Example 2. A Medal (Three-Dimensional Artifact)

Michel Eugène Chevreul, membre l'academie des sciences. Orbis 11666709.

What is being cataloged: a brass medal struck in celebration of the 100th birthday of Chevreul [he was around to receive it; he lived to age 109], a chemist involved with the dyeing industry who published a number of key works on the theory of color. Some perhaps unwarranted assumptions I made: the medal is brass and that it is one of a kind. The dealer did not provide information on these 2 questions.

Leader. Type of record is set to “r,” for Three-dimensional artifact or naturally occurring object. MARC 21 scope note: “Includes man-made objects such as models, dioramas, games, puzzles, simulations, sculptures and other three-dimensional art works, exhibits, machines, clothing, toys, and stitchery.  Also includes naturally occurring objects such as, microscope specimens (or representations of them) and other specimens mounted for viewing.”

008. Most of the fixed field values are explained in Example 1. For Type of Material (byte 33): “a” – a 3-dimensional Art Original. (Would it still be “a” if a set of 6 were struck? Coding it as “c” for Art Reproduction would appear to be misleading). For 008 byte 34, Technique, use “n” for Not Applicable.  All of the applicable codes are intended for film or video. Code “z” for Other technique refers to special techniques used in motion pictures; do not apply to non-motion picture techniques. It’s a mystery why byte 34 is part of the artifact/natural object material type’s 008.

007. Choose non-projected graphic tab and click NEW. For specific material designation, none of the smds is really appropriate, so it is coded as “z” for Other. Code “a” for One Color was selected although “z” Other was considered.  The metal is not painted or otherwise colored, so the one color is the color of the metal, i.e. “monochrome;” or such was the reasoning. Primary support material is metal. The medal is not mounted, so there is no secondary support.

245. The source for the title is the medal’s obverse, whatever the cataloger decides will be the “front.” The cataloger chose the head and shoulder portrait of Chevreul, partly determined by the presence of the artist’s name and the full name of Chevreul above the portrait, which allows for a nice title proper/statement of responsibility combination in 245.  Note that the medal has lettering on the medal’s reverse side, but it is less useful for identification, which also affected the decision on obverse vs reverse.

264. Indicator 0 was selected on the assumption that this is a one of a kind artifact. It at least allows us to avoid agonizing over place/producer (the youth of France?) which are not mandatory in production statements. The year 1886 appears on the medal.

300. “medal” is one of the controlled extent terms listed under for extent of 3-dimensional form.  The medal is a round disc, so the instructions for the dimensions of discs apply under the diameter of the disc is recorded. Although says to use centimeters, the PS at says to use inches (which are abbreviated).

336. Content is: three-dimensional form.

338. Carrier is, for want of a better term: object.

520. There is a list of Chevreul’s works barely visible on a scroll on the reverse of the medal. The information is recorded since it is important for contextualizing the medal within the Birren color collection. (The scroll would have been overlooked without the notes from the dealer.)

Relationship designators.  Assumption is that Roty designed and drew the images and graphics and that a technician derived the design for the intaglio that was used to strike the medal, so “designer” seems appropriate.  “Artist” would also be OK but may be a little ambiguous when considering the process of creating medals.  For Chevreul, note that the relationship designator spelling is the English rather than American spelling. The English spelling is the authorized term.  Some American catalogers are apparently troubled that the American spelling is used for “color” (based on the PS), but that the English spelling is used for the RD.