Are you mono, multi, series or serial (and why do we care)?

We cataloguers are not just a crazy bunch of control freaks whose main aim in life is to squeeze everything into boxes! There is a good reason for what we do. By describing something we aim to make it more findable – providing many pathways to get you there. So our catalogue records try to help those searchers out there discover “publications” by the name of the creator, by the title, by the publisher, by the subject matter (topic), by the form (i.e. the type of thing it is – a zine, a comic, a picture, a website, a book). We also try to show any relationships it has to other items. The world of information is full of families with both close and distant links, and we have ways of describing them all. Cataloguing is quite a challenge and definitely exercises the mind – who needs Sudoku for mental gymnastics when you can throw yourself into cataloguing instead. Much more fun, trust me! So, where does this mono, multi, series, serial aspect fit in? Did you have any idea that your zine could be one of these things? Well, a monograph (mono) is what we call something that is published as a one-off title that is not part of any sort of set. An example is the zine Killer Panku and old mate Celebrity Jez! A multi-volume (multi) is a zine or other publication that comes out in several volumes or parts, but will have a definite end, e.g. there are only plans to do 3 volumes. An example is The joy of public transport A series is usually something that is ongoing and has both a common title used on all of the issues, plus each new issue also has its own individual title. Usually there is a similar topic or theme for all the items in the series. An example is People shaking hands, and locusts A serial is something that has no planned end (could go on forever …), and each issue has exactly the same title. The only difference is the issue number. An example is Feels like Friday  or I am a camera Confused? Just ask us if you have any questions. Our contact email is zines@nla.gov.au Julie