The first of the ISBDs was the International Standard Bibliographic Description for Monographic Publications (ISBD(M)), which appeared in 1971. By 1973, this text had been adopted by a number of 90 national bibliographies and, with translations of the original English text into several other languages, had been taken into account by a number of cataloguing committees in redrafting national and multinational rules for description.10 Comments from users of the ISBD(M) led to the decision to produce a revised text that was published in 1974 as the “First standard edition”. The International Standard Bibliographic Description for Serials (ISBD(S)) was also published in 1974.
In 1975, the Joint Steering Committee for Revision of the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules proposed to the IFLA Committee on Cataloguing that a general international standard bibliographic description suitable for all types of library materials should be developed. The ISBD(G), published in 1977, was the result. The ISBD(M) was then revised to bring it into line with the ISBD(G), and the “First standard edition revised” was published in 1978.
100 Other ISBDs subsequently appeared for specific types of materials: ISBD(CM) for cartographic materials, ISBD(NBM) for nonbook materials, and a revised ISBD(S) for serials, were published in 1977; ISBD(A) This mapping is based on the ISBDs published at that time. Available at:
http://www.ifla.org/files/cataloguing/pubs/ISBD-FRBR-mappingFinal.pdf For a more detailed introduction to the ISBDs, see: John Byrum, “The Birth and Re-birth of the ISBDs: Process and Procedures for Creating and Revising the International Standard Bibliographic Descriptions”, 66th IFLA Council and General Conference, Jerusalem, Israel, 2000. Available at http://archive.ifla.org/IV/ifla66/papers/118-164e.htm A complete list of the superseded ISBDs is available at: http://www.ifla.org/en/node/vii ISBD for older monographic publications (antiquarian) and ISBD(PM) for printed music were published in 1980.
Revision, 1980–At the IFLA World Congress in Brussels, held in August 1977, the Standing Committee of the IFLA Section on Cataloguing made important new decisions in relation to IFLA’s programme of ISBDs. It was decided that all ISBD texts would be fixed to a life of five years, after which revision would be considered for all texts or for particular texts. As a result, the Standing Committee formed an ISBD Review Committee; it first met in 1981 to make plans for reviewing and revising the ISBDs.
110 The ISBDs were republished as follows: ISBD(M), ISBD(CM) and ISBD(NBM) in 1987, ISBD(S) in 1988, ISBD(CF) for computer files was published in 1990, ISBD(A) and ISBD(PM) in 1991, and ISBD(G) in 1992. By the end of the 1980s, the first general review project had been completed.
Thereafter, ISBD(CF) became ISBD(ER) for electronic resources, published in 1997.
In the early 1990s, the IFLA Section on Cataloguing with the cooperation of the Section on Classification and Indexing set up a Study Group on the Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR).
One immediate consequence of this development was the decision to suspend most revision work on the ISBDs while the FRBR Study Group pursued its charge to “recommend a basic level of functionality and basic data requirements for records created by national bibliographic agencies”. In 1998, the FRBR Study Group published its Final Report after its recommendations were approved by the IFLA Section on 120 Cataloguing's Standing Committee. At that time the ISBD Review Group was reconstituted to resume its traditional work. As expected, the IFLA Section on Cataloguing’s Standing Committee asked the ISBD Review Group to initiate a full-scale review of the ISBDs. The objective of this “second general review project” was to ensure conformity between the provisions of the ISBDs and the data requirements in FRBR for the “basic level national bibliographic record”.
Revision, 2000–In this general revision project, ISBD(S) was revised to ISBD(CR) for serials and other continuing resources, and was published in 2002 following meetings to harmonize the ISBD(S) with the ISSN guidelines and with the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules, 2nd edition. A revised ISBD(M) was also published in 2002, and a revised ISBD(G) in 2004. ISBD(CM) and ISBD(ER) underwent the world-wide 130 review process and were revised following that process, but were not finished at that time because work was begun on a consolidated ISBD.
Preliminary consolidated edition, At the Berlin IFLA Conference in 2003, the ISBD Review Group decided to form the Study Group on Future Directions of the ISBDs. This study group decided that consolidation of all ISBDs was feasible.
The study group was charged by the review group with the task of preparing a definitive text, resulting in the preliminary consolidated edition.
The ISBD Review Group was trying to solve some of the problems that today’s cataloguers face. The consolidated ISBD is intended to serve as a standard for description of all types of published materials up to the present date, and to make it easier to describe resources that share characteristics of more than one 140 format. In addition, it facilitates the work of keeping the ISBD updated and consistent for the future.
All these last revisions were taken into account in the preliminary consolidated edition of the ISBD, in addition to the recently revised ISBD(A) resulting from the world-wide review process carried on in 2006.
The resulting text was established by means of collocating related provisions from each ISBD in a new viii ISBD structure, merging the published versions of texts for different types of materials as the basis on which to work, updating the result with the revised versions of ISBD reached in the last few years, and generalizing wording.
In accordance with the principle that the focus of the ISBD is the elements and not the display and endeavouring to improve interoperability between bibliographic retrieval systems and display formats, the prescribed punctuation was slightly changed in the preliminary consolidated edition in 2007. For 150 example, punctuation is repeated where an area ends with a point and the following area is preceded by prescribed punctuation that begins with a point. Also, if different elements in the same area are supplied, each is enclosed in its own set of square brackets. This will give consistency in other displays that differ from the ISBD display.
Grateful acknowledgement is made to all the study groups involved in the review of specific ISBDs, and to the previous chair of the ISBD Review Group, John D. Byrum, who carried out the majority of revision projects. Special thanks are due to Dorothy McGarry, chair of the Study Group on Future Directions of the ISBDs, for the editorial oversight she contributed in the revisions of several of the ISBDs and in the production of the successive drafts and final version of the preliminary consolidated edition.
Consolidated edition, 160 Despite the changes introduced by the revision projects summarized above, the essential structure and data components of the ISBD have proved relatively stable over the years and continue to be widely used in full or part by creators of cataloguing codes and metadata schemas. However, given the changing nature of resources and recent technological developments that have impacted bibliographic access, it was decided the ISBD Review Group will maintain the consolidated edition of the ISBD, which has superseded the individual ISBDs, taking into consideration changes to national and multinational cataloguing codes.
The ISBD Review Group appointed a Material Designations Study Group (MDSG) in 2003 to investigate the general and specific material designations (GMD/SMD) as applied to multiple formats and mixed media. This study group was aware of concerns that had been raised by the Working Group on General 170 Material Designations at the first IFLA Meeting of Experts on an International Cataloguing Code (IME ICC) in 2003 in Frankfurt. As Tom Delsey had noted in a 1998 study of the logical structure of Part I of the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules,11 the GMD terms reflected a confusing mix of physical format, class of material, form of carrier, and notation (e.g. Braille). Moreover, the location of the GMD immediately following the title proper was seen as interrupting the logical order and sequencing of title information.
By the IFLA 2007 meetings in Durban, the preliminary consolidated edition of the ISBD had been published, and the MDSG had drafted a proposal for a content/carrier component for ISBD Review Group discussion. The draft took into account version 1.0 of the RDA/ONIX Framework for Resource Categorization12 (August 2006), and the subsequent drafts of Resource Description and Access (RDA)180 incorporating the RDA/ONIX Framework. These and other documents were instrumental to the work of Tom Delsey. The Logical Structure of the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules. 1998-1999. Available at:
http://www.rda-jsc.org/docs.html RDA/ONIX Framework for Resource Categorization. 2006. Available at: http://www.rda-jsc.org/working2.html#chair- RDA: Resource Description and Access. http://www.rda-jsc.org/rda.html ix ISBD the study group as it addressed the structure and terminology of an independent ISBD component for content/carrier.
After a period of revisions and worldwide review, a new Area 0, called “Content Form and Media Type Area”, containing the three elements of (1) content form, (2) content qualification, and (3) media type, was approved in 2009 and published on the IFLA website.14 It is now included in the ISBD for the first time, and the general material designation has been removed from Area 1.
Some other important changes in the current edition are: editorial work to avoid redundancy and achieve more harmonization; simplification of designating the levels of mandatory, optional and conditional elements to indicate only when an element is mandatory; clarification of the basis of the description, 190 which constitutes the object of the bibliographic description; more attention to multipart monographic resources; revision of the sources of information; more consideration of the requirements of nonroman scripts; stipulations for the description of older monographic resources that did not correspond to the ISBD have been removed; it has been clarified that qualifiers are different from elements, and finally, many more definitions have been included in the glossary.
Special thanks are due to John Hostage, editor of the Consolidated ISBD, for his editorial oversight and contributions in the production of the successive drafts and final version of this document. I would also like to acknowledge the many contributions from consulting members of the review group, representatives of national libraries, national library networks and international institutions, as well as those received as a result of the worldwide review process from both institutions and individuals. These contributions have 200 provided many suggestions to help the ISBD Review Group in revision of the ISBD.
Madrid, Spain Elena Escolano Rodrguez, Chair June 2010 ISBD Review Group ISBD Area 0: Content Form and Media Type Area. Available at:
http://www.ifla.org/publications/isbd-area-0-content-form-and-media-type-area x ISBD 2010 A.1.A GENERAL CHAPTER A.1 Scope, purpose and use A.1.1 Scope The International Standard Bibliographic Description (ISBD) specifies the requirements for the description and identification of the most common types of published resources that are likely to appear in library collections. The ISBD also assigns an order to the elements of the description and specifies a system of punctuation for the description.
210 The provisions of the ISBD relate first to bibliographic records produced by national bibliographic agencies and second to bibliographic records produced by other cataloguing agencies.
The types of resources covered by the ISBD include the following:
cartographic resources electronic resources moving images multimedia resources notated music resources printed texts sound recordings 220 still images It is anticipated that national or international committees responsible for preparing codes of cataloguing rules will use the ISBD as the basis for their rules on description of library materials, to describe all aspects of each resource, including its content, its carrier, its medium, and its mode of issuance.
The ISBD is also concerned with resources for use by the visually impaired (e.g. in eye-readable form or in embossed form), and includes those published for limited distribution or for sale on demand.
A.1.2 Purpose The primary purpose of the ISBD is to provide the stipulations for compatible descriptive cataloguing worldwide in order to aid the international exchange of bibliographic records between national bibliographic agencies and throughout the international library and information community.
230 By specifying the elements that comprise a bibliographic description and by prescribing the order in which those elements should be presented, and secondarily the punctuation by which they should be separated, the ISBD aims to:
• make records from different sources interchangeable, so that records produced in one country can be easily accepted in library catalogues or other bibliographic lists in any other country;
• assist in the interpretation of records across language barriers, so that records produced for users of one language can be interpreted by users of other languages;
• assist in the conversion of bibliographic records to electronic form;
• enhance interoperability with other content standards.
A ISBD A.1.3 Use 240 The ISBD provides stipulations to cover the maximum amount of descriptive information that may be required in a range of different bibliographic activities. It therefore includes elements that are essential to one or more of those activities, but not necessarily to all.
Elements of the description that are required are designated by the term “Mandatory” after the heading for the element. In the text, terminology such as “is given” or “are given” is used.
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