250  edition statement


Chief Source | Indicators | New Edition vs. Copy or Printing

Subfield a | Abbreviations & Numerals | Subfield b



Chief source

The chief source for the edition statement is the title page, colophon, and preliminaries (title page verso, pages preceding the title page, and the cover)


Check all areas of the chief source to verify the edition.  This is particularly important when cataloging CIP (cataloging in publication) books, as the edition statement on the book may have been omitted from the CIP record.




Both indicators are blank.


New Edition vs. a Copy or Printing

The following is LC’s policy on editions versus printings and copies (LCRI 1.0).  CUL follows LC practice.

When a new manifestation of an item reaches the cataloger, the question arises as to whether this is a copy of an earlier manifestation or an edition separate from the earlier manifestation needing its own bib record.  Consider that a new edition is involved whenever:


1.      there is explicit indication of changes (Including corrections, [e.g., new prefatory material], of content; or

2.      anything in the following areas differs from one bib record to another:  title and statement of responsibility, edition, extent of the physical description, and series (see also item 5 below).


Whenever the question relates to the publication, distribution, etc., area or to ISBNs, consider that the item is a copy if the only variation is one or more of the following:


1.      a difference in printing or copyright date when there is also a publication date;

2.      a minor variation in an entity’s name.  There are relatively few occurrences of this phenomenon, which arises when the publisher uses multiple forms concurrently.  For example, “Duckworth” and “G. Duckworth” and “St. Martin’s” and “St. Martin’s Press” have been used at the same time by these publishers.  A genuine name change, even if minor, should not be considered as a variation, i.e., constitutes a new edition;

3.      the addition, deletion, or change of an ISBN;

4.      a difference in binding; or,

“If at the time of cataloging a hardbound item, an ISBN for the paperback issue, if any, is known, it is added to the bibliographic record as information only….  A separate bibliographic record is created for the paperback item only if the bibliographic description of the paperback item is different in some way from that of the hardbound item; for example, a difference in imprint, pagination, or series statement (the last is one of the most frequent differences, when there is one; a paperback issue often bears a series not found on the hardbound issue)" (CSB 5, p. 11).

5.      a difference in the edition statement or the series whenever the item is a CIP book issued by the publisher in both a hard and softbound version.


For variations in the publication, distribution, etc., area not covered by the preceding statements, consider that the item is a new edition.  Noteworthy examples for the publication, distribution, etc., area are:  variations involving different places or entities transcribed or any differences in an entity’s name that is suggestive of either a name change or a different entity.  Examples of the latter case are the many instances of a sequence of names used, with one used for some time and another at some point replacing the first.  For example, “Harper & Brothers” becomes “Harper & Row”; “Doubleday, Doran” becomes “Doubleday.”


Publishers, particularly foreign language publishers, do not always interpret “edition” in the same way.  They frequently use edition to mean printing.  This is also true of older materials.  Consider “editions” that do not involve any textual revision as printings, regardless of the terminology used in the book. 


One indication that a mere printing is involved is an unusually large edition number.

For example:  publication date:  1950.  Statement in item:  28th ed. 1993.

This is probably a printing rather than a true edition.


Whenever an item contains a phrase that calls attention to changes from a previous issue of the item, treat that phrase as an edition statement, even if it does not otherwise look like one.

For example:  publication date:  1995.  Statement in item:  July 1994: minor corrections.


Each edition is a unique bibliographic entity requiring a separate record.  DO NOT edit the record for one edition to match another edition.  In case of doubt, refer the item to a Cataloger.



Subfield a

The edition statement is transcribed as found in the book.  Abbreviations and numerals are used as instructed in AACR2.


Abbreviations and Numerals

Consult the Appendix:  Abbreviations  (Appendices B and C in AACR2) for the full list of AACR2 abbreviations.  The following table includes the most common abbreviations.  Use ordinal numbers for numerals.




second edition

2nd ed.

revised edition

Rev. ed.

First United States edition

1st U.S. ed.

First paperback edition

1st paperback ed.

New edition revised and enlarged

New ed., rev. and enl.

Reprinted March 1933 with corrections

Repr. Mar. 1933 with corrections

Ordinal numbers for all languages other than English

2. Aufl.  (use  .  to indicate ordinal no.)



Subfield b

Statement of Responsibility Relating to the Edition

When an edition is revised, it may have additional statements of responsibility that were not part of the original edition.  Such a statement is transcribed in |b of the 250.


245:12:  A short history of the United States / |c by Philip Hughes.

250:__:  8th ed. / |b revised and enlarged by Eric Roman.




KRS 02/26/2002


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Last updated 03/05/2002