NAME: New Type of Date code for incorrect dates
SOURCE: ALA Rare Books and Manuscripts Section, Bibliographic Standards Committee
SUMMARY: This discussion paper concerns the establishment of a new type of date code in the Bibliographic format to provide access to incorrect publication dates appearing on items.
KEYWORDS: 008/06; 008/07-14; Type of Date code; Date 1/Date 2
11/15/97 - Forwarded to USMARC Advisory Group for discussion at the January 1998 MARBI meetings.
1/10/98 - Result of USMARC Advisory Group discussion - The reaction to the proposal topic was mixed. Several speakers supported the inclusion of a new type of date code but recognized that the solution for situations of the multiple dates was problematic. There was a suggestion that the 046 be investigated to accommodate these dates. The type of date preference chart needs also to factored into the solution. The 4th example under section 2 was withdrawn by the ALA Rare Books Committee since it was not the intention to include the issue of non-Gregorian dates. There was consensus that the topic come back as a proposal.
DISCUSSION PAPER NO. 106: Type of date code for incorrect dates 1. INTRODUCTION When the date of publication on an item is incorrect, cataloging rules usually instruct the cataloger to give the date, in the imprint, as found on the item followed by the correct date in brackets. In the USMARC Formats for Bibliographic Data the publication date is also encoded in the field 008/06-14 for access purposes and only the correct date is given: 260 . . . $c1703 [i.e. 1730] 008/06 = s 008/07-10 = 1730 008/11-14 = [blanks] This coding convention in the 008 field fails either (a) to indicate that the date in 008/07-10 is a corrected date, or (b) to allow retrieval by the on-the-item (incorrect) date. These issues were discussed at the 1996 meeting of the ACRL/RMBS MARC for Special Collections Discussion Group. A consensus of the group was that a new date type code for Corrected and given date and inclusion of the on-the-item (incorrect) date in 008/11-14 should be proposed. 2. DISCUSSION Although incorrect imprint dates can appear on printed materials of any era, they are a regular feature in the era of hand composition of movable type. It is an easy mistake to invert numbers or letters (e.g., 1639 for 1693, or MDCCXLII for MDCCLXII). Bibliographical and historical scholarship has also frequently revealed that the actual publication dates of items do not correspond to their printed dates. Records for early printed books therefore routinely contain corrections to the dates given in the item. The coding of date information in field 008 described above is problematic because many systems use the fixed fields for indexing purposes, and a researcher may miss relevant items entirely if they search by the on-the-item (incorrect) date. It is proposed that the on-the-item (incorrect) date be recorded in field 008/11-14 so that it can be used for retrieval, and that a new date type code x be added to 008/06 for Corrected date and Incorrect date. In the table of precedence for single items, value x would following value b (B.C. date). The following partial examples illustrate the proposed coding: 008/06 = x 008/07-10 = 1693 008/11-14 = 1639 260 . . . $c 1639 [i.e. 1693] [digits transposed] 008/06 = x 008/07-10 = 1762 008/11-14 = 1742 260 . . . $c MDCCXLII [i.e. 1762] [letters transposed: MDCCXLII for MDCCLXII] 008/06 = x 008/07-10 = 1788 008/11-14 = 1786 260 . . . $c 1786 [i.e. 1788] 500 On title page: 1786; in colophon: reprinted in 1788 008/06 = x 008/07-10 = 1503 008/11-14 = 1502 260 . . . $c Id. Mart. 1502 [15 Mar. 1503] [Non-Gregorian, "old style" date] [Submitted for this discussion by RBMS/BSC but not really an incorrect date.] 008/06 = x 008/07-10 = 1996 008/11-14 = 1997 260 . . . $c 1997 [i.e. 1996] [Item distributed before date on title page] 3. MULTIPLE DATES For multipart items complete in more than one year, either the beginning or the ending date of publication may contain an incorrect date. In such a case, the date elements can either be used to record a beginning and an ending date OR they can be used to record a corrected and on-the-item date. If a beginning and an ending date are recorded, that date must be either the corrected date or the on-the-item date. The Bibliographic Standards Committee has devoted considerable discussion to this issue. The following represents a convention that is supported by most members of the Committee. If the beginning date of publication is given incorrectly on the item, record in 008/07-10 the EARLIER of the two dates (the corrected or the on-the-item date); if the ending date of publication is given incorrectly on the item, record in 008/11-14 the LATER of the two dates. This convention would give the widest range of retrieval and would produce the highest probability that the item would be retrieved using either corrected or on-the-item dates. The following examples illustrate this convention: 008/06 = m 008/07-10 = 1639 008/11-14 = 1699 260 . . . $c 1639 [i.e. 1693]-1699 ["1639" is recorded in 008/07-10 because it is earlier that 1693] 008/06 = m 008/07-10 = 1776 008/11-14 = 1876 260 . . . $c 1776-1876 [i.e. 1786] ["1876" is recorded in 008/11-14 because it is later that 1786] Other conventions that were preferred by some Committee members were (a) always to record the on-the-item dates, and (b) to record the corrected and on-the-item beginning date of publication (using value x in 008/06). As noted above, most committee members prefer the earliest/latest convention. However, there is still need for additional discussion on this point. 4. IMPACT INFORMATION The RBMS/BSC submitted the following comments on impact, based on their discussions. The change would help users find materials. The new coding would affect catalogers and system vendors and should be made mandatory if applicable. Vendors will need to assess their costs of implementation. Training costs would be minimal. The proposal could be applied retrospectively, but this is not necessary for its implementation. The new coding would have benefits for any record to which it were applied, but retrieval of existing records would not be changed. In the whole universe of cataloging records, the proportion of materials affected would be infinitesimal. For early printed books, there would be a significant number -- but still less than 1%. An alternative way of achieving the same result would be by keyword indexing of 260 $c, but would probably be less cost effective. 5. QUESTION FOR CONSIDERATION 1. What do local systems and vendors do with the different types of dates now? Will the addition of another type be of value or would expansion of an existing one be more useful? 2. Many non-early and non-rare materials have the above date characteristics. Would practices change for all of these? How about atlases which regularly have "incorrect" dates on the item since the atlas is for the next year? Would the added complexity of coding be valuable for current material? 3. Can a value be limited to early printed books? 4. Could any of the other existing date type codes be expanded to include these dates, such as value m?