Available options are indicated in one of three ways.

designates an alternative option which affects all or several areas of the description, and which must be used consistently throughout.  In DCRM(B), alternative rules apply to the transcription of original punctuation and to the creation of separate records for individual impressions, states, binding variants, or copies.

"Optionally" introduces an alternative treatment of an element.

"If considered important" indicates that more information may be added in a note, and thus signals choices for more or less depth in the description.  This phrase covers the entire range between best practice on the one end, and highly specialized practices on the other.

The cataloging agency may wish to establish policies and guidelines on the application of options, leave the use of options to the discretion of the cataloger, or use a combination of the two.

See also:


Descriptive Cataloging of Rare Materials (Books):  Contents