BODY OF THE ENTRY
Body of the Main Entry consists of several parts or units. This constitutes the first paragraph of the Main Entry. There is a sequence prescribed for the units within the paragraph. As noted earlier this paragraph consists of four areas; namely,
- Tile and statement of responsibility area;
- Edition area,
- Material or type of publication specific details area and
- Publication, distribution etc., area.
The first area gives information about the sub-titles and alternative title, if any, and the statement of authorship of the work. This area also describes a parallel title if the document carries titles in two or more languages. The purpose of this area is to give information on the title or titles of the work and the responsibility attributed to the creation of the work.
The second area of the first paragraph is the edition area wherein the statement of the edition of the work is given. When a work runs into several editions the user should be informed which particular edition or editions of the work does the library possess. Edition statement and the year of publication will help the user to decide the usefulness about currency of the document. Since AACR-2R provides cataloguing rules for books as well as non-books materials like maps, sound recordings, motion pictures, video-recordings, etc., therefore, entries are also provided for all these different types of recorded materials. Hence, it will be better if a brief indication is given in the catalogue entry as to the type of material that is being catalogued. The third area of the first paragraph covers this requirement by giving the designation of material. The term GMD means General Material Designation. Publication, distribution, etc., area gives information about the name of the publisher, place(s) where the document is published, the name of the distributor, etc. Information on place of publication, name of the publisher and the year of publication is known as Imprint'. This information is given in that sequence only, i.e., place of publication, name of the publisher and the year of publication.
Physical description of the document constitutes the second paragraph. This area gives information on the number of volumes if the document is multi-volumed work. In the case of a single volume book it gives information on the number of preliminary pages and the pages of the text. Other details like the illustrations in the work and the speed of the disc if it is a sound recording, etc., are also given. Physical description also includes the size of the document height or diameter and other information about the accompanying material like maps on separate sheets at the end in a pocket or a teacher's guide for the use of the contents of the work, etc.
Such a useful description of the document gives ap idea of the document even before the user actually goes to the shelf and picks it up. Indication about the illustrative matter, etc., will help the user decide whether to consult that particular document or not.
For example, suppose the work is on building designs for domestic houses. If the book contains illustrations like plans and photos of the various designs then it will be useful. Otherwise, however good the description may be, the book will not give a clear picture about the several types of building designs.
Physical description about a document in a catalogue entry is called 'collation'. Ranganathan feels that collation just like imprint is not so important for users in a modern service library because of open access to the documents. He observes in his Classified Catalogue Code that "It will be noticed that two sections which are still lingering in Catalogue Codes are omitted, viz., collation and imprint".
He further observes that "The persistence of these two sections is really due to the tradition of the printed catalogue. But in a modern open-access service library, which is rightly compared to a workshop rather than a museum and which replaces the printed catalogue by the manuscript or type-written card catalogue, it is felt that the information contained in these two sections is seldom sought by the majority of readers and therefore is to be regarded as unnecessarily over-crowding the card. For the few that do want them, the published trade bibliographies or the Accession Register of the library may be made to furnish the requisite information".
But, the AACR-2R advocates to include this information in the main entry of the catalogue card.
Included in the second paragraph is the information about the series if the work belongs to a series. This information is given in parentheses (i.e., circular brackets) following the physical description leaving two letter spaces after it. As discussed earlier there may be works belonging to a sub-series of a major series also. All this including the number of the document in the series is given in this section.
A user's approach may be sometimes a series approach. If a series is that of a reputed publisher or if a renowned person is the editor of a series then the works published in the series assume prominence. Users may then look in the library catalogue for works published in the series. Information about a series, therefore, must find place in a catalogue entry.