Tuesday, November 14, 2006

And here's when having some cataloging knowledge is nice

So this morning, one of the library aides was checking in music CDs and found one that looked kind of weird.

During check-in, all media items (books on tape, DVDs, CDs) get opened to make sure what's inside the case matches the case/booklet/any additional material. The aide noticed that the booklet said the call number and "Mussorgsky" and "Pictures at an exhibition," but the disc inside said "Emerson, Lake & Palmer."

She brought it to the attention of a fellow Library Assistant, who also wasn't sure about the discrepancy. I wanted to see what was up, so I had a peek, too. Instantly, I knew what was going on.

Classical music is a special thing in the cataloging world, since in order to be able to find things, it's best to have composers (and time periods) near each other on the shelf, vs. grouping them by the artists who actually play the music. Emerson, Lake & Palmer are not responsible (in terms of cataloging) for the intellectual or artistic content of the work in hand.

In other words, it's more useful to have all the Mussorgsky together than have all the albums by Emerson, Lake & Palmer together, hence the bibliographic record being as such:

Author: Mussorgsky, Modest Petrovich, 1839-1881
Title: Pictures at an exhibition [sound recording] / Emerson, Lake & Palmer.

Aw yeah, look at me, a beginner cataloging geek.

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