Recording titles of works (RDA 6.2.1)

Music Cataloging at YalePreferred titles

Note: this page was created with music cataloging in mind.

For music-specific instructions, see Recording preferred titles for musical works (RDA 6.14)

A title of the work is a word, character, or group of words and/or characters by which a work is known.

There are two categories of titles that identify works:
     ° preferred title for the work (6.14)
     ° variant title for the work

( Sources of information
Take the title or titles of the work from any source.
( General guidelines on recording a title
When recording a title of a work, apply the guidelines on capitalization, numbers, diacritical marks, initial articles, spacing of initials and acronyms, and abbreviations, at
( Capitalization
Capitalize the first word or the abbreviation of the first word in a title and in a title of a part, section, or supplement.
Capitalize other words within titles applying the guidelines given in Appendix A, as applicable to the language involved.

Other Terms Associated with Titles of Works
     Capitalize the first word of each term
          Goyescas (Opera)

Thematic index numbers (see 6.16): follow the capitalization practice used in the thematic index

Titles with unusual capitalization: follow the capitalization of the title as found on the source of information.

Do not capitalize:

  • words or abbreviations indicating medium of performance (see 6.15)
  • numeric designation of a musical work (see 6.16), unless the word is, or the abbreviation stands for, a proper name
  • the first word of a title if it is preceded by punctuation indicating that the beginning of the phrase from which the title was derived has been omitted
( Numbers expressed as numerals or as words
Record numbers expressed as numerals or as words in the form in which they appear on the source of information
( Diacritics
Record diacritical marks such as accents appearing in a title for a work as they appear on the source of information.
     Optional addition: Add diacritical marks such as accents that are not present on the source of information. Follow the standard usage for the language of the data.
( Initial articles
The rule says to include the article, but LC applies the alternative:
     Omit an initial article unless the title for a work is to be accessed under that article (e.g., a title that begins with the name of a person or place).
( Spacing of initials and acronyms and Punctuation and spacing (LC-PCC PS for 1.7.1)
(1.7.3) Punctuation: Transcribe punctuation as it appears on the source, omitting punctuation on the source that separates data to be recorded as one element from data to be recorded as a different element, or as a second or subsequent instance of an element.

Punctuation/spacing within access points and ending access points
Internal punctuation is used to set off unambiguously the units of access points (including name/title portions of name/title fields).
Ending punctuation:

  • Name authority records: do not end access points with an ending mark of punctuation except when it is part of the data (e.g., a period in an abbreviation) or is called for by the cataloging instructions (e.g., an element enclosed within parentheses)
  • Bibliographic records: end authorized access points with either a period or other ending mark of punctuation
         Use ending punctuation in the 240 field only when such a mark of punctuation is part of the data

The marks of punctuation are:

period (.) ° Precede or follow abbreviations consisting of two or more letters with a space
° If initials appear on the source of information without full stops between them, record the letters without spaces between them
     » this applies also to separate letters
° Leave one space after a period or other mark of ending punctuation that serves to separate units of access points
° If the period or other mark of ending punctuation is not followed by a subfield code (which would generate a space on display), input a space ° Precede the name of a language in authorized access points of works or expressions by a period as instructed in unless another mark of ending punctuation is present
internal and ending punctuation
comma (,)  
ending punctuation
quotation mark (") ° Use double quotation marks instead of other forms of quotation marks
° If a unit of an access point other than the last ends in a quotation mark, input a period or other mark of ending punctuation inside [emphasis added] the quotation mark
ending punctuation
question mark (?)  
ending punctuation
exclamation mark (!)  
internal and ending punctuation
hyphen (-) ° Open date: leave one space between an open date and any data that follow it within the same subfield. When a subfield code immediately follows an open date, do not leave a space
internal and ending punctuation
ampersand (&) ° Input one space on either side of an ampersand or an ampersand equivalent used in an access point
internal punctuation
closing parenthesis ()) ° If a unit of an access point other than the last ends in a closing parenthesis, input after the closing parenthesis the same punctuation, usually a period, that would be used if there were no parenthesis
ending punctuation
closing bracket (])  
ending punctuation
( Abbreviations
Use the abbreviations that are integral parts of the title of the work.