CC:DA: ALA Midwinter Report 2015

ALA Midwinter Meeting 2015, Chicago
Report from CC:DA (Committee on Cataloging: Description and Access)
Submitted by Tracey Snyder, Chair, MLA-BCC Descriptive Subcommittee

Please see the CC:DA blog for the complete agenda and links to many reports and documents.

After introductions, adoption of the agenda, and approval of the minutes of the previous meeting, the chair, Robert Rendall, gave a report on CC:DA motions and other actions, July-December 2014, including approval of RDA revision proposals for submission to the JSC and authorization of responses to RDA revision proposals from other constituencies.

Library of Congress Report (Dave Reser)

Reser reported on personnel changes, the slightly improved federal budget situation, recent improvements to the Cataloger’s Desktop interface, continued development of the ALA-LC romanization tables, maintenance of the LC-PCC PSs, RDA Toolkit updates, updates to authority records for places in Malaysia, and the continued enhancement of LC’s online catalog. He also announced the upcoming release of a new edition of the ISSN Manual and the retirement of the LCHelp4RDA email account. (Going forward, use for RDA cataloging questions.)

Reser reported on BIBFRAME development, mentioning two contracts being pursued–one for a “search and display” tool, and one for a BIBFRAME profile editor, both of which would assist experimenters in testing BIBFRAME. He also mentioned the 2014
BIBFRAME AV Modeling Study, which will be followed in 2015 by an investigation of the overlap between the PREMISand BIBFRAME vocabularies and how they might work together.

Reser reported on the work of the PCC RDA Authorities Phase 3 Task Group in bringing the LC/NACO Authority File into alignment with RDA. This excerpt of Reser’s report is of special interest to the music community:

The Task Group’s analysis identified several clean-up projects needed prior to final Phase 3 testing and implementation; therefore, the Task Group split the project into two distinct phases: Phase 3A and Phase 3B. Phase 3A began on December 8, 2014 and after a break for the December holidays finished on January 6, 2015. An estimated 190,00 NARs were changed according to the following categories: changes involving the music medium of performance statement (subfield $m), changes involving subfield $c of personal names, addition of a 667 note to undifferentiated personal name records and the reformulation of any field 678 not suitable for public display as a 670 field. Additional enhancements to the name records included: evaluation
of the contents of the 370 field to comply with the best practices guide lines to align the names provided to match the authorized access point in the LC/NAF, generate the 382 field from certain music medium of performance statements, and generate the 046 field as appropriate. Detailed descriptions of the changes as well as of the upcoming Phase 3B are contained in the Task Group’s report found at Phase 3B is projected to take place during the summer of 2015, with the exact date yet to be determined.

Report on JSC Meeting, November 3-7, 2014, and on other JSC activities, July-Dec. 2014 (Kathy Glennan)

Glennan reported that JSC chair Gordon Dunsire will serve a second two-year term as chair, 2016-2018, and that the JSC will meet in Edinburgh, Scotland in November 2015. She also reported on the current examination of the JSC governance structure (overseen by the Committee of Principals), the process of revising the examples in RDA (in which the JSC Examples Editor, Kate James, is the final arbiter), and issues with the structure and content of the RDA Toolkit that have emerged as RDA adoption has increased, including, most notably, the potential significant impact on RDA of IFLA’s consolidated FR model, which is expected to be available for worldwide review within the next two years. The JSC will hold off on implementing large-scale revisions (but may approve them in principle) and will delay renumbering of instructions until a single large renumbering exercise is carried out later on. The JSC plans to appoint four new working groups, on Appendix A capitalization, aggregates, relationship designators, and fictitious entities.

Glennan’s document provides a summary of the JSC’s decisions on the RDA revision proposals considered in 2014, as well as useful links to other similar summaries, such as John Attig’s blog and the JSC’s website. As usual, changes approved in November will not take effect in the RDA Toolkit until April and should not be applied until then.

Music catalogers are urged to familiarize themselves with the changes that will result from proposals submitted by the JSC Music Working Group, most of which concern preferred titles and access points for musical works and expressions. Also relevant are the changes resulting from 6JSC/LC/29 (on compilations of works) and 6JSC/LC/30 (on works without titles), which will affect some general instructions on titles of works in RDA 6.2.2.

Music catalogers will also need to know about changes that will result from 6JSC/ALA/32 (in which MLA and OLAC successfully advocated for expanding the scope of the statement of responsibility element in RDA Chapter 2) and 6JSC/ALA/36 (in which MLA and OLAC successfully advocated for greater clarity in the instructions for 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.

Proposal from TF on Machine-Actionable Data Elements in RDA Chapter 3 (Francis Lapka and Diane Hillmann)

The task force’s strawman proposal contains draft revisions of the Extent of Carrier element as well as a draft of the Extent of Content element that is being developed. It also introduces a new Measurements element. Throughout the paper, what was previously known as the “Aspect-Unit-Quantity” model is called the “Type-Unit-Quantity” model; this model is intended to
accommodate complex extent data in Chapters 3 and 7, including the Duration element. Where vocabulary for Extent of Content is concerned (Question 5 in the paper), there was a sense among CC:DA that a small controlled vocabulary in RDA would be good, plus a provision to use another concise term as needed. Where subunits for the extent of reproduced manifestations is concerned (Question 4 in the paper), there was a sense among CC:DA that it would be good to record the number of pages reproduced in a microfilm reel, for example, and to display this in conjunction with the main carrier extent (e.g., 1 microfilm reel, xx pages), since the number of pages reproduced on a microfilm reel does not always match the number of pages of the original resource. The task force will produce a new document in a few months for CC:DA review.

Discussion Papers from TF to Investigate the Instructions for Recording Relationships in RDA (Nathan Putnam)

Instructions for Recording Structured Descriptions of Related Manifestations

This paper outlines some draft instructions for recording structured descriptions of related manifestations for RDA Chapter 27, specifically the “container of” / “contained in” and “reproduced as” / “reproduction of” relationships. The paper mentioned the awkwardness of the “container of” relationship designator that replaced “contains”; the JSC is working on resolving this by allowing more a user-friendly display in various languages of registered relationship designators. As for the idea of using Chapter 27 as a way to frame contents notes, there was a general sense among CC:DA that although we rely on a manifestation to list the contents, we can’t assert the “container of” relationship at the manifestation level; the manifestation contains expressions of works. The JSC Technical Working Group is going to look into the idea of having four ways of expressing relationships (identifiers, authorized access points, structured descriptions, and unstructured descriptions), as currently outlined in RDA.

Instructions for Describing Accompanying Material in RDA

This paper addresses relationships to accompanying material at the manifestation and item levels (RDA Appendix J.4 and J.5). One commenter raised the question of whether a work-level accompanying relationship exists that should addressed separately.

The task force hopes to produce revision proposals in time for ALA Annual 2015.

Report from TF on Relationship Designators in RDA Appendix K (Bob Maxwell)

Maxwell reported that the task force expects to produce a revised document in the next few months and submit an ALA revision proposal to the JSC in 2015. He will call on CC:DA to help with some of the more difficult relationships between entities/identities, such as those that arisewhen a person assumes a religious title (like the Pope), changes his or her name (as in marriage), appropriates another person’s name (such as a Greek philosopher), or shares a common pseudonym with other authors (like the authors of the Nancy Drew series). Some ideas generated at the meeting for suitable relationship designators for some of these situations were: impersonator of; erroneous identity; false identity; and, appropriated identity.


Matthew Haugen gave an update on efforts related to DCRM (Descriptive Cataloging of Rare Materials). DCRM(G) (Graphics) is published. The document for Cartographic is in its final form, ready for CC:DA review, at: Comments are requested by March 1, 2015. The documents for music and manuscripts are still in development and nearing completion.

Report from the PCC Liaison (Lori Robare)

Robare reported that the PCC has been busy recently with white papers and discussions in the realm of strategic planning. Priorities that have emerged are: helping to advance the community’s understanding of Linked Data; and providing leadership in the shift in authority control, from formulating text strings to managing entities and identities.

Robare summarized the activities of PCC’s Standing Committee on Automation, Standing Committee on Standards, and Standing Committee on Training, including the following highlights. The Standing Committee on Standards has reviewed many proposals for new relationship designators and has drafted or approved several new LC-PCC Policy Statements, including the MLA-proposed guidance on when to record “orchestra” vs. “string orchestra” as medium of performance in RDA Also of note are two new LC-PCC PSs due to appear in the RDA Toolkit February 2015 update at 1.11, for microform reproductions and print-
on-demand/photocopy reproductions. Series-related LC-PCC PSs are expected in a later update. The Standing Committee on Training continues to maintain NACO training materials, including series training materials. The committee has just released a new training manual for applying relationship designators in bibliographic records and may also work on a manual for relationships designators in authority records.

Report of the MAC Liaison (John Myers)

Myers reported that MAC (MARC Advisory Committee) discussed six proposals, all of which passed, and one discussion paper, which will return as a proposal. See the report of MLA’s liaison to MAC for details on the music-related proposals that were discussed.

Report of the CC:DA Webmaster (Richard Guajardo)

Guajardo indicated that the blog is in ongoing development, and he decides on when to apply updates on a case-by-case basis, backing up the data before applying the updates. He also reviewed some features that are available.

Report from ALA Publishing Services (Jamie Hennelly)

Hennelly reported that the total number of subscribers to the RDA Toolkit is up from the previous year, but the renewal rate is a little lower than usual. An ebook version of RDA is still in discussion, as are various translations of RDA. The February 2015 release of the Toolkit will have the MLA Best Practices integrated with the instructions; the April 2015 release will contain
revisions resulting from the JSC’s decisions on 2014 proposals.

Proposals from AALL (Robert Bratton)

Revision proposal for RDA instructions for laws etc.

This proposal, developed with input from law catalogers at the Library of Congress, proposes to eliminate the conventional collective title “Laws, etc.” from RDA because it doesn’t facilitate the FRBR user tasks, is difficult to apply consistently, and is not well understood by users or reference librarians, since it only applies to compilations of laws, but not to all compilations of
laws. CC:DA voted to submit this to the JSC as a revision proposal for 2015.

A brief discussion of conventional collective titles in general ensued. CCTs are problematic in the art cataloging community, and their utility in a music context has also been called into question. CC:DA opinion was divided on a 2014 proposal on CCTs from the National Library of New Zealand proposal on CCTs, and JSC action on that was deferred pending the JSC’s upcoming investigation of issues surrounding aggregates.

Revision proposal for RDA instructions for armed forces (

This proposal will not be submitted as it stands, but it may be submitted as a fast-track proposal after the JSC Examples Editor examines the examples in this instruction, since she is working on streamlining, correcting, and improving examples throughout RDA.

Multiple Sources for Statements of Responsibility

Glennan’s paper on this problem, which was brought to light within the music community, was discussed at length. The problem lies in RDA, which can be seen as allowing different interpretations in deciding where to take statements of responsibility from when they are present in different forms in different parts of a resource. One commenter expressed a desire for consistency for all catalogers working from the same copy without having to consult multiple sets of best practices. Another commenter stated that today’s common publications are tomorrow’s special collections; therefore, it’s important to describe everything properly now and make things clear for future researchers. There was discussion of the irony that exists in requiring transcription of a statement of responsibility present on the preferred source of information, no matter how misleading or inadequate, while allowing transcription of any statement of responsibility present anywhere in the resource if none is present on the preferred
source of information. There needs to be consensus on whether that irony is acceptable and on how important it is for a title proper and statement of responsibility (as a pair) to act as a surrogate for the title page (or disc label, or other preferred source of information). A majority of commenters at the meeting supported the paper’s “interpretation #2” and advocated carrying out
any needed revisions to clarify that interpretation. Additionally, “associated with the title proper” in RDA may need to be changed to “associated with the manifestation” or “relating to the title proper.” Glennan will develop a new document for CC:DA consideration, taking the discussion into account.

Report from TF on Pseudonymous Corporate Bodies (Amanda Sprochi)

Sprochi reported that the task force on pseudonymous and fictitious families and corporate bodies is on hiatus. The TF’s work will probably be transferred to the new JSC working group being created in response to a 2014 proposal from the British Library on the same topic; the notion of non-human personhood may be examined, too. Much will depend on the content of the FR consolidated model (anticipated in the next two years), but it is anticipated that the concepts of “thema” and “nomen” from FRSAD will be expanded to apply to real-world entities and the names/labels by which they are known.

Update on TF on Place Names in RDA (Robert Rendall)

Rendall reported that the task force on place names, inactive for a year, was supplanted by the JSC WG, which will have new charge and new membership this year. The TF is discharged as of now.

Robert Rendall and Kathy Glennan requested that CC:DA members and liaisons be more active in providing comments on the blog on working documents under discussion.