptorium in the glossary (see list at end of minutes), and possibly propose terms to the Controlled Vocabularies Subcommittee.


Other parts of Liz’s footnotes 1 and 2 in Version 3 of the wiki will be moved to the Introduction.


The type of materials covered by the scope will be primarily textual. Born-digital manuscripts will not be included. Digital reproductions of manuscripts and microfilm reproductions are within the scope of the rules. We may need a statement on electronic resources and the application of our rules used in conjunction with the rules for electronic resources.


We will also include a statement on the fact that these rules primarily cover description, not access points, and will word it to accommodate both catalogers and archivists.


The question was raised, do we want these rules to cover non-Western manuscripts? We decided to explore this further. We will send a query to listservs regarding the differences between Western and non-Western manuscripts and the resources non-Western manuscript catalogers/archivists use. From there we will determine whether or not we can include non-Western manuscripts in the rules. In either case we will include a statement on the utility of these rules to non-Western manuscript description. Alison will contact a friend who catalogs Arabic manuscripts and will learn more on her upcoming visits to Chinese archives.


0B. The basic description

We will define “creator” in the glossary.


Regarding levels of detail, we decided to include two: minimal and optional (adopted from DACS). These will go in the appendixes. As there will be different minimal standards depending on the community, we will define the minimal standard for each community in the appendix and may also instruct the user to follow the standard of her community. So far, we have identified elements to exclude from each of the minimal standards:


Minimal Standard for Catalog Record: exclude 1) Scope and Content Note, 2) Conditions Governing Access, and 3) Language and Scripts of the Material (mention this in a note if considered important).

Minimal Standard for Archival Finding Aid: exclude Scope and Content Note.


0C. Chief source of information

We will add the terms “script,” “hand,” and “docket” to the glossary.


0C.1.1.1. Multiple title pages

Option a): Many institutions collect interleaved printed books for the manuscript material contained therein. We will provide an example of that here. We will also provide a MARC example of this option in the appendix (Diane and Heather may have some). See Appendix K MARC21 Record Examples at the end of the minutes.


0D. Prescribed sources of information

We will rename Area 2 “Edition” rather than “Version.” Only an explicit edition statement will be recorded here, while version information will go in a note. We will add “version” to the glossary.  


We added placeholder language to Introduction I.1 that (per DACS) these rules do not distinguish between published and unpublished material.


0E. Prescribed punctuation

We will instruct the user to follow the rules in this section if using ISBD. If using DACS, they will be instructed to follow local practice according to local display, etc.


0F. Language and writing system of the description

We changed this section to refer to situations that call for transcription rather than areas of the record that require transcription. Three situations were identified: when there is a presence of 1) a formal title, 2) a formal statement of responsibility, and 3) an explicit edition statement. There are cases in which the formal title is misleading and judgment should be used as to whether it should be transcribed, input as an alternate title, or recorded in a note. DACS does not have rules for formal titles. A statement of responsibility is only found in a formal presentation on a title page. A name that appears elsewhere in the manuscript is not considered a statement of responsibility, rather, a creator if that is the role of the individual.


We will replace all appropriate occurrences of “script” with “writing system.”


0F2. Romanization

Diane can get Greek examples. Is anyone able to get Russian and Arabic ones?


0G. Transcription

0G1. General Rule

Kate will find out if the LCRI for 0G1.1 regarding ligatures has changed.


0G2.2 Letters i/j and u/v

We decided to use some of the text from AMREMM, which Margaret volunteered to simplify for this section. It was agreed that title added entries contribute to the preservation of manuscripts by reducing the need to consult the originals. We will review Appendix F Title Access Points to ensure it has instructions to cover all needed title added entries.


We may expand the DCRM(B) definition of “chronogram” to include the expression of an epoch, not just a roman numeral date.


0G3.5 Ellipses, square brackets, and virgules.

We will define “virgule” in the glossary.


0G5.2. Information not considered part of any area.

We questioned the need for this section with manuscripts. Is there an equivalent in manuscripts to warn users about? Diane will work on rewording it.


0G6. Interpolations

This led to discussions on transcription, standardization, and square brackets (see above). We will revisit this section once we have resolved some of those issues. Is our current treatment of interpolation consistent with our use of normalization?


Another question that came up was, when a title for a letter is supplied, do we use the authorized form of the person’s name or transcribe the name from the item? For example, a letter signed “Your son.”


0G7. 1. Misprints

We considered continuing the use of “sic” and providing the corrected title in a note.


0G8. Abbreviations and contractions

The use of square brackets for expanding a symbol of contraction is similar to 0F2 Romanization in that the capability to reproduce the graphic is not available. We will revisit this section and Appendix G as we discuss the square brackets issue.



Area 1. Title, Statement of Responsibility, and Date


A formal title is one that appears on a title page or colophon. This will be added to the glossary.


The group is leaning towards no brackets for supplied titles and no mandatory note regarding source of title. Most often a manuscript does not have a formal title or the title is misleading or uninformative. For this reason, the manuscript title is not held to be as inviolable as a book title. This may lead to a departure from DCRM(B)’s emphasis on transcription. We are going to emphasize using professional judgment when deciding whether to transcribe or supply a title.


In addition to general rules in Area 1 for constructing titles we will have format-specific rules for letters, fragments, and possibly poems to address the distinct ways in which those titles are formed. As the archival community provides the best guidance on supplying titles for letters we will follow the DACS and APPM guidelines. We will need to make heavy use of examples throughout Area 1 and may also include a section “Examples of Titles” similar to that in APPM (p. 16-17).


We started a decision tree to precede 1B Title proper on formal title page or colophon. See the document, “Title Decision Tree” on the wiki’s Sidebar. This will be fleshed out with instructions on transcribing a formal title and supplying a title. An issue still to be addressed is that of multiple works.


Statement of Responsibility

A name is considered a statement of responsibility if it is part of a formal title page or colophon and is prefaced with “by” or is presented in a way that mimics the presentation of such information on the title page or colophon of a printed book. This will be defined in the glossary and the distinction between creator and statement of responsibility will be made clear in the rules.


We created a decision tree for statements of responsibility (see the document, “Statement of Responsibility Decision Tree” on the wiki Sidebar). This will be expanded to include instructions on transcribing a statement of responsibility and supplying a creator. Unresolved issues: include 1) what to do with multiple works, 2) statements of responsibility in multiple works one of which is not cataloged, and 3) do you identify the creator if it is not a statement of responsibility, and if so where?


We will reorganize this section to incorporate the title and statement of responsibility decision trees and will add a section for supplied title.


An idea was proposed to provide links in the web version of DCRM(MSS) to examples. For example, in the rule addressing titles that are present but illegible there would be a link to John Mortimer’s illegible title (provided by Diane? Alison?).


We deleted 1G. Single-sheet publications.



See “Dates” in the Discussion of Issues section above for the decision to put this element with title information. We moved text from DCRM(B) 4D to DCRM(MSS) 1L and edited it.


Dates will be normalized and recorded in the form year, month, day. Information on the form of the date as it appears in the source can go in a note if considered important.


As all dates will be supplied, square brackets will not be used. This includes uncertain dates.


We created a decision tree based on the workflow of a cataloger or archivist (e.g. “date is on the item,” “date is not on the item”). See the “Presentation of Date Decision Tree” document on the wiki Sidebar. We arranged the types of dates in DCRM(B) 4D2 by two of the branches in the decision tree: i) it will normalize to our formula, ii) it will not normalize to our formula. These are currently rules 1L3 and 1L4. Other categories are 1L5 Other, 1L6 Patterns for supplying a conjectural date, and 1L7 Incomplete date or no date. We may also add the two categories Inclusive dates and Bulk dates. See also the “Date Discussion” document on the wiki Sidebar for additional factors to consider in writing rules for this section. The document includes our list of conjectural dates.


Additional discussion not yet fully reflected in Version 3:

·                The date recorded in this element is the date of the physical item, not of the content. The date of the content may be a part of the title proper in which case there would be two dates in this area. At the Folger, the date of the original goes with the title proper (245 |a).

·                We will not have a mandatory note for source of date.

·                If the date on the manuscript is from another calendar system, normalize it according to the current calendar when possible and, if important, give in a note the information as it appears on the manuscript. Examples of other calendar systems: French Revolution calendar, Mussolini’s fascist year calendar, legal calendar (such as the terms Michaelmas, Easter, etc.). An exception to this is the Julian calendar: provide the Julian and current dates in the date element.

·                We will provide double dates for Lady Day dating as you can never be certain which date is represented when a cataloger or archivist provides only a single date.

·                If a full date cannot be determined, supply whatever information is available in case others are able to complete it. Consider also recording watermark information to help with dating a document.

·                Any time additional date information is judged to be important it can be given in a note.

·                Scrapbooks: If the date of assembly is known, use that. If not, construct a date range based on  the first and last dates of the items in the scrapbook.

·                We discussed several types of dates, many of which can be grouped together. We may need to define “dated.”

·          Date of generation of the intellectual content

·          Date of generation of the physical item

·          Date of composition

·          Date of copy

·          Date of original

·          Date of record-keeping activity (bulk date, date range)

·          Date of creation

·                Months will not be abbreviated.

·                We will consult people who know about Asian calendars. Alison may have a Japanese letter example.

·                Heather posted the document “Old Style/New Style, Lady Day, Regnal, etc.” on the wiki Sidebar and gave us permission to take language from it for footnotes.


Unresolved issues:

  1. What form do we want conjectural dates in? Diane will chart for comparison the patterns provided in APPM, AMREMM, DCRM, DACS
  • Exclude dashes from the end of a conjectural date?
  • Representing centuries: by number or phrase? RDA is considering the format, 20th century.
  • “Temp. Eliz.” (i.e. In the time of Elizabeth) – convert to a date range?
  • Allow for a longer span than 20 years
  1. Old Style/New Style. How will 2/13 September 1750 be represented?
  • Possibility: 1750 September 2/13
  1. Do we want to include in Appendix F a requirement that a uniform title be created for an original document when one is cataloging/describing a copy? In cataloging terms, would this be a 240 or 740? The Folger does this, the Morgan does not. Diane will check to see what the Beinecke does.


Area 2. Edition

We decided to use this area only for explicit edition statements. In most cases information will be recorded as version information in a note. The term “edition” will be added to the glossary. No one has seen a manuscript catalog record with an edition statement (250 field) in it, however APPM kept Area 2. The Morgan uses this area for galleys and screenplays, as per APPM. We will use language from AMREMM and APPM for the rule.


Area 3. Material (or Type of Publication) Specific Details

AMREMM and APPM do not use this area. We probably will not use it either but will consider it further.


Area 4. Publication, Distribution, Etc.

We will not use Area 4. Usually with manuscripts one does not know the place of creation, and, when place is known this traditionally goes with title information. We will also follow the archival tradition of putting the dates with the title. See “Discussion: Dates” above and discussion of Dates in Area 1.



Assignments for Midwinter 2009

These can be found at the “Assignments” link on the wiki Sidebar.


We will work in teams to turn assigned sections of the decision trees into text. Email and conference calls to team members can be used to get the text ready for the Midwinter 2009 editorial meeting.


Other tasks:

1.      Replace “script” with “writing system”

2.      Find Greek, Russian, Arabic examples for 0F2

3.      Kate: check on the LCRI for 0G1.1 regarding ligatures to see if it has changed

4.      Margaret: adapt AMREMM text for 0G2.2 Letters i/j and u/v

5.      Diane: Reword 0G5.2

6.      Everyone: send 1-2 links of manuscript catalog records for use in discussion. A search in the Folger’s HAMNET catalog on “autograph manuscript” with “Title (Left-Anchored)” selected brings up examples.



Representation at SAA Workshop

Diane volunteered to be a speaker for Bill Landis’s Companion Standards workshop at SAA 2009



The meeting concluded at 4:15 p.m. on October 4, 2008.


Respectfully submitted,

Kate Moriarty

October 15, 2008



Terms to add to the Glossary

Chronogram: expand to include the expression of an epoch, not just a roman numeral date?




Formal title





Statement of responsibility





Unresolved Issues

1.      Define our framework of scriptorium vs. non-scriptorium as the defining characteristic (rather than date) in determining whether to use DCRM(MSS) or AMREMM.

2.      Query listservs regarding differences between Western and non-Western manuscripts, what resources do non-Western manuscript catalogers/archivists use?

3.      Define Minimal and Optimal Standards for each community in the appendixes.

4.      Develop our guiding principle on transcription and standardization: what should be transcribed, how, and why?

5.      Is our current treatment of interpolations consistent with our normalization?

6.      How does the structure of DCRM(B) help and hinder our thoughts about rules that will address the descriptive needs of both cataloging and archival communities?

7.      Address multiple works in the title area (see Title Decision Tree)

8.      From Statement of Responsibility Decision Tree:

a.       What to do with multiple works

b.      Statements of responsibility in multiple works one of which is not cataloged

c.       Do you identify the creator if it is not a statement of responsibility, and if so where?

9.      Dates:

a.       Old Style/New Style. How will 2/13 September 1750 be represented?

                                                   i.      Possibility: 1750 September 2/13

b.      Do we want to include in Appendix F a requirement that a uniform title be created for an original document when one is cataloging/describing a copy? In cataloging language, would this be a 240 or 740?

c.       Get more information on Asian calendars

10.  Square brackets



Appendix K. MARC21 Record Examples

Include an example of 0C1.1.1 a): interleaved book



Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.