In this article, I examine the nature of bibliographic records of calligraphic rubbings based on a grasp of their distinguishing characteristics as source material and give an outline of the preparation of bibliographic records and underlying ideas that I have been putting into practice at the University of Tokyo Library, to which I am affiliated, when making the Libraryʼs calligraphic rubbings publicly accessible.
The principal distinguishing characteristic of calligraphic rubbings as source material is the multilayeredness of responsibility. The responsibilities of many people from different periods accrue during the course of creating a calligraphic rubbing, and in research importance must be given to both the individuality and commonalities conferred on the material by these multiple responsibilities. But judging from precedents for bibliographic records of calligraphic rubbings―such as bibliographic records based on the Nippon (Japanese) Cataloging Rules, catalogues of Chinese books, metadata elements used in the main collections of rubbings in Japan, and the “Cataloging Rules for Chinese Rubbings” prescribed by the National Library of China―a form of bibliographic description that takes due account of the multilayeredness of responsibility has not yet been realized.
Meanwhile, it is worth noting that in the Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records endorsed by the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions it is reported that bibliographic records require functions for recording four attributes, namely, work, expression, manifestation, and item. However, because the locus of responsibility for each attribute cannot be recorded in this model, I have not applied it as it is to calligraphic rubbings and have only referred to its underlying ideas.
Taking the above observations into account, in this article I propose metadata elements that are divided into the five strata of work, version, materialization, item, and data and make it possible to record the multilayeredness of responsibility with a certain degree of accuracy.