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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Cataloguing Africana: the case for the integration of onomastics into training programs
Author:Batoma, AtomaISNI
Periodical:African Research and Documentation (ISSN 0305-862X)
Geographic term:Africa
personal names
Abstract:Cataloguing principles and rules have evolved in a Western cultural context. When they are applied to materials originating from non-Western cultures problems arise with biases. This is the case with Africana materials, which present numerous problems for many a cataloguer. The AACR2 rules for cataloguing authors' names are a case in point. The lack of empirical knowledge about African cultures at the time the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules were compiled has resulted in some practical difficulties in applying AACR2 rules to African names. There is in fact no single rule that one can apply when cataloguing African names. The best strategy is to first inquire about the specific onomastic tradition or traditions involved. While such knowledge will not yield an infallible tool, it will provide the cataloguer with a rule of thumb that can prove useful in case of doubt. Focusing on the issue of African names from an onomastic standpoint, the present author summarizes some of the difficulties of applying AACR2 rules related to names to non-Western materials in general and to Africana materials in particular. He looks at the cultural roots of the plurality and diversity of African names, which constitute one of the main difficulties, and explores the issue of name changes. He reviews some of the pathways suggested by Africana cataloguers as conducive to practical solutions to the problems mentioned: background in African Studies, comparative cataloguing, African national bibliographies, organization of African cataloguers, continuous dialogue with Library of Congress and Dewey Decimal Classification, international library cooperation, role of the cataloguing committee of the Africana Librarians Council (ALC). Bibliogr., notes. [ASC Leiden abstract]