Criteria for Matching
the ESTC Log In Page
Types of records in the database
There are four types of records in the ESTC database.
Edited records represent the book as a whole, with the
title (minus extraneous quotes and scriptural references), imprint,
pagination, format, and, sometimes, an internal description of the
18th century records
18th century records were created according to the
cataloging rules of the Eighteenth Century Short Title Catalogue and
omit most of the title and, in the imprint, the printer’s and
publishers’ addresses. There are no partial or unedited 18th century records. Please note also for 18th century
following the printers’ and publishers’ names in the imprint field is
the punctuation at the end of the printers’ or publishers’ address.
a large number of printers or publishers are present, the names at the
end of the imprint may be replaced with "[and [#] others]".
numeral dates are almost always given, silently, as Arabic.
- Pagination does not include blank leaves, or the
plates, when present.
The record above silently omits the printers' addresses
seen in the title page below and uses Arabic and not
Roman numerals for the date.
Unedited and partial records
Unedited and partial records are atypical of the database and
require special attention. These records are batch-loaded records
incorporated into the ESTC database and are in the process of being
upgraded. These records are only found in the STC (1473-1640) and Wing (1641-1700) periods.
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- Unedited records may omit words silently from the
ISBD punctuation. They lack printers’ and publishers’ addresses in the
imprint and sometimes give Roman numeral publication dates as Arabic.
Pagination often lacks preliminary or final leaves and format is never
recorded. These records sometimes supply an edition statement from an
outside source without so noting. The primary library holding is either
umi or oclc (this can be seen in the Holdings Display).
- Partial records have titles as per Wing CD-Rom,
file entries and omit much of the title. Imprints often lack printers’
and publishers’ addresses and Roman numeral publication dates are
sometimes given in Arabic. The pagination is absent in most cases, but
the format is present either numerically or spelled out.
Verified vs. unverified matches
Matches are of two kinds: verified and unverified. It is assumed
that any matching done with a book in hand will result in a verified
To be a Verified match, the book in hand must correspond to
edited records exactly in the following fields, and to 18th century
records within the limits of 18th century cataloging
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- Title: title proper should match exactly
with regard to
spelling and punctuation.
- Edition: edition statements may be found
within the text
title or following it and must match exactly with regard to spelling
- Imprint: if an element of the imprint is
source or from another position within the imprint, it is enclosed
within brackets. The first element of the imprint field is the place of
publication followed by a space and a colon. The last element contains
the date of publication and is always preceded by a comma. All else is
contained in the second element of the imprint field and should match
exactly with regard to spelling and punctuation.
- Pagination: matches may be made in
in the Copy Notes field, any imperfections of the book in hand (See Copy Notes and Provenance.)
- Format: format refers to the imposition of
the type and
resultant folding of the paper on which the text was printed. This is
determined from the evidence of watermarks, number of leaves per
gathering, chainlines and size. See Gaskell's A New Introduction to
Bibliography: Large and Medium Formats
and Small Formats for detailed
- General notes: when a general note
pertains to variants in
title, (imprint, pagination, etc.) differing text settings, and other
details with regard to edition, it is very important to compare these
notes with the book in hand to complete a match.
Types of matches
For a given book, the matcher may take one of six actions.
An uncomplicated match to an edited record.
Absolutely everything corresponds to the book in hand or
can be accounted for. The item is matched with a status of verified.
Matching to an edited record, with a Cataloguer’s Note.
Instances where a Cataloguer’s Note is called for:
- Everything matches except for a typo in the title
- There is a break in the pagination not accounted
for in the
- The book in hand has an additional preliminary or
not acknowledged in the record.
- Everything matches in the title, imprint, and
one of the general notes does not describe the book in hand (i.e.
describes another edition or a variant).
- There is more than one record your copy can
match, so an
additional general note is needed to further differentiate the records.
- Something looks weird.
Please note that if your query needs an immediate response, it is
contact the ESTC catalogers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Matching to an unedited record.
DO NOT MATCH TO AN UNEDITED RECORD
Unedited records are in the process of being upgraded.
Preference is given to those unedited records to which a
contributing library wishes to match items. Email
the ESTC catalogers at email@example.com if you find
an unedited record to which you need to match.
Matching to a partial record.
DO NOT MATCH TO A PARTIAL RECORD
There is no way to update partial records without a report
a contributing library. Report your holding as if reporting for a new
record. Include the ESTC identification number of the partial record on
the report. See Reporting Procedures for
more information on reporting partial records to the ESTC.
No match to a record with a Cataloguer’s Note.
Exceptionally, the matcher will find more than one possible
record to match to, and the general notes they contain are either
contradictory or insufficient to permit narrowing the choice to one.
The matcher may enter an unverified match with a Cataloguer’s Note in
one of the records, explaining the problem. ESTC will resolve the
problem to permit a match, sometimes requiring additional information
from the contributing library. Again, for a more immediate response,
email the ESTC catalogers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
No match to any record in the database
If the item in hand does not match anything in the database, the
matcher should report the item to ESTC as a new record. See Reporting Procedures for more information on
reporting new records to the ESTC.
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