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Area 5 Midwinter 2011

Page history last edited by Jennifer Nelson 10 years, 10 months ago


5. Physical Description Area


5A. Preliminary rule


5A1. Prescribed punctuation (Add FN1 re ISBD VS. ISAD(G) usage - take from Area 1)


For instructions on the use of spaces before and after prescribed punctuation, see 0E.


Precede this area by a period-space-dash-space or start a new paragraph.


Precede an illustration statement by a colon.


Precede the size by a semicolon.


Precede a statement of accompanying material by a plus sign.


Enclose physical details of accompanying material in parentheses.


5A2. Sources of information


Take information for this area from the manuscript itself, reliable information from the manuscript’s housing or its accompanying documentation, or any reliable reference source concerning the manuscript.


5A3. Basis of physical description


Describe the manuscript in its current physical state. If considered important, make a note about its previous state.


5B. Extent


5B1. General rule.


5B1.1. Record the extent in terms of the number of physical units ("item," "volume," "roll," etc.).


1 volume

1 item

1 roll

5 volumes

2 items

Comment: Two letters from the same correspondent to the same recipient

6 rolls

4 microfilm reels

Comment: Manuscript copy of the Bible in four reels (need real example)


5B1.2. Optionally, also record in parentheses the number of pages, leaves, etc. Record the complete number of leaves, pages, etc., in accordance with the terminology suggested by the manuscript itself. If the manuscript contains sequences in more than one kind of numbering, or lacks numbering, record the extent as leaves or pages in keeping with institutional practice. 


If providing the number of pages, leaves, etc., as part of the extent statement, record either an exact or approximate count of the entire item, including tipped-in leaves and blank pages, leaves, etc., regardless of the numbering present on the item. Optionally, include in the count laid-in pages, leaves, etc., that are clearly intellectually integral to the manuscript. Do not include leaves added as part of a binding or the binding itself. For laid-in pages, leaves, etc., that are not clearly intellectually integral to the manuscript, or envelopes or any other accompanying materials (e.g., loose clippings, photographs), see section on "Accompanying materials" (5X.X).


1 item (375 leaves)


3 volumes (476 pages)

Comment: Total page count of all three volumes is 476


1 volume (approximately 800 pages)


1 item (3 leaves)

Comment: Letter containing three leaves


1 roll (5 membranes)

Comment: One roll consisting of 5 parchment membranes attached together


1 microfilm reel

Comment: Microfilm copy of a manuscript


Optionally, for manuscripts that consist of more than one physical unit, give separate counts of pages, leaves, etc., for each physical unit.


3 volumes (126; 215; 135 pages)

Comment: Page count of each volume recorded separately


If considered important, record the precise pagination and/or foliation in a note. See 7.X


1 volume (470 pages)

Optional note: Numbering: 44, [4], 422 pages

Comment: Two works in one manuscript, each paginated separately with two blank leaves between them.


need more complex examples


(NOTE TO US: For guidance concerning recording complex extent statements in notes, see DCRM(B) 5, and pull in relevant bits to Area 7)


5B1.3. Optionally, if a significant portion of the manuscript is blank, indicate this in a parenthetical phrase, e.g., "mostly blank," "partially blank," "some blank," etc. Make a note giving the details, if considered important.


1 item (partially blank)

1 volume (238 pages, mostly blank)

Optional note: Text is on pages 22-46 


5B1.4. If the number of physical units of the manuscript in hand differs from the number of units originally produced, record this information in a note, if considered important.


10 volumes

Optional note: Originally bound as one volume; rebound for conservation purposes in 2004


1 volume

Optional note: Originally bound as three volumes


5C. Illustration (optional element)


5C1. General rule


5C1.1. To indicate the presence of illustration, use the term "illustration(s)" after the statement of extent. (ADD FN: In an ISAD(G) description, record this information in the appropriate element.)


5C1.2. Disregard minor illustrations or decorative elements. If considered important, these may be mentioned in a note (see 7X.X).


5C1.3. Optionally, add the graphic process or technique in parentheses, preferably using a term found in a standard thesaurus. [ADD FOOTNOTE: Thesauri useful for this purpose include the Art & Architecture Thesaurus (AAT) and the Thesaurus for Graphic Materials II: Genre & Physical Characteristic Terms (TGM II).] Give more detailed descriptions of the illustration(s) in a note, if considered important.


: illustration (watercolor)

: illustrations (drawings)

: illustrations (photographs)


5C2. Types of illustrations


5C2.1. Optionally, specify particular types of illustrations. Use in alphabetical order one or more such terms as the following: coats of arms, diagrams, facsimiles, forms, genealogical tables, maps, music, photographs, plans, portraits (use for single or group portraits), samples.


: illustrations, coats of arms, maps


5C2.2. Replace “illustration(s)” with terms specifying particular types of illustrations if the particular types are the only illustrations in the manuscript.


: maps

: portraits


5C2.3. Precede terms specifying particular types of illustration processes with “illustration(s)” if the particular types are not the only illustrations in the manuscript.


: portraits (Woodbury types)

: illustrations (wood engravings), maps (lithographs)

: illustrations (drawings), music


5C3. Color illustrations


5C3.1. Describe color illustrations as such using the word "color."


: color illustration

: illustrations, color maps, portraits (some color)

: illustrations (some color), maps, plans

: color illustrations (drawings)


5C3.2. If the illustrations are in a single color, do not describe them as "color." Make a note to indicate the color, if considered important. Do not treat an illustration as colored if the coloring is the result of a photographic process (i.e. cyanotypes or blueprints, mimeographs).


: illustrations

Optional note: Drawings in green ink


5C4. Number of illustrations. Optionally record the number of illustrations.


: 94 illustrations

: illustrations, 8 facsimiles

: 3 illustrations, 1 map

: 1 illustration (engraving)



5C5. Works consisting entirely or chiefly of illustrations (FN: consider using DCRM(G) or DCRM(C))


If a manuscript consists entirely or chiefly of illustrations, account for this fact by specifying "all illustrations" or "chiefly illustrations." Optionally, when the illustrations are all or chiefly of a particular type (see 5C2.2), replace "illustration(s)" with the term specifying the particular type.             


: illustrations                    

Note: Mostly illustrations                  


: all illustrations


: chiefly maps


: chiefly cyanotypes

Comment: Bound collection of cyanotypes annotated by the photographer


5D. Size (optional element)


5D1. General rule


5D1.1. Give the height of the manuscript in centimeters, rounding a fraction of a centimeter up to the next full centimeter. If a manuscript measures less than 10 centimeters, give the height in millimeters.


; 18 cm

Comment: A manuscript measuring 17.1 centimeters in height


; 99 mm

Comment: A manuscript measuring between 98 and 99 millimeters in height


5D1.2. If a manuscript is bound, measure the height of the binding. When the height of the manuscript differs by 3 centimeters or more from the height of the binding, specify both.


; 12 cm bound to 20 cm


If a manuscript is housed in a container that differs by 3 centimeters or more from the dimensions of the manuscript itself, specify both, if considered important.


; 25 cm housed in box 31 x 27


5D2. Width If the width of a volume is greater than the height, or less than half the height, give the height x width, rounding up to the next whole centimeter. Optionally, always supply the width.


; 20 x 32 cm


; 20 x 8 cm


If one of the measurements would normally be given in millimeters and one in centimeters, give both measurements in millimeters.


; 95 x 120 mm


5D3. Differing sizes Optionally, if the parts of a multipart manuscript differ in size, give the smallest or smaller size and the largest or larger size, separated by a hyphen.


; 24-28 x 12-15 cm


5D4. Manuscripts in folded sheets


5D4.1. If a sheet is in folded form, but is designed to be used unfolded (e.g., with the chief part occupying a whole side of the sheet), optionally add the dimensions of the sheet when folded.


; 50 x 40 cm, folded to 25 x 10 cm




5E. Accompanying material


5E1. General rule


5E1.1. If a manuscript has accompanying material, give the number of physical units of this material, and the type(s) of material, at the end of the physical description. Optionally, use the term "accompanying material" and record the details of the material in a note (see 7BX).


; 24 cm + 1 funeral card


; 23 cm + 1 envelope    


; 31 cm + accompanying materials

Optional note: Also includes 5 clippings, 3 photographs, and 1 map 


5E1.2. Optionally, give the physical description of accompanying material in parentheses following its name.


; 21 cm + 1 atlas (38 pages, 19 leaves of plates : color maps ; 37 cm)


; 25 cm + 1 map (color ; 65 x 40 cm)  


or     mention it in a note (see 7B11)


or     describe the accompanying material independently




Excerpted paragraphs from above are parked here:


Intro conversation, inter nos


The physical description field is usually pretty succinct, with notes being used to explain, clarify. But since users tend to look first in the physical description field (or only there), it should be used to record the details that are most helpful to the most users (whatever we decide they are).   General discussion re original vs current condition of item If for conservation, display, or other purposes an item's original state/presentation has been altered (i.e. a bifolium letter stored unfolded or framed), when recording details about the physical description of that item, follow local practice when deciding how to record the extent of that item. For historical purposes the information on the item as originally intended is useful. For collection management purposes, a description of the current housing is useful. Unfolded and encapsulated bifolium letter 2 page Rudyard Kipling letter bound in 75-page volume (all blanks after letter) Dickens letter in a collector's frame (frame has historical significance)


Patent of nobility stored in a big, orange box (size and color of box useful for paging purposes)



Housing is not normally part of the statement of extent for bib cataloging, but for cataloging within archives it often serves as an indication of the extent, so it would be acceptable for archival description to provide an extent "2 folders" "3 boxes" "1 portfolio"



Items can be paginated or foliated in any number of ways--or not paginated or foliated at all. One manuscript can even have multiple paginations or foliations. (should be moved to "precataloging decisions" doc, if used at all)


5B2. Bifolia (move to Area 7, if keeping)

For a bifolium (i.e. single-folded sheet, or 4 pages), record the statement of extent in terms of pages or leaves, depending on the nature of the item and local practice. Apply this rule even if only one of the four pages contains writing. 4 pages Note: Bifolium, last three pages are blank   5 leaves Note: Two nested bifolia plus one singleton See 5B13 for all other single-sheet manuscripts.


MOVE THE FOLLOWING RULES TO AREA 7 (b/c it deals with sequences)


5B3.1. If unnumbered pages or leaves (printed or blank) are not included in a sequence of pagination or foliation, count them according to the terms used to describe the rest of the manuscript or the part of the manuscript with which they are associated. In ambiguous cases, count them as leaves when they are all written on one side only; otherwise count them as pages.


5B3.2. Consider numbered sequences to include unnumbered pages or leaves falling logically within the sequence, counting back from the recorded numbers to 1. [Move this up, and either incorporate or make new sub-rule in section where we instruct what to do if you record foliation or pagination sequences in the item]

[2], 40 pages (Comment: Pages are numbered 3-40 with four unnumbered pages at the beginning) but [2], 5-40 pages (Comment: Pages are numbered 5-40 with two unnumbered pages at the beginning; there is no evidence that any leaves are missing)


5B3.3. Record in the following manner unnumbered blank pages or blank leaves interrupting a numbered sequence. TBD how exactly to do this: DCRM(B) example: 200, [8], 201-232 p.


5B6. Multiple sequences of numbering


5B6.1. If the style of numbering within a sequence changes (e.g., from roman to arabic numerals), record each differently numbered part of the sequence. If unnumbered pages appear between the two styles of numbering, record the total number of unnumbered pages in arabic numerals within square brackets. xii, 13-176 p. pages xii, [1], 14-176 p. pages


5B6.2. If the manuscript has parallel sequences of paging, as is sometimes the case with works having facing-page texts, record both pagings and make an explanatory note. xii, [1], 35, 35, [1] p. pages Note: Opposite pages bear duplicate numbering


5B6.3. If a volume has groups of pages numbered in opposite directions, as is sometimes the case with manuscripts having texts in two languages, record the pagings of the various sections in order, starting from the title page selected for cataloging. 

John Donne's Satires (Alison)

Stanislaus James Joyce's Diary  (Margaret)


5B6.4. If a volume manuscript has pagination of its own and also bears the pagination of a larger work of which it is a part, record the paging of the individual volume manuscript in this area and the continuous paging in a note.


          Book of magic (Folger)

          30 pages

          Note: Pages numbered 206-235


5B6.5. If the pages, leaves, or columns of a manuscript are numbered as part of a larger sequence (e.g., one volume of a multipart manuscript), or the copy appears to be an incomplete part of a whole, record the number of the first and the last numbered page, leaf, or column. (See also 5B12 for incompleteness at end.) Generally precede the numbers with the word indicating pages, leaves, or columns. leaves 81-94 pages 713-797, [1] (Comment: Fragment, detached from larger work)  but [2], 713-797, [1] p. pages (Comment: A complete manuscript, such as an offprint, issued separately with this pagination)


5B6.6. If a manuscript contains more than three sequences of numbered or more than five sequences of numbered and unnumbered pages or leaves, preferably record all of the sequences. If it is not practical to record all the sequences (e.g., if they are exceedingly numerous), then employ one of the following methods: a)   Record the total number of pages or leaves followed by “in various pagings” or “in various foliations.” 1024 pages in various pagings 256 leaves in various foliations b)   If one of the sequences is clearly the main sequence, record the main sequence and the total number of other pages or leaves. 416 p., 98 pages in various pagings c)   As a last resort, give one of the designations used for manuscripts issued in more than one physical unit (see 5B15.1). 1 volume (various pagings) If one of these methods is employed, record all of the sequences in a note, if considered important.


5B7. Expansions or corrections [This section has already been covered at the beginning in the General section, so it probably needs to either be incorporated into that section or be deleted]


5B7.1. Make a note giving more precise information about pagination or foliation, blank pages or leaves, or other aspects of collation, if considered important (see 7B10). 91, [1] leaves Optional note: Last leaf blank 216 pages Optional note: Pages [205]-[206] blank vi, 744, [2] pages


5B7.2. If the number of the last numbered page, leaf, or column of a sequence does not indicate the correct number of pages, etc., either record the sequences exactly to indicate the source of the error or record the number as given in the manuscript and supply a correction in square brackets. Provide an explanatory note, if considered important. xiv, 823 [i.e. 328] pages Optional note: Page 328 wrongly numbered 823 232, 221-252 pages or 252 [i.e. 264] pages Optional note: Numbers 221-232 are repeated in pagination (Comment: Same numbering as in preceding example)


5B17. Pagination continuous


5B17.1. If the pagination of a manuscript in more than one physical unit is continuous, give the pagination in parentheses after the number of units. 8 100-page diaries, whether or not manuscript is paginated, and if paginated, whether or not paginated separately or continously. Explain pagination in a note if considered important. 8 volumes (800 pages)


5B17.2. Do not use the physical description area to record sequences for multi-part manuscripts. Record full extent only. A complete record of sequences may be given in a note, if considered important. Jenny example of transcribed book with preliminary material (check to see whether it's multi-volume and whether pagination is continuous). Margaret to give example work with separate preliminary material (maybe more applicable to 5B18, non continous pagination). 3 v. (824 pages) Optional note: Vol. 1: xx, 202 p.; v. 2: 203-512 p.; v. 3: 513-804 p (Comment: Preliminaries are in volume 1 only) 3 v. (866 pages) Optional note: Vol. 1: xx, 202 p.; v. 2: xx, 203-512 p.; v. 3: xxi, [1], 513-804 p. (Comment: Preliminaries are present in all volumes)


5B18. Pagination not continuous Optionally, if the pagination of a manuscript in more than one physical unit is not continuous, record the pagination of each unit in a note. Add example of items other than volumes, i.e. "three bundles" = three items 5 v. (32, 36, 48, 36, 18 p.) 3 v. (v, [1], 31, [1]; vi, 32; iii, [1], 49, [1] p.) or 3 v. Optional note: Vol. 1: v, [1], 31, [1] p.; v. 2: vi, 32 p.; v. 3: iii, [1], 49, [1] p. (Comment: Same pagination as in preceding example)




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