Catalog woes

John Muller (john.muller@SONOMA.EDU)
Wed, 11 Sep 2002 13:30:50 -0700 (PDT)


That's the problem with constant shift in distribution rights, particularly
with foreign materials (just read a great bit about the merry-go-round
ownership of "La Dolce Vita" in today's issue of Frankly,
the only way to be sure is by checking the credits as shown in the material,
but even that is may not 100% reliable.

Public domain titles may have altered credits. Litigation can alter even
major studio releases (e.g. later prints of "The Terminator" must now credit
Harlan Ellison for the original story, not seen in earlier releases). Music
rights are a constant headache and may be altered for video release. Let's
not EVEN get into the whole "Director's Cut" and alternate version thingy!

Just a heads-up; another helpful tool is It is unfortunate that
IMDB is now proprietory (can anybody remember the name of the school that
originated it years ago?) with the links to Amazon, but I have sometimes
found the information there superior to many OCLC listings. Running time,
production company, and technical credits are pretty darned detailed there.
For example, the OCLC record for John Woo's "The Killer" makes no mention of
the original title; on IMDB, we learn that it is "Die Xue Shuang Xiong". Of
course, the listings are only as reliable as those submitting data, but
that's true of ANY catalog, isn't it?

My advice: if you have a choice, opt for DVDs. If anything, access to the
credits is amost instantaneous, much faster than slogging through VHS tape.

John F. Müller
Sonoma State University Library
Jean & Charles Schulz Information Center - Multimedia Department
1801 East Cotati Ave.
Rohnert Park, CA 94928
Phone:  (707) 664-2590
FAX:    (707) 664-2090

P.S. Stop "lurking" & squeeze Kevvy's nose for me!

on 9/11/02 7:39 AM, Lucoff, Margot at wrote:

> > Mike: > Enough of lurking on this list! This is one topic that I want to speak > about. > > With all respects to Ms. Olsen, I have found that it is important to view > all videos that I catalog. All too often I find that the OCLC record does > match the item in hand. Often the item is cataloged from the container, which > might not have much information; or rather, may not have the kind of > information that a cataloger needs. I look at the videos to verify titles and > statement of responsibility. When I catalog a monograph, I look at the title > page. It hold that when I catalog a video, I look at the credits. > > Thanks for letting me blow off steam. > > Margot Lucoff > Berkeley Public Library > > >>>> Mike Tribby 09/10/02 01:34PM >>> > Hey Randy! > > I just sent the message below to the OLAC list, then I saw the title in > question reviewed in the new VL and thought you might be interested, too. I > swear when this thing first came out A&E's promotional flurry referred to it > as Elizabeth R--a fact obviously lost on the money changers at New Video! > > Bryce Canyon > >> Several years ago I attended one of the A-V Cataloging workshops that Nancy >> Olsen gives in the summer. I asked her this >> very question. Her answer was to view the ones that require original >> cataloging, but do not automatically view the ones that already have >> cataloging copy available on OCLC. > > A problem with this approach was illustrated for me today. I was cataloging > the History Channel/A&E/New Video release about Queen Elizabeth I in both > its DVD and VHS incarnations. I was able to view existing OCLC records for > these items (being a filthy vendor, we can only view utility bib. records) > and in both cases the title in the 245 $a was Elizabeth (there were no > 246s). Upon viewing the actual programs I noticed more letters in the > calligraphic curlie-cues accompanying the title, so I called our contact at > New Video and she checked with their marketing director. It turns out that > the title screen presentation is a reproduction of Queen Elizabeth's > signature, which reads: "Elizabeth R." No "R" appears on the disc surfaces, > the VHS labels or any of the packaging. A patron who saw the original > presentation on television might be interested in finding the title > Elizabeth R, but without at least viewing the title sequence, you'd never > know that was this video's title. It seems to me that one really should at > least view title screens and not trust any source implicitly. Not even > OCLC. > > Mike Tribby >