Uniform title
A uniform title in library catalog
Library catalog
A library catalog is a register of all bibliographic items found in a library or group of libraries, such as a network of libraries at several locations...

ing is a title assigned to a work which either has no title or has appeared under more than one title. It is part of authority control
Authority control
Authority control is the practice of creating and maintaining index terms for bibliographic material in a catalog in library and information science. Authority control fulfills two important functions. First, it enables catalogers to disambiguate items with similar or identical headings...

. The phrases conventional title and standard title are sometimes used; the forthcoming Resource Description and Access
Resource Description and Access
Resource Description and Access or RDA is a set of instructions for the cataloguing of books and other materials held in libraries and other cultural organizations such as museums and galleries. RDA is the successor to the second edition of the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules , the current...

 uses preferred title; and the 2009 Statement of International Cataloguing Principles deprecates it in favour of authorized access point.

There are many instances in which a uniform title can be used. Anonymous works such as sacred texts and folk tales may lack an obvious title: for instance, the Bible
The Bible refers to any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the individual books , their contents and their order vary among denominations...

, Epic of Gilgamesh
Epic of Gilgamesh
Epic of Gilgamesh is an epic poem from Mesopotamia and is among the earliest known works of literature. Scholars believe that it originated as a series of Sumerian legends and poems about the protagonist of the story, Gilgamesh king of Uruk, which were fashioned into a longer Akkadian epic much...

, Beowulf
Beowulf , but modern scholars agree in naming it after the hero whose life is its subject." of an Old English heroic epic poem consisting of 3182 alliterative long lines, set in Scandinavia, commonly cited as one of the most important works of Anglo-Saxon literature.It survives in a single...

or the Chanson de Roland. Works of art and music
Music is an art form whose medium is sound and silence. Its common elements are pitch , rhythm , dynamics, and the sonic qualities of timbre and texture...

 may contain no text that can be used for reference. A uniform title allows all of the works to fall under one title and will reference all of the items to which the uniform title applies.

For example, if a library had 10 copies of Crime and Punishment
Crime and Punishment
Crime and Punishment is a novel by the Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky. It was first published in the literary journal The Russian Messenger in twelve monthly installments during 1866. It was later published in a single volume. This is the second of Dostoyevsky's full-length novels following his...

but each copy was in a different language, an online library catalogue
An Online Public Access Catalog is an online database of materials held by a library or group of libraries...

 can display all of the copies of the book together under the chosen uniform title. The library could also list any copies of Crime and Punishment in other mediums, such as film adaptations or abridged editions, under the same uniform title. This can help a library patron when searching the online catalog find all of the versions of Crime and Punishment at once instead of searching for each foreign title or film individually.

Uniform titles are particularly useful when cataloguing music, where pieces of music are often known by multiple valid titles, and those titles are known in multiple languages.

The Library of Congress
Library of Congress
The Library of Congress is the research library of the United States Congress, de facto national library of the United States, and the oldest federal cultural institution in the United States. Located in three buildings in Washington, D.C., it is the largest library in the world by shelf space and...

 provides an example of how books of the New Testament
New Testament
The New Testament is the second major division of the Christian biblical canon, the first such division being the much longer Old Testament....

 are referred to in the Anglo-American Cataloging Rules
AACR2 stands for the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules, Second Edition. It is published jointly by the American Library Association, the Canadian Library Association, and the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in the UK. The editor is Michael Gorman, a British-born...

- Bible. N.T. Acts
- Bible. N.T. Colossians
- Bible. N.T. Corinthians, 1st
- Bible. N.T. Corinthians, 2nd
- Bible. N.T. Ephesians ...

The complementary situation occurs with a single work that exists with more than one title, especially when translated
Translation is the communication of the meaning of a source-language text by means of an equivalent target-language text. Whereas interpreting undoubtedly antedates writing, translation began only after the appearance of written literature; there exist partial translations of the Sumerian Epic of...

 into another language, excerpted
Abridgement or abridgment is a term defined as "shortening" or "condensing" and is most commonly used in reference to the act of reducing a written work, typically a book, into a shorter form...

 or collected with other works. In this case, the name of the language or a phrase such as 'Selections' is added to distinguish works with the same uniform title.

The MARC 21
MARC standards
MARC, MAchine-Readable Cataloging, is a data format and set of related standards used by libraries to encode and share information about books and other material they collect...

standard uses fields 240, 243, 630, 730 and 830 for uniform titles.

External links

Reitz, Joan M. ODLIS: Online Dictionary for Library and Information Science. U.
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