7A1.  General instructions

7A2.  Punctuation

7A3.  Sources of information

7A4.  Form of notes

7A5.  Notes citing other editions and works

7A1.  General instructions


Notes qualify and amplify the formal description, and are especially important for recording types of information not accounted for in other areas of the description.  Notes can therefore deal with any aspect of the publication.


Notes, by their nature, cannot be enumerated exhaustively, but can be categorized in terms of the areas of description to which they pertain.  In addition to notes relating to these areas, there are notes that do not correspond to any area of the formalized areas of description.  Occasionally it may be useful to group together notes that refer to more than one area, for instance when they are all based on one source within the work, such as a privilege statement.


If the description in the areas preceding the note area does not clearly identify the resource being cataloged, make whatever notes are necessary for unambiguous identification.  When appropriate, refer to detailed descriptions in standard catalogs or bibliographies.  Provide sufficient information to identify the specific source, whether using a general note, a formal "References" note giving the source in prescribed form (see 7B14), or some combination of the two.


Notes may also be made to justify added entries intended for special indexes of personal or corporate names, titles, genres/forms, physical characteristics, provenance, etc.  Whenever possible, use terms taken from lists of controlled vocabularies when making such notes and added entries.  Prefer the terminology used in controlled vocabularies issued by the RBMS Bibliographic Standards Committee.  Terms from other authorized vocabularies (e.g., the Art & Architecture Thesaurus Online) may also be used as appropriate.


In general, notes are not required, but some notes are required (FN7-1) in particular situations and are so indicated in previous rules, e.g., 1E3, 2A2, or 4A4, and in some of the rules for this area.

7A2.  Punctuation

Start a new paragraph for each note.  End each paragraph with a period or other mark of final punctuation.

Separate introductory wording from the main content of a note by a colon followed but not preceded by a space.

7A3.  Sources of information

Take information recorded in notes from any suitable source.  Square brackets are required only for interpolations within quoted material.

7A4.  Form of notes

7A4.1.  Order of information

If information in a note corresponds to information found in the title and statement of responsibility, edition, publication, distribution, etc., physical description, or series areas, usually give the elements of information in the order in which they appear in those areas.  In such cases, use prescribed punctuation, except substitute a period for a period-space-dash-space.

Revision of: 3rd ed. London : Macmillan, 1953

7A4.2.  Quotations

Record quotations from the publication or from other sources in quotation marks.  Follow the quotation by an indication of its source, unless that source is the title page.  Do not use prescribed punctuation within quotations.

"Extracted from the minutes of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts"

"Generally considered to be by William Langland"--Harvey, P. Oxford companion to Engl. lit.

"The principal additional music, contained in 72 pages, may be had, half bound, with or without the rules, price four shillings and ninepence"--Pref.

7A4.3.  Formal notes

Use formal notes employing an invariable introductory word or phrase or a standard verbal formula when uniformity of presentation assists in the recognition of the type of information being presented or when their use provides economy of space without loss of clarity.

7A4.4.  Informal notes

When making informal notes, use statements that present the information as briefly as clarity, understandability, and good grammar permit.

7A5.  Notes citing other editions and works

7A5.1.  Other editions

In citing another edition of the same work, give enough information to identify the edition cited.

Revision of: 2nd ed., 1869

7A5.2.  Other works and other manifestations of the same work

In citing other works and other manifestations of the same work (other than different editions with the same title), give whatever information is appropriate, such as the main entry heading, title proper (or uniform title), statement of responsibility, edition statement, or date of publication.  Arrange the information provided in the form that makes most sense in the particular case.  Abridge the information as needed without using the mark of omission.

Adaptation of: Bunyan, John. Pilgrim's progress


Adaptation of: Pilgrim's progress / by John Bunyan

See also:

7.  Note Area