0G1.  Letters, diacritics, and symbols

0G2.  Capitalization and conversion of case

0G3.  Punctuation in the source

0G4.  Spacing

0G5.  Omissions

0G6.  Interpolations

0G7.  Misprints, etc.

0G8.  Abbreviations and contractions

0G9.  Superscripts and subscripts

0G10.  Initials, etc.

Transcribe information in the form and order in which it is presented in the source, according to these general rules 0B-0G, unless instructed otherwise by specific rules.  Do not use the mark of omission to indicate transposition.

0G1.  Letters, diacritics, and symbols

0G1.1.  Letters and diacritics

In general, transcribe letters as they appear.  Do not add accents and other diacritical marks not present in the source.  Convert earlier forms of letters and diacritical marks to their modern form (see Appendix G2).  If the source uses a gothic typeface that does not distinguish between uppercase I and J or between uppercase U and V, and there is no need to convert the letters to lowercase (see 0G2.2), transcribe them as I and V respectively, even though the actual letterforms will more closely resemble a modern J and a modern U (see Appendix G4.1).



(Comment:  Source uses a gothic typeface that does not distinguish between the letterforms I/J or the letterforms U/V.)

In most languages, including Latin, transcribe a ligature by giving its component letters separately.  Do not, however, separate the component letters of æ in Anglo-Saxon; œ in French; or æ and œ in ancient or modern Scandinavian languages.  If there is any doubt as to the correct conversion of letters and diacritical marks to modern form, transcribe them from the source as exactly as possible.

0G1.2.  Symbols, etc.

Replace symbols or other matter that cannot be reproduced using available typographical facilities with a cataloger's description in square brackets.  Make an explanatory note if necessary.

0G2.  Capitalization and conversion of case

0G2.1.  General rule

Convert letters to uppercase or lowercase according to the rules for capitalization in AACR2, Appendix A.  Do not convert case when transcribing roman numerals.

0G2.2.  Letterforms I, V, i, j, u, and v

If the rules for capitalization require converting I or V to lowercase, or i, j, u, or v to uppercase, follow the pattern of usage in the text to determine which letterform to use in the transcription (FN0-3).


LES OEVVRES MORALES DE PLVTARQVE, TRANSLATEES DE GREC EN FRANÇOIS, REVEVES ET corrigees en plusieurs passages par le translateur


Les oeuures morales de Plutarque / translatees de grec en françois, reueues et corrigees en plusieurs passages par le translateur

(Comment:  In the publication, the body of the text in roman type shows consistent use of v for vowels or consonants in initial position and u for vowels or consonants elsewhere, e.g., "ville," "vn," "conuersation," "tout," and "entendu.")

0G2.3.  Final capital "I" in Latin

Do not convert to lowercase a final capital I in Latin texts when the final I is uppercase and the immediately preceding letters in the word are lowercase or smaller capital letters.  Since this usage is not merely typographic but affects meaning, the capital must be left in that form (FN0-4).


M. AccI Plauti quae supersunt Comoediae


M. AccI Plauti quae supersunt Comoediae

0G2.4.  Chronograms

Capital letters occurring apparently at random or in a particular sequence on a title page or in a colophon may represent a chronogram.  Where there is good reason to assume that a chronogram is being used, do not convert letters considered part of the chronogram from uppercase to lowercase, or from lowercase to uppercase (see also 4D2.2).

0G3.  Punctuation in the source

0G3.1.  General rule

Do not necessarily transcribe punctuation as it appears in the source.  Instead, follow modern punctuation conventions, using common sense in deciding whether to include the punctuation, omit it, replace it, or add punctuation not present.


The unhappy favourite; or, The Earl of Essex. A tragedy. Written by Jno; Banks


The unhappy favourite, or, The Earl of Essex : a tragedy / written by Jno. Banks


London: Printed for A Millar, over-against Catharine-street in the Strand. M,DCC,LI.


London : Printed for A. Millar, over-against Catharine-Street in the Strand, MDCCLI [1751]

Alternative rule:

Transcribe all punctuation as found in the source of information, with the exception of those marks covered in rules 0G3.5-0G3.7.  When following this alternative rule, always include prescribed punctuation as well, even if this results in double punctuation.  Prescribed punctuation is treated at the beginning of each chapter within these rules.

The unhappy favourite; or, The Earl of Essex. : A tragedy. / Written by Jno; Banks

(Comment:  Commas are not required around or when applying this option; commas surrounding a conjunction introducing an alternative title are an AACR2 convention, not prescribed ISBD punctuation.)

London: : Printed for A Millar, over-against Catharine-Street in the Strand., M,DCC,LI. [1751]

LC Rare Book Team Guidelines:  Rarely exercise option.  Also remove original punctuation from any copy cataloging used.

0G3.2.  Apostrophes

Transcribe apostrophes as found.  Do not supply apostrophes not present in the source.

Uncle Wiggly's picture book

Scotlands speech to her sons

0G3.3.  Hyphens

Transcribe hyphens used to connect the constituent parts of compound words, normalizing their form as necessary (see Appendix G2).  Do not supply hyphens not present in the source.

A catalogue of the library of Yale-College in New-Haven

Report of the Boston Female Anti Slavery Society

0G3.4.  Punctuation within roman numerals

Do not transcribe internal marks of punctuation appearing within roman numerals.  Omit them without using the mark of omission.

The bye-laws and regulations of the Marine Society, incorporated in MDCCLXXII

0G3.5.  Ellipses, square brackets, and virgules

Do not transcribe ellipses ... or square brackets [ ] when present in the source; replace them with a dash -- and parentheses ( ) respectively or omit them, as appropriate.  Do not confuse a virgule (/) in gothic typefaces with a slash; replace it with a comma or omit it, as appropriate.  Make an explanatory note, if considered important.


Leominster, [Mass.]


Leominster, Mass.

Optional note:  On t.p., "Mass." is enclosed by square brackets

LC Rare Book Team Guidelines:  Cataloger's judgement.

0G3.6.  Line endings

Do not transcribe a hyphen or other mark of punctuation used to connect a single word divided between two lines; transcribe as a single word, ignoring the punctuation.  If the function of the hyphen is in doubt (e.g., if it might form part of a compound word), transcribe it.

Source (showing line endings):






I discorsi di Nicolo Machiauelli, sopra la prima deca di Tito Liuio

0G3.7.  Punctuation substituting for letters

Transcribe as hyphens any hyphens, dashes, or underscore characters used in the source as a substitute for one or more letters in a word or an entire word.  Use one hyphen for each distinct piece of type.


Sec--t----s of st--te, the L----ds of the Ad------ty


Sec--t----s of st--te, the L----ds of the Ad------ty

Transcribe asterisks as asterisks.

par Mr. B***

If the values of the missing letters are known, provide the information in a note, if considered important.


Clara H_____d


Clara H-d

Optional note:  Clara H-d is Clara Hayward

LC Rare Book Team Guidelines:  Cataloger's judgement.

0G4.  Spacing

0G4.1.  Spacing within words and numbers

In general, follow modern spacing conventions when transcribing from the source.  Make no attempt to preserve full or irregular spaces between letters within words.  If a word is divided between the end of one line and the beginning of the next, transcribe it as a single word, ignoring the line-break.

Omit internal spaces when transcribing numbers (including roman numerals).




Graecae grammatices

Source (showing line endings):





De laudibus urbis Etruriae et Italiae

Alternative rule:

Transcribe internal spaces within numbers (including roman numerals).  If multiple spaces or different sizes of spaces appear between two characters within the number, transcribe them as a single space.


M.  D.  CC. XLIV



LC Rare Book Team Guidelines:  Rarely exercise option.

0G4.2.  Spacing between words

If spacing between words in the source is ambiguous, or lacking, include spaces in the transcription to separate the words as needed (FN0-5).




La morte d'Orfeo

0G4.3.  Variant spellings

Do not insert spaces within single words that merely represent variant or archaic spellings.


Newhampshire & Vermont ALMANAC


Newhampshire & Vermont almanac

0G5.  Omissions

0G5.1.  General rule

Indicate omissions in the transcription or in a quoted note by using the mark of omission.  When using the mark of omission, generally give it with a space on either side.  However, give a space on only one side if the mark comes at the end of an area, is preceded by an opening parenthesis or opening square bracket, or is followed by a closing parenthesis, closing square bracket, or comma.

Oxford : Printed by Leon. Lichfield ... and are to be sold by the Widow Howell, 1698

Amsterdam : Printed for the Widow Swart ..., 1688

(Comment:  The mark of omission has a space on only one side because it is followed by a comma.)

0G5.2.  Information not considered part of any area

If omitting grammatically separable information from the transcription because it is not considered part of any area (pious invocations, etc.; see 1A2.2), do not use the mark of omission.  If considered important, give the omitted information in a note.

LC Rare Book Team Guidelines:  Cataloger's judgement.

0G5.3.  Information not taken from the chief source of information

If transcribing information from a source other than the chief source of information, omit any words preceding or following the information if they are not considered part of the element and are grammatically separable.  Do not use the mark of omission.  If considered important, give the omitted text in a note.

The second edition

Note:  Edition statement from colophon; full colophon reads: This, the second edition of Le morte Darthur, with Aubrey Beardsley's designs ... is limited to 1000 copies for the United Kingdom and 500 for America, after printing which the type has been distributed

LC Rare Book Team Guidelines:  Cataloger's judgement.

0G6.  Interpolations

0G6.1.  General rule

Indicate an interpolation in the transcription or in a quoted note by enclosing it in square brackets.  If transcribing text with missing or obscured letters or words that can be reconstructed with some certainty, include these in the transcription, enclosing them in square brackets.  Make an explanatory note, if considered important.


(Comment:  The word ends with a .)

0G6.2.  Conjectural and indecipherable text

Indicate a conjectural interpolation by adding a question mark immediately after the interpolation, within the square brackets.  Supply a question mark enclosed in square brackets for each indeterminable word or portion of word.  Make a note to justify the interpolations, provide explanations, or offer tentative readings of indecipherable portions of text, if considered important.


(Comment:  The word ends with a symbol of contraction that is conjectured to be a .)


(Comment:  The symbol of contraction at the end of the word cannot be determined.)

El[speth?] [?] McWhorter

(Comment:  An autograph with some conjectured letters in the forename and an indecipherable middle initial, transcribed in a local note.)

LC Rare Book Team Guidelines:  Cataloger's judgement.

0G6.3.  Lacunae in imperfect copies

If the description is based on an imperfect copy (see 0B2.2), use the mark of omission enclosed in square brackets ([...]) to show lacunae in the resource.

En Barcelo[na] : Por Sebastian Mateu[...]

Note:  Description based on an imperfect copy; title page torn with partial loss of imprint

0G6.4.  Blank spaces

If transcribing text containing a blank space intended to be completed in manuscript, as is common in forms and certain government documents, supply the word "blank" enclosed in square brackets (FN0-6).  If the blank has been completed in the item being described, indicate this in a local note, if considered important.

A catalogue of books, to be sold on [blank] the [blank] day of February, 1755 ...

Optional local note:  Library's copy has date of auction supplied in manuscript: [Wednesday] the [26th] day of February, 1755

LC Rare Book Team Guidelines:  Usually exercise option.

0G6.5.  Adjacent elements within a single area

If adjacent elements within one area are to be enclosed in square brackets, generally enclose them in one set of square brackets.

[Leipzig : W. Stürmer], 1572

If the square brackets are due to interpolations such as corrections or expansions (see 0G8.2, 4B3, 4B4, 4B5), however, use separate pairs of square brackets.

Lugduni [Lyon] : [Philippe Tighi?], 1573

0G6.6.  Adjacent elements in separate areas

If adjacent elements are in different areas, enclose each element in a set of square brackets.

At London : Imprinted for VVilliam Aspley, [1613] -- [48], 418 p.

0G7.  Misprints, etc.

0G7.1.  Misprints

Transcribe a misprint as it appears in the publication.  Follow such an inaccuracy either by "[sic]" or by the abbreviation "i.e." and the correction within square brackets (FN0-7).

Of the knowledeg [sic] whiche maketh a wise man

The notted [i.e. noted] history of Mother Grim

One day's dty [i.e. duty]

Do not correct words spelled according to older or non-standard orthographic conventions, e.g., "françoise" for "française," or "antient" for "ancient."

0G7.2.  Turned and approximated letters

Transcribe a turned letter (i.e., a letter set upside-down), whether inadvertent or deliberate, as the intended letter.  Transcribe two letters used to approximate a third letter as the intended letter (FN0-8).  However, transcribe vv as vv (see Appendix G5).  Make an explanatory note, if considered important.


Optional note:  First "n" in "London" printed with a turned "u"


Optional note:  The "W" in "Wittenberg" is formed using "rv"

LC Rare Book Team Guidelines:  Cataloger's judgement.

0G7.3.  Blank spaces for initial letters

When the printer has left a blank space for an initial letter, supply the intended letter in square brackets, regardless of whether the letter has been executed in manuscript, and make an explanatory note.  If a guide letter has been printed, transcribe it without square brackets.  In case of doubt about whether a printed guide letter is present, transcribe the letter without square brackets.  Make a local note to indicate the presence or absence of manuscript execution in the copy, if considered important.

[H]istoriarum libri XXXV

Note:  Space for initial letter of first word of title left blank by printer

Optional local note:  LC copy: Initial letter executed in red and green ink

Historiarum libri XXXV

Optional local note:  LC copy: Printed guide letter "H" at beginning of title not executed in manuscript

LC Rare Book Team Guidelines:  Cataloger's judgement.

0G8.  Abbreviations and contractions


When transcribing from the publication, do not abbreviate any words not abbreviated in the source.


If special marks of contraction have been used by the printer in continuance of the manuscript tradition, expand affected words to their full form and enclose supplied letters in square brackets (see Appendix G3).  Make an explanatory note, if considered important (see 7B4.2).  If a contraction standing for an entire word appears in the source, supply instead the word itself, enclosed in square brackets.  However, transcribe an ampersand or a Tironian sign () as an ampersand.  Enclose each expansion or supplied word in its own set of square brackets.

Esopus co[n]structus moralizat[us] & hystoriatus ad vtilitate[m] discipulo[rum]

If the meaning of a contraction is conjectural, apply the bracketing conventions given in 0G6.2.

LC Rare Book Team Guidelines:  Cataloger's judgement.

0G9.  Superscripts and subscripts

Transcribe superscript and subscript characters on the line unless the sense would be affected (e.g., in a mathematical formula).


M.r McAdam


Mr. Jas. McAdam

0G10.  Initials, etc.


Transcribe initials, initialisms, and acronyms without internal spaces, regardless of how they are presented in the source of information.

Pel battesimo di S.A.R. Ludovico ...

KL Ianuarius habet dies xxxi

Monasterij B.M.V. Campililioru[m]

J.J. Rousseau


Treat an abbreviation consisting of more than a single letter as if it were a distinct word, separating it with a space from preceding and succeeding words or initials.

Ph. D.

Ad bibliothecam PP. Franciscan. in Anger

Mr. J.P. Morgan


If two or more distinct initialisms (or sets of initials), acronyms, or abbreviations appear in juxtaposition, separate them with a space.

M. J.P. Rabaut

(Comment:  The first initial stands for Monsieur.)

See also:

0.  General Rules