Parts of a main entry - library management, Humanities

Parts of a Main Entry 

In that entry information is given in units as separate paragraphs. We observe that the first and second indention in fact help us write the paragraphs neatly. We noted that there are eight areas of description in Main Entry according to AACR-2R. 

In a usual catalogue entry, in addition to the elements of description covered by these areas, we will provide: 

1)  The CALL NUMBER which is a symbolic notation for the document used to achieve logical order for the arrangement of the document in the total library collection and also to identify and locate the document in the collection. 

2)  The HEADING is the access element under which it is likely that a user may search for the document in the catalogue; namely, name of the author, title of the work, series, etc. 

3)  The TRACING which gives information about the additional entries that are provided for the document. 

4)  The ACCESSION NUMBER: The eight areas of description and these items - the Call Number, the Heading, the Tracings and the Accession Number together can be grouped as parts or sections of a Main Entry. In the illustrations provided for the main entries in Unit 5 and in this Unit it can be noticed that structure, of a Main Entry more or less consists of these sections. The various parts are presented in different paragraphs as detailed below. But, remember, every main entry need not necessarily carry all the paragraphs and parts. 

The paragraphs, parts and the elements in them observe a sequence and punctuation prescribed by the concerned catalogue code. In our present discussion it is AACR-2R. The purpose of prescribing a definite sequence and a set of punctuation marks for the sections and the elements inside a paragraph is to achieve uniformity and standardisation in cataloguing practice. It is therefore, necessary that you must be familiar with the parts, their sequence and the punctuations used. 

The structure of a Main Entry with the eight parts and the paragraphs and elements therein is described by Wynar as under: 


Author or other person or Corporate Body chosen as main entry. 

Title, if (A) can not be ascribed. 

II BODY OF THE ENTRY (first paragraph). 

A) Title and statement of responsibility area 

  1. Title proper (including alternative title, if any). 
  2. General Material Designation (GMD). 
  3. Parallel title(s), other title information, if any. 
  4. Statement (s) of responsibility.    

B) Edition area 

1) Edition statement (named, numbered, or a combination of the two). 

2) Statements of responsibility relating to the edition, but not to all editions. 

C) Material (or type of publication) specific details area 

1) For cartographic materials, statements of scale and projection. 

2) For serial publications, numerical and/or alphabetical designation. (e.g., No.1) and/or chronological designation (e.g., 1967 ). 

D) Publication, distribution etc., area 

1)  Place of publication, distribution, etc. 

2)  Name of publisher, distributor, etc. 

3)  Statement of function of publisher, distributor, etc., (e.g., production company) when necessary for clarity. 

4)  Date of publication, distribution, etc., including copyright date, if necessary. 

5)  Place of manufacture, name of manufacturer, date of manufacture, if name of publishes is unknown. 


1)  Extent of item (e.g., number of pages, volumes, discs, frames, etc.) 

2)  Other physical details (e.g. illustrative material, playing speed, material of which made). 

3)  Dimensions ((e.g., height, diameter). 

4)  Accompanying material (e.g., teacher's guide, separate maps). 

IV) SERIES AREA, if any (following physical description area as continuation of second paragraph). 

1)  Title proper of series, parallel title(s), other title information. 

2)  Statement(s) of responsibility relating to series. 

3)  ISSN of series. 

4)  Numbering within series. 

5)  Sub-series. 

6)  Second and following series, each in its own set of parentheses. 

V) NO'T'E AREA (each note is a separate paragraph). Necessary data that can not be incorporated in the above parts of the record. 

VI) STANDARD NUMBER AND TERMS OF AVAILABILITY AREA (paragraph following last note). 

1)  Standard number (e.g., ISBN, ISSN) 

2)  Key-title of a serial 

3)  Terms of availability (e.g., price, or for whom available). 

VII) TRACING (Separate paragraph) 

  1. Subject heading(s). 
  2. Added entries for joint authors, editors etc. 
  3. Tile added entry or entries. 
  4. Series added -entry or entries. 

VIII) CALL NUMBER (formatted in upper left corner of entry or on line following tracing) 

1) Classification number. 

2) Cutter number and work mark, if any. 

The first four areas of ISBD listed earlier are brought into a single paragraph into part-II Body of the Entry here.    

Accession Number can also be included as a part of the Main Entry in which case in all there will be 9 parts in a Main Entry. 

The above list covers almost all the data elements that provide information about the document catalogued. Since AACR-2R covers not only books and serials but also other non-conventional or non-book materials, these units cover such type of documents also. Some elements in the list are therefore appropriate only to particular types of documents like sound recordings, maps and cartographic materials etc. 

Posted Date: 10/25/2012 6:43:37 AM | Location : United States

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