IX.1.  Defects and sophistication

A greater vulnerability to damage, defect, and loss means that rare materials, especially older printed materials, are less likely than modern materials to be in a perfect or complete state when they reach the cataloger.  One of the cataloger's tasks is to ascertain (within reasonable constraints) whether and how much the copy in hand deviates from its original state as issued.  Imperfections and defects are usually easy to spot.  Harder to spot during casual examination are replacement leaves, plates, or sections from another copy, and the cataloger is not expected to verify the integrity of each leaf in a publication unless there is reason to suspect that the copy in hand may have been made up, doctored, or falsified ("sophisticated").  Bibliographers' and booksellers' descriptions are the usual source of such information.

IX.2.  Dust jackets

In the context of rare materials cataloging, dust jackets issued by the publisher are appropriately considered part of a publication, and are included in these rules as prescribed sources for areas 2, 4, and 6.  Dust jackets often contain valuable information not found in any other source in the publication.  Their easy detachability, however, coupled with their original function as protection for the binding only until it was safely in the hands of a reader, pose considerable difficulties for the rare materials cataloger.  A fine dust jacket from a poor copy may have been exchanged with a poor dust jacket from a fine copy; the dust jacket of an original printing may end up on the copy of a later manifestation, and so on.  When considering whether to transcribe information that appears only on a dust jacket, consider that the dust jacket was issued with the publication, unless there is reason to suspect otherwise.

See also:


Descriptive Cataloging of Rare Materials (Books):  Contents