Some of the most common types of notes are listed below; other notes than those provided for may be made, if considered important.  Specific applications of many of these notes are provided in the preceding sections.  Make notes as called for in the following subrules, and, generally, in the order in which they are listed here.  If a particular note is of primary importance, it may be given first, regardless of its order in this list.  When appropriate, combine two or more notes to make one note.


7B1.  Nature, scope, or artistic form

7B2.  Language and script of publication; translation or adaptation

7B3.  Source of description; source of title proper

7B4.  Variations in title

7B5.  Parallel titles and other title information

7B6.  Statements of responsibility

7B7.  Edition and bibliographic history

7B8.  Publication

7B9.  Signatures

7B10.  Physical description

7B11.  Accompanying material

7B12.  Series

7B13.  Dissertations

7B14.  References to published descriptions

7B15.  Summary

7B16.  Contents

7B17.  Numbers borne by the publication

7B18.  "With" notes

7B19.  Copy being described and library holdings (Local notes)

7B1.  Nature, scope, or artistic form

Make a note on the nature, scope, or artistic form when useful to amplify or explain the title proper and other title information.

An advertisement

A satire against William Pulteney

Prospectus for: Pope, Alexander. Essay on criticism. London, 1745

7B2.  Language and script of publication; translation or adaptation


Make a note on the language and script of the publication, or on the fact that it is a translation or adaptation, unless this is apparent from the rest of the description.

Parallel Iroquois and English texts

English text with Latin and French prose translations

Text in romanized Arabic

Author's adaptation of his Latin text

Translation of: Gulliver's travels

In part a translation of: Le déserteur / M.-J. Sedaine

Adaptation of: Breviarium monasticum


Always note the presence of nonroman script in the publication if it has been transcribed only in romanized form in the description (see 0F2.1).

Church Slavic in Cyrillic script

Title in Greek script

7B3.  Source of description; source of title proper


Always make a note on the source of the title proper if it is from a substitute for the title page.

Caption title

Title from colophon

Title from incipit on leaf [2]a

Title and imprint from printed wrapper


For multipart monographs, if the description is not based on the first part, identify the part used as the basis of the description.

Description based on: v. 2, published in 2001

7B4.  Variations in title


Make a note on titles borne by the publication other than the one chosen as the title proper.  If nonroman text has been transcribed in the title proper without parallel romanization (e.g., as transcribed from the source or provided by 0F2.2), give a romanization of the title proper.

Title on added t.p.: La naturaleza descubierta en su modo de ensenar las lenguas a los hombres

Spine title: Bath Road acts

Engraved t.p. reads: The continental tourist


If considered important, also include here partial or complete transcriptions of title information to show the actual wording of the title page (e.g., when information has been omitted) and explanations of cataloger-supplied letters or words (e.g., when special marks of contraction have been used by the printer in continuance of the manuscript tradition).

Marks of contraction in title have been expanded

LC Rare Book Team Guidelines:  Cataloger's judgement.

7B5.  Parallel titles and other title information

Make a note on parallel titles appearing in the publication but not on the title page; also give other title information appearing in the publication but not on the title page if it is considered important.  If parallel titles and other title information appearing on the title page have been omitted from the title and statement of responsibility area (e.g., because they could not be fitted into the body of the entry, or because they were very lengthy), they may be given here as notes.

Title on added t.p.: The book of exposition = Liber rubens

Subtitle: The medicinal, culinary, cosmetic, and economic properties, cultivation, and folklore of herbs, grasses, fungi, shrubs, and trees, with all their modern scientific uses

7B6.  Statements of responsibility

7B6.1.  Statement of responsibility in source other than title page

If a statement of responsibility appears in a source other than on the title page, give it and its source in a note.

Dedication signed: Increase Mather

Signed at end: A lover of truth

7B6.2.  Transposed statements of responsibility

Note the original position on the title page of statements of responsibility that have been transposed to the title and statement of responsibility area.

On t.p., editor's name precedes title

7B6.3.  Attributions


If a statement of responsibility for a person or corporate body connected with the work does not appear in the publication, and an attribution is available, give the information in a note.  Include the authority for the attribution whenever possible.

Attributed to Jonathan Swift. See Teerink

(Comment:  The formal citation for Teerink is given in a References to published descriptions note.)

Published anonymously. By Stephen Jerome. Editor's dedication signed "R.H.," i.e., Robert Hobson, to whom the whole is sometimes erroneously attributed. Also erroneously attributed to Robert Harris and to Robert Henderson

Variously attributed to Dudley Fenner and to William Stoughton; sometimes also attributed to Henry Jacob


If a statement of responsibility recorded in the title and statement of responsibility area or in a note is known to be fictitious or incorrect, make a note stating the true or most generally accepted attribution.  Give the authority for the information whenever possible.

By John Locke. Author's name appears on t.p. of 3rd and subsequent editions

"[Gregory King] was consulted about the coronation ... and was the principal author of the ... volume containing descriptions and splendid engravings of that ceremony ... though he allowed Francis Sandford to affix his name to the title-page"--Dict. nat. biog., v. 10, p. 131

"The identity of Junius, which he concealed with great skill, has never been definitely established ... He is now generally thought to have been Sir Philip Francis"--Oxford companion to Engl. lit. (6th ed.), p. 546

(Comment:  The pseudonym "Junius" appears on the title page.)


False attributions appearing in the bibliographical literature or in library catalogs may also be noted, along with the authority for the false attribution and the authority for questioning it.

Attributed to Daniel Defoe (see Moore); attribution challenged by: Secord, A.W. Robert Drury's journal and other studies

(Comment:  The formal citation for Moore is given in a References to published descriptions note.)

7B6.4.  Other statements

Record the names of persons or bodies connected with a work, or with previous editions of it, if they have not already been named in the description; give the authority for the information, if necessary.

At head of title: Sub Carolo. V. Romanorum maximo Imperatore, primo Hispaniarum Rege

Illustrations are woodcuts by Dora Carrington. See Kirkpatrick, B.J.  Virginia Woolf, A2a

Woodcuts on leaves B2b and C5b signed: b

7B6.5.  Variant forms of names

Note variant forms of names of persons or bodies named in statements of responsibility if the variant forms clarify the names used in main or added entry headings.

By Gilbert Burnet, Bishop of Salisbury

(Comment:  Statement of responsibility reads: "by the Right Reverend Father in God, Gilbert Lord Bishop of Sarum.")

Charles Pigott is the author of The virtues of nature

(Comment:  Statement of responsibility reads: "by the author of The virtues of nature.")

7B7.  Edition and bibliographic history


Note the source of any element of the edition area when it is taken from elsewhere than the title page.  Note the original position of any element that is transposed to another position in transcription.

The statement "corrected printing" from colophon

The statement "amplified edition" precedes title on t.p.

Edition statement precedes author's name on t.p.


Make other notes relating to the edition being described or to the bibliographic history of the work, if they are considered important.  In citing other works, and other manifestations of the same work, see 7A5.  In citing bibliographies and catalogs, however, use the pattern for references to published descriptions shown in 7B14 whenever such a citation occurs in a formal "References" note.

Revision of: 2nd ed., 1753

Sequel to: Mémoires d'un médecin

A reissue of the 1756 ed., without the plates

Previous ed.: Norwich, Conn. : Trumbull, 1783

Detailed description of plates in: Abbey, J.R.  Travel, 23


If a statement as to a limited number of copies of the edition appears, give this statement of limitation in a note, preferably in quoted form.

"250 copies printed"--Pref.

"Limited edition of 20 copies"--T.p. verso


If the statement of limitation is accompanied by statements of responsibility or other information relating to the production of the edition, include as much of the additional information in the note as is considered important.

"350 copies of this book have been designed and printed by Sebastian Carter at the Rampant Lions Press ... hand-set in Hunt Roman, and ... Monotype Plantin Light with Monotype Albertus for the title. The paper is Zerkall mould-made wove. 50 have been signed by Ronald Blythe, include an additional set of prints from the five blocks and are specially bound. Both bindings are by the Fine Bindery, Wellingborough"--Colophon


If the statement of limitation includes the unique number of the copy being cataloged, give only the statement of limitation here.  Give the copy number in a separate local note, if considered important (see 7B19.1.3).

"Special edition of 200 copies on handmade paper"--Colophon

LC has no. 20, signed by author

(Comment:  Given in a local note.)

LC Rare Book Team Guidelines:  Cataloger's judgement.

7B8.  Publication

Make a note on publication details that are not included in the publication, distribution, etc., area if they are considered important.  If elements of the publication, distribution, etc., area have been taken from a source other than the title page, make a note specifying the source.

Published in parts

Publication date from Evans

Imprint from colophon

Publisher named in privilege statement as Sulpice Sabon

Publisher statement on cancel slip. Original publisher statement reads: Sold by G. Walsh

Imprint judged to be false on the basis of printing of catchwords and signatures. See Sayce, R.A.  Compositorial practices (1979, reprint ed.), p. 3-6, 31

No more published

"Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1853, by O.K. Kingsbury"--T.p. verso

"Price three pence"

Publication date from outside back cover

At head of title: On the day of Lord Byron's death 1824

"Set by hand in Truesdell type by Arthur & Edna Rushmore at the Golden Hind Press, Madison, New Jersey. Printed on Rives hand-made paper from France"--Colophon

7B9.  Signatures

7B9.1.  General rule

Make a note giving details of the signatures of a volume, if considered important.  Give these signature details according to the formula in Philip Gaskell's A New Introduction to Bibliography (see p. 328-332), insofar as typographical facilities permit.  Preface this note with the word "Signatures" and a colon.

Signatures: [A]4 B-C4 D2 E-G4 H2

Signatures: A-C4 D4(-D3) E-F4

Signatures: A-2Z8, 2A-M8

Signatures: [1-68]

(Comment:  Volume is completely unsigned.)

It is generally desirable to give signatures for incunabula, especially if identical signatures are not given in a standard bibliographic source.  It is also desirable to provide signatures when a volume has no pagination or foliation.

LC Rare Book Team Guidelines:  Usually exercise option.  Cataloger's judgment.  Strongly recommend for single-volume, pre-1801 publications.

7B9.2.  Unavailable characters

If the gatherings are signed with a mark of contraction (see 0G8.2, Appendix G3) that cannot be reproduced using available typographical facilities, substitute the spelled out form and enclose it in square brackets.

Signatures: )(8 a-z8 &8 [con]8 [rum]8

If the gatherings are signed with other unavailable characters, substitute a descriptive term or an abbreviation for that term if a standard one exists.


(Comment:  Gathering is signed with .)

[double dagger]

(Comment:  Gathering is signed with .)


(Comment:  Gathering is signed with .)


(Comment:  Gathering is signed with .)

[maltese cross]

(Comment:  Gathering is signed with .)


(Comment:  Gathering is signed with .)


(Comment:  Gathering is signed with .)

7B9.3.  Special uses of pi and chi

Indicate unsigned leaves that fall outside the signature sequence (see Gaskell, p. 330) by using the words pi and chi.  Do not enclose the words in square brackets.  Do not use the Greek characters π and χ, as these will give the impression that the leaves have actually been signed with Greek letters (see 7B9.9).

Signatures: pi4 A-C4 chi2 D-Z4

Indicate partial duplications of an alphabet (see Gaskell, p. 331) by using superscript pi and superscript chi or, if superscript letters are not available, by substituting "[superscript pi]" and "[superscript chi]."

Signatures: piA4 A-D4 chiD4 E-F4


Signatures: [superscript pi]A4 A-D4 [superscript chi]D4 E-F4

7B9.4.  Non-conventional Latin alphabet

If the gatherings are signed with roman letters according to a pattern other than the conventional 23-letter Latin alphabet (i.e., A-Z, less I or J, U or V, and W), make this explicit by recording the additional letters in the signature statement.

Signatures: A-V4 W4 X-Z4

(Comment:  Printer used a 24-letter alphabet.)

Signatures: A-I8 J8 K-U8 V8 W8 X-2I8 2J8 2K-2M8

(Comment:  Printer used a 26-letter alphabet.)

7B9.5.  Signatures do not match gatherings

If it can be determined that the signing of the volume does not match its actual gatherings, indicate this in the note.

Signatures: [1]8 2-38; volume actually gathered in twelves

7B9.6.  Concurrent signatures

If the volume is signed using two concurrent sequences, provide both sets of signatures in the note.  Give the signatures that correspond to the actual gatherings first, if this can be determined.

Signatures: 1-1212; also signed A-S8

Signatures: 1-1212 and A-S8; actual gatherings cannot be determined

7B9.7.  Nonroman signatures (numeric sequence)

If the gatherings are signed with nonroman characters that follow a numeric sequence, represent the characters using arabic numeration.  Include an indication of the script used in the signatures in the note.

Signatures (in Hebrew characters): [1]4 2-114

(Comment:  Indicates a numeric sequence in which the first gathering is unsigned, followed by gatherings signed 2-11 in Hebrew numeration.)

If the nonroman characters are accompanied by parallel numeration using another script, note this as well.

Signatures (in parallel Hebrew and arabic numerals): pi8 1-48

(Comment:  Indicates a numeric sequence in which the first gathering is unsigned, followed by gatherings signed 1-4 in both Hebrew characters and arabic numerals.)

In case of doubt as to whether a sequence is numeric or alphabetic, assume a numeric sequence.

Signatures (in Hebrew characters): 2-38

(Comment:  Indicates two gatherings signed with characters that could belong to either an alphabetic or numeric sequence.)

7B9.8.  Nonroman signatures (alphabetic sequence)

If the gatherings are signed with nonroman characters that follow an alphabetic sequence, transcribe in original script if typographical facilities permit, or in romanized form using the ALA-LC Romanization Tables.  Use uppercase or lowercase characters according to the usage of the piece.  If the script is one that does not employ case, or if the case of the characters cannot be determined, use lowercase characters.  Include an indication of the script used in the signatures if recording them in romanized form, or if the signature statement would otherwise be ambiguous.

7B9.9.  Greek alphabetic signatures

For gatherings signed in Greek alphabetic sequences, use the 24-letter alphabet in the following chart as the basis for compressed signature statements (Greek letters are given in the top row, their romanized equivalents in the bottom row):

Signatures: pi1 α-γ2 Α-2Λ2


Signatures (in Greek characters): pi1 a-g2 A-2L2

(Comment:  Indicates an alphabetic sequence with an initial unsigned leaf, three gatherings signed α-γ in lowercase, a full sequence of 24 gatherings signed uppercase Α-Ω, finishing with a partial sequence signed ΑΑ-ΛΛ in uppercase.)

7B9.10.  Hebrew alphabetic signatures

For gatherings signed in Hebrew alphabetic sequences, use the 22-letter alphabet in the following chart as the basis for compressed signature statements (Hebrew letters are given in the top row, their romanized equivalents in the bottom row):



Signatures: -sh8(in Hebrew characters), a-k8

(Comment:  Indicates a Hebrew alphabetic sequence followed by a roman sequence.)

7B9.11.  Other nonroman alphabetic signatures

For all other nonroman alphabetic signature sequences, do not assume that a standard signing pattern can be used as the basis for compressed signature statements.  Give the first and last characters in each sequence, followed by a total count of the gatherings in that sequence in square brackets.



Signatures (in Church Slavic characters):

7B9.12.  Full collation

If considered important, make a note giving the full collation instead of a note recording only the signatures.

Collation: 8vo: A-H4; 32 leaves: p. [1-2] 3-62 [63-64]; $3(-H3) signed. H4 blank

LC Rare Book Team Guidelines:  Rarely exercise option.

7B10.  Physical description


Make a note on important physical details that are not already included in the physical description area, if considered important.

The first and last leaves are blank

Title and headings printed in red

Volumes numbered: 1, 2A, 2B, 2C, 3

Printed on vellum

Printed on a quarter sheet

LC Rare Book Team Guidelines:  Cataloger's judgement.


For incunabula, note color printing and record the number of columns (if more than one), the number of lines, and type measurements if no account is found in a bibliographical source and the printer is unidentified or has been identified from this information.  Do the same for later publications, if considered important.

Printed in 2 columns; 38 lines; type 76/7

LC Rare Book Team Guidelines:  Cataloger's judgement.


Give fuller details of the illustrations, if considered important.  Always note the presence of hand coloring in publications issued as such.

Frontispiece on leaf A1

Engraved port. of author on t.p.

With hand-colored wood engravings, as issued

LC Rare Book Team Guidelines:  Cataloger's judgement.


Describe details of an artist’s book or a publisher-issued binding, if considered important.

Pictorial cloth binding with gold, brown, and green stamping on brown calico-textured cloth, designed by Margaret Armstrong; signed: M.A.

Toy book cut in the shape of a standing Robinson Crusoe

Collages of marbled paper squares and rectangles mounted on cream-colored Italian handmade paper (watermarked Umbria, Italy, C.M.F.)

LC Rare Book Team Guidelines:  Cataloger's judgement.


Details of physical description given here usually apply to all copies of an edition or issue.  Summaries of details that apply to particular groups of copies within an edition or issue may also be given.  Notes pertaining to individual copies may be given separately as local notes, if considered important (see 7B19).

Two binding variants noted, one in red cloth and one in blue cloth

"The edition consists of 190 copies on Pescia paper and 10 copies on Japanese paper marked with the letters A to J"--Colophon

LC Rare Book Team Guidelines:  Cataloger's judgement.

7B11.  Accompanying material

Make a note for any accompanying material not recorded in the physical description area.  Give the location of accompanying material if appropriate.

Accompanied by: "Star guide" (1 sheet ; 12 x 36 cm), previously published separately in 1744

7B12.  Series

Note the source of any element of the series area when it is taken from elsewhere than the series title page.  If any element has been transposed in the description, note its original position in the publication.  Note any series information not transcribed in the series area, if considered important.  Give information about a series in which the publication has been issued previously, if considered important.

Series statement from dust jacket

Series numbering precedes series title

Originally issued in series: Novelistas de nuestra época

Also issued without series statement

LC Rare Book Team Guidelines:  Cataloger's judgement.

7B13.  Dissertations

If the publication being described is a dissertation or thesis presented in partial fulfillment of the requirements for an academic degree, give the designation of the thesis (using the English word "thesis") followed if possible by a brief statement of the degree for which the author was a candidate (e.g., "M.A." or "Ph. D.," or, for theses to which such abbreviations do not apply, "doctoral" or "master’s"), the name of the institution or faculty to which the thesis was presented, and the year in which the degree was granted.

Thesis--Harvard College, 1786

Thesis (doctoral)--Universität Tübingen, 1805

If the publication is a revision or abridgment of a thesis, state this.

Abstract of thesis--Yale College, 1795

If the publication lacks a formal thesis statement, a bibliographic history note may be made.

Originally presented as the author's thesis (Universität Heidelberg) under title: ...

7B14.  References to published descriptions


Give references to published descriptions in bibliographies or other authoritative reference sources if these have been used to supply elements of the description.  Use the form and punctuation conventions recommended by Standard Citation Forms for Published Bibliographies and Catalogs Used in Rare Book Cataloging.  Begin the note with the word "References" and a colon.

References: Evans 24658

(Comment:  Made in conjunction with a general note reading: "Publication date from Evans.")


Make other references to published descriptions, if considered important.  Such references are especially useful whenever the cited source would serve to distinguish an edition (or variant) from similar editions (or variants), substantiate information provided by the cataloger, or provide a more detailed description of the publication being cataloged.

References: Gaskell, P.  Baskerville, 17

References: ESTC (CD-ROM, 2003 ed.) T60996

References: Lindsay & Neu.  French political pamphlets, 2194

References: BM STC Italian, 1465-1600, p. 368

References: Ritter, F.  Incun. alsaciens de la Bib. nat. de Strasbourg, 277

References: Palau y Dulcet (2. ed.) 19161

LC Rare Book Team Guidelines:  Cataloger's judgement.


A general note may be made if a description of the publication being cataloged does not appear in a specific bibliographical reference source.  Make such a note only if the publication fits the scope for that source and the source purports to be comprehensive for its scope.  Preface the general note with the words "Not in" and a colon.

Not in: Martin & Walter.  Revolution francaise. Cf. IV:2, 9093

7B15.  Summary

Give a brief summary of the content of the publication, if considered important.

LC Rare Book Team Guidelines:  Cataloger's judgement.

7B16.  Contents


List the contents of a publication, either selectively or fully, if it is considered necessary to show the presence of material not implied by the rest of the description, to stress components of particular importance, to provide the contents of a collection or of a multipart monograph, or to provide additional titles in a publication without a collective title.  Note the presence of errata leaves and errata slips (see 5B4).  Note the presence of errata listed in other sources in the publication, if considered important.

Includes bibliographical references (p. 43-58)

Includes bibliographical references

Includes index

"List of the author's unpublished poems": p. 151-158

Errata on last leaf

With an errata slip

Includes Joseph Pike's An epistle to the national meeting of Friends in Dublin

LC Rare Book Team Guidelines:  Cataloger's judgement.


Transcribe contents from the title page if they are presented there formally and have not been transcribed as part of the title and statement of responsibility area.  In such cases, follow the word "Contents" with a colon and the parenthetical phrase "(from t.p.)."  If a formal statement of contents is not present on the title page, take contents from the head of the parts to which they refer, or, if this is not feasible, from any contents list, etc., that is present.  For publications in two or more volumes, transcribe the volume or part designations as found.

Contents: (from t.p.) I. The good housewife's coat of arms -- II. The spinning-wheels glory -- III. The taylor disappointed of his bride -- IV. The changeable world

Contents: Love and peril / the Marquis of Lorne -- To be or not to be / Mrs. Alexander -- The melancholy hussar / Thomas Hardy


If a complete listing of contents cannot be assembled by one of the above means, the cataloger may devise a contents note from any appropriate source or combination of sources.

7B17.  Numbers borne by the publication

Make a note of any numbers associated with the publication not transcribed in another area, if considered important.

7B18.  "With" notes


If the description corresponds to part of a publication that is made up of two or more separately titled parts that are also separately paginated or foliated and have separate signatures, but which have been issued together, make a note beginning "With" followed by a colon.  List the other parts of the publication in the note, in the order in which they are found.  In the case of bound volumes, list all the other parts on the record for the first part and, in general, only the first on the records for the subsequent parts.  (Do not make such "With" notes when the pagination, foliation, or signatures of separately titled parts are continuous with the part being described.  Instead, record these titles in a contents note as instructed in 7B16.)


For each work listed, give only the elements listed below:

a)   the heading; normally give this element first, usually in catalog-entry form (e.g., with inversion of personal names under surname, but not necessarily including personal birth/death dates, corporate qualifiers, etc.)

b)   the title proper as found in the record for the work; long titles may be shortened (whenever the uniform title is considered useful for the identification of the work, record it within square brackets preceding the title proper)

c)   the primary statement of responsibility as found in the title and statement of responsibility area of the record for the work, unless it is redundant of the heading or exceedingly lengthy

d)   the publication, distribution, etc., area as found in the record for the work, abridged as necessary, without using the mark of omission

With: Dunton, John. The merciful assizes, or, A panegyric on the late Lord Jeffreys hanging so many in the West. London : Printed for Eliz. Harris, 1701


If the works were bound together subsequent to publication, rather than issued together by the publisher, distributor, etc., make a local note according to the instructions in 7B19.3.4, if considered important.

LC Rare Book Team Guidelines:  Usually exercise option.

7B19.  Copy being described and library holdings (Local notes)

7B19.1.  General rule


Make local notes on any special features or imperfections of the copy being described when they are considered important.  Copy-specific information is highly desirable in the context of rare materials cataloging, which puts greater emphasis on materials as artifacts than is usual in general cataloging practice.  Local notes can also provide warrant for added entries (e.g., added entries for the names of former owners or binders, for various kinds of provenance evidence, binding characteristics, etc.).  Carefully distinguish local notes from other kinds of notes that record information valid for all copies of the bibliographic unit being cataloged.

For many older publications, however, it will not be readily ascertainable whether the characteristics of a single copy are in fact shared by other copies.  In case of doubt, consider that the characteristics of the copy in hand are not shared by other copies.


The extent and depth of detail provided in local notes will be determined by the local policies of the cataloging agency.  The rules set forth in this area are intended primarily to provide guidance and examples; the instructions are not to be seen as prescriptive.


Features that may be brought out here include known imperfections and anomalies, the presence of advertisements not recorded in area 5 (see 5B5), illumination, rubrication, and other hand coloring (unless issued that way by the publisher; see 7B10.5), provenance evidence (such as bookplates, stamps, autographs, and manuscript annotations), the names of persons or institutions associated with specific copies, copy-specific binding details and the names of binders, copy numbers (see 7B7.5), and "Bound with" notes.


Include in local notes one or more of the following identifiers, if considered important:  a designation of the holding institution (e.g., a library’s name, acronym, or code), a designation of the item’s physical location (e.g., a shelfmark), or an indication of the item’s copy number (if the institution holds more than one copy).  Such identifiers are especially recommended if the bibliographic record is to be contributed to a union catalog or other shared database.

Copy 1: Imperfect: leaves 12 and 13 (b6 and c1) wanting; without the last blank leaf (S8)

Copy 2: Extra-illustrated

Folger copy on vellum; illustrations and part of borders hand colored; with illuminated initials; rubricated in red and blue

LC has no. 20, autographed by author

LC Rare Book Team Guidelines:  Usually exercise option.  Certainly for 5xx $5 DLC; 051 is LC copy by definition; follow Descriptive Cataloging Manual B17.

7B19.2.  Provenance

Make a local note to describe details of an item’s provenance, if considered important.  In less detailed descriptions, it is advisable to summarize provenance information, without providing exact transcriptions or descriptions of the evidence.  Include the names of former owners or other individuals of interest and approximate dates, whenever possible.

National Library of Scotland copy: inscription of John Morris, 17th-century; stamped as a British Museum Sale Duplicate, 1787

Beinecke Library copy with inscription of Langston Hughes dated 1954

More detailed descriptions of provenance might include such additional features as:  exact transcriptions of autographs, inscriptions, bookplates, stamps, shelfmarks, etc.; location of each in the item; approximate dates when known; descriptions of bookplates using standardized terminology; descriptions of anonymous heraldic bookplates according to heraldic blazon; references to published descriptions of the collections of former owners of the item, particularly if the item is cited in the source, etc.

National Library of Scotland copy: "Ioh. Mauritius" (17th-century inscription on t.p.; see Birrell, T.A. Library of John Morris, no. 410); "Museum Britannicum" (ink stamp, in blue, ca. 1760, on t.p. verso); "British Museum Sale Duplicate 1787" (ink stamp, in red, on verso of t.p.)

Beinecke Library copy inscribed by Langston Hughes on t.p.: "Especially for Louise Bennett with admiration, Sincerely, Langston, New York, Oct. 8, 1954"

LC Rare Book Team Guidelines:  Cataloger's judgement.

7B19.3.  Bindings


Use local notes for descriptions of copy-specific bindings, if considered important; for descriptions of publisher-issued bindings common to all copies of an edition or issue, see 7B10.4-5.

LC Rare Book Team Guidelines:  Cataloger's judgement.


Make a local note when the number of physical units in which a publication is bound differs from the number in which it was actually issued, if considered important (see 5B15.3).

Grolier Club's copy bound in 4 v.

LC Rare Book Team Guidelines:  Usually exercise option.


Make a local note to indicate any errors in binding, if considered important.

Huntington copy: leaves I5-6 incorrectly bound between h3 and h4

LC Rare Book Team Guidelines:  Cataloger's judgement.


Make a local note, if considered important, whenever a publication has been bound with one or more works subsequent to publication.  Preface the note with the words "Bound with" followed by a colon.  Formulate the remainder of the note according to the instructions in 7B18.

Special Collections copy bound with: The Bostonian Ebenezer. Boston : Printed by B. Green & J. Allen, for Samuel Phillips, 1698 -- The cure of sorrow. Boston : Printed by B. Green, 1709

LC Rare Book Team Guidelines:  Usually exercise option


If it is considered that the works are too numerous to be listed exhaustively, make an informal note such as the following:

University of Pennsylvania copy: No. 3 of 7 works in a vol. with binder's title: Brownist tracts, 1599-1644


Make a local note to describe other details of a copy-specific binding, if considered important.  Less detailed descriptions might include the color and nature of the covering material, a summary of any decoration present (e.g., "gold-tooled," "blind-tooled"), and (if these can be determined) an approximate date and the name of the binder.

British Library copy: late 17th-century binding in red goatskin, gold-tooled

LC Rare Book Team Guidelines:  Cataloger's judgement.


More detailed descriptions of a binding might include such additional features as:  nature of the boards (e.g., wood, paper); details of decoration; country or city of production; nature and decoration of spine; presence or former presence of ties, clasps, or other furniture; flaps; description of headbands, page-edge and end-paper decoration; references to published descriptions or reproductions of the binding (or related bindings), etc.

British Library copy: late 17th-century English binding; red goatskin, gold-tooled, over paper boards; gold-tooled spine with five raised bands; gilt edges; gold roll on edges of boards; marbled endpapers

See also:

7.  Note Area