[ModLib] Library of Congress Catalogue #'s

Gordon Neavill aa3401 at wayne.edu
Wed Dec 31 19:43:42 EST 2008

I teach cataloging among other things and can respond to this. Back in the days of card catalogs, the Library of Congress Catalog Card Number was used by libraries to order printed catalog cards from the Library of Congress to file in local card catalogs. In today's online environment it's a machine-readable catalog record and the number is known as the Library of Congress Control Number. Two volume sets like Tolstoy's Short Novels and Renaissance Philosophy were usually cataloged on a single bibliographic record, with the volume number and title of each volume recorded in a "Contents Note" which comes after the sections of the record giving the title and statement of responsibility, publisher and year(s) of publication, pagination or number of volumes, height of the volumes, and series title.

I'm surprised that the LC catalog card number is the same for the regular and MLCE editions of Moliere's Eight Plays. Since these were in different series libraries would normally catalog them separately. However, it's the publisher's responsibility to submit newly published books to the Library of Congress to be cataloged. I suspect Random House didn't realize that the Library of Congress would consider the regular and MLCE editions to be bibliographically distinct and just put the old LC Catalog Card Number on the MLCE.

I've just checked the bibliographic records for Eight Plays in OCLC, the international database of bibliographic records. The original record for Moliere's Eight Plays was created by the Library of Congress in 1957. Records for MLCE were prepared by OCLC member libraries, so it looks like Random House didn't send in a copy of the College Edition when it was published.

---- Original message ----
>Date: Tue, 30 Dec 2008 10:24:27 -0800 (PST)
>From: Darrell Johnson <zebradlj at yahoo.com>  
>Subject: [ModLib] Library of Congress Catalogue #'s  
>To: Mail List <modlib at owu.edu>
>   ML'ers,                                              
>   Last weekend I surveyed all my books that might have 
>   Library of Congress Catalogue #'s.  I got 101        
>   regulars, 17 Giants, and about 12 - 50's paperback   
>   and college editions.                                
>   I found three cases of duplicated #'s that I thought 
>   were odd.  The least curious one was Moliere's 8     
>   Plays.  The college edition had the same # as the    
>   1957 Regular edition.  Next, Tolstoy's Short Novels  
>   and Short Novels II, had the same #.  And the one I  
>   thought was strangest: Renaissance Philosophy Vol. I 
>   and Vol. II had the same Library of Congress #  even 
>   though they were edited by two differnent editors    
>   and have no overlapping content by author.           
>   Anyone know enough about the policies of assigning   
>   the numbers to explain why these were done this way? 
>   Darrell                                              
>ModLib mailing list
>ModLib at owu.edu
Gordon B. Neavill
Associate Professor
Library and Information Science Program
106 Kresge Library
Wayne State University
Detroit, MI 48202
313-577-0507 (tel); 313-577-7563 (fax)
aa3401 at wayne.edu

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