Areas of Description
Standardization is a necessity in modern large scale production and manufacture. It therefore, penetrates into several areas of human activity. The advantages of standardization are indeed many. First and foremost, it brings universality and economy. In cataloguing practice also there has been a continuous concern for following commonly acceptable practices. The International Conference on Cataloguing Principles held in 1971 in Paris discussed this aspect of standardization. Though there was no agreement on many of the aspects in this conference, the Conference felt the need for accepting a standard practice in so far as descriptive cataloguing of a document is concerned. With the introduction of the Machine Readable Catalogue (MARC) project, such a standard practice was felt all the more necessary. At the International Meeting of Cataloguing Experts (IMCE) held at Copenhagen in 1969, a working group was appointed to study this problem. The final text of its recommendations came out as International Standard Bibliographic. Description (ISBD) in 1971. This was issued by the IFLA Committee on Cataloguing.
The ISBD specifies the elements in a catalogue entry and their order and style of writing for a bibliographical description.
The purpose and scope of ISBD were defined as follows:
"It is designed primarily as an instrument for the International Communication of Bibliographical Information. By specifying the elements which should comprise a bibliographical description and by prescribing the order in which they should be presented and the punctuation by which they should be demarcated, it aims at three objectives; to "make records from different sources interchangeable, to facilitate their interpretation across language barriers and to facilitate the conversion of such records to machine readable form".
The International Standard Bibliographic Description (ISBD) identified the following eight areas for the description of a document: '
- Title and statement of responsibility area
- Edition area
- Material(or type of publication) specific details area
- Physical description area
- Series area Note area
- Standard number and terms of availability area
The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) which is responsible for ISBD and the Joint Steering Committee for Revising of AACR agreed that the rules for description in AACR-2 . be based on the general framework for the description of library material as provided in the General International Standard Bibliographic Description ISBD (G). However, in so far as terminology is concerned AACR not necessarily follows the ISBD (G).
General Rule "1.OB Organization of the description" of AACR-2 in conformity with the said agreement says that the description of a document is divided into the above eight areas. A number of elements as set out in the rules of the code comprise each of these areas.
Throughout AACR-2 some "optional" rules are provided which allow adding or deleting information in certain cases which allow alternative methods of providing information.