Catalog Tip of the Week May 2012

Tip 133, 5-25-2012

Where to find the correct title for a book

The chief source of information for the title of a book is the title page.
Always locate the title page and copy the title exactly as it appears there.

What is the title page? It's a page at the beginning of the book that contains the title proper and usually the statement of responsibility (author, illustrator) and the name of the publisher. Some books contain not only a title page but some other pages that look almost like a title page.
Don't be fooled! Always look first for a page that has both the title and publication information on it.

The title on the cover of a book sometimes differs from the title on the title page. Don't get in a hurry and copy the title from the cover. This is not the chief source of information.

Sometimes there's title information on the t.p. verso. Never copy title information from this page, either. The title on the t.p. verso may or may not match the title page because this information is CIP(Cataloging In
Publication) data and the title may have changed by the time the book was actually published. (The t.p. verso is the page usually opposite the title page containing other information about the book such as the ISBNs, printing dates, Dewey numbers and subject headings.)

Sometimes publishers get fancy and stretch the title page into two pages.
You'll see the title and publisher info on the right-hand page and the author and maybe a picture on the left. Together this is still the title page.

What happens if you've looked and looked and there really is no title page?
Sometimes, but not often, a book does not have a title page. In this case you have to locate the substitute title page, the page of the book that contains the most complete information. This can be the cover of the book, a caption, or the colophon. A colophon is a block of information at the end of a book that includes the title, author, and publication data. A caption is title information that appears on the first page of the text.

If there is no title page and you must copy the title proper from someplace else, add a 500 note stating the source of the title.

245 10 |a Spot goes to the beach / |c Eric Hill.
500 __ |a Cover title.

Questions about cataloging in Evergreen can be posted to the ListServ: or emailed to any EI Cataloging Committee member.

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Tip #132, 5-18-2012

Dashes in the Title Proper (245 field)

Dashes are used in the 245 field to replace punctuation that could be confused with punctuation required by cataloging rules, such as colons and ellipsis. Whether or not you leave a space before or after a dash depends on what punctuation the dash is replacing.

If your title contains a colon that does NOT mean that what follows is a subtitle, replace the colon with either a dash or a comma. When using dashes to replace a colon, there are no spaces before or after the dash.

The title page reads: "Wanted: Dead or Alive".
245 10 |a Wanted--dead or alive / |c Susan Lagrange. OR
245 10 |a Wanted, dead or alive / |c Susan Lagrange.

If your title contains an ellipsis that is not associated with the ".et al."
phrase, also replace this with a dash. In this case, leave a space after the dash but not before it unless the ellipsis is at the beginning of the title.

Title page reads: "How to Do the Right Thing. and Live with the Consequences".
245 10 |a How to do the right thing-- and live with the consequences / |c by Robert Longwatch.

Title page reads: ".And So It Goes"
245 10 |a --and so it goes / |c Margaret Storm. (Note that the first word isn't capitalized.)

Questions about cataloging in Evergreen can be posted to the ListServ: or emailed to any EI Cataloging Committee member.

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Tip #131, 5-11-2012

Adding information about plates to a MARC record

Illustrations, portraits, photos, maps and facsimiles in books are sometimes printed on special pages called plates. Although found in all kinds of books, plates are most often used in nonfiction titles, particularly biographies.

Plates traditionally appear in groups of 8, 16, 24, or 32 pages, but can also be spread out in single pages throughout a book. Sometimes there's two groups of plates, and every once in a while a book will have an odd number of plates.

Plates are not counted in the books regular pagination. So a big clue as to whether or not you have plates and not just illustrated pages is to see if the page numbering for the rest of the book skips the illustrated pages.
Plates are rarely numbered, but if they are, the numbering is independent of the rest of the book.

Plates are usually printed on a higher quality paper, but not always.

Plates printed on both sides are called pages. If one side is blank, they're called leaves.

Information about plates should to be included in the bibliographic record's 300 field, subfield 'a'. This information is often missing (and is never included in a CIP record), so you should always check for plates and add the information when appropriate.

If unnumbered (and they usually are), always count the pages or leaves of plates. Put that number in brackets in the record since the numbers don't actually appear in the book.

Since plates contain some sort of illustration, there will always be a subfield 'b' for the 300 field when you have a book with plates. In addition to the coding associated with the type of illustrations, a record for a book with plates must also have an 'f' in the Illustration (Ills) fixed field.

Here's some examples of 300 fields and the corresponding Illustration (Ills) fixed field:

300 __ |a 273 p., [16] p. of plates : |b col. ill., maps ; |c 24 cm.
Ills fixed field: abf

300 __ |a iv, 438 p., [8] leaves of plates : |b maps, ports. ; |c 25 cm.
Ills fixed field: bcf

300 __ |a 179 p., 24 p. of plates (some folded) : |b maps, photos. ; |c 24 cm.
Ills fixed field: bfo

Remember when adding the fixed field codes that the Ills field is 4 spaces long, so in order for the codes to 'stick' in Evergreen you'll need to fill the entire field with either codes or spaces. For example, if your codes are 'abf', you'll need to type a-b-f-space and if your codes are 'af', you'll need to type a-f-space-space.

Questions about cataloging in Evergreen can be posted to the ListServ: or emailed to any EI Cataloging Committee member.

Previous Tips can be viewed online at:

If you have an idea for a Tip, please send it to