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Guidelines for Transcription (RDA 1.7)

Transcribe vs Record: general information

Transcribed elements match exactly what is on resource, except when specific instructions say otherwise (those for capitalization and punctuation, for example).

On resource:
The Backwaters Press
Omaha, Nebraska

Transcribe as: Omaha, Nebraska : The Backwaters Press
264 _1 Omaha, Nebraska : ǂb The Backwaters Press, ǂc [2016]

On resource: ©2016
Transcribe as: 264 _4 ǂc ©2016

Recorded elements is data about a resource that is not exactly as it appears on the source, or, is taken from another source.

On resource: copyright 2016
Record as: 264 _4 ǂc ©2016

On resource: 978-0-8125-1528-2
Record as: 020 ‡a9780812515282

Capitalization (RDA 1.7.2)

For the sake of consistency, PINES has implemented the guidelines in RDA Appendix A. For titles, capitalize only the first letter in the title. Exceptions are proper names and nouns.

On resource: Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell.
Record as: 245 10 Gone with the wind / ǂc Margaret Mitchell.

On resource: BABAR THE KING by Jean de Brunhoff ; translated into English by Scott Fontenot & Denise St. Pierre.
Record as: 245 10 Babar the King / ǂc Jean de Brunhoff ; translated into English by Scott Fontenot & Denise St. Pierre.

Punctuation (RDA 1.7.3)

Add punctuation if necessary for clarity.

On resource title page:

Aristotle Onassis
Nicholas Fraser
Frank Smith
Simon Lemon
Esther Ryde
edited by Joe Jackson

Record as: 245 10 Aristotle Onassis / ǂc by Nicholas Fraser, Frank Smith, Simon Lemon, Esther Ryde ; edited by Joe Jackson.

Transcribe punctuation as it appears on the source.

…And then there were none
What is it? what is it not?
Vessels on the Northwest coast between Alaska and California – 1543–1811
I don’t do dishes!

Make a note to indicate that punctuation has been omitted or modified, if considered important for identification.

264 _1 Boston, Mass.
500 Place of publication appears on the source as: Boston [Mass.]

245 10 John Wansley (Wanslow), Sr., his wife Mildred (Milly or Millie) Whitten and their children / ǂc James Baker Evans.

500 Alternative last names appear, respectively, as John Wansley [Wanslow], Sr., his wife Mildred [Milly or Millie] on the preferred source of information.

Diacritics (RDA 1.7.4)

Transcribe diacritical marks or add them, if needed, even if absent from the resource.

Record as: 245 14 Les misérables.

How to add diacritics in Connexion

Place your cursor after the letter needing the diacritic (e.g. e|), or highlight the letter. Then select the diacritics editor by using Ctrl e or from Edit menu — ALA Enter Diacritics. Choose what you need and click Insert & Close.

Symbols (RDA 1.7.5)

Replace symbols and other characters that cannot be reproduced by the facilities available, and add a note with a description of the symbol.

245 10 Animal[apples]
500 The letter “a” in title is presented by images of red apples.

Spacing (RDA 1.7.6)

Transcribe acronyms and initials without spaces.

Title page: by J. D. Salinger.
Record as: 245 … ǂc by J.D. Salinger.

This rule does not apply to transcribing a personal access point in authority record in the 100 tag. Here, there has to be a space between initials.

100 1_ Salinger, J. D. ǂq (Jerome David), ǂd 1919-2010.

Title page: Anything / anytime / anywhere for you.
Record as: 245 00 Anything/anytime/anywhere for you.

Abbreviations (RDA 1.7.8 and Appendix B)

Generally, RDA standards and guidelines are to avoid using abbreviations. The primary exceptions are for:

  • Units of measurement
  • Abbreviations that are regularly used in resources and are commonly understood by users
  • Abbreviations that a resource uses to identify

Mostly, abbreviations are used only when they appear on the resource, although there are some exceptions in addition to those noted above. See RDA Appendix B for guidance.

“cm.” is no longer considered to be an abbreviation. Use “cm”


p. pages
ca. approximately
i.e. that is
acc. accompanied
ill. illustrations
col. color
facsim. facsimile
ed. edition
S.l. [place of publication not identified]
s.n. [publisher not identified]
n.d. [date of publication not identified]
3 vol. 3 volumes
ca. 200 p. approximately 200 pages
48 [i.e. 96] p. 48, that is, 96 pages
[16] p. of plates 16 unnumbered pages of plates

Inaccuracies (RDA 1.7.9; 2.3.6)

Transcribe an inaccuracy or a misspelled word as it appears on the resource unless the instructions for a specific element differ. Make a note to explain, if necessary. Correct the inaccuracy note if it is important for identification or access. Add a variant title to record the correct form of the inaccuracies in a title to ensure identification and access.

On title page: Oak Hill Methodist Church Cemetary
Transcribe as:
245 00 Oak Hill Methodist Church Cemetary
246 3 Oak Hill Methodist Church Cemetery


245 00 Oak Hill Methodist Church Cemetary
246 1_ ǂi Title misspelled and should read: ǂa Oak Hill Methodist Church Cemetery

Remember to code ǂa when it is not in the first position in a MARC field.

245 04 The wolrd of television
246 3_ World of television

cat/original-cataloging-book-guidelines-for-transcription.txt · Last modified: 2019/07/08 12:16 by ehardy