Nonce collections

Nonce collections are groups of separately-published works gathered together for issue by a bookseller/publisher, usually with a collective title page. Individual copies usually have the same titles, but may be made up of different editions. 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 English short title catalogue record for a nonce collection.

The following approach is proposed as the less problematic between the alternatives of using only one record for the whole volume, which is a truer representation of how the volume issued but resulting in a confused record; or cataloging each component part separately, resulting in clearer descriptions but misrepresenting how the item was issued. In general, prefer separate records for each component part, and make a note that the title was also issued as part of a nonce collection.

  • Catalog each title separately. Code each as a monograph (LDR 07='m'), even if the Folger does not have the separate issue.
  • Make a catalog record for the volume, transcribing from the collective title page and giving the total number of parts in the statement of extent.
  • If the Folger copy has the same titles in the same order as other nonce collections but does not have the collective title page, assume our copy is a sammelband
  • Nonce collections issued without a collective title page
    • It is often difficult to tell with certainty that the volume in hand was issued that way by the bookseller.
    • If there is strong evidence that our volume was issued as a nonce collection, create a record for the collection with a devised title.
    • In the absence of strong evidence, assume the volume is a sammelband. Do not make a record for the collection.

Still to be decided: the best way to make links between the individual and the composite records.