Tip of the Week: "Plates" in physical description

In a previous tip, we talked about the use of brackets.  This week we'll cover a sort-of-exception to the rule, involving plates.What are "plates"?  The word is a catch-all term for graphical content that's been printed separately and inserted into a book during the binding process -- as opposed to illustrations, etc.  that are "in line" with the text, and printed together with the rest of the book.  The most common usage of plates these days is for photographs.  In a nonfiction book (especially history or biography) it's not uncommon to find a few pages of photos on glossy paper -- generally at the halfway point, but sometimes split into two or three sections throughout the book. By tradition, plates are not counted as part of the book's regular pagination.  So in addition to a difference in the type of paper used (regular vs. glossy), a big clue as to whether or not you have plates is to see if the page numbering skips the illustrated pages.  If it does -- or if they are numbered separately from the rest of the pages -- then you need to mention them separately in the physical description (Field 300) and in the Fixed Field of the record. In the 300 field, the number of plates is given in $a, along with the number of "regular" pages.  However, if the plates themselves are not numbered, it IS appropriate to use brackets to indicate that fact.  In 300 $b, describe what appears on the plates -- photos, portraits, etc. -- in addition to describing any other illustrative content.  It is by no means uncommon for a book to have, for instance, a set of plates AND various line drawings interspersed throughout the text.  In the Fixed Field, use letter code "f" to indicate that plates are present, together with the appropriate letter codes to describe what appears on them.  Remember when adding the fixed field codes that the Ills field is 4 spaces long, so in order for the codes to 'stick' in Evergreen you'll need to fill the entire field with either codes or spaces.  For example, if your codes are 'abf', you'll need to type a-b-f-space and if your codes are 'af', you'll need to type a-f-space-space.   (Note that any time you use more than one letter code, they are entered in alphabetical order). Here's some examples of 300 fields and the corresponding Illustration (Ills) fixed field: =300 \\ $a 273 p., [16] p. of plates : $b color illustrations, maps ; $c 24 cm. Ills fixed field: abf =300 \\ $a iv, 438 p., [8] leaves of plates : $b maps, portraits ; $c 25 cm.Ills fixed field: bcf=300 \\$a 179 p., 24 p. of plates (some folded)  $b maps, photos ; $c 24 cm.Ills fixed field: bfo 

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