RBMS Controlled Vocabularies
PAPER TERMS : A Thesaurus for Use in Rare Book and Special Collections Cataloguing
Note: This text was electronically created from the introduction to the print version, to accompany and provide historical context to the database of thesaurus terms. Although not conforming to the format of the print text, it should reflect all content of the original. It has only been edited to correct errors in the OCR process, and to update MARC field numbers where changes have been made to the MARC format. Please bring other errors to the attention of the thesaurus editor, using the information found on the main thesaurus page. [12/2005, Beth M. Russell]
The Independent Research Libraries Association (IRLA)’s Proposals for Establishing Standards for the Cataloguing of Rare Books and Specialized Research Materials in Machine-readable Form
(Worcester, Mass., 1979) called for a new field to be added to machine-readable cataloguing (MARC) formats for terms indicating the physical characteristics of materials catalogued (Proposal Five), including descriptions of paper. In the same proposal, IRLA requested that the Standards Committee of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Section of ACRL work toward developing standard terminology for use in such a field. The RBMS Standards Committee undertook the development of a thesaurus of terms, and a field for such terms (755 "Physical Characteristics Access", [now 655 “Index Term-Genre/Form”] was authorized for all MARC formats in January 1984.
In order to expedite publication of the thesaurus, the RBMS Standards Committee (now the RBMS Bibliographic Standards Committee) decided to divide it into several separate thesauri, each treating evidence of a different aspect of book product ion and history. Printing and Publishing Evidence, Binding Terms, and Provenance Evidence were published by the Committee in 1986, 1988, and 1988 respectively. A type evidence thesaurus is forthcoming.
II. Purpose and Scope
Many rare book libraries, concerned with the study of the book, maintain local files recording examples of various physical characteristics of items found in their collections. These files are used to retrieve books and other items by physical features rather than by intellectual content. Although such files are useful for selection of materials for exhibition, for class demonstration, and for cataloguing comparison, their primary use is to assist researchers interested in studying the physical characteristics of books as evidence of their production, distribution, or further history. Reflecting for the most part local rather than standard cataloguing practices, such files have often remained available only within individual libraries. Developed specifically for use in field 655, the following thesaurus provides standard terms for the retrieval of paper evidence. Such standardization is a necessity for those institutions working in the context of shared, machine-readable cataloguing but may also prove beneficial to those maintaining in-house files.
The present list offers terms for the description of paper and includes descriptors relating to all features, materials, quantities, and types of paper that cataloguers might need. Terms for paper defects created in the manufacturing process are included, but terms for types for damage that paper may suffer after production are omitted. Also not included are many named types of paper and names of paper manufacturers; the latter can be traced in 700 and 710 fields in USMARC cataloging records. For cases where no specific term exists in this thesaurus, the term Paper evidence is included. The terms in the thesaurus come from the standard reference tools in the field and from comments on drafts of the list by members of the RBMS Bibliographic Standards Committee and several experts on paper and papermaking. Major drafts of the thesaurus were prepared by Sidney E. Berger.
This thesaurus consists of an Alphabetical List of terms and a hierarchical arrangement of terms. Following ANSI standards (American National Standards Institute, American National Standard Guidelines for Thesaurus Structure, Construction, and Use, New York, 1980) the terms are in plural natural language noun form whenever possible and appropriate.
The Alphabetical List contains authorized terms and cross-references. Because of the technical and esoteric nature of many of the terms, scope notes are included for many terms which need clarification. Each term is followed by the references, if any, made to and from other terms in the thesaurus. Symbols used in these references are those which ANSI prescribes:
USE leads from unused synonyms and inverted forms of the terms to the term used;
UF (used for) is the reciprocal of the USE reference and accompanies the term to which the USE reference refers
BT (broader term) refers from a term for a member of a class to a term for the class;
NT (narrower term) refers from a term for a class to the term for one of its members;
RT (related term) is used between related terms when it seems helpful to bring associated types of evidence to the attention.
In the present thesaurus, members of a class related to each other as narrower terms (NTs) under a common class (BT) are not related to each other as related terms (RTs.) However, whenever a term for which there are narrower terms in the thesaurus appears under another term as either a narrower term (NT) or a related term (RT), it is followed by the symbol “>” to indicate that it is not the narrowest concept of its class. Users should consult the entry in the Alphabetical List for terms so marked to identify narrower terms.
In keeping with ANSI standards, this thesaurus also includes a hierarchical section which displays graphically the relationships between broader and narrower terms. Broad gathering terms (displayed within square brackets) are used to bring together terms relating to the same aspect of the subject. These gathering terms appear in both the alphabetical and hierarchical listings, but are not authorized for use in field 655.
In a USMARC record, these terms are to be entered in subfield $2 ("access term”) of field 655. Terms which do not appear in this or other thesauri approved for field 655 may not be used in this field. When a term is used in a USMARC record, a parenthetical qualifier must be added in subfield $a following the term. The qualifier will aid users who may not see or know how to interpret the coding for subfield $2
(see below), and it also helps clarify terms which are ambiguous when taken out of context (e.g. “Cracking” or “Haircuts”). When a thesaurus term has a specific parenthetical qualifier, the general qualifier follows the specific qualifier within a separate set of parentheses. For this thesaurus, the parenthetical qualifier is “(Paper).”
Any term in these thesauri may be subdivided by place ($z), period ($y), or other subdivision ($x), or by any combinations of these subdivisions. Each library must determine its own scheme for chronological subdivision. Indirect subdivision, as outlined in LC's Cataloging Service Bulletin 120 (1977) p. 9-11, is to be used when subdividing by place. Libraries using other subdivisions ($x) should construct these subdivisions to conform as far as possible to LC practice as defined in publications such as Subject Cataloging Manual: Subject Headings (3rd ed. , Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, 1988) or in notes or general references in the Library of Congress Subject Headings (12th ed., Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, 1989) .
Each 655 field must close with a $2 (“source of access term”) The Library of Congress has assigned the code “rbpap” to the present thesaurus. Therefore, 655 fields using terms from the list of paper terms must close with “$2 rbpap”.
N.B.: Subfields $a (with qualifier) and $2 are mandatory, other subfields are optional.
Examples of the application of subdivided terms:
655 b7 British marbled papers (Paper) $z Germany $y 17th century. $2 rbpap
655 b7 Gampi fibers (Paper) $z Japan $y 1955. $2 rbpap
If the paper manufacturer is known (e.g. Barcham Green), he or she should be traced in the 700 field. If the paper was manufactured or designed under a corporate name (e.g. Crane and Company), it should be traced in a 710 field.
Field 655 is repeatable; assign as many terms as appropriate and desirable to retrieve types of evidence in an item. For example, a paper described as machine-made, sized, watermarked, with chainlines and wirelines, with edge watermarks and shadowmark countermarks, containing vatman’s tears and alum spots, could have any or all of these 655s: “Machine-made papers,” “Sized papers,” “Watermarks,” “Chainlines,” “Wire lines,” “Edge Watermarks,” “Shadowmarks,” “Countermarks,” “Vatman’s tears,” and “Alum spots.”
Use of field 655 is voluntary. Some libraries may want to use the field only for several of the terms; other libraries may prefer to use none. In the case of those terms linked by a genus-species relationship, some libraries may wish to use only the broader term; other libraries may prefer to assign only the narrower terms when appropriate, saving the broader term for items not covered by any narrower terms in the thesaurus. Paper Terms is designed to create special files in a library of any size, whether it has only a few items with special papers that might be identified for teaching or exhibition purposes, or a large collection in which particular characteristics are kept track of systematically. A small file is more likely to consist of general terms, while a large one will probably contain many more specific terms, but these decisions should be based on the institution’s needs.
Descriptions of paper may be copy-specific. Even in the case of large editions prepared by a single publisher at one time, variants may occur which frequently constitute the principal points of interest for those studying the items. Libraries should describe as desired the physical characteristics of their own copies; other libraries making later use of such cataloguing must evaluate the 655 entries for appropriateness to their own copies. The 655 entries need not apply to an entire item or edition, but may apply to only single sheets within an item.
These terms are to be used in field 655 regardless of the appearance of the same information elsewhere in the record (such as in a subject heading or in a note), the primary purpose being to provide easy retrieval of examples of paper characteristics through a single field.
Sources from which the terms were drawn are listed below. Most of these contain their own bibliographies which may serve as useful starting points from which to approach the field of paper terminology.
American Paper and Pulp Association. The Dictionary of Paper.3rd ed. New York: APPA, 1965.
Barrett, Timothy. Japanese Papermaking: Traditions, Tools, and Techniques. New York and Tokyo: Weatherhill, 1983.
---. Nagashizuki: The Japanese Craft of Hand Papermaking. North Hills, PA: Bird Bull Press, 1979.
Hunter, Dard. Papermaking: The History and Technique of an Ancient Craft. 2nd ed. New York: Knopf, 1947.
Labarre, E.J. Dictionary and Encyclopaedia of Paper and Paper-Making. 2nd ed. Amsterdam: Swets & 1952. Supplement by E.G. Loeber, 1967.
Narita, Kiyofusa. Japanese Paper-Making. Tokyo: Hokuseido Press, 1954.
Schlosser, Leonard, and Kenneth Tyler. Paper and Printmaking Glossary. North Hills, PA: Bird & Bull Press, 1978.
The RBMS Bibliographic Standards committee is responsible for the maintenance and revision of this thesaurus. It solicits suggestions for new terms, corrections, and alterations to terms, scope notes, and references. Any new term proposed should be accompanied by a scope note and references, if appropriate. Any correspondence regarding this thesaurus should be addressed to:
Chair, Bibliographic Standards Committee
Rare Books and Manuscripts Section
50 East Huron Street
Chicago, IL 60611
Attention: Paper Terms
RBMS BIBLIOGRAPHIC STANDARDS COMMITTEE MEMBERS, 1987-1990
Virginia L. Bartow
Sidney E. Berger
Dianne M. Chilmonczyk
Michele Valerie Cloonan
Alan N. Degutis
Jackie M. Dooley
Rebecca R. Hayne
Sara Shatford Layne
Eve C. Pasternak
Deborah A. Ryszka
Joseph A. Springer
John B. Thomas, III
Belinda D. Urquiza
Paper Terms : A Thesaurus for Use in Rare Book and Special Collections Cataloguing
Prepared by the Bibliographic Standards Committee of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Section (ACRL/ALA)
Chicago: Association of College and Research Libraries, 1990
The Library of Congress has assigned the following code to this thesaurus: rbpap
This code must be entered in $2 of USMARC bibliographic record 655 when terms from this thesaurus are used in that field.
The cover illustration is taken from J.J.Le Francais De Lalande, Art de Faire le Papier (Paris, 1761).
Published by the Association of College and Research Libraries, a division of the American Library Association, 50 East Huron Street, Chicago, IL 60611. 312-280-2515
The paper used in this publication meets the minimum requirements of American National Standard for Information Sciences--Permanence of Paper for Printed Library Materials, ANSI z39.48-1984.
Copyright c1990 by the American Library Association. All rights reserved except those which may be granted by sections 107 of the Copyright Revision Act of 1976.
Printed in the United States of America.