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Minutes 2016

Page history last edited by Jasmin Shinohara 6 months ago

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AJL RAS Cataloging Committee Meeting

51st AJL Conference, Charleston, SC   

Sunday June 19, 2016, 5:00pm-6:00pm

Chair, Heidi Lerner

1. Welcome and introductions; approve 2015 Minutes; old business (updating Hebraica Cataloging RDA) (Heidi Lerner … [et al.], 15 min.)


2015 Minutes were approved.


2. Updating Hebraica Cataloging RDA, cont. (Heidi Lerner, 5 min.)


A committee, comprised of Jerry Anne Dickel, Ahava Cohen, and Bob Talbott, was formed to update HCRDA, bringing it in line with the Apr. 2016 update to RDA. The committee will welcome comments and suggestions, and is aiming to complete the update by mid-year.


3. 2016 update to the document "PCC Guidelines for Creating Bibliographic Records in Multiple Character Sets" (Sharon Benamou, 5 minutes)


Sharon Benamou reported that new PCC guidelines for non-Roman characters were approved June 14, 2016. The guidelines include updated language, new examples, and the adoption of LC’s practice on the treatment of recording Hebrew dates in Hebrew characters in the 264. These guidelines were also incorporated in the most recent RDA Toolkit update.


4. Form of title “Admor” for use as a cross-reference/variant access point for Hassidic rebbes (Heidi Lerner, 5 minutes)


Heidi Lerner recommended that the generic term “Admor shelita״ should not be applied as a cross-references in NARs.  If the phrase is used on a title page in lieu of a specific name, but the actual name may determined through research and the use of other sources, the appropriate form of the name should be established, properly justified in the 670, and used as the access point in the bib record, without the addition of “Admor shelita״  as a reference in the NAR.


5. Romanization of foreign loan words/roots, (e.g., -פסיפס, דרמ-, פסיחו); (for background see archived Heb-Naco discussion) (Jasmin Shinohara, 5 minutes)


The topic emerged from a discussion on the HebNACO listserv about whether to reconsider the romanization of Hebrew loan words, primarily of Greek and Latin origin, which begin with a consonant cluster (e.g., דרמה), that have become part of the Hebrew lexicon.  


Note: The current guideline specifies, “The first sheṿa in a foreign loan word with an initial consonantal cluster is generally treated as a sheṿa naḥ. For correct romanization it is necessary to consult Even-Shoshan and Alcalay on a case-by-case basis,” (HCRDA, p. 19). The example of “ דרמה” is cited as an exception.  Based on the vocalization found in Alcalay, which presents the word with a printed sheṿa--hence a sheṿa na‘--the current HCRDA guidance is to romanize the word as “deramah.”


Jasmin Shinohara pointed out that Alcalay itself is not always consistent, for example, Alcalay’s vocalization  results in “Psikhologi” but also “Pesikhologyah.” The HCRDA guideline designed to promote consistency in romanizing loan words may actually result in greater inconsistency.


Yossi Galron advocated for a change in the practice, endorsed by Joan Biella, and recommended abandoning the exceptional policy and instead, treating all words of foreign origin in the same manner, (e.g., romanize as “Dramah,” not “Deramah, etc.). It was noted that implementing such a plan would create the need for considerable catalog maintenance, and that some words would continue to pose questions as to whether they should be considered foreign loan words or native Hebrew (e.g., פרוזדור). The concern about catalog maintenance had been cited in the recent decision to retain the form “Pesefas.” It was suggested that the dictionaries Milon Morfix (Free) and Milon Rav-Milim (Subscription) are good additional resources on foreign loan words.  Aaron Kuperman urged less focus and effort on romanization and greater dependence on Hebrew script for discovery.  The Cataloging Committee will continue to consider the issue and will invite input.


6. Romanization vs. phonemic conversion; implications for the future of Hebraica cataloging in a linked data environment (for background see article Ornan, Uzzi and Leket-Mor, Rachel: "Phonemic conversion as the ideal scheme of Hebrew." JL 19: 43-72) (Sharon Benamou, 15 minutes)

The recent article in Judaica Librarianship (Vol. 19/2016), by Uzzi Ornan and Rachel Leket-Mor, advocates for phonemic conversion of Hebrew which “...neither uses transliteration nor transcription strategies but reconstructs the theoretical structure of the original Hebrew word based on its phonemes.” The proposed scheme purports to support full reversibility, and is complemented by an online interface that enables automatic conversion. It was noted that LC’s Policy and Standards Division (PSD) requires that all new romanization schemes be reversible in support of automatic conversion, and the Judeo-Arabic Romanization which was adopted not long ago was developed in accordance with this principle. Some felt that the proposed system, despite its reversible nature, applies standards which require a level of advanced knowledge of Hebrew beyond that of many catalogers. Elhanan Adler indicated that there exists no reliable algorithm for conversion, and it was noted that LC’s Roman to Hebrew transliterator tool requires that 50%-60% of results must be corrected with human intervention. Sharon Benamou contended that romanization should be more machine-actionable, and posed the question of its relation to Linked Data and BIBFRAME. She noted that the question as to whether there will be romanization in records in BIBFRAME had been raised by PSD’s Paul Frank. Which is the preferred title—original or romanized? Nancy Sack commented that both are variants of equal value. Sharon stated that she will report back on the work of a subtask group comparing the BSR (BIBCO Standard Record) and BIBFRAME 2.0. Further consideration of the proposal will need to take into account the BIBFRAME developments.


7. Other business, questions (10 minutes)

The new Cataloging Committee Chair will be decided at the RAS mtg [Jerry Anne Dickel of Yale was appointed].  The WIKI lists the committee’s official membership.  


Elhanan Adler described some developments at the National Library of Israel, mentioning that NLI is a NACO member.  He noted that NLI’s authority file feeds into VIAF, and that University of Haifa and Hebrew University, as well as four other Israeli colleges, will also contribute headings.  Elhanan mentioned other authority projects, including efforts to integrate 1XX forms of the same entities from NLI authorities in four scripts (Latin, Hebrew, Arabic, Cyrillic). He also described work to supply gender fields, and encouraged others to do so, though it was noted that some Hebrew names are not gender-specific, making it difficult to add in some instances.


Minutes by Lenore Bell 



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