Authorities Subcommittee/Descriptive Cataloging Subcommittee: MLA Report 2015

Authorities/Descriptive Cataloging Subcommittee Joint Business Meeting Report
MLA Annual Meeting 2015, Denver, Colorado
Submitted by Ray Schmidt, Authorities Subcommittee Chair, and Tracey Snyder, Descriptive Cataloging Subcommittee Chair

Members present:

Authorities: Ray Schmidt (chair), Jean Harden, Morris Levy, Stephen Mantz, Jacob Schaub, Michi Hoban. (Sharon Benamou absent)

Descriptive: Tracey Snyder (chair), Sonia Archer-Capuzzo, Elizabeth Hille Cribbs, Chris Diamond, Patricia Falk, Elizabeth Hobart, Damian Iseminger, Charles Peters, Tomoko Shibuya, Amy Strickland. (Gary Markham and Laura Yust absent)

Snyder discussed the proposed merger of DCS and Authorities as part of the reorganization of the Bibliographic Control Committee (to be re-named the Cataloging and Metadata Committee). Pending approval by the MLA Board, the new Content Standards Subcommittee will encompass descriptive cataloging and authorities and will be chaired by Snyder. Small task groups will be formed as needed to concentrate on specific duties.

Snyder mentioned two venues for communication within the music cataloging community: the MOUG-L email list and the BCC Blog. MOUG-L has been a useful forum for questions and answers related to application of RDA and discussion of other music cataloging matters. Anyone should feel free to ask and answer music cataloging questions there. The new BCC Blog, linked from the MLA website’s main BCC page, will be used for announcements pertinent to music cataloging. Music catalogers are advised to bookmark it.

Schmidt reported on an item from the Authority Control Interest Group (ACIG) meeting at ALA Midwinter 2015. The PCC RDA Authorities Phase 3 Task Group, chaired by Gary Strawn and charged with planning and implementing changes to align the LC/NACO authority file with RDA, completed Phase 3a in January 2015. About 190,000 authority records were updated. This update included changes to the medium of performance in subfield $m in music access points (converting standard combinations of instruments into equivalent strings) and generation of a 382 field for medium of performance based on the converted access points. In the ACIG meeting, Strawn acknowledged the work of MLA in reviewing the test records. The MLA group was led by Descriptive member Damian Iseminger, who organized volunteers from Descriptive and Authorities whoeach examined 1,000 records for accuracy.

Snyder reported on the meetings of the Committee on Cataloging: Description and Access (CC:DA) at ALA Midwinter 2015. (See the full report here: Snyder reviewed the successful 2014 RDA revision proposals that were relevant to music yet general enough to be submitted to the JSC by CC:DA. From the report:

Music catalogers will also need to know about changes that will result from 6JSC/ALA/32 (expanding the scope of the statement of responsibility element in RDA Chapter 2) and 6JSC/ALA/36 (recording duration in RDA Chapter 7). Last but not least, as a result of 6JSC/ALA/29 (on “not identified” elements in distribution and manufacture statements), changes will be made to the core element status of several elements in RDA 2.7-2.10, thus bringing an end to what has become known among practitioners as the “cascading vortex of horror.” Stay tuned for possible revisions to MLA’s Best Practices document as a result of these changes.

Snyder also discussed probable 2015 RDA revision proposals that would be relevant to music but would go through CC:DA. In the full report mentioned above, see the sections on Multiple Sources for Statements of Responsibility, Proposal from TF on Machine-Actionable Data Elements in RDA Chapter 3, Instructions for Recording Structured Descriptions of Related Manifestations, and Instructions for Describing Accompanying Material in RDA. Other things to be aware of that were mentioned at the CC:DA meeting include the recent BIBFRAME AV Modeling Study, the new PCC manual on applying relationship designators in bibliographic records, the forthcoming Descriptive Cataloging of Rare Materials (Music) (DCRM(M)), the consolidated FR model from IFLA expected within the next two years, and the appointment of four new JSC working groups (on Appendix A capitalization, aggregates, relationship designators, and fictitious entities).

Damian Iseminger reviewed the six RDA revision proposals put forward in 2014 by the JSC Music Working Group (JMWG). Please see the meeting report of the JMWG for details.

Iseminger then enumerated the issues that JMWG would be considering in the upcoming year.
Discussion and prioritization of these issues took place later in the day at the JMWG business meeting. Issues include:

  • Aligning medium of performance instructions in RDA 6.15 to allow for the use of
    external vocabularies
  • Reviewing instructions for recording serial numbers
  • Investigating whether there is a need for Medium of Performance of an Expression as a new element
  • Reviewing instructions in RDA 6.28.1-6.28.3 for constructing authorized access points for works
  • Determining if the method for resolving conflicts in RDA is too restrictive
  • Investigating RDA to determine if other additions besides medium of performance are necessary for compilations of musical works.

Schmidt summarized two new LC-PCC Policy Statements that were submitted by MLA-BCC to the PCC Standing Committee on Standards in the past year:

  • LC-PCC for, Instrumental Music for Orchestra, String Orchestra, or Band. The policy statement clarifies the use of “orchestra” versus “string orchestra” when recording medium of performance.
  • LC-PCC PS for, Recording Professions or Occupations. This statement recommends the use of controlled vocabulary such as LCSH, when recording profession or occupation terms (e.g. use “Flute players” not “Flutists”). It brings to a wider audience essentially the same recommendation as Descriptive Cataloging Manual (DCM) Z1 374. The proposal was also reviewed by the NACO Music Project Advisory Committee. A related new LC-PCC PS for states that when profession/occupation terms are added in 100 subfield $c, the singular form should be used.

Both PS proposals were approved and added to the RDA Toolkit in August 2014.

Schmidt reported that since February 2014, the Authorities Subcommittee has been responsible for the maintenance of the
resource Types of Composition for Use in Authorized Access Points for Music. During this time, entries were revised or added for only a few terms: “elegietta” was added, and the scope of “elegy” and “serenade” was broadened so that both instrumental and
vocal works are to be considered types rather than distinctive titles. Most of the subcommittee’s activity related to the Types document focused on clarifying some of the principles of the list. The subcommittee considered the question of whether tempo markings with modifying words, such as “Allegro con brio,” should be considered types or distinctive, and the decision was made
to treat these as types. An addition to LC-PCC PS for was proposed stating that when the preferred title is a tempo marking with modifying words, it should be recorded in the singular. The PS was accepted and added to the RDA Toolkit in January 2015.

An additional issue related to tempo markings was identified concerning the preferred title for a part of a work when the part is a movement identified by its tempo marking, and the movement includes tempo changes. The subcommittee decided to recommend to the use of the initial tempo marking (rather than the predominant tempo or hyphenating multiple tempo markings), unless the work is better known by another tempo marking. The recommendation has been added to MLA’s Best Practices under

Regarding the resource Thematic Indexes Used in the Library of Congress/NACO Authority File, Schmidt reported that there were 30 additions to the list in 2014, submitted by 17 catalogers. It was noted that the new Beethoven Werkverzeichnis is now included in the Thematic Indexes list. There has been some confusion on MLA-L, because the publishers of the new index asked that the abbreviation “LvBWV” be used to refer to the index, but the actual intent of this request was that “LvBWV” be used in citations, not access points. The Beethoven entry in the Thematic Indexes list indicates that the usual “op.” and “WoO” will continue to be used. Future work on the Thematic Indexes list will include following up on notes (MARC field 667 ) in composer
NARs correlating to new additions to the list.

Both the Types list and the Thematic Indexes list will be maintained by the Vocabularies Subcommittee in the reorganized structure of BCC. Best Practices for Music Cataloging Using RDA and MARC21 has been integrated into the RDA Toolkit and will now be maintained by the Content Standards Subcommittee.

OLAC has just made two new RDA “best practices” documents available–one for cataloging DVD and Blu-ray videos and one for cataloging streaming media. OLAC also has plans to create a guide to cataloging Playaways in RDA; there is potential for the Content Standards Subcommittee to collaborate with OLAC on this effort.

Snyder highlighted the education efforts of several members of DCS and Authorities over the past year, including various workshops and webinars. Snyder also reported that last year’s discussion paper on problems with authorized access points for compilations received support from PCC’s Standing Committee on Standards, though no definitive actions have been taken to address the problems.

Snyder outlined probable tasks to be taken on by DCS/Authorities (Content Standards) in 2015 (review DCRM(M); maintain the RDA Best Practices; comment on RDA revision proposals from CC:DA and JMWG; work on a guide for cataloging Playaways in RDA (with OLAC); and work on authorities projects that may arise due to RDA revisions).