Nonce collections

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Nonce collections are volumes made up of separately published pamphlets that have been gathered up for reissue by a publisher, usually with a collective title page. Different copies of nonce collections usually contain the same works, but may vary in issue or edition between copies. ("Nonce collection" and "nonce volume" are synonymous.) Do not confuse with sammelbands, which are composite volumes created after publication by a former owner.

Cataloging nonce collections

By definition, each individual component of a nonce collection was published separately. This can complicate the statement of extent and signature statement, making it very difficult to clearly describe the component parts in one record. For example, here is an ESTC record for the nonce collection Twenty sermons preached upon several occasions by Edward Reynolds.

The following approach is used by Folger catalogers as less problematic between the alternatives of (1) using only one record for the whole volume--as in the ESTC example--which is a truer representation of how the volume was issued but results in a confused and confusing record; or (2) cataloging each component part separately, resulting in clearer descriptions but also possibly obscuring how the volume was issued. We have chosen option 2: make separate records for each component part, and make a note that the pamphlet was also issued as part of a nonce collection.

  • Make a catalog record for the volume, transcribing from the collective title page. Add a note describing the situation. Example:
 A nonce collection of 19 separately published sermons with collective title page and list of contents in [8] pages (signed *⁴). See catalog records for detailed descriptions of the individual parts.
A nonce collection of two separately published works by Standfast with a collective title page. See catalog records for detailed descriptions of the individual parts.
  • If there are more than two or three works, give the total number of parts in the statement of extent.
  • Catalog each constituent title separately. Code each as a monograph (LDR 07='m'), even if the Folger does not have the separate issue.
  • Even if the Folger copy has the same works in the same order as other known nonce volumes, but does not have the collective title page, treat our copy as a sammelband

Nonce collections issued without a collective title page:

  • It is difficult to tell with certainty that the volume in hand was issued that way by the publisher.
  • If there is authoritative evidence that the Folger copy was issued that way by the publisher, treat as nonce. Create a record for the nonce volume with a devised title.
  • In the absence of strong evidence, assume the volume is a sammelband. Do not make a record for the volume.

Content and coding

  • Add MARC 774 fields for the constituent units in OCLC. If all titles are by the same author, the $a may be omitted. Include edition ($b) and publication ($d) information. If copy-and-pasting, don't forget to edit out the extraneous $d's in $a and $d.
  • Add reciprocal MARC 773 fields in Hamnet only.
    • If, because of Hamnet linking profiles, links are made to irrelevant bibliographic records, use 787 instead of 773 on the child records.
  • Add 655 _7 Nonce collections. ‡2 rbgenr to parent record in OCLC; add to child records in Hamnet only.


  • Twenty sermons preached upon several occasions by Edward Reynolds. (A Voyager bug prevents proper hyperlinks when a record is retrieved via permalink; perform a search for the record in Hamnet for proper linking function.)
  • There is, however, a collection of sermons by another author with the exact same title proper. Current Hamnet configuration causes links to both works show up on the child records. We used 787 instead of 773 to circumvent the problem.