Editions and Printings:  Matching Editions

Part I. A.

Edition statement

(See also Part II.A., on editing edition statements)

Document sections

General notes
Part I. A. 1.English language
Part I. A. 2.Foreign languages

General notes

The critical factor in analyzing edition statements for purposes of matching a piece with a record is distinguishing genuine edition statements from printing statements.  This problem is discussed below, in two separate sections, one for English and another, collectively, for foreign languages.

An additional caveat is that, in some contexts, a word (in English or another language) that can indicate "edition" may not actually relate to an edition or printing statement.  For example, it may be present on the title page to be transcribed as part of a statement of responsibility (e.g., "edition, translation, and notes by ...").  In other cases, it may appear as part of a series (e.g. "Edizione nazionale dei classici del pensiero italiano").  It may also be a term that refers in some way to the nature of the material, which would not vary from one bibliographic edition to another (e.g., -- "Nauchnoe izdanie" ["scientific -- or scholarly -- edition/publication"]).  You do not need to worry about such phrases in the context of edition statements.

1.  English language

In general, an edition statement in an English-language publication should be treated as an actual edition statement, i.e., accepted at face value.  Edition information in the piece should correspond to edition information in the record, either in the 250 edition field or a 500 note field.  There are a few categories of exceptions, indicated below.

Printing statements, on the other hand, should not be treated as indicating variations in edition unless there is some other indication of a change, such as the term "Revised printing."  (Cf. Part II.A.4, on editing printing statements.)

E.g.      T.p. verso:  Third edition ... 4th printing

The matching record would be for the 3rd ed.; the printing should be ignored.

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2.  Foreign languages

Problems associated with foreign language edition and printing statements are rather different from those in English-language publications in that non-English language terms for "edition" and "printing" are often ambiguous, even when numbered.  They must be examined in context to determine whether they actually reflect a distinct edition.

For a list of terms in several European languages that could mean either "edition" or "printing," consult "Ambiguous terms for edition and printing."

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Go to Document sections

Part I. Introduction
Part I. A.Edition statements Part I. E.Physical description
Part I. B. Places of publication Part I. F. Series statements
Part I. C. Publishers Part I. G.Multivolume titles
Part I. D.Dates Part I. H.Photocopies and microforms of books

HTML document last reviewed:  16 November 1999