Multipart Policies and Procedures

11/19/02 creation date/ November 6, 2006 4:31 PM revision date)


Analytic. Bibliographic record created for an individual part of a set. The analytic may be part of a classed together or classed separately set.

Classed separately multipart. A separate bibliographic record (analytic) is created for each part of the multipart. Each part of the set is assigned a separate call number; volumes will not necessarily sit together on the shelf.

Classed together multipart. All volumes of the multipart are assigned the same call number; volumes distinguished by enumeration. One bibliographic record is created; volume holdings are recorded in MFHD 866.

Classed together analyzed multipart. One bibliographic record is created to describe the multipart as a whole; separate bibliographic records (analytics) are created to describe the individual parts. All volumes are assigned the same call number to sit together on the shelf; volumes are distinguished by enumeration.

Collected set record. LC term for a classed together multipart.

Cover record. Bibliographic record created to describe the multipart as a whole when a decision is made to analyze the set and class it together.

Fascicle.Temporary part intended to be bound with other parts to form a permanent bibliographic volume.

Multipart. Current AACR2 term is Multipart Monograph: "A resource issued in two or more parts (either simultaneously or successively) that is complete or intended to be completed within a finitie number of parts (e.g., a dictionary in two volumes, three audiocassettes issued as a set)." Local jargon:  Often referred to as mpms (i.e. multipart monographs) at SML. Prior to 1989 variously referred to as "book contins," "mulvls," "closed multivolume set," "multivolume monograph."

SAR. Series authority record. Authority record created for classed together analyzed and classed separately multiparts. All SARs are created in OCLC as part of Yale's contribution to NACO. Local classification practice is recorded in local fields on the Orbis SAR after the record is downloaded from the national file.

sso (Series Standing Order). For multiparts published over a period of time, the library sometimes has an agreement with the publisher or vendor to receive all volumes of the set as they are published. A bibliographic record is always created in the Voyager Cataloging Module, even for the collection title of a classed separately multipart. The analytic record should have MFHD 852 ‡x sso.


1. Updates to a cover record are performed solely as local Orbis maintenance; OCLC records are not to be updated. Local updates include: added volumes to previously cataloged records, added locations or added copies, and changes to description. EXCEPTION: Non-Roman units update bibliographic records only in OCLC; non-Roman units update volume holdings only in Orbis

2. Volume holdings transcription will follow modified ANSI standards. See: Multipart Monograph MFHD Guidelines

3. Volume holdings are recorded for all multiparts, whether or not the set is complete. When an open set receives its last volume, the volume holdings should be updated and not deleted. Note: there was an earlier practice of some libraries to record volume holdings for incomplete sets only. Also, many libraries did not record volume holdings for some types of completed microform sets.

4. A national-level series authority record (SAR) will be made for every new classed together analyzed or classed separately multipart title.

5. LC policy from around 2012 has been to either class together but not analyze, or to class separately. As noted in 4., in addition to classed together (not analyzed) and classed separately, YUL may also class together and analyze the individual volumes.

Class together or Class Separately?

Generally the Yale decision to class together or class separately will follow the decision recorded on the national-level SAR or, for unanalyzed collected set records, the decision implied by the bibliographic record when cataloging copy is available. For original cataloging, the decision is up to the individual cataloger. The pre-2012 internal LC guidelines may be helpful. Catalogers are not required to follow the guidelines, especially for classed separately.

Prior to 2012, LC would not catalog the following multiparts separately:

  1. The collected works of a literary author or an author writing mainly in one discipline.
  2. A two-volume set.
  3. The proceedings of a conference.
  4. Multipart item meant to be treated as a set, indicated by the presence of introductory or summary volumes, a separate index volume, continuous paging, etc.
  5. When the topic of a set and its treatment in the LC classification schedules would result in the analytics classing in the same or close LC class numbers if they were classed separately.
  6. Multipart item covering a discrete topic chronologically or geographically in the analytics.

Prior to 2012, LC would class everything else separately, including:

  • literary trilogies, etc.
  • multipart items of which it is expected LC will acquire only one part or a few parts.

Source: Series training for PCC participants, p. 142 (Handout #10). Rev. Aug. 2002.


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