RE: [Videolib] Cataloging Foreign Language Feature Films

Bergman, Barbara J (
Thu, 27 May 2004 11:50:31 -0500

Perhaps your catalog system doesn't allow for this, but what our cataloguers do is put the "real" title as the main title, but then include the English translation as an alternate title. A title-keyword search looks in both fields, so it doesn't matter which version of the title the patron searches for.

Going off on a related tangent... Our AV cataloger recently brought this idea to me about the foreign films.
For those of you with videos arranged by LC numbers...
As you know, LC clumps all feature films into a vaguely alphabetical arrangement regardless of language. This OLAC conference presentation advocated arranging by language and director rather than just alphabetically by title,. i.e. more like literature is arranged with each language having it's own call number range.
Go to:
and click on "Diane Warner's handouts"

Good luck,


From: on behalf of Holly Sammons
Sent: Thu 5/27/2004 8:15 AM
Subject: [Videolib] Cataloging Foreign Language Feature Films

Before I ask my question, let me preface it by saying I am NOT a
cataloger! But I am having a cataloging battle.

I'd like my foreign language videos (dvd's and vc's)to be cataloged with
the primary title being English and the additional title in the language
the film was made (making it more user friendly). For instance, the film
"Shower" would have that as the primary title, and the Chinese title, "Xi
zao" would be the additional title.

My contention is that the average patron would search for "Shower" not "Xi
zao"!!! I know the general rule about title page, but with a video there
is no way a patron can view the "title page" without putting it in a
machine! And often there is NOTHING on the container that says the
foreign language title. Titles on video packages are often in English.

Is this reasonable? How do other libraries do it? My library's catalog is
so user unfriendly that this detail makes an enormous difference.

Thanks in advance.

Holly Sammons, Librarian
Onondaga County Public Library
447 So Salina St
Syracuse NY  13202

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