Content Standards Subcommittee: MLA Report 2023

Music Library Association
Cataloging and Metadata Committee
Content Standards Subcommittee
Tuesday, March 7, 2023
1:00-2:25 PM EST | 10:00-11:25 AM PST

Welcome and introductions

Approval of 2022 minutes

  • No corrections or additions
  • No objections


Chair, Keith Knop

  • Membership
    • Completing terms in March 2023: Ivan Kaproth-Joslin, Chuck Peters, and Hannah Spence
    • New members since March 2022: Emily Colucci and Chelsea Hoover
  • CC:DA
  • 3R Policy Writers Group
    • Revised Toolkit update schedule
      • Alternating 2-month/4-month update schedule will be starting soon
    • LC/PCC plans for Community Resources section
        • LC-PCC PS will be removed from Community Resources section, and moved to the LC-PCC Metadata Guidance Documentation
        • Affects legacy access point and preferred title instructions
        • Might break links, we will need to keep an eye on it
        • Most likely these will be in the same PDF format as the MGDs
          • Discussion about these PDFs having bad searchability; it is a PCC issue (not an RDA issue)

LC Liaison, Chris Holden (full report appended below)

  • Many things are in flux right now
  • Many tests and pilot projects happening, including providing feedback on BIBFRAME development and the new BIBFRAME editor (MARVA), as well as involvement in linked data projects, such as Wikidata projects

RDA Best Practices

  • Toolkit status
    • The revised update schedule will start after the March update; the next update will be in July
    • Preliminary reports on the test of LC-PCC PS documentation indicate that it is not ready for prime time. LC/PCC implementation will be delayed again (perhaps until next year).
  • Application profile
    • No feedback received so far
  • Guidance documentation
    • Version 0.92 released in September, the major addition being guidance for electronic score cataloging, based on work done by the ES task force cataloging group
    • It was suggested during the review of version 0.92 that there might be value in a separate document pulling out the e-score relevant stuff for ready access
  • Supplements
    • Supplement 3 (MARC examples) needs to be updated for post-3R practice/MARC updates
    • No other supplement updates were forthcoming from chat
  • Documentation test
    • Should there be a test of MLA documentation, similar to the PCC-PS documentation test? It might start with CSS and/or CMC first before a public test
    • In the meantime, we could do more with interim update documents summarizing new content that’s valid for Original RDA (as with the field 348 revision)
  • Discussion: concerns, uncertainties, wants/needs for the future
    • PCC testing
      • Several people in the chat said they participated in the testing; they were told not to use MLA documentation, but some did and report that it was easier to use than the PCC documentation
      • There was some sentiment that we would get some benefit from doing our own testing, and possibly adding our own documentation for music formats (sound recordings, video recordings, etc.)
    • General sentiment that format specific guidance is essential; mixed format guidance would also be helpful (score + CD, etc.)

Electronic score cataloging

  • Best Practices in MLA RDA Metadata Guidance

RDA Vocabulary issues

  • File Type vocabulary for notated music resources
    • Typos are in-process of being fixed
    • General CSS preference for Option 2, creating a term such as “notated music file” creating a term such as “notated music file”
    • OLAC feels there is not an appropriate term for video games. “Program file” is not sufficient since video games bundle multiple asset types into one resource
    • This will be sent out to CSS members for final review soon
  • Format of Notated Music vocabulary for instrumental “vocal score” equivalent
    • Vocabs has also struggled with this issue
    • Will need to come up with a pool of possible terms, with community survey may be warranted
    • From the chat:
      • Simplified editions LCGFT revisions were submitted to SACO recently
      • Simplified editions may in itself be too specific for these needs
      • Vocabularies Subcommittee discussed “reductions (music)” and “solos with reduced accompaniment” with no resolution, circa 2018

Chair transition planning

  • The Chair has taken on a lot of responsibility during the pandemic and with the RDA Toolkit migration; he would like to spread out these responsibilities better, so no one individual has to take on the workload he has had as Chair
  • New MLA committee recruitment model starting next year, with unclear implications for chair selection
  • CSS files in GitHub
    • Source files for MLA Best Practices and the MLA metadata guidance document are being uploaded there
    • Will work with MLA webmaster and future Chair to make sure there is continuity with documentation
  • Working with files for the BPs and the MLA RDA Metadata Guidance
    • Interest in informal DITA and/or Oxygen training workshops? Question arises as DITA is the file format used in the RDA Toolkit, with Oxygen being used for editing. Damian Iseminger pointed out that the Toolkit uses only a reduced subset of DITA capabilities.
    • It was pointed out that Oxygen is proprietary, so only people with licenses would be able to fully participate in training. A suggestion was made in chat about investigating open access/free alternatives to Oxygen for editing XML, though another commenter noted Oxygen blew all free options out of the water
    • It was asked if knowledge of DITA and/or Oxygen were essential to fulfilling the role of the chair. Answer: not necessarily, but the chair will need to know enough to be able to relay where changes are needed to someone doing the editing
    • A concern was also raised that requiring Oxygen access limits who could serve as chair. CMC will be looking at securing access for CSS Chair and/or CMC webmaster as part of the CMC budget.
  • Setting up formal task groups
    • Ongoing
      • Best practices maintenance
        • Monitor RDA and LC-PCC updates for changes that affect us
        • Check the BPs in the Toolkit for errors
        • Coordinate error reports for the BPs, LC-PCC PS, and RDA
      • Metadata Guidance maintenance?
        • Ensure the document remains in accord with the BPs in the Toolkit
        • Identify areas of need and draft guidance for cataloging specific formats, etc.
          • Interest in format specific guidance already expressed earlier in meeting
    • Ad-hoc/task-and-done
      • Supplements revisions
      • Proposal papers
    • All-hands
      • Requests for comment from CC:DA/NARDAC/etc.

New business, announcements, general discussion

  • Two points from MLA St. Louis
    • Using field 247 for deprecated collection titles: this is more something Encoding Standards would deal with, but since it isn’t music specific, if we wanted ALA backing, CSS Chair could coordinate communication with them and possibly submit a discussion paper/proposal to CC:DA
    • Guidance for determining composer vs arranger, e.g. for settings of spirituals: we’ve been punting on guidance for adaptations for a long time, and with RDA relaxing some of these definitions, it may be a good time to create some guidance. Summary of chat discussion:
      • Creating this guidance may be difficult and may come down to a local decision on how you want to deal with these things in your shop (and what is important to your institution); going to be hard to be comprehensive
      • Weitz: OCLC is in the process of updating what BFAS says about field 247 to make it more general rather than as continuing resource oriented as it currently reads. That would bring it into closer alignment with what MARC says now.
      • A good article written by an expert might serve this guidance purpose better than official guidance documentation.
      • Hymns, hymn texts, hymn tunes, and music based on hymn tunes are all very complicated and get close to breaking how we think about entities and relationships in cataloging.
      • People devote their lives to hymnology, so it may not be practical for catalogers to wade too far into these waters.
      • There is a Wikidata project out there on hymns, not being done by any MLA person.
      • Since this did come up in the context of equity, we do want to be sure that we are not giving undue privilege and attention to some composers and not others.
      • All these relationships do not translate well to MARC, hopefully a future format will handle them better (including linked data applications).
      • Publishers and distributors exacerbate the problem, in terms of equity, by not providing much info about whether something is or isn’t an arrangement, what it is based on, etc.
      • There was some discussion of Liszt in relation to these problems; LC set standards for Liszt in the NAF in the recent Liszt cleanup project.
    • Problems with Viennese dance composers (e.g., the Strausses) were also raised.
      • There was a comment about omitting 382s in records because the original medium of performance could not be determined. In discussion about how to handle this some said they avoid specificity in authority records but are specific in bib records to describe piece-in-hand.
    • Question about task groups: yes, there will be an ad hoc group that will put together a survey and maybe paper in regard to format of notated music.




LC Liaison Report to CMC Content Standards Subcommittee

The catalogers in the Music Division of the Library of Congress continue to be involved in the numerous tests and pilot projects that are taking place at the institution. Catalogers attend monthly forums regarding updates to BIBFRAME, and continue to provide feedback on its development. Catalogers in the section are also active in providing feedback on MARVA, the new BIBFRAME editor introduced in the library last year. Many catalogers are also involved in linked data projects, including some associated with Wikidata, as part of initiatives taking place both within and outside the library.

Last fall, the Library announced that it was in the process of developing a new Library Collections Access Platform (LCAP), which will allow patrons to search the Library’s digital and physical collections, and enable use of BIBFRAME for bibliographic description.

Catalogers in the Music Division are still using the original RDA toolkit for their day-to-day cataloging.


Chris Holden

LC liaison to CMC Content Standards Subcommittee