We received an inquiry a while ago from our colleagues at the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek (DNB), asking about the intended treatment for personal bibliographies for persons clearly associated with a specific subject—should they be classed in 016 with other bibliographies, or in 001–999 with the subject?
In considering the question, we realized that the table of preference at 012-017 did not give a clear answer. Yes, the table of preference lists 016 Bibliographies and catalogs of works on specific subjects above 012 Bibliographies and catalogs of individuals—but the instructions at 012 on classing biobibliographies muddy the waters. Consequently, a see reference has been added at 012 indicating that personal bibliographies of persons associated with a specific subject should be classed with the subject in 016 (that is, in 016, plus notation 001–999 to indicate the subject).
Given the complexity of the situation here—is the work being classified a personal bibliography or a biobibliography?; is the corresponding person associated with a subject?—a Manual note was added (1) to clarify the distinction between personal bibliographies and biobibliographies and (2) to give instructions for how to class personal bibliographies and biobibliographies, depending on whether the person involved is clearly associated with a subject. The text of the Manual note reads as follows:
012 vs. 016, 001-999
Personal bibliographies and biobibliographies
A personal bibliography is a bibliography of works by or about a person. A biobibliography is a bibliography of works by or about a person, combined with substantial biographical material about the person.
Use 012 for both personal bibliographies and biobibliographies of people who are not clearly associated with a specific subject. Use 016 plus notation 001-999 for personal bibliographies of people associated with a specific subject, e.g., a personal bibliography of a psychologist 016.15. Use 001-999 plus notation T1—092 from Table 1 for biobibliographies of people associated with a specific subject, e.g., a biobibliography of a psychologist 150.92.
Add notation T1—092 from Table 1 if a personal bibliography includes annotated bibliographic entries of works by the person and the annotations constitute description and critical appraisal of the person’s work, e.g., an annotated personal bibliography of a psychologist 016.15092.
Thus, both a personal bibliography and a biobibliography are bibliographies of works by or about a person, but the biobibliography also includes “substantial biographical material.” Both personal bibliographies and biobibliographies of persons who are not clearly associated with a specific subject are classed in the same number, 012 Bibliographies and catalogs of individuals. Treatment of personal bibliographies and biobibliographies differs, however, if the person involved is clearly associated with a subject: personal bibliographies are classed in 016 Bibliographies and catalogs of works on specific subjects, plus notation 001–999 for the subject, while biobibliographies are classed in the number for the subject, plus notation T1—092 Biography. That is, the essential characteristic of personal bibliographies is that they are bibliographies; the essential characteristic of biobibliographies is that they are biographies.
Several examples should seal the deal.
Our first example is Paul Simon: a bio-bibliography. The work includes a brief biography of this 20th-century American singer and songwriter, followed by an extensive general bibliography, a discography, a composition list, various indexes, etc. We therefore class the work, as accurately reflected by its subtitle, as a biobibliography, that is, in the number for the subject with which Paul Simon is associated, plus notation T1—092. This gives us 782.42164092 Biography of Western popular songs (built from 782.42 Songs, plus notation 164 from 781.64 Western popular music, following the directions at 782.1–782.4, plus notation T1—092 Biography).
The second example is A Kafka bibliography, 1908-1976. Containing no substantial biographical material, the work is a personal bibliography. Kafka is known as an early 20th century German-language novelist. This work is then classed in 016.833912 Bibliographies of German fiction, 1900-1945 (built with 016 Bibliographies and catalogs of works on specific subjects, plus—following the instruction at 016 to add for the specific subject—notation 833 German fiction, plus notation 912, 1900-1945 from the period table under 831-838 Subdivisions for specific forms of German literature, following the instructions at Table 3A Subdivisions for Works by or about Individual Authors).
What if the person who is the focus of the biobibliography or personal bibliography is associated with more than one subject? Can he or she still be clearly associated with a specific subject? Yes, even though someone may be known for his or her work in several fields, that person may still be clearly associated with only one of those subjects. Such is the case with Winston Churchill, who was a military officer, a historian, and a writer (having won the Nobel Prize in literature), but who is best known as a statesman. With that background in mind, our third example is A bibliography of the works of Sir Winston Churchill. Inasmuch as the work includes no substantial biographical material, the work is classed as a personal bibliography in 016.941084 Bibliographies of history of Great Britain, 1936–1945 (built with 016 Bibliographies and catalogs of works on specific subjects, plus notation 941.084 History of Great Britain, 1936–1945, following the add instruction at 016). The time period 1936-1945 is chosen because Churchill’s prime ministership of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945 represents the foremost of his many contributions to British history.
If someone known for work in several fields can still be clearly associated with a single field, when should 012 Bibliographies and catalogs of individuals be used? In theory, 012 is appropriate for use with a person who is not clearly associated with any field. But it is a tad difficult to imagine a personal bibliography or biobibliography being prepared for someone who is not associated with any field at all. This class would also be appropriate for someone associated with multiple fields to more-or-less the same extent. While this possibility is perhaps more easily imagined, in practice, we do not anticipate that 012 should get much use.