4.2.1.  Definition and sources

AACR2 defines a corporate body as:

An organization or group of persons that is identified by a particular name and that acts, or may act, as an entity.  Typical examples of corporate bodies are associations, institutions, business firms, nonprofit enterprises, governments, government agencies, religious bodies, local churches, and conferences.

Note that AACR2 21.1B1 also includes programs and projects, ad hoc events such as exhibitions, and vessels.  While very few serials are issued by a ship, many bear the name of an exhibition, project or program (see CCM 4.2.3.).  Note also that a corporate body must be "named."  A body is "named" if:  "in a script and language using capital letters for proper names, the initial letters of the words referring to it are consistently capitalized, and/or if, in a language using articles, the words are always associated with a definite article" (AACR2 21.1B1).  The question of whether a body is or is not named is most often asked in reference to conference publications.

Named:  The First Conference of Teachers in Workers’ Education

Unnamed:  A conference on teachers in workers’ education

A corporate body given as main entry should in most cases be named prominently in the item.  This means that it appears on the chief source or one of the preliminaries.  If there is no corporate body prominently stated, it may be taken from other sources in the piece, such as a letter of transmittal (AACR2 21.0B1).  A corporate body that is given in the title or implied by words in the title is considered to be prominent; it need not be separately stated.


In Figure 4.3., the corporate body, State Library of Iowa, is stated prominently, both below and to the left of the title.


The name of a corporate body may be taken from the text or from sources outside of the serial when the information given on the chief source is ambiguous or insufficient (AACR2 21.0B1).


The chief source in this example (Figure 4.4a.) gives only the names of officials and their titles, which are not considered to be named corporate bodies.  The letter of transmittal (Figure 4.4b.), however, gives the "Department of Insurance" both at the head of the letter and in the text of the letter.  The Department is used as the main entry (AACR2 24.20E1).

110 1# $a Alabama. $b Dept. of Insurance.

245 10 $a Alabama insurance report.

Note:  A corporate body used as main entry does not have to be "justified" in the description.  In other words, while the body will in most cases appear somewhere else in the record, it does not have to in order to be used as the main entry.

4.2.2.  Commercial publishers

A commercial publisher is a corporate body whose primary function is that of publishing.  Names of commercial publishers may contain words such as "Publishers," or a term of incorporation, such as "Inc.," as part of the name.  Do not give a main or added entry for the commercial publisher of a serial when its sole function is that of publishing the serial.  Many serials, particularly periodicals, are published by commercial publishers.  In some cases, the serial is published by the commercial publisher for an association or society; in other cases, there is no other body but the publisher associated with the piece.  In cases where the publisher acts also as a compiler, an added entry may be given (see CCM 4.8.3.).

In Figure 4.5., the publisher is Haworth Press, which is a commercial publisher.  This serial is entered under title; no added entry is given for the publisher.


4.2.3.  Programs and projects

Treat all programs and projects as corporate bodies.  An annual report of a program that deals with the program is entered under the heading for the program (Figure 4.6.)  This has been CONSER practice since the late 1980s.  Prior to that, a program or project was considered to be a corporate body only if it functioned as an entity, with its own staff, and presented itself as the author of the publication.


110 2# $a U.S. Clean Coal Technology Demonstration Program.

245 10 $a Annual report to Congress as of ... / $c Clean Coal Technology Demonstration Program.

See also:

Module 4.  Main and Added Entries (Fields 100-111 and 700-711)