MARC21 260:
Issues to be Resolved in Hebrew Transcription in RLIN

For: The Hebraica Cataloging Team
By: Daniel Lovins
Date: 7/20/01

According to AACR2 Appendix C.5D3, Arabic numerals are to replace Hebrew ones when representing Hebrew dates in the vernacular 260 field. Lenore Bell (Hebraica Team Leader at LC) confirmed that this is indeed LC's practice. Yale Hebraica Team's practice has been to preserve the Hebrew numerals for Hebrew dates. I believe that Leonard set this precedent intentionally: the Hebrew form of the date is more intelligible to a Hebrew reader than is its 'Arabic' representation. Still, aside from Yale and YIVO, I'm not sure if other RLG libraries are doing this. Henceforth we will follow the LC policy.

According to LC, "All dates of publication, distribution, etc. on both the Roman and the vernacular records are recorded in the same direction and in the same sequence" (Hebraica Cataloging, p. 39).  My interpretation of this sentence (confirmed by Lenore Bell) is the following: "the order of dates in subfield 'c' is supposed to be the same in both parallel fields, such that, for example, "743 [1932 or 1933]'" appears in this field direction (left-to-right) and in this order both times, and such that the the Roman 260 ends with a bracket while the Hebraic field ends with a period (see example below). While Yale practice had been to end both fields with brackets, our new policy will be to conform to LC's input conventions:

260:  :

$aYerushalayim :$b[ha-motsi la-or],$c743 [1932 or 1933]

260:  :

.743 [1932 or 1933]c$,המוציא לאורb$: ירושליםa$

Lenore Bell informs me that "in the vernacular 260 field, we use the roman character set to represent the date (numerals, brackets, etc.) but when we get to the end punctuation (period), we switch back to the Hebrew character set." However, the RLG Information Center has been advising that the Arabic numerals in the vernacular 260 are to be entered from the Hebrew character set.

Yale practice: Enter data into vernacular 260 subfield 'c' from Roman character set.


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