H 1435 Commentaries on Individual Works

 

BACKGROUND: A commentary is a work that criticizes or comments on another work. It may be published independently or in conjunction with the text of the original work. If a commentary is published with the original work, the decision to treat the item, for subject cataloging purposes, as an edition of the original work or as a commentary should parallel the treatment decision made by the descriptive cataloger in accordance with rule 21.13 of AACR2, which is described below. The central feature in subject cataloging of commentaries is the assignment of a name-title or uniform title subject heading in addition to other headings. This instruction sheet describes the subject headings to be assigned to commentaries, and presents criteria for deciding whether to treat a work as an edition or as a commentary when it consists of a text or texts by one author with commentary by another. For classification of commentaries, see F 570.

 

TREATMENT OF A WORK AS AN EDITION OR AS A COMMENTARY: When a text by one author is published in conjunction with commentary, exegesis, or interpretation by another author, rule 21.13 of AACR2 specifies that if the "chief source of information" (generally the title page) presents the item as a commentary, main entry is made under the author of the commentary. If the item is presented as an edition, main entry is made under the author or uniform title of the original work. In marginal cases, main entry is made according to the judgment of the descriptive cataloger about the aspect emphasized.

 

This decision generally governs subject cataloging as well:

If the main entry is the author of the commentary, the work is treated as a commentary.

If the main entry is the author of the original work or the uniform title appropriate to the original work, the item is treated as an edition of that work.

If 20% or more of the work consists of commentary, the work should be assigned not only those headings, if any, appropriate to the edition of the original work but also the name-title or uniform title subject heading appropriate to commentaries, as described in sec. 3, below.

 

ASSIGNMENT OF SUBJECT HEADINGS TO COMMENTARIES: When a work is treated as a commentary, assign the following subject headings:

 

1. Name-title or uniform title subject heading.

a. General rule. For works entered under an author (personal or corporate), this heading consists of the name of the author followed by a period and the title of the work with any initial article in the nominative case omitted. For works entered under title, it consists of the uniform title alone. For sacred books and anonymous classics, see sec. 1.c.

 

Examples:

Title: Shakespeare's English comedy : The merry wives of Windsor in context.

600 10 $a Shakespeare, William, $d 1564-1616. $t Merry wives of Windsor.

 

Title: The church of the poor : a commentary on Paul VI's encyclical On the development of peoples.

610 20 $a Catholic Church. $b Pope (1963-1978 : Paul VI). $t Populorum progressio.

 

Title: Without fear or favor : The New York times and its times.

630 00 $a New York times.

(These examples are intended to illustrate only this heading; other headings may also be required.)

 

With the exception of sacred works, as described in sec. 1.c., such elements as language of the text, translator, version, edition, imprint date, etc. are not added to this heading. For a commentary on a part of a work, such headings may include part or section designations, for example, Hippocrates. Epidemics. Book 6.

 

LC practice:

b. Determining the correct form. Under certain conditions, descriptive catalogers are required to create name authority records for name-title combinations or for uniform titles. Generally they do not create such records. In order to ensure that the required heading is formulated correctly, proceed as follows:

 

(1) Name authority record exists. Search in the name authority file to determine whether an AACR2 authority record has been created for the name-title combination or for the uniform title needed. If an AACR2 authority record exists, assign the heading in the form given in the record, punctuating it as described above. If an authority record has been created for a uniform title constructed in the form [author]. [form]. Selections and a see reference has been made from the form [author]. [title page title], omit the term Selections when assigning the uniform title as a subject heading.

 

(2) Name authority record does not exist. If an authority record is not found, request a descriptive cataloger to provide the proper form.

 

Note: Once a name-title or uniform title has been formulated by a descriptive cataloger for use as a subject heading in an AACR2 record, it is not necessary to request the form from the descriptive cataloger each time the heading must be assigned. Therefore, if an AACR2 bibliographic record exists that uses as a subject heading a name-title combination or a uniform title, assign it in the same form to any new work being cataloged. When in doubt, however, request the proper form from a descriptive cataloger.

 

c. Sacred works (including individual parts) and anonymous classics. Use as the uniform title subject heading the form of the title that would be used as the main entry for an edition of the work itself. In addition, assign the appropriate form subdivision.

 

Examples:

Title: The Koran : an exegetical commentary.

630 00 $a Koran $v Commentaries.

 

Title: The concept of character in the Apocalypse.

630 00 $a Bible. $p N.T. $p Revelation $x Criticism, interpretation, etc.

 

For works discussing versions of sacred works, or of their individual parts, in specific languages, assign the formulation of the uniform title that includes the language. Use the appropriate subdivision after this heading.

 

Example:

Title: A history of the English Bible.

630 00 $a Bible. $l English $x Versions $x History.

 

d. Commentaries on commentaries. For a work that is a commentary on another commentary (a phenomenon that occurs most frequently in connection with religious texts), assign the appropriate name-title or uniform title subject heading both for the original work and for the commentary being commented upon.

 

2. Companion headings. In addition to the name-title or uniform title for the work being discussed, assign, if appropriate, the same topical headings that were or would be assigned to an edition of the work itself.

 

Note: Omit any form subdivisions, such as Early works to 1800, that were added to the headings assigned to the original work, if they are not applicable to the commentary.

 

Examples:

 

Original work: Bentham, Jeremy, 1748-1832. The constitutional code.

650 #0 $a Constitutional law.

 

Commentary: Rosen, F. Jeremy Bentham and representative democracy : a study of the Constitutional code.

600 10 $a Bentham, Jeremy, $d 1748-1832. $t Constitutional code.

650 #0 $a Constitutional law.

 

 

Original work: Berkeley, George, 1685-1753. A treatise concerning the principles of human knowledge.

650 #0 $a Knowledge, Theory of $v Early works to 1800.

650 #0 $a Idealism $v Early works to 1800.

 

Commentary: Luce, A. A. (Arthur Aston), 1882- Berkeley's immaterialism : a commentary on his A treatise concerning the principles of human knowledge.

600 10 $a Berkeley, George, $d 1685-1753. $t Treatise concerning the principles of human knowledge.

650 #0 $a Knowledge, Theory of.

650 #0 $a Idealism.

 

 

Textual criticism. Do not assign such headings if the commentary does not discuss the substantive matter of the original work, but is only textual criticism. Instead, assign additional headings if needed to bring out the nature or focus of the commentary.

 

Example:

 

Original work: Aristotle. Nicomachean ethics. English The Nicomachean ethics.

650 #0 $a Ethics $v Early works to 1800.

 

Commentary: Bywater, Ingram, 1840-1914. Contributions to the textual criticism of Aristotle's Nicomachean ethics.

600 00 $a Aristotle. $t Nicomachean ethics.

 

 

Conversion of form headings to topical headings. If the headings assigned to the original work are used only as form headings, convert them to their most appropriate topical equivalents when assigning them as headings to a commentary on the work. Examples:

 

Form heading:

651 #0 $a Egypt $x History $v Fiction.

 

Topical equivalent:

651 #0 $a Egypt $x In literature.

 

Form heading:

650 #0 $a Merlin (Legendary character) $v Legends.

 

Topical equivalent:

650 #0 $a Merlin (Legendary character) $x Legends $x History and criticism.

 

Form heading:

651 #0 $a United States $x History $y Civil War, 1861-1865 $v Fiction.

 

Topical equivalent:

651 #0 $a United States $x History $y Civil War, 1861-1865 $x Literature and the war.

 

Form heading:

650 #0 $a Agriculture $v Periodicals.

 

Topical equivalent:

650 #0 $a Agriculture $x Periodicals $x History.

 

 

3. Treatment of works consisting of both original text and commentary.

a. If entered under author of original work. Assign headings, if any, appropriate to the text of the original work. If the commentary is 20% or more of the work being cataloged, assign also the name-title or uniform title heading appropriate to a commentary on the work.

b. If entered under the author of the commentary. Assign the name-title or uniform title heading appropriate to a commentary on the work, and any other headings appropriate to the text of the original work.

 

 

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