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Anthologies in Classical Tamil Literature and Uniform Titles: A descriptive study


M. Visakaruban

Tamil University, University of Jaffna, LK
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In library cataloguing, when the author’s name of a book is not readily available, selecting the title of the book as the heading of that record, i.e. the main entry of that catalogue, has been the normal practice according to cataloguing rules. But when a particular book has various descriptions, the catalogue entry for that book is determined by how it is popularly known among the readers. The title selected in this manner is known in cataloguing practice as the uniform title. The great classical creations in Tamil tradition such as Edduthokai, Pathu Paaddu, Pathinen Keal Kanakku, Panniru Thirumuraikal, Naalayira Thivya Pirapanthangal,... which are treasured compositions of the earlier era, which have all gained their prominence through each of their well-known titles that express the popularity of the anthologies of either a whole set or its related works. In libraries, these anthologies get prominence when they are given the most acceptable uniform title that would guide library users. When cataloguing such classical literature, we face situations where finding a uniform title is hard, since it is not easy to identify either something in common or differences among the ets/parts/volumes in inter-related collections. Today, it is essential that by doing an in depth study of these materials of earlier era that are in volumes /series under certain phrases, we give proper uniform titles to these anthologies and they are brought to light by the aid of cataloguing in such a way that each branch of these sets of books could be explicitly identified by the users, bringing life to these materials by making it easily identified by the user. In this work, the materials selected for this study, were analysed, giving the differences among related materials in the set, the possible uniform titles were chosen, and how the final decision was taken considering limitations and appropriateness. The aim of the study, is to identify the problems faced in arriving at an appropriate uniform title, to such old materials that have immense value even to the younger generation of researchers and explaining the difficulties faced in finding the appropriate uniform titles. This study was undertaken using methods of historical analysis and comparative analysis. The techniques adopted are recommended in organizing and cataloguing such anthologies in research oriented libraries.

How to Cite: Visakaruban, M. (2021). Anthologies in Classical Tamil Literature and Uniform Titles: A descriptive study. Sri Lanka Library Review, 35(1), 60–82. DOI:
Published on 31 Jan 2021.
Peer Reviewed


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