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5.3 Final report on the minimum level of description of a sound recording for an entry in a catalogue or a discography August 18, 1988

5.3.1 IASA Cataloguing rules for audio-visual media cataloguing and documentation committee publication project


Mary McMullen.

Co-Ordinator (1986-1988) of the IASA Discography/Cataloguing Working Group to Investigate the Minimum Data Elements to Describe a Sound Recorded Event

Presented at the IASA Conference, Vienna, 1988

The Working Group believes that for such a report to be of practical use, it should be kept as simple as possible.

The following data elements are considered to be required in a minimum level description for a sound recorded event (and it should he noted that even so, the words "if applicable", "if readily available" and "as appropriate" follow many of the data elements in the list):

1. Title (may be abbreviated if long, or subtitle may be omitted)
2. Responsibility (name(s) of creators of the work which has been recorded)
3. Major participants and their functions (name(s) and functions, voices or instruments of the major participants who are heard on the recording)
4. Date and place of original recording (if readily available)
5. Date of broadcast (if applicable)
6. Date of release (if applicable
7. Label (if applicable)
8. Catalogue (i.e. issue) number (if applicable)
9. Matrix number (if applicable)
10. Broad physical description (including number of units and speed) e.g. 1 reel, 15 ips; 2 discs, 78 rpm

Additional, for unpublished materials:

11. Name of Collection (as appropriate)
12. Series in the Collection (as appropriate)
13. Terms of use

list of data elements for cataloguing sound recordings

Program Title
Series Title
Uniform Title
Names (incl. types of 'functions'related to those names. eg:
- Author
- Librettist
- Artist
- Orchestra
- Medium of performance (eg Violin)
- Name of Broadcasting Service/Station
- Name of Broadcaster

Other information related to names:

- Voice (eg Soprano)
- Character/Role (eg Aida)

Contents listing (e.g. list of track on an LP)
Summary (eg Synopsis of text/interview)
Catalogue Number
Matrix Number
Shelf Location
Location of other copies
Physical Description

- Format (e,g. disc, tape, etc)
- Analogue (recording)
Digital (recording
Analogue (mix)
- Digital (mix)
- Analogue (replay)
- Digital (replay)

Technical Quality

- Sound quality
- Physical Condition

Place of Recording
Recording Date
Broadcast Date (first date of broadcast)
Copyright holder
Obligations accruing from acquiring the recording
Date of Entry
Name of Person who entered the entry to the system

5.3.1 IASA Cataloguing rules for audio-visual media cataloguing and documentation committee publication project

Mary Miliano, National Film and Sound Archive, Canberra, Australia

Report to the Open Session of the IASA Cataloguing & Documentation Committee IAML/IASA/IAMIC Conference, Helsinki

1. Background

In 1991 FIAF published The FIAF Cataloguing Rules for Film Archives compiled and edited by Harriet Harrison for the FIAF Cataloguing Commission. It is a set of rules for cataloguing materials held in moving image archives and its immediate purpose is to provide a means of facilitating the exchange of information between and among archives so that cataloguing records created in one archive may be readily interpreted and understood in another archive. This goal supports the basic aims of FIAF as set out in Article I of its Constitution. The need for these rules were for the following reasons:

1.1 Computerisation and telecomunication costs were decreasing rapidly, therefore increasing the possibilities for effective international co-operation and communication in turn requiring the use of standards;

1.2 Developing archives, who were just beginning cataloguing work, were looking to the Commission to provide them with recognised standards upon which they could rely;

1.3 ISBD (NBM) had already achieved international recognition among library professionals worldwide. While its rules, directed as they were to generalised collections of widely available audio-visual materials, did not solve the technical and scholarly information needs of moving image archives, they could serve as a model for FIAF upon which it could build and develop a set of cataloguing rules which addressed basic principles of archival moving image cataloguing.

2. IASA Cataloguing Rules proposal

During the 1992 IASA/ASRA Conference in Canberra, the notion of publication of IASA Cataloguing Rules came into sharp focus through the Open Board Session and later in the IASA Board/Committee Officers/NAOC meeting.

In the following months we decided to hold a one day pre-Conference Symposium at the 1993 Helsinki Conference to discuss this proposal.

3. Helsinki Pre-Conference Symposium

We held the Symposium on Sunday 8 August and it was open to all interested. 15 persons from 7 countries attended. Two working papers were circulated at the session:

A Preliminary Issues discussion paper by Mary Miliano; and cut outs in provisional [English] transcription of the ÍNORM A 2653 : Formale Erfassung audio-visueller Medien = Cataloguing of audio-visual media prepared by members of AGAVA.

In addition, the recently finalised danbib-format, version 1.0 was tabled at the Symposium.

In summary, the Symposium was informed of the issues addressed by the ÍNORM A2653 and the meeting agreed with the points raised in the first section of the Preliminary Issues paper for the scope of the IASA Cataloguing Rules. Some small amendments and additions were made to these. The details agreed on are as follows:

4. Scope of the proposed IASA Cataloguing Rules

The rules are to:

4.1 complement other international standards (e.g. AACR2, ISBD, MARC );

4.2 draw on existing national and institutional concepts and solutions, etc. (e.g ÍNORM A2653 (Austria) and RAK (Germany,) as well as cataloguing rules from France, Spain, Australia, etc.);

4.3 support use of computers, exchange (and sharing) of data and networking.

They are to address:

4.4 different levels of description:

- compilations of recordings (e.g. LP's, compilation preservation tapes made by such archives at the Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers University and at the NFSA);
- individual tracks/bands (analytics; multilevel description);
- collections of sound recordings;

4.5 accompanying materials;

4.6 published, unpublished (including field) and broadcast sound recordings;

4.7 copyright;

4.8 audio-visual materials rather than just sound recordings. For instance, we had asked the question:

Should the rules also address videos where the video and laser disc formats are competing with / replacing the LP and CD formats in the market and where the content and intent of creation of the work is possibly closer to that of recorded sound rather than that of film - eg. opera productions, pop videos,


Should we just assume that cataloguers know that they need to combine and reconcile the rules for cataloguing music and for performances of music (i.e. for printed music and recorded sound) with the rules for cataloguing moving image when they work on these videos and laser discs?

4.9 ethnomusicological videos, and video histories (as against oral histories);

4.10 physical description;

4.11 series and sub-series;

4.12 description of:

- commercial re-issues of recordings (confirmation of when these are the same work and when are they different works);
- digital and stereo re-mastering and re-issue of acoustic and mono recordings.

(We do not mean to imply here that this is a normal practice within technical and publication areas of archives but that we acknowledge that it does happen and so should be included);

4.13 place and date of:

- recording (capture)
- issue
- anufacture
- broadcast

4.14 how and why the recording was made;

4.15 titles:

- title proper (descriptive title);
- uniform title;
conventional title (i.e. for form headings);
- title added entries;
- cover titles (e.g. variation of title in packaging / sleeve from label title or title frames in a video record);
- series titles;
- parallel titles;
- work title (i.e. "interim" title used by broadcasters);

4.16 names and functions (e.g. Composer, Interviewer, Sound Engineer, "Akteur");

4.17 special examples are to be included for:

Music: classical
  popular (including jazz)
  folk & ethnographic
Spoken word: readings ; speeches  
  interviews; oral histories
  conference proceedings & lectures
Radio: serials; radio talks
  news broadcasts
  TV and Radio FM simulcasts
  sport; vox pops (i.e. short interviews with people in the street)
Sound effects (man made and machinery)  
Wild life / Scientific recordings / Bioacoustics  
Natural (environmental) sounds  
Film sound tracks  
Any other types of recordings deemed necessary.  

4.18 We plan to prepare the rules in English and then have them translated into French, German and Spanish.

4.19 The rules will not address subject headings. Each country should have its own subject headings.

5. Direction of the project

5.1 We plan the time frame to be a minimum of two years and a maximum of five years.

5.2 An editorial committee has been tentatively established with ten participants.

5.3 Mary Miliano agreed to convene the project for the first twelve months and has recommended that this be reviewed at the end of that time.

5.4 The Editorial Committee will need to liaise closely with the IASA Technical Committee especially; and in general with the Technical Co-Ordinating Committee (TCC) of the International Federation for Audio-Film- and Television Archives.

5.5 We warmly encourage and invite IASA members to contribute and we will seek the support and comments from the Cataloguing Commissions of FIAF, FIAT and IAML.

5.6 We shall depend on the support of IASA to assist us to meet and to prepare the publication.

5.7 A definition of "Audio- Visual" will be necessary to help us determine the media scope of this work. At present "Audio-Visual" means different things to different people.

5.8 We shall need to clearly define key cataloguing concepts, problems and realities for sound and other audio-visual media to be addressed in these cataloguing rules.

6. Intended results

The final result of this work is intended to be an internationally acceptable publication of standards which we can all use and which will also assist cataloguing in new audio-visual archives and in audio-visual archives in developing countries.

The following progress report on the project was presented at the IASA conference in September 1996.

Project Goal and Progress Report, August 1996

1. The IASA Board requested the development of IASA Cataloguing Rules at its Canberra Conference in 1992. Interested persons discussed the feasibility of this project at a Pre-Conference Seminar in 1993 in Helsinki. It was agreed to take up the project.

2. Originally the project was to deal with the broad issue of audio visual media. During our working meeting in Washington D.C., however, we redefined the scope of the project so as to place special emphasis on cataloguing rules for sound recordings rather than to pursue cataloguing rules for audio visual media in general. This was to:

* focus on sharing our strongest area of expertise;
* ensure that the project would be a manageable task and completed on time;
* not unnecessarily duplicate international standards and work (eg FI4F Cataloguing Rules, Betz, E. Graphic Materials: Rules for Describing Original Items in Historical Collections)

3.1 The work of this project addresses in particular:

* audio formats (published, unpublished and broadcast) and issues related to these such as handling description of stereo or digital remastering of acoustic or mono recordings;
* multimedia formats (eg kits. interactive CDRoms with audio content);
* juke boxes or mass storage systems with audio content; and moving image formats where these are a natural extension of audio formats (eg. music videos. laser discs of musical performances) or related to audio (eg. FM simulcasts)

3.2 In addition to traditional concepts of cataloguing of individual (physical) items, this work is to address the concepts of analytic and multilevel description and collection level cataloguing in so far as they may apply to audio materials.

3.3 It will address recordings with different types of content, for instance. music of all genres. oral histories, interviews, radio (programmes, serials. sport, news, etc.) wildlife,-scientific bioacoustic and natural (environmental) sounds, ethnographic recordings and actuality.

4. The completed project will support all the purposes of IASA according to Article II of its Constitution:

4.1. The finished work is intended to be an internationally acceptable publication of cataloguing standards to aid the exchange and international conununication of bibliographic data for sound and related audio visual documents. It is to provide a cataloguing guide to new and existing sound and audio visual archives in developed and developing countries, and to assist in documenting sound and audio visual records for the Memory of the World project.

4.2 As such it will necessarily complement existing internationally accepted standards such as AACR2, ISBD (NBM), MARC and FIAF Cataloguing Rules. and will support the use of computers, exchange (and sharing) of data and networking.

4.3 Through this work IASA will be able to share as widely as possible its combined knowledge and solutions to cataloguing problems arising for sound and audio visual media.

4.4 Therefore, the editorial group engaged in this project will also take solutions and concepts from existing national, regional and institutional standards. norms and guidelines: and consult with other related organisations (IAML. FIAF, FIAT. ICA. TCC. etc).

5. Achievements to date:

a) drafts prepared for the Introduction, Title & Statement of Responsibility, Edition, Publication & Distribution, Copyright, Physical Description, Series. & Notes:
b) a draft bibliography compiled of cataloguing standards, norms & codes for sound & audio visual media.
c) cataloguing examples prepared for different types of sound recordings.
d) the definition of a 'work' discussed & agreement confirmed on when a sound recorded event is the same or a different work;
e) the sequence of events for a recorded sound production from initial 'capture' through to broadcast and/or commercial issue has been workshopped.

6 To achieve the above:

a) we have held editorial pre-conference meetings, each of two days (Bogensee. 1994, Washington D.C., 1995) to discuss concepts, drafts & comments;
b) some European members of the Editorial Group have held more frequent meetings to progress the drafts.
c) national & institutional colleagues of some members of the Editorial Group have also contributed to the drafts to date.
d) we have corresponded by fax, email and air mail between meetings.

7. The project commenced in 1993 and is due for completion in 1998.

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