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Multivolume Sets

If you are requesting CIP data for a book that is complete in more than one volume, do not complete the CIP Request before determining if you should:

Multivolume sets are works published in more than one physical volume and are not open-ended in nature. In other words, there is a finite amount of information and a planned end to the project. (By contrast, a monographic series is open-ended with no foreseeable end.)

  • A multivolume set may be cataloged with a single catalog record for the set as a whole, that is, one record will be made for the entire work, no matter how many volumes the set contains. This ensures that the volumes of the set will be shelved together in one place in a library based on the subject class number assigned to the set as a whole.
  • A multivolume set may be cataloged with separate catalog records made for each individual volume of the set so that each volume of the set will be shelved in a library (separately from the other volumes of the set) according to the specific subject class number appropriate to the particular volume.

A determination of whether one record or multiple separate records will be required for a multivolume set must be made before application is made for CIP data because that determination governs whether a single CIP Request or multiple CIP Requests should be submitted.  

To assist publishers in determining how the Library of Congress may decide to handle particular types of multivolume sets, the following guidelines are provided.

Submit a single CIP Request for the multivolume set if:

  • The individual volumes have no subtitles or special titles of their own.
    Example: "The Golden Bowl," by Henry James [two volumes, no subtitles].
  • The individual volumes have no independently meaningful or distinctive titles or subtitles of their own.
    Example: "Encyclopedia of Antiques"
    Volume 1: "A-L"
    Volume 2: "M-Z."
  • The individual volume titles omit an essential piece of information found in the collective title.
    Example: "Collected Essays," by H.P. Lovecraft
    Volume 1: "Amateur Journalism"
    Volume 2: "Literary Criticism"
    Volume 3: "Travel"
    Volume 4: "Science"
    Volume 5: "Philosophy, Autobiography, and Miscellany"

Compare this example where the volume titles represent categories of essays with the "Henry James" example below (under Submit separate CIP Requests for each individual volume of the set) where the individual volume titles represent the titles of individual titles published by James.

Example: "Human Rights and the World’s Major Religions"
Volume 1: "The Jewish Tradition," by Peter J. Haas
Volume 2: "The Christian Tradition," by William H. Brackney
Volume 3: "The Islamic Tradition," by Muddathir Abd al-Rahim
Volume 4: "The Hindu Tradition," by Harold Coward
Volume 5: "The Buddhist Tradition," by Robert E. Florida

Note in this example that even though each volume is by a different author, because the volume titles omit the reference to human rights, a single record will be created for the set as a whole. Compare this with the "Your Successful Career" example below (under Submit separate CIP Requests for each individual volume of the set) where the individual volume titles are independent. (Note also that this principle applies explicitly to multivolume sets and does not govern the treatment of monographic series.)

If your title clearly falls into one of these categories, submit one complete CIP Request, which refers to the set as a whole, even if you plan an initial publication of only one or some of the volumes of the set.

Enter only the set title in the "Title" block on the CIP Request. (Do not enter the set title in the "series" information.) It is also very important that you indicate the total number of volumes of the set and which volumes of the set are covered on this CIP Request. This alerts the cataloger where to look in the attached galley for information that pertains to particular volumes.  For such sets, be sure to include all simultaneously-published volumes of a multivolume set in your initial CIP Request.

If the Library of Congress has already cataloged a set according to the "single record" technique described above, CIP data will not be provided for volumes after the first volume(s) cataloged. The CIP data supplied for the first volume(s) published should be printed in each subsequent volume.

If some or all the volumes of the set will be published simultaneously, it is very important that your CIP Request includes information concerning all of these simultaneously-published volumes of the set. Otherwise, when you apply for CIP data for successive volumes published simultaneously with the earliest volumes for which you requested data, you will be directed to print the existing CIP data (which will lack information concerning the volumes you did not include in your original application) in the successive volumes.

Upon publication of subsequent volumes of the set and receipt of the published volumes by the CIP Program, the bibliographic record will be adjusted to reflect the additional volumes. If CIP data were supplied for the original volume(s), it is important that you send the CIP Program all additional volumes immediately upon publication to ensure that the record distributed worldwide to libraries and book vendors includes the most recent volumes published.

The decision to create a single record for the set or to create separate records for the individual volumes of the set is not always as clear as it is in the above examples. Other factors, such as the method of volume or series numbering or cataloger's judgment, may influence the decision.

If you are in any doubt whatsoever, contact your Publisher Liaison for assistance.

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Submit separate CIP Requests for each volume of the set if:

  • Each volume of the set is prepared by (a) different author(s) and each volume has a different, independently meaningful title. (CIP data will be provided for each volume.)
    Example: "Your Successful Career" [three volumes].
    Volume 1: "How to Find a Job," by Jane Jones.
    Volume 2: "How to Get a Raise," by John Smith.
    Volume 3: "Planning for Your Retirement," by Mary Brown.

Compare this with the "Human Rights and the World’s Major Religions" example above (under Submit a single CIP Request for the multivolume set) where the titles are dependent.

  • All the volumes are by one author and have clearly distinctive titles. A common instance of this category is a retrospective collection of an author's works, each of which was originally published separately. (CIP data will be provided for each volume.)
    Example: "The Complete Works of Henry James"
    Volume 1: "The Golden Bowl"
    Volume 2: "The Portrait of a Lady"
    Volume 3: [etc.]

Compare this example where the individual volume titles represent individual published titles by James with the H.P. Lovecraft example above (under Submit a single CIP Request for the multivolume set) where the volume titles represent categories of essays.

If you suspect that your title falls into one of these categories, or if the Library has already provided separate CIP data for earlier volumes of the set, submit a separate CIP Request for each volume. Enter each volume title in the "Title" field in its own CIP Request. Enter the set title and volume number in the "series" and "series number" information in the CIP Request.

Attach the PDF for each separate volume to its own CIP Request. Enter the set title in the "Title" information in the CIP Request. (Do not enter the set title in the "series" information in the CIP Request.) It is very important that you indicate the total number of volumes of the set and which volumes of the set are covered by your CIP Request

You will receive separate CIP data for every volume of the set for which you applied.

If you are in any questions, contact your Publisher Liaison for assistance.

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Monographic Series

A group of separate items related to one another by the fact that, in addition to its own individual title, each item also bears a collective title applying to the group as a whole. Monographic series are open-ended in nature and do not have a foreseeable end. (By contrast, a multivolume set is not open-ended in nature and there is a planned end to the project.)

The items of the series may or may not be numbered as part of the series. A separate item in the series may itself be a multivolume set. CIP data is always provided for the individual items of a monographic series.

Series Page

Publishers often include a separate page in the book which presents formal details about the monographic series or multivolume set in which a particular title is being issued.

The series page usually presents the formal title of the series--which may differ from other variants of the series title appearing in the book, e.g., an abbreviated version of the series title appearing on the spine or on the title page. It may also include the name(s) of the series editor(s). In addition, it may include:

  • The titles of all of the books issued in the series (including the current title);
  • The titles of other books issued in the series (excluding the current title); or
  • The title of the particular book in the series which is currently being published.

The series page often appears as the first full page preceding the title page. But it may appear on a page(s) at the back of the book. In some cases, the publisher gives a list of selected books in the series on the back cover. Publisher practices vary. In any case, if a series page will appear in the published book, the series page must be included in the PDF attached to your CIP Request.

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