s Thoughts from the Physics Chick: Cat. & Reference: Serials vs. Monographs: real-world application

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Cat. & Reference: Serials vs. Monographs: real-world application

Last July, Esquire magazine published an issue which included a short story by Stephen King. (It's the issue that had Angelina Jolie on the cover, fyi.) Since our special collections department has a vested interest in collecting materials related to Stephen King (Kingiana?), they acquired an extra copy of that issue. And now they want me to catalog it. The catch? They want me to catalog just the short story, not the issue as a whole.

It's perfectly possible to catalog a item which isn't a separate physical unit; it's called "analytic" cataloging. It just isn't very common because librarians have barely enough time to catalog all of the books and magazines that come in without cataloging each article or chapter individually. Plus, databases like LexisNexis contain the full text of the articles in many of the magazines we acquire, even if they don't use the same system of subject headings, etc. However, the special circumstances in this case warrant creating an individual library catalog record, just for this article.

So, is it a monograph or a serial? The "parent unit," Esquire, is definitely a serial, but what about one article in one issue? Is it a serial because it's part of a larger unit that's a serial? Or is it a monograph because it stands alone?

(If there are any librarians or library science students among my readers, please wait a couple of days to answer so that the civillians can take a crack at the question.)


At March 02, 2008 7:52 PM, Blogger Becca said...

Uh, monograph? That's my entirely uneducated guess.

At March 02, 2008 11:31 PM, Blogger Peter said...

I'm also inclined to say monograph, since it's cataloged as a stand-alone piece.

Is the Stephen King story good? I just looked it up on Lexis and set it to print out tomorrow morning when I'm at school. I'm pretty sure that's not what I'm supposed to use my Lexis access for, but there's no rules governing these things, so I can do whatever I want.

At March 04, 2008 5:37 PM, Blogger Katya said...

Congrats! I officially nominate you both as honorary catalogers. The article is, in fact, a monograph because it stands alone.

(And I have no idea if the story's good. I just catalog the stuff — I don't actually read it.)

At March 05, 2008 5:20 AM, Blogger Th. said...



Well, I swear that's what I was going to say as well.

At March 05, 2008 9:13 AM, Blogger kahu puke (da Librarian) said...

From the MARC21 descriptions, it is closest to a “Serial component part”, Ldr/07=b. Leader would be “nab” instead of the more common “nam” or “nas”. It should also include a 773 tag pointing to the main Esquire serial bib.

At March 05, 2008 10:17 AM, Blogger Katya said...

k p - Good point. That's a level of granularity I hadn't reached.


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