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Minutes 2017

Page history last edited by Jasmin Shinohara 6 months ago

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AJL RAS Cataloging Committee Meeting, 52st AJL Conference, New York, NY 

Monday, June 19, 2017, 11:15-12:45 (Room 501)


1.  Welcome and introductions; approve 2016 Minutes.

2016 AJL Cataloging Committee Meeting Minutes were approved. 


2.  What is the appropriate English-language term for שיחות?  Should we add a term for “sihot” or just use “sermons”?  If we do, is “discourses” the appropriate term? (Aaron Taub)

Aaron suggested that the Committee determine the appropriate collective conventional title under RDA (i.e., for application in the 240) when the work identifies itself as “שיחות.” Terms considered included “Sermons,” “Discourses,” and “Lectures.” Some consideration was given to using an LC genre term, but it was clarified that the term does not necessarily have to be an LC genre term. A number of participants noted that “sermons” are generally delivered orally or publicly, but “שיחות” might be broader in scope, including other types of textual materials.  The final decision, reflecting general consensus of the group, was to recommend the use of “Discourses,” and this instruction will be added to the Hebraica Cataloging RDA (HCR), p. 27. 


3.  Follow up on the discussion of Romanization of foreign loan words/roots of Greek or Latin origin. 

  • What about words that come from Latin or Greek, but not directly from Latin or Greek into Hebrew, e.g.  פסנתר and טרקלין? (Yossi Galron)
  • Loan words versus foreign words (Haim Gottschalk)
  • Should we add these words to the Romanization FAQ, or a separate list.  Can we come up with a principle that makes it unnecessary to keep track of these words?
  • Series authority work needed for series titles that have these words, e.g. Sidrat pirsumim me-otsrot ha-shirah ṿeha-deramah bi-Spanyolit, or in the cross-references, e.g. Merkaz ha-Yiśreʼeli li-deramah

This topic was also discussed at the 2016 Cataloging Committee meeting. Chair Jerry-Anne Dickel reported that more recently, the official members of the Cataloging Committee voted unanimously on the issue. The decision was to change the guidance in HCR (p. 19, also see below), and to treat loan words in Hebrew of classical Greek or Latin origin with initial consonantal combinations in the same manner in which other foreign words with initial consonantal combinations are treated (i.e., to consider the sheṿa as sheṿa naḥ, rather than to follow the vocalization guidance in the Alcalay dictionary).


A lively discussion, full of drama (deramah/dramah?) and many quotable moments ensued. Yossi sought clarification on words that are not contemporary loan words, but are considered Hebrew words with early origins in Latin or Greek, e.g., “פסנתר.”  Haim opposed the “slippery slope” approach of trying to distinguish between contemporary foreign loan words and words of Greek and Latin origin.  It was noted that one cannot rely on Alcalay as a source, as it is not internally consistent on words of this nature. Jerry Anne proposed revisiting the debate, and then voting again, reminding all that if we revert from the newer ruling, that alternate spellings can be provided in alternative titles.


It was noted that questionable loan words could also be discussed further on the HebNACO listserv, and that the words could be added to the Romanization FAQ maintained on the AJL Cataloging Committee wiki. [Note: A separate Foreign Loan Words list has also been added.]

Jasmin posed the question of what determinant would be used to identify a word of Greek or Latin origin. Jerry Anne mentioned that Even Shoshan identifies word origin, which may be helpful. Yossi suggested that words should be considered Hebrew words of Greek or Latin origin rather than contemporary loan words if they are found in Biblical or Talmudic sources (e.g., פסיפס).  Heidi indicated that Jastrow is a useful source for determining if a word appears in traditional Hebrew sources, and indicated the appearance of the word in such sources should be the determinant for applying the sheṿa naʻ if the former policy is reintroduced. Aaron endorsed reversing the recent decision and reverting to following Alcalay.  He noted that LC had cataloged a work with the complex term “פסיכודרמה,” and that Joan Biella endorsed romanizing it as “Psikhoderamah,” reflecting the two approaches applied to different components within the same word.  Yossi noted that following Alcalay is not ideal in that it is a stagnant text, that Hebrew is continually evolving, and that the Academy of the Hebrew Language is a dynamic source, which now has new rules for ketiv male and ḥaser.  He also cited Aaron Kuperman’s frequent recommendation that romanization be eliminated altogether.  Jasmin reiterated that the usage of 246s ensured that the patron can always discover the resource via any variant spelling, but another attendee countered that this approach “muddies the waters,” imposes additional workload on catalogers, and “who cares about the patron, anyway!!!”  Some attendees raised concerns that they had already undertaken bibliographic maintenance work on the basis of the previous decision.   Aaron reminded the group that the decisions of the Committee are not “Torah mi-Sinai.” It was noted that the debate is enough to drive one to “Prozaḳ”!


Jerry Anne summarized two options:

1--Continue the recent policy to do away with the vocal sheṿa, or,

2--Revoke the recent policy and revert to the previous practice of distinguishing between contemporary loan words and Hebrew words of Latin or Greek origin. 

It appears that in either case, it would still be useful to maintain a list of the agreed upon romanizations.


The majority of Committee members in attendance upheld the recent policy decision.  Some attendees were still not satisfied, noting that, “Clarity is not emerging,” and indicating that there is still ambiguity regarding the “foreigness” of certain words, and the degree to which actual pronunciation by modern Hebrew speakers should be taken into account. Further discussion on individual words may be continued on the HebNACO listserv. Lenore suggested that one should cite any relevant sources when submitting terms for discussion.


Jasmin inquired about maintenance on authority work. Jerry Anne noted that she had done a survey of “deramah” and found that there were not many headings.  It was decided that the corrections should be undertaken on an as-encounted basis, and should be reported for correction to HebNACO. The obsolete heading forms will be retained in cross-references.


4. Updating Hebraica Cataloging RDA, cont. (Jerry Anne Dickel)

IFLA LRM, RDA Steering Committee, 3R Project, i.e. major changes expected for April 2018.

Jerry Anne indicated that there is a need to broaden the current subcommittee maintaining Hebraica Cataloging RDA (comprised of Jerry Anne, Bob Talbott, and Ahava Cohen) and she is soliciting volunteers. There are changes anticipated for RDA.  IFLA Library Reference Model: A Conceptual Model for Bibliographic Information  may have a dramatic impact on RDA. In addition, the RDA Toolkit is expected to undergo restructuring in 2018.


Jerry Anne was asked to post highlights on HebNACO of recent changes adopted for HCR related to geresh and gershayim and the application of the Danaḳod. [These items have been added to the HCR 2017 update, and may be found also in the 2017 Summary.]


Jerry Anne would like to convert the manual into HTML, a format that will be more easily maintained and updated on the AJL Cataloging Committee Wiki; however, it was propsed that any major update of the manual be on hold given the pending RDA changes. 


5. Other business, questions

Jasmin mentioned that Penn is switching from its Voyager ILS to Alma, and asked if other institutions were pursuing the same change, as she is interested in sharing experiences (no one responded, however it seems that some Aleph users may be switching).


There will be changes to the composition of the Cataloging Committee. Jerry Anne is retiring, and members  Neal and Netanel may not renew their terms.  The Committee will need new members and a new Chair. Interested individuals should contact Jerry Anne.


[HCR 2017 revised text Foreign Loan Words, p. 19: 

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. In the case of foreign loan words of Latin or Greek origin, Alcalay should not be followed, and an initial consonantal cluster is treated as a sheva naḥ. These initial clusters retain the effect of vowel "heightening"--the sheṿa of the prefixes be-, ke-, and le- becomes a ḥiriḳ: bi-, ki-, li-. ]


In attendance:

Jerry Anne Dickel, Yale, geraldine.dickel@yale.edu

Sarah Barnard, Hebrew Union College Cincinnati (Retired), sarmarbar@gmail.com

Lenore Bell, US Holocaust Memorial Museum, lbell@ushmm.org, 

Beth Dwoskin, Proquest (retired), bdwoskin@yahoo.com

Vanessa Freedman, University College London, v.freedman@uclac.uk

Yossi Galron, Ohio State, galron1@osu.edu

Haim Gottschalk, Library of Congress, hgot@loc.gov

Uri Kolodney, UT Austin, kolodney@austin.utexas.edu

Ellen Kovacie, Hebrew Union College Cincinnati, ekovacie@huc.edu 

Heidi Lerner, Stanford, lerner@stanford.edu

Rita Lifton, Jewish Theological Seminary, rilirton@jtsa.edu

Rebecca Malamud, Yeshiva, malamud@yu.edu

Dovid Roth, YU & JTS, dovidroth@gmail.com

Nancy Sack, U. of Hawaii, sack@hawaii.edu

Daniel Scheide, Florida Atlantic, dascheide@gmail.com

Marlene Schiffman, Yeshiva, schiffma@yu.edu

Jasmin Shinohara, U. of Penn., jshino@upenn.edu

Avrom Shuchatowitz, Yeshiva, shuchatow@yu.edu

Rachel Simon, Princeton, rsimon@princeton.edu

Aaron Taub, Library of Congress, atau@ushmm.org

Judi Zupnick, NYU,  jez219@nyu.edu



Drafted by Lenore Bell, rev. 6/15/2018


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