1B1.    Title Proper Transcribed from Chief Source of Information for Single Items

1B1.1.  The title proper is the first element of the description.  When transcribing the title proper, include all text inseparable from the words of the title, i.e., all words that are linguistically connected or that clearly read together without a break.  When the title proper is preceded or followed in the source by elements of information that cannot be considered part of the title, transpose these elements to their appropriate areas in the record (or give them in a note) unless case endings would be affected, the grammatical construction of the data would be disturbed, or the element is otherwise inseparably linked to the title proper.  In the latter cases, transcribe the data as found.  If desirable, make a note to indicate the original position of these elements.

1B1.2.  Transcribe the title proper according to 0B - 0J.

1B1.3.  When a title in the chief source of information disagrees with one or more other sources, transcribe the title from the chief source and, if it is likely that a catalog user might search for any of the variant titles, make a note of them.

1B1.4.  Omit, without using the mark of omission, data that neither constitute title information nor are grammatically or otherwise inseparably linked to the words of the title.  Such omitted information may include statements of patronage, mottoes, announcements, prices, and plate, part or volume numbers, etc.

1B1.5.  When the beginning words of the text constitute the only title-like information, record them as the title proper.


1B1.6.  Title elements scattered by layout or typography:

When parts of the title are scattered over the item, compose the title proper based on those elements distinguished by position, typography, or size of lettering.

When the title information is arranged decoratively, or other elements of the description (e.g., creator or publisher) are interspersed with the title information, deduce the logical sequence and then record the title in its semantic order.

1B1.7.  Multiple titles:

When there are different titles in two or more languages or scripts, choose the title proper on the basis of the sequence or layout of the titles.  If these are insufficient to enable the choice to be made or are ambiguous, choose the most comprehensive one of the several titles (see also 1E and 1F).

When the same title appears in two or more languages or scripts, transcribe as the title proper the one in the language or script of the main written content.  If this criterion is not applicable, choose as the title the one typographically more prominent, by reference to the order of the titles, the layout, or, if necessary, the one easiest to transcribe (see also 1E and 1F3.1).

1B1.8.  Discrete images with separate titles:

When an item shows two or more discrete images each with a separate title, and it lacks a comprehensive title, record the titles in the order in which they appear or according to the layout.  If the images are all by the same creator, separate the titles by space, semicolon, space ( ; ).  If the images are by different creators, separate the titles by a period and two spaces (. ).  In either case, a separate catalog record may be made for each.


1B1.9.  Abridging a long title proper:

Abridge the transcription of a long title only when it can be done without loss of essential information.  (If possible, however, try to retain the entire title for a print or drawing even if it is very long.)  Always include the first five words.  Omit any unessential words or groups of words after the first five words and indicate gaps by the mark of omission.

1B1.10. Abbreviated title:

In case of a severely abbreviated title, in which it would be cumbersome to bracket interpolated letters or words, spell out the title and enclose it in square brackets.  If desirable, record the abbreviated title in a note.


1B1.11. Insufficiently descriptive title:

When a title does not accurately or adequately describe the nature and content of the item, supply additional information in the note area (cf. 1B2.3).

1B1.12. Title supplied from another source:

When no title is in the chief source, but one is transcribed from another source, enclose it in square brackets.  Cite the source in a note.

When no title is in the chief source and two or more sources disagree on the title, either in content or in language, and none can be credited with representing the creator’s intent, choose the title from the most authoritative source and transcribe it in square brackets.  If appropriate, give one or more of the variant titles in a note if those variant titles are likely to be sought by a catalog user.

When no title is in the chief source and a title is found in a foreign source or different titles are found in two or more foreign sources, record the title as follows:

a.   If the title is in the creator’s native language and there is evidence that the author or compiler of the source is either using a title given by the creator or quoting a title under which the item was printed or published, transcribe the supplied title in the language as given and enclose it in square brackets.  Cite the source in a note.

b.   If the foreign language title has been made up by the author or compiler of the source and is in his or her own language (which may or may not be identical with that of the creator), devise a title in English, enclosing it in square brackets (see 1C).

1B1.13. Title on another copy, etc.:

When a title is known to exist on another copy, edition, or different state of the item, transcribe the title from that source, enclosing it in square brackets.  Make a note of the source.

1B2.    Title Proper from Chief Source of Information for Collections

1B2.1.  When a collection is acquired with a title specified by the donor or source, transcribe it as the title.


When a suitable collective title appears in a collection, transcribe it as the title.


When a name given by the collector or donor is not suitable as a title, and there is no requirement that this title be used, devise a title according to the provisions in 1C.  If it is possible that someone would refer to the donor’s or collector’s title, record the variant title in a note.

1B2.2.  Series title:

When a clearly identifiable and consistently used series title is provided either on some or all of the items in a series or is found in a reference source, use this as the title proper.  When supplied from a reference source, cite the source in a note.  If desirable, transcribe the title proper of the individual items themselves in a contents note (see 5B17).


When a title given on some or all of the items in a series is not consistently used from item to item and one cannot be found in a reference source, choose the one that identifies the series most adequately and succinctly.

1B2.3.  Insufficiently descriptive collection title:

When a title specified by the donor or source does not accurately or adequately describe the nature and content of the material, additional information, if brief, may be supplied as other title information (see 1F3.3) or, if lengthy, in the note area (cf. 1B1.11).

See also:

1.  Title and Statement of Responsibility Area