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ODLIS

Online Dictionary for Library and Information Science

by Joan M. Reitz
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Mac
See: Macintosh.


machine-aided indexing
A method of indexing in which a computer is programmed to select possible descriptors from a thesaurus of preferred terms based on the analysis of words and phrases appearing in the title and/or text of a work. Each suggestion is evaluated by a human indexer and either accepted or rejected. The indexer is also free to select additional authorized terms for indexing. Compare with automatic indexing.


machine-readable
Data in a form that can be recognized, accepted, and interpreted by a machine, such as a computer or other data processing device, whether created in such a form or converted from a format that a machine cannot read. Usually refers to digital information stored on hard disk, floppy disk, or magnetic tape. Compare with human-readable. See also: Machine-Readable Cataloging.


Machine-Readable Cataloging (MARC)
An international standard digital format for the description of bibliographic items developed by the Library of Congress during the 1960s to facilitate the creation and dissemination of computerized cataloging from library to library within the same country and between countries. By 1971, the MARC format had become the national standard for dissemination of bibliographic data and by 1973, an international standard.

There are several versions of MARC in use in the world, the most predominant being MARC 21, created in 1999 as a result of the harmonization of U.S. and Canadian MARC formats, and UNIMARC, widely used in Europe. The MARC 21 family of standards now includes formats for authority records, holdings records, classification schedules, and community information, in addition to formats for the bibliographic record.

Widespread use of the MARC standard has helped libraries acquire predictable and reliable cataloging data, make use of commercially available library automation systems, share bibliographic resources, avoid duplication of effort, and ensure that bibliographic data will be compatible when one automation system is replaced by another.

The MARC record has three components:

Record structure - an implementation of national and international standards, such as the Information Interchange Format ANSI Z39.2 and Format for Information Exchange ISO 2709
Content designation - codes and conventions that explicitly identify and characterize the data elements within a record to facilitate the manipulation of data, defined in the MARC 21 Format for Bibliographic Data and other MARC 21 formats maintained by the Library of Congress
Data Content - defined by external standards such as AACR2, Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH), etc.

The MARC record is divided into fields, each containing one or more related elements of bibliographic description. A field is identified by a three-digit tag designating the nature of its content. Tags are organized as follows in hundreds, indicating a group of tags, with XX in the range of 00-99:

0XX fields - Control information, numbers, codes
1XX fields - Main entry
2XX fields - Titles, edition, imprint
3XX fields - Physical description, etc.
4XX fields - Series statements (as shown in item)
5XX fields - Notes
6XX fields - Subject added entries
7XX fields - Added entries other than subject or series
8XX fields - Series added entries (other authoritative forms)

Click here to see an example of a MARC record and here to connect to the MARC Standards homepage maintained by the Network Development and MARC Standards Office of the Library of Congress. See also: Avram, Henriette D.; MARCese; MARCIVE; MARCXML; and USMARC.


machine-readable data file (MRDF)
Information stored in a form that can be used directly as computer input, without conversion from a format that is not machine-readable, for example, bibliographic records in MARC format as opposed to printed catalog cards. Storage medium varies (magnetic tape, magnetic disk, etc.). See also: electronic resource.


machine-readable records
In archives, records created and maintained in a medium that requires some kind of machine to access their content (microforms, sound recordings, videorecordings, magnetic tape and disks, optical disks, etc.). Compare with electronic records. See also: machine-readable data file.


machine translation (MT)
Translation of text or speech from one natural language to another, accomplished automatically by means of a computer. Also refers to the branch of computational linguistics devoted to researching translation by computer.


Macintosh
The family of computers introduced by Apple in 1984 that popularized the graphical user interface (GUI), setting a precedent for the design of user-friendly graphical applications and operating systems that other software companies like Microsoft were quick to follow. Although Apple commands only 5 percent of the market for desktop computers, the company produces the largest series of non-IBM-compatible personal computers. "Macs" remain popular in desktop publishing and graphic design because of the usability of the interface. In libraries, Macs are used mainly in the children's room and curriculum room. Click here to connect to the Apple Web site. See also: UNIX and Windows.


macro
In computing, a method of customizing user input in which a series of recorded keystrokes, commands, or menu options is assigned a brief name or key combination (usually Ctrl or Alt plus a specific character) to enable the user to execute a predetermined sequence of steps quickly by simply typing the name or key combination. Also called keyboard macro.


macroform
A general term for any storage medium bearing text and/or images large enough to be easily read without the aid of magnification. Macroforms can be transparent (example: overhead transparencies) or opaque (photocopies). Compare with microform.


macrophotograph
A photograph of unusually large proportions in which objects are shown life-size or larger. The opposite, in this sense, of microphotograph. Also, a photograph that enlarges a small object, often taken through a microscope, revealing details not visible to the unaided eye. Click here to see examples, courtesy of Flickr.


made-up copy
A copy of a book assembled from parts taken from one or more defective copies of the same edition, or a copy in which imperfections are corrected by adding or substituting parts taken from other copies of the same edition. In the antiquarian book trade, the practice is not considered unethical as long as the manner in which the volume is composed is revealed rather than concealed.


MAES
See: Measurement, Assessment, and Evaluation Section.


magazine
A popular interest periodical usually containing articles on a variety of topics, written by various authors in a nonscholarly style. Most magazines are heavily illustrated, contain advertising, and are printed on glossy paper. Articles are usually short (less than five pages long), frequently unsigned, and do not include a bibliography or list of references for further reading. Most magazines are issued monthly or weekly for sale at newsstands, in bookstores, and by subscription. Click here to explore magazines published for women in Victorian England (British Library) and here to see an 1862 issue of the British humor magazine Punch. A selection of recommended English-language magazines is listed by subject in Magazines for Libraries, published by ProQuest. For a directory of magazine Web sites, try NewsLink. Abbreviated mag. Compare with journal and journal of commentary. See also: children's magazine, electronic magazine, general interest magazine, hybrid journal, newsmagazine, special interest magazine, women's magazine, and zine.

Also refers to a rectangular slotted container designed to hold a sequence of slides, queued for use in a slide projector. Compare with carousel.


magazine pagination
Numbering the pages of a periodical, starting with one at the beginning of each issue. Magazines and trade journals are usually paginated in this way, making it more difficult to locate a specific article in a bound volume by page number, than in a publication that uses journal pagination.


Magazines for Libraries (MFL)
Published irregularly by ProQuest, MFL is a subject list (with title index) of over 8,000 English-language periodicals, selected by the editors from over 170,000 possibilities as the most useful for the average public, academic, government, school, or special library. Coverage includes general interest magazines, research journals, trade journals, zines, and children's periodicals. Each entry includes a basic bibliographic description; an annotation explaining the purpose, scope, and audience of the publication; and a brief evaluation. Libraries usually place this collection development tool on standing order and shelve it in the reference section. ISSN: 0000-0914.


magazine supplement
See: Sunday supplement.


magic lantern
An early image projector developed in the 17th century, containing a concave mirror used to gather light from an artificial source (candle or oil lamp) and project it through a glass lantern slide bearing the image, throwing an enlargement of the image onto a wall or screen (see this example). Brightness of the projected image increased as the lamps were improved (example).


MAGIRT
See: Map and Geospatial Information Round Table.


magnetic declination
See: declination.


magnetic disk
A rewritable computer storage medium consisting of a revolving platter on which digital data is encoded as tiny magnetic spots arranged in tracks. Data is read by a mechanical arm designed to move a read-write head across the surface of the platter. Usually encased in a rigid, protective case, a magnetic disk can be either fixed (hard disk) or removable (floppy disk, Zip disk, etc.). Compare with optical disk.


magnetic sound track
See: sound track.


magnetic strip
A thin magnetized strip of plastic firmly affixed to a book or other bibliographic item at the time it is processed, which can be set to trigger a security alarm whenever someone attempts to remove the item from the library without checking it out (see this example, courtesy of Highsmith). Synonymous with magnetic detection strip, security strip, and tattle-tape. See also: desensitization.


magnetic stripe
In a composite print of a motion picture, the thin coating of magnetic oxide capable of carrying the sound track, applied in a narrow band along the film edge and on some films to the opposite edge as a balance stripe when the film is wound on a reel or core. Also used synonymously with data strip. Abbreviated magstripe.


magnetic tape
An electronic storage medium consisting of a thin strip of flexible plastic to which a metallic coating is applied that can be selectively magnetized to record information sequentially in linear or helical tracks. Magnetic tape is mounted on open reels or in cartridges. To retrieve a specific record or file on tape, all the records (or partitions) preceding it must be sequentially searched. Magnetic disk storage is faster because it allows data to be accessed randomly. For this reason, data in current use is usually stored on disk, but tape is often used for archival storage because it is more economical and has greater capacity. Click here to learn more about how tape recorders work, courtesy of HowStuffWorks.


magnifier
An instrument designed to enlarge text or image. Originally, a hand-held glass or plastic lens used by the reader to make the small type on a printed page easier to read by enlarging it. To see examples, try a search on the keyword "magnifier" in Google Images. Synonymous in this sense with magnifying glass and magnifying lens.

In computing, a display utility designed to enlarge an area of a computer screen, used by the visually impaired, graphic artists, Web designers, etc. Most screen magnifiers are Windows compliant and can be resized (sometimes with an adjustable zoom factor) and positioned anywhere on the screen. Some allow for replacement of problem colors and even have audio read capability (see this example). Simple magnifiers are available as freeware (see this example).


magnum opus
Latin for "great work." A literary or artistic work considered by discerning critics to be of major importance, usually the crowning achievement of its author, composer, or creator (example: Ulysses by James Joyce). Not all authors and artists produce a work that is considered superior to their others (William Shakespeare). The opposite of opuscule. Compare with masterpiece.


mailing card
Beginning in 1898, publishers in the United States were permitted to print and sell cards bearing the inscription "Private Mailing Card, Authorized by Act of Congress on May 19, 1898" (see this example). Private mailing cards were to be posted with one cent stamps and, like government-issued postal cards, writing was permitted only on the front. In 1901, the U.S. Government allowed the words "Post Card" to be printed on the undivided back of privately printed cards and publishers were permitted to drop the authorization inscription, but writing was still limited to the front, although by then other countries permitted a divided back, enabling the front to be used exclusively for a picture or design. Compare with postcard.


mailing list
An e-mail discussion forum that allows individuals to subscribe and automatically receive messages posted to the list by other subscribers. Participants may also post their own messages and replies for distribution to the other subscribers to the list. A mailing list may be moderated or unmoderated. Tile.Net/Lists is a comprehensive general directory of e-mail discussion groups. Synonymous with electronic discussion list. Compare with bulletin board system and distribution list. See also: LISTSERV, lurk, Majordomo, and netiquette.


main class
One of the highest-level divisions of a classification system. In Library of Congress Classification (LCC), the 20 major classes are indicated by letters of the English alphabet:

A - General worksM - Music
B - Philosophy, psychology, religionN - Fine arts
C - Auxiliary sciences of history (archaeology, genealogy, etc.)P - Language and literature
D - History (except America)Q - Science
E-F - History: America and United StatesR - Medicine
G - Geography and anthropologyS - Agriculture
H - Social sciencesT - Technology and engineering
J - Political scienceU - Military science
K - LawV - Naval science
L - EducationZ - History of books, library science, bibliography

In Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC), the 10 main classes are indicated by the arabic numerals 0-9 in the first digit of the notation:

000 - Generalities500 - Natural sciences and mathematics
100 - Philosophy, parapsychology and occultism, psychology600 - Technology (applied sciences)
200 - Religion700 - Arts (fine and decorative arts)
300 - Social sciences800 - Literature (belles-lettres) and rhetoric
400 - Language900 - Geography, history, and auxiliary disciplines

See also: division and section.


main entry
The entry in a library catalog that provides the fullest description of a bibliographic item, by which the work is to be uniformly identified and cited. In AACR2, the main entry is the primary access point. In the card catalog, it includes all the secondary headings under which the item is cataloged (called added entries). For most items, main entry is under name of author. When there is no author, main entry is under title.


mainframe
A large computer system capable of supporting many terminals that do not have independent processing capability, used to run complex applications that require a considerable amount of computing power (see this example). Mainframes are classified by size (small, medium, and large). Compare with microcomputer, minicomputer, and supercomputer.


main heading
In pre-coordinate indexing, the first part of a composite heading divided by at least one subheading, usually separated from the first subheading by a dash or other mark of punctuation. In the Library of Congress subject heading Information science--Research--Methodology, the term Information science is the main heading and Research and Methodology are subheadings. See also: subdivision.


main library
See: central library.


main map
A map that is supplemented or augmented by the inclusion of one or more smaller maps inset within the neat line and/or ancillary maps placed in the margin or elsewhere on the sheet. Click here to see a 19th-century German chart of the southern China coast that includes both an ancillary map and an inset map (Library of Congress) and here to see an early 20th-century map of Japan with an inset of Formosa and the Lu-Chu Islands (Perry-Castañeda Library). In library cataloging, the presence of an inset or ancillary map is noted in the bibliographic record describing the main map. See also: location map.


main schedule
The list of classes used by a cataloger or indexer, individually or in combination, to classify documents by subject under the rules of a given classification system, arranged in the order of their symbolic notation. In a hierarchical classification system, the logical divisions, subdivisions, etc., of the main classes are displayed. Compare with auxiliary schedule.


main selection
A title which is the first choice offered to book club members, usually heavily promoted. Compare with alternate selection.


maintenance contract
A formal agreement in which an outside company agrees to check designated equipment on a regular basis after any warranty has expired and to maintain it in good working order, including major repairs as needed, in exchange for payment of a monthly or annual fee, an arrangement common in libraries that own their own photocopiers, reader-printer machines, computer equipment, etc.

Also refers to an agreement with an outside company to clean and maintain a library facility on a regular basis in exchange for payment of a monthly or annual fee. Some libraries and library systems hire their own maintenance personnel or use the services provided by the parent organization.


major descriptor
A descriptor or identifier in an index entry or bibliographic record representing a main focus or subject of the document indexed, usually indicated by an asterisk or other symbol or distinguished typographically. Minor descriptors and identifiers representing less significant aspects of the content are left unmarked.


Majordomo
An Internet mailing list program designed to run on the UNIX operating system. Compare with LISTSERV.


Major Orchestra Librarians' Association (MOLA)
Founded in 1983 by representatives of the Philadelphia Orchestra, Boston Symphony, and Minnesota Orchestra, MOLA is an international organization devoted to improving communication among performance librarians and helping them provide better service to their orchestras. The association also presents a unified voice in relations with music publishers. Its membership includes over 170 libraries associated with orchestras, opera and ballet companies, military bands, and music conservatories. MOLA publishes the quarterly newsletter Marcato and hosts the MOLAList electronic mailing list. Click here to connect to the MOLA homepage. See also: Music Library Association.


majuscule
A script in which the letters are of uniform height, as in modern uppercase. Majuscule is a bilinear script because all the letterforms are bounded by two imaginary horizontal lines. Examples include the square capitals and rustic capitals of Antiquity, and the uncial script used in the early Christian period for writing manuscripts in Greek and Latin, as distinct from the minuscule adopted as a book hand in the 8th century during the reign of Charlemagne. See also: Insular majuscule.


makeready
The process of preparing the printing press for a press run, including adjustment of the forme or plates to produce a uniform impression.


make-up
In letterpress printing, the process of removing type from the galleys and arranging it in page format, including the positioning of text, illustrations, notes, and running heads in accordance with the typographer's layout, done by a worker known as a compositor. Also spelled makeup. See also: remake.

Also refers to a list of the contents of a book in the order in which they are to be bound, provided by the publisher to the binder to ensure that any plates or other additions not printed with the text are included in correct sequence.


malware
An neologism coined from malicious software. Software, script, or code designed to damage or disrupt a computer or computer system, or to gain access and exploit its data without consent, not to be confused with defective software. Examples, include viruses, worms, and spyware. Synonymous, in law, with computer contaminant.


mammoth plate
An outsize photographic format used during the second half of the 19th century, especially by view specialists, with 16 x 20, 18 x 22, and 20 x 24 inches being the most common sizes. Artists who used this format include Carleton E. Watkins, Mathew Brady, William Henry Jackson, and Eadweard Muybridge. The term includes both the wet collodion glass plate negatives and the prints made from them. For more examples, see Photographs from the Detroit Publishing Company, 1880-1920, courtesy of the Library of Congress.


MAN
See: metropolitan area network.


managed book
A book on a topic chosen by the publisher, who controls and directs every aspect of its creation. If a paid staff writer or freelancer is used for the text, the structure of the work is usually based on an outline provided by the publisher. In books with a preponderance of pictorial content, the name of the author or editor may not be given on the title page. Compare with packaged book.


management information system (MIS)
A computer-based information system developed and maintained by a commercial enterprise to integrate data from all its departments (product development, production and inventory, marketing and sales, personnel administration, etc.) to support managerial and supervisory decision-making with real time analysis. MIS systems are designed to track progress toward achievement of a company's goals and objectives and to aid in identifying problems or obstacles that must be resolved or removed by upper-level management. In the plural, the term refers to the study and teaching of such systems. Courses on MIS are offered as a major by some business schools in the United States.


management style
The manner in which an administrator makes decisions and exercises his or her authority in organizing, controlling, and motivating employees. Management styles can be autocratic, consultative, persuasive, democratic, or permissive, sometimes as the occasion requires.


Man Booker Prize
An annual literary award established in 1969 by the Booker publishing company in recognition of the best novel of the year written by a citizen of the British Commonwealth or the Republic of Ireland. The judges are selected from Britain's finest critics, writers, and academics, and the winner receives a cash prize of £50,000. In 2004, the Man Group, an international investment company currently sponsoring the Booker Prize, announced a new award, the Man Booker International Prize of £60,000 to be given biennially to a living author of any nationality who has published fiction in English or available in English translation. Click here to learn more about the Man Booker Prizes.


mandatory (M)
In OCLC documentation, a field or subfield of the MARC record in which data must be entered to meet OCLC input standards for a given encoding level. Compare with optional and required if applicable and readily available.


mandatory retirement
See: compulsory retirement.


mandatory rights
See: compulsory rights.


mandorla
A decorative motif in the shape of a pointed oval, used in bookbinding, usually as a centerpiece. Click here to see it used on the cover of a 13th-century French Gospel book (Schøyen Collection, MS 4613) and here on a 19th-century binding by John Leighton (British Library). In medieval manuscript illumination, an almond-shaped aureole painted around the head or body of a deity or holy person (or group of holy figures), often ornamented with gilding. See this example in an 11th-century Ottonian sacramentary (Getty Museum, MS Ludwig V 2) and this example in a 13th-century German liturgical book (British Library, Arundel 156).


manga
A Japanese term for comics and print cartoons. Outside Japan, manga refers to comics created in Japan, by Japanese artists, in the Japanese language, and originally in a characteristic black and white style that originated in Japan in the late 19th century (see this example originally conceived by Osamu Tezuka). Manga includes a wide range of literary genres and attracts readers of all ages. Very popular manga may be animated (see this example).


manicula
See: fist.


manifestation
As defined in FRBR (Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records), the result of a single act of physical embodiment/production of a specific expression of a creative work, for example, an edition of one of the variant texts of a literary work (1993 Yale University Press edition of Hamlet) or a recording of a specific performance of a musical work (1998 recording of West Side Story released by Sony/Columbia on compact disc). A manifestation consists of all the physical objects (items) possessing the same characteristics with respect to intellectual/artistic content and physical form, in most instances a set of multiple copies produced for commercial distribution. However, for some expressions there may be only a single exemplar, as in the case of an archival oral history recording, an author's manuscript, or a one-of-a-kind artist's book.


manifesto
A public declaration, in speech or writing, of beliefs, motives, plans, and/or intentions, made by an individual, group, organization, or government (example: Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler).


manila
A thick, durable buff-colored paper, originally manufactured from Manila hemp fiber, used mainly for file folders, mailing envelopes, and cards. Also spelled manilla.


Mansell
See: National Union Catalog (NUC).


manual
A book of compact size, especially one describing in considerable detail the government of a state or the structure and functions of a government agency (example: The United States Government Manual published annually by the U.S. Government Printing Office).

Also refers to a book or pamphlet containing practical instructions, rules, or steps for performing a task or operation, assembling a manufactured object, or using a system or piece of equipment (example: Manual of Archival Description published by Gower). Used synonymously with handbook. See also: style manual.

Also, any operation or procedure done by hand rather than by machine, such as the physical processing of a book or other bibliographic item done in a library to prepare the item for circulation or other use.


manufacturer
In library cataloging, the agency responsible for actually making a bibliographic item. In the case of books and other printed publications, the printer is the manufacturer. Compare with producer.


manuscript
From the Latin phrase codex manu scriptus. Strictly speaking, a work of any kind (text, inscription, music score, map, etc.) written entirely by hand. A medieval manuscript is one written in Europe prior to the invention of printing from movable type in about 1450 (see this example). Also refers to the handwritten or typescript copy of an author's work as submitted for publication, before printing. In the United States, bibliographic control of manuscript collections is provided by the National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections (NUCMC), a cooperative cataloging program of the Library of Congress. In AACR2, manuscripts are cataloged under the rules for printed books.

The Schøyen Collection is a large private manuscript collection (Oslo and London). Illuminated manuscripts can be seen in the online exhibitions Leaves of Gold (Philadelphia area museums and libraries), Treasures of a Lost Art (Cleveland Art Museum), and the CORSAIR database, courtesy of the Morgan Library. See also the Medieval Manuscript Manual (Central European University, Budapest) and The Making of a Medieval Book (Getty Museum). Abbreviated ms. and mss. in the plural. See also: manuscript book, manuscript map, and Manuscript Society, The.


manuscript book
A book written entirely by hand, particularly one produced prior to the invention of printing from movable type, usually copied by medieval monks or scribes on leaves of parchment or vellum, bound in leather-covered wooden boards. Medieval manuscript books were often rubricated, illuminated, and/or embellished with miniatures. For examples, see the online exhibitions Leaves of Gold, courtesy of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and Celebrating the Liturgy's Books, courtesy of the libraries of New York City.


manuscript map
A map on any scale produced entirely by hand, rather than by printing or some other mechanized process. Old and rare examples may be aesthetically pleasing and of considerable value to collectors. Click here to see a manuscript map of Manhattan and environs, done on vellum in pen and ink and watercolor wash in 1639 when the island was a Dutch settlement (Library of Congress) and here to see an 18th-century map of Maryland and Delaware (University of Delaware Library). See also: mappa mundi, portolan, and sketch map.


Manuscript Society, The
Founded in 1948 as the National Society of Autograph Collectors, the Manuscript Society has since grown to a membership of over 1,800 scholars, authors, dealers, private collectors, librarians, archivists, and curators. Its membership also includes historical societies, museums, special libraries, and academic libraries with manuscript collections. The Society publishes the quarterly journal Manuscripts and the newsletter Manuscript Society News. Click here to connect to the homepage of The Manuscript Society.


Manutius, Aldus (1450-1515)
The latinized name of Teobaldo Manucci (also known as Aldo Manuzio), the humanist scholar of the Italian Renaissance who established the Adline Press in Venice to print editions of the Greek and Latin classics (see his portrait). During his 20 years at Aldine, he also published grammars, religious works, contemporary secular texts, popular works, political and scientific treatises, history, and geography. He commissioned the sloping type now known as italic and a roman typeface that influenced Garamont and its successors. Click here to see the anchor and dolphin imprint of the Aldine Press. Click here and here to view typographic exemplars of his work (Cary Collection, Rochester Institute). Click here to view an online exhibition devoted to his legacy (Brigham Young University Library) and here to view selected pages from the Aldine edition of Dante's Divine Comedy, published in 1502. The Aldine edition of Virgil published in 1501 pioneered the use of italic type.


map
Any two-dimensional graphic representation of the physical features (natural or man-made) of all or a portion of the surface of the earth or another celestial body, the heavens, or an imaginary geographic area, normally done to scale on a flat medium using a specified projection, with an indication of orientation, but increasingly in digital form. Early maps were drawn on parchment stored in rolls. In modern libraries, maps are usually stored flat or folded in a specially designed map case with wide, shallow drawers. Maps are also included as inserts or pocket parts in books and periodicals. As illustrations, they may be printed as plates with the text or on the endpapers. An atlas is a book consisting almost entirely of maps, with the content usually indexed in a gazetteer at the end. The largest mapping agency in the United States is the U.S. Geological Survey. Click here to connect to a historical map collection available online, courtesy of the American Memory project at the Library of Congress. Other examples can be seen by browsing the Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection (University of Texas at Austin) and the online exhibitions provided by the Osher Map Library, University of Southern Maine. For interactive maps, try the National Geographic Society. Compare with globe. See also: cartography, cartouche, legend, map continuation, map series, and projection.

Maps are categorized by the type of content and method of presentation. See also: ancillary map, artistic map, base map, bathymetric map, cadastral map, cartogram, chart, choropleth map, city map, cloth map, compiled map, computer-generated map, contour map, decorated map, dynamic map, facsimile map, geologic map, gravity map, historical map, hydrologic map, index map, inset map, interactive map, isoline map, landscape map, location map, main map, manuscript map, mappa mundi, mental map, multimedia map, old map, outline map, photomap, pictorial map, planimetric map, political map, rare map, reconnaissance map, relief map, road map, schematic map, scroll map, sketch map, slope map, strip map, tectonic map, thematic map, topographic map, trail map, translucent map, wall map, war map, and world map.


Map and Geospatial Information Round Table (MAGIRT)
A round table of the American Library Association established in 1980, MAGIRT is the world's largest organization devoted to map and geography librarianship. Membership is open to ALA members who work with or have an interest in map and geography collections and information related to maps and mapping. MAGIRT publishes the semiannual journal Meridian and the bimonthly newsletter Base Line. Click here to connect to the MAGIRT homepage.


map case
A library furnishing, usually made of wood or metal, containing a number of wide, shallow drawers in which large sheet maps can be stored flat, with a wide, smooth, flat top on which they can be spread for examination.


map continuation
A portion of a map that for practical reasons cannot be shown in correct geographic position, but is instead presented in an inset or outside the border of the main map, or printed on the reverse side of the sheet (click here and here to see examples on two maps of Florida). The states of Alaska and Hawaii are often shown in this way on maps of the United States because they are not contiguous with the country's continental boundaries (click here and here to see examples). See also: overedge.


map data
Specific cartographic information plotted in relation to base data, for example, population density (persons per square mile) in relation to geographic area (usually political or administrative subdivisions or enumerative units). The same data can be plotted by the use of different map symbols, for example, vertical relief (elevation) by the use of contours, hypsometric tint, spot elevations, etc.


map index
An alphabetical list of the place names written or printed on a map or series of maps, giving the location of each feature, usually as grid coordinates. Compare with index map. See also: gazetteer.


map library
A library or unit within a library, which has collections consisting primarily of cartographic materials of current or historic interest, including maps and charts, globes, relief models, remote sensing images, spatial data, atlases, gazetteers, and books about cartography and cartographers, for example, the Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection at the University of Texas, Austin. The Geography and Map Reading Room at the Library of Congress also provides digital images of items in its collections. The John R. Borchert Map Library at the University of Minnesota provides an online directory of Map Libraries on the World Wide Web. Map librarians are organized in the Map and Geospatial Information Round Table (MAGIRT) of the American Library Association (ALA), in the Geography and Map Section of the Special Libraries Association (SLA), and in the Association of Canadian Map Libraries and Archives (ACMLA). See also: Cartographic Users Advisory Council.


mappa mundi
Latin for "map of the world." Maps made by medieval scholars to show the geography of the world as it was then understood, often drawn to illustrate religious texts. Michelle Brown notes in Understanding Illuminated Manuscripts (Getty Museum/British Library, 1994) that although world maps existed in Antiquity, the earliest surviving example appears in an Anglo-Saxon book produced in the 11th century. Also made as altarpieces, mappae mundi served as visual compendia of human knowledge, incorporating biblical history and material from other works. As the art of making navigational charts developed, world maps became more detailed and accurate.

Drawn on a single large sheet of parchment, the Hereford Mappa Mundi, on public exhibit in Hereford Cathedral in England, is the largest and most elaborate surviving pre-15th-century world map (see Mappa Mundi: The Hereford World Map by P.D.A. Harvey, British Library, 1996). Click here to see a digital image of the map and to learn more about it.


mapping
See: vocabulary mapping.


mapping agency
An organization that produces and publishes maps and other cartographic information, usually under the sponsorship of a national government or its armed forces. The largest mapping agency in the United States is the U.S. Geological Survey. UNESCO provides an online list of National Mapping Agencies. In AACR2, name of mapping agency is given in the statement of responsibility area of the bibliographic description of a cartographic item.


map series
Two or more sheet maps of uniform size, drawn to the same scale and specifications, utilizing standardized symbols and encompassing a clearly defined geographic area in a systematic pattern when complete. Also, two or more maps of the same geographic area, showing a succession of events occurring (or conditions prevailing) over a given period of time, sometimes at fixed intervals. A map series is identified collectively by the mapping agency that produced it. Click here to see the the initial sheet of the Carte géométrique de la France, the first multisheet topographic map series of France, completed in 1789, and here to see the first in a series of daily "situation" maps prepared by the 12th Army Group of the European Allied Forces recording the liberation of France, beginning with the invasion of Normandy on D-Day, June 6, 1944 (Library of Congress).


map symbol
A letter, character, abbreviation, graphic, or diagram used on the face of a map, chart, or globe, by convention or with reference to a legend, to represent a specific characteristic or type of feature. Points, lines, and area designators (color, shading, hatching, etc.) used to represent map data are also considered symbols, but place names and other text are not. Click here to see symbols used by the National Weather Service on its charts; here to see symbols used on backwoods orienteering maps in North Carolina; and here to see symbols for the National Public Toilet Map of Australia.


maquette
The designer's drawing or model for the proposed binding or layout of a book. The maquette typically evolves from a preliminary version by intermediate stages to the final version.


MARBI
Machine-Readable Bibliographic Information Committee, the body within the American Library Association responsible for developing official ALA positions on standards for representing bibliographic information in machine-readable formats. Its membership includes nine voting members from ALCTS, LITA, and RUSA and three interns. MARBI's primary responsibility is to participate in deliberations of the MARC Advisory Committee, which advises the Library of Congress on changes to the MARC 21 family of formats. Other members of the MARC Advisory Committee include ex-officio representatives of the U.S. national libraries, the Library and Archives Canada, the National Library of Australia, the bibliographic utilities, and several dozen nonvoting liaisons from other units within the ALA and from non-ALA organizations with an interest in issues related to library automation standards. Click here to connect to the MARBI homepage.


marbled paper
See: marbling.


marbling
A technique for producing decorated paper in which a unique design is transferred to each sheet by contact with pigments that have been floated on a bath of water or size, then manipulated with a special implement, such as a comb, to create a pattern resembling the surface of cut stone. Click here and here to see modern examples of marbled paper (Koninklijke Bibliotheek). Marbled paper is used for doublures and endpapers in hand-bound books (see this 19th-century example) and as a covering material. The technique is also used in binding to decorate the edges of the text block (see these examples), and has been used on leather by application of acid or inks (see Spanish calf), but acid eventually causes leather bindings to deteriorate.

Originally developed in the East (Japanese examples survive from the 9th century), the technique was used in Persian book production as early as the 16th century. Introduced into Europe in the late 16th century, marbling was particularly popular during the Victorian period in deluxe editions (see this example of marbled endpapers in an early edition). As a less expensive alternative, endpapers are sometimes printed in a pattern that resembles hand-marbling. To see historical examples of marbling used in bookbinding, try a search on the keyword "marbled paper" in the British Library's Database of Bookbindings.


MARC
See: Machine-Readable Cataloging.


MARC 21
The version of Machine Readable Cataloging that superseded USMARC in 1999 with the harmonization of U.S. and Canadian MARC formats. MARC 21 is supported by OCLC and is the current official MARC standard in the United States, Great Britain, Canada, Australia, and numerous other countries. Click here to learn more about MARC 21 development and here to browse the MARC 21 Concise Formats. See also: MARCXML.


MARCese
The jargon used by librarians who work extensively with MARC records and fall into the habit of using content designators (tags, indicators, and subfield codes) instead of words and phrases to refer to areas and elements of bibliographic description.


MARC Format for Archival and Manuscripts Control (MARC AMC)
A standard data communications format specifying a data structure for the description of archival records and manuscripts, developed in the 1980s by archivists who adapted the MARC digital format for library cataloging. The Society of American Archivists (SAA) and the Research Libraries Group (RLG) played a major role in the development of the AMC format. In a move toward format integration, MARC AMC was replaced by the MARC Mixed Materials format in 1996.


MARCIVE
A commercial service providing catalog records for U.S. government publications (retrospective and current) that can be loaded into a library's local online catalog, and a Shipping List Service that provides SuDocs labels, brief MARC records, smart barcode labels, and shelflist cards. The company also provides access by subscription to the enhanced GPO database Marcive WebDOCS, a general index to federal government documents published from 1976 to the present, updated monthly. Entries in the database include links to publications available online in full-text. Click here to connect to the MARCIVE homepage.


MARC record
See: Machine-Readable Cataloging.


MARCXML
A flexible and extensible framework for working with Machine Readable Cataloging (MARC) in the XML markup language. Developed by the Library of Congress, MARCXML allows the content of MARC 21 records to be represented in XML. It is designed to support "round-trip" conversion from MARC 21 to MARCXML and back to MARC 21, with all field tagging, subfield coding, and indicator values preserved and with no loss of data. Click here to learn more about MARCXML. Compare with Metadata Object Description Schema.


Margaret A. Edwards Award
Established in 1988 under the sponsorship of School Library Journal, the annual Margaret A. Edwards Award honors an author for his or her significant and long-lasting contribution to young adult literature. Administered by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), the award recognizes the author's achievements in helping adolescents become aware of themselves and of the importance of their role in relationships, society, and the world. Click here to learn more about Margaret A. Edwards and the award given in her name. See also: Alex Awards and Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature.


margin
Any one of the four blank borders around the matter written or printed on a page or sheet, known as the top or head margin; the bottom, foot, or tail margin; the outer, outside, or fore-edge margin; and the inner, inside, back, or binding margin. The combined inner margins of facing pages form the gutter. Relative width of margin is important in the design of a legible, aesthetically pleasing page. Standard proportions are: bottom margin double the top and inside margin one-half or two-thirds of the outside, with the height of the written or printed area roughly equal to the width of the page. Rebinding may require trimming the inner margin of a book. In medieval manuscripts, the margins were often used for glosses and corrections in the text. They also provided space for decorative extensions on initial letters and for ornamental borders. Click here to see an example of margin decoration in a 15th-century copy of Chaucer's The Romaunt of the Rose (Special Collections, Glasgow University Library, MS Hunter 409). See also: marginalia and remargined.

In cartography, the area of a map or chart lying outside the border, usually blank but sometimes bearing marginal data and occasionally one or more ancillary maps. Click here to see the neat line, border, and narrow margin on a map of Niagara Falls printed in 1894 (Perry-Castañeda Library) and here to see the wide margin on a USGS topographic map of Mount Shasta, California.


marginal data
Information of standard or variable nature written or printed in the margin outside the neat line or border of a map or chart, usually symbols, diagrams, explanatory notes, etc., enabling the reader to identify and interpret its content and/or indicating the source. Click here to see explanatory data in the lower margin of a North Polar chart published in 1885 (Perry-Castañeda Library Map collection) and here to learn about the marginal information on a large-scale military topographic map. Occasionally, one or more ancillary maps are printed in the margin of a main map.


marginal drawing
A small figure, diagram, or design made by hand in the margin of a manuscript, related or unrelated to the content of the adjacent text. In medieval manuscripts, marginal drawings are sometimes hand-tinted. Click here and here to see examples, courtesy of the British Library (Arundel 248 and 339).


marginalia
Latin for "things in the margin." Headings or notes printed in the margins of a page, usually in type of a size or style distinct from that of the text. Marginalia include footnotes, side notes, and shoulder notes. Also included are glosses, annotations, diagrams, doodles, etc., added by a commentator or reader. In manuscripts, corrections are sometimes made in the margins. In the case of medieval manuscripts and incunabula, the term includes notes and commentary written in the margins (see this 12th-century example) but not ornamental borders and other marginal decoration. Marginalia can be seen in abundance by paging through the 13th-century Lothian Bible (Morgan Library, MS M.791).


marginal map
See: ancillary map.


marginal note
See: side note.


marine
A visual work (drawing, painting, print, or photograph) in which the primary subject is ships, shipbuilding, or a harbor (see these examples), as distinct from a seascape depicting the ocean or some other large body of water, in which the water is the dominant element. Synonymous with waterscape.


mark
A visible trace or impression made in or on or applied to the surface of a work, not considered part of its visual imagery, often a sign or symbol helpful in dating the work or establishing its provenance. See also: blind stamp, emblem, inscription, ownership mark, register mark, trademark, and watermark.


marker work
A drawing or other work made in water-based or petroleum-based ink, using a pen with a felt, nylon, or ceramic tip (click here and here to see examples).


marketing plan
A series of actions to be undertaken by a company or organization to successfully interest potential customers or clients in a product or service and to persuade them to buy or use it. Often based on market research, such a plan is specifically designed to systematically implement a set of goals known as a marketing strategy, through promotion, outreach, etc. Originally developed for the commercial sector, marketing plans are used primarily by special libraries and public libraries, especially those using the bookstore model.


mark up
In publishing, to prepare copy for printing by specifying details of typeface, fonts, layout, etc., in a code comprehensible to the compositor or typesetter.


markup
In computing, the encoding of a textual document with information external to the document, for example, to indicate the structure of the document, the type or grammatical function of words and phrases within the document, or the way in which portions of the document are displayed on screen or page, usually accomplished by inserting tags and format codes in the text. To see the markup tags used in this hypertext dictionary, select "View - Source" or its equivalent in the toolbar of your Web browser. Also spelled mark-up. See also: markup language.


markup language
In computing, a predefined set of descriptors (symbols and tags) or a method of defining descriptors that are used to embed external information in an electronic text document, usually to specify formatting or facilitate analysis. Markup languages were originally designed for use with a specific program, but in 1986 the Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML) was adopted as an international standard. The Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) used in creating Web pages is derived from SGML (to see the markup tags used in this hypertext dictionary, select "View - Source" or its equivalent in the toolbar of your Web browser). In 1998, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) recommended the use of a simplified version of SGML known as Extensible Markup Language (XML). Most markup languages differ from databases in identifying elements within a stream of text, rather than discrete, structured data elements, but XML is capable of turning text into the equivalent of a database. Also spelled mark-up language. See also: Encoded Archival Description, MARCXML, and Text Encoding Initiative.


married
In bookselling, two related pieces or items brought together, though not originally sold as a unit, for the purpose of making a single item or set complete as published, for example, a book and dust jacket, a book and CD or CD-ROM, or two or more volumes in a set.


married print
See: composite print.


MARS: Emerging Technologies in Reference Section
The section of the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) within the American Library Association (ALA) representing librarians actively engaged in the electronic delivery of reference services or who have an interest in issues concerning digital reference. MARS publishes an annual annotated list of Best Free Reference Web Sites. Click here to connect to the MARS homepage.


martyrology
A liturgical book containing narratives of the lives of Christian saints and their martyrdoms, from the earliest period of Church history, arranged in the order of their feast days, for reading in the Divine Office at the canonical hour of prime. The earliest martyrologies simply list the saints and their feast days. Click here to see a 900-year-old example (University College Dublin, MS A3) and here to browse a 12th-century English example (British Library, Arundel 91). As saints continued to be canonized, the martyrology was limited to major saints. Later examples can be seen in Celebrating the Liturgy's Books, an online exhibition provided by the major libraries of New York City. Synonymous with passionale.


masque
A lavish form of court entertainment that originated in Renaissance Italy and was particularly popular during the reigns of Elizabeth I, James I, and Charles I of England. Masques combined music, song, dance, and poetic drama in a spectacular display of costume and elaborate staging held together by a loose allegorical plot, usually based on a mythological theme (example: The Masque of Blacknesse by Ben Jonson). The name is derived from the face masques worn by the courtiers who played the main characters. This costly form of royal amusement ended with the Puritan revolution of 1642. Click here to learn more about the masque.


mass deacidification
See: deacidification.


mass digitization
See: digitization.


mass-market paperback
A new work or reprint of a title previously published in hardcover or trade paperback, produced and distributed in paperback for sale at newsstands and in supermarkets, drugstores, chain stores, etc., rather than trade bookstores. Copies are usually of standard rack size (4 x 7 inches), printed on poor-quality paper, bound with hot-melt adhesive in covers designed for sales appeal, and priced to sell to the widest possible audience. The format is used extensively for popular fiction and genre fiction. Libraries prefer them for books-by-mail programs to keep mailing costs down. In some public libraries, mass-market paperbacks received as gifts are circulated on the honor system. See also: pulp fiction.


mass media
See: media.


master
In reprography, the plate, stencil, negative, or document from which copies are made, usually more than once. The quality of a master copy usually deteriorates with extended use. See also: generation, master negative, and print master.

Also refers to an artist, writer, composer, or craftsman who consistently creates works of the highest quality (example: Mozart). In medieval manuscript illustration, an artist whose work was so exceptional that it became widely known and appreciated in Europe and influenced the direction of illumination, for example, the Boucicaut Master whose Paris workshop produced highly innovative miniatures in the early 15th century (Getty Museum). Some masters are known by name (examples: Jean Bourdichon and Simon Bening); others are identified only by their style (examples: Bute Master and Spitz Master). See also: masterpiece.


mastering
In sound recording, the process by which the tracks on an album are equalized and balanced in relation to each other and then transferred to a digital or analog storage device (duplicating master) from which subsequent copies are manufactured for distribution.


master negative
In microfilm, the first-generation negative, developed from the film used to shoot the image, from which at least one print master is made, usually stored in a separate location under controlled conditions and used as little as possible. See also: service copy.


masterpiece
A work of art, craftsmanship, or writing universally recognized as embodying the highest skill of a great master or group of masters. An artist, composer, or writer may produce a single masterpiece (examples: Charlotte and Emily Brontë) or more than one masterpiece in a lifetime (Jane Austen). Click here to view a selection of masterworks by Rembrandt (WebMuseum, Paris). Synonymous with chef-d'oeuvre. Compare with magnum opus.


masthead
A box or column printed in each issue of a newspaper or periodical stating the title of the publication, its publisher, ownership, editors, frequency, ISSN, subscription rates, and giving notice of copyright, usually with contact information. In most newspapers, the mastehead is found on the editorial page or on page one. In magazines and journals, it is usually printed on or near the contents page. Compare with flag. See also: date line.


mat
Two pieces of board hinged along one edge for mounting a print, photograph, etc., the bottom piece providing support (backing) and the top piece cut in the shape of a window through which the image is viewed. In quality framing, prints are often double- or triple-matted in boards of contrasting color. The Florida Bureau of Archives and Records Management provides the online tutorial on How to Mat a Piece of Art. Also spelled matt


matching grant
A grant made by a foundation, government agency, or individual, contingent on the recipient raising sufficient funds to match the donor's contribution. Although the ratio of grant funds to contributions may vary, most are dollar-for-dollar up to a fixed amount, with a time limit imposed on fund-raising activities. Some federal LSTA grants-in-aid are structured in this way.


materials budget
The portion of a library's operating budget allocated for the purchase of books, media, serials, and other information resources for the use of its clientele and staff, as opposed to expenditures for salaries and wages, equipment, supplies, and services. Some libraries include electronic resources in the materials budget; others make a separate allocation.


material specific details (MSD)
A generic term for the area of the bibliographic record reserved for elements of bibliographic description specific to certain types of material (musical presentation, mathematical data, and numeric and/or alphabetic, chronological, or other designation), recorded in field 254 of the MARC record for music, field 255 for cartographic materials, and field 362 for serials.


material type
An option available to users of some online catalogs and bibliographic databases that allows search results to be limited to materials of a specific physical format (book, periodical, videocassette or DVD, sound recording, map, music score, etc.). In cataloging, material type is assigned to the item from a list established by the local library or library system and is not necessarily the same as the item type used for circulation purposes. Compare with publication type. See also: general material designation.


mathematical data
The field within the materials specific details area of a bibliographic record in which mathematical elements in the bibliographic description of cartographic materials are entered (scale, projection, coordinates, etc.).


matte
Paper that has a dull unreflective finish, easier on the eye of the reader than glossy finish but not as visually appealing for pictorial content. Also spelled matt.


matter
In printing, copy in the process of being set in type or already set (standing). Live matter has yet to be used in printing; dead matter has been used and is ready to be broken up. The terms fat matter and lean matter refer to the proportion of white space or broken lines on a page. Printers also differentiate between body matter and display matter. Also refers to copy that is to be printed, in manuscript or typescript form.


Mauchline binding
A decorative technique that originated in the 1830s in the Scottish town of Mauchline in which a transfer print of a wood engraving, often a color design (tartan or floral motif), was applied to a lacquered wooden object, such as the boards of a bookbinding. In the 1860s, photographs and stencils began to be used in the design process. Mauchline ware reached a peak of popularity in the 1880s, disappearing in the 1920s. Click here to see an example in tartan and here to see an example with stenciled images.


maximize
A feature of a graphical user interface that allows the user to enlarge a window to its fullest size by clicking on a small button in the upper-right-hand corner of the window. The opposite of minimize. See also: multitasking.


mazarinade
A category of political tract published in France before and during the Fronde (1648-1653), reflecting the struggle between the government and the Parliaments over the gradual usurpation of power by the Monarchy. Issued on both sides of the conflict, the pamphlets represent the first use of the printing press for purposes of mass political propaganda. They are named after Cardinal Jules Mazarin (1602-1661) who was Chief Minister and, with the Regent (Queen Anne of Austria), the real power behind the throne of Louis XIV before he came of age. Click here to see examples.


Mazarin Bible
See: Gutenberg Bible.


McLuhan, (Herbert) Marshall (1911-1980)
The University of Toronto professor of literature and culture who became famous for his innovative theories about how methods of communication influence society. In 1963, his analysis of the effect of movable type on the culture of 15th-century Europe (The Gutenberg Galaxy: The Making of Typographic Man) won the Governor-General's award for critical writing. In 1964, McLuhan gained considerable attention in the popular press for Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man in which he argued that the communication media used by humans are extensions of the physical senses that, by their very nature, introduce changes in the way societies function and in human consciousness, apart from the content they convey. His assertion that "the medium is the message" eventually became "the medium is the massage." For more about his life and work, see Marshall McLuhan: The Medium and the Messenger (Ticknor & Fields, 1989) by Philip Marchand, or log on to McLuhan.ca Global Research Network. See also: global village.


McNaughton Plan
See: book lease plan.


mean line
In typography, the imaginary horizontal line running along the tops of the x-height lowercase letters of a type font that lacks ascenders. Synonymous with x-line. Compare with cap line. See also: base line.


mean sea level (MSL)
The average (arithmetic mean) height of the surface of the sea for all stages of tide, observed hourly over a 19-year cycle, with reference to a suitable reference surface or datum, called the geoid. MSL is often used as a vertical datum (zero elevation) on maps and charts, as on this topographic map of Ansonia, Connecticut (to enlarge click on lower right-hand corner of image). In meteorology, MSL is used as the reference surface for the measurement of altitude in upper-atmosphere work; in aviation, it is the level above which altitude is measured by a pressure altimeter. Click here to learn more about mean sea level, courtesy of ESRI.


measure
In printing, the width over which a line of type is set. A full measure extends across the entire width of a line in a column or on a page, without indention.


measured drawing
An architectural representation drawn to the scale of an existing building or site, sometimes including a set of plans, elevations, sections, and details. Examples include the work of the Historic American Buildings Survey (see this example courtesy of the Library of Congress).


Measurement, Assessment, and Evaluation Section (MAES)
The section of the Library Leadership and Management Association (LLAMA) within the American Library Association (ALA) responsible for addressing the needs for and uses of measurement of library resources, services, and facilities in all types of libraries, across all functional areas. MAES advises other organizations, agencies, and associations in planning library measurement, evaluation, and assessment; recommends and/or prepares guidelines, standards, and tools for measurement, evaluation, and assessment; and recommends inclusions, definitions, procedures, and policies concerning both quantitative and qualitative library assessment. Click here to connect to the MAES homepage.


mechanical binding
A form of binding in which the leaves of a publication are held together by some type of mechanism, usually metal or plastic wire or rings threaded or inserted through holes or slots punched along the back margin parallel to the binding edge, to allow the volume to open flat. The category includes loose-leaf binding, comb binding, and spiral binding.


mechanical drawing
A design drawing or diagram prepared according to strict scale, conventions, proportions, and methods of projection with the aid of one or more mechanical instruments, such as a compass, ruling pen, T-square, or other drafting tool (see this example).


mechanical reproduction
The duplication or manufacture of sound recordings by mechanical means (player piano rolls, phonograph cylinders, gramophone discs, magnetic tape, compact discs, etc.), as opposed to digital sound transmission.


mechanical royalty
A royalty paid to a composer or music publisher for the sale of mechanically reproduced copies of a musical composition--known as "mechanicals" in the recording industry. In the United States, the right to use copyright-protected music in recordings for public distribution (for private use) is an exclusive right of the composer or of the publisher to whom the composer has assigned his or her rights. Under U.S. copyright law, once the music is so recorded, any other person may record the composition without a negotiated license, upon the payment of the statutory compulsory royalty. In the U.S., mechanical royalties are paid in cents per recorded minute.


mechanical work
A graphic work that includes movable parts, such as pop-out or sliding sections, wheels that rotate, or flaps that unfold to reveal hidden features. The term also includes works requiring a specific action by the viewer to reveal the entire image or another image (see these examples). See also: carousel book, pop-up book, and tunnel book.


medallion
In books, a decorative element in the form of a panel or tablet, circular or oval in shape, containing a design, inscription, portrait, figure, or group of figures, sometimes made to appear in relief. Commemorative medallions almost always include an inscription, often incorporated into the curved border. See this example in the lower border of an early 15th-century edition of Livy (British Library, Burney 198) and this sequence of medallions incorporated into a large historiated initial "I" in the 13th-century Marquette Bible (Getty Museum, MS Ludwig I 8). Other examples can be seen by paging through the Stammheim Missal (Getty, MS 64). Compare in this sense with roundel.

Also refers to the round sticker affixed to the front cover or dust jacket of an award-winning book or incorporated into the cover design, sometimes a representation, in metallic ink or paper, of the actual medal received, as in the John Newbery Medal for juvenile fiction.


media
A generic term for nonprint library materials (films, filmstrips, slides, videorecordings, audiorecordings, CD-ROMs, machine-readable data files, computer software, etc.). Microforms are not considered media because they are reproductions of print documents. The person responsible for managing a media collection and associated equipment is a media specialist. Reviews of newly published media titles are indexed annually by type of medium in Media Review Digest. Synonymous with audiovisuals. In a more general sense, material in any format that carries and communicates information content.

Also refers collectively to all the channels through which information is broadcast, including radio, television, cable, and the Internet. The mass media disseminate public information to the widest possible audience (and some would argue to the lowest common denominator) with a close eye on the profits to be made from advertising, as in the case of major commercial television networks. Although the producers of this one-way flow of information may use polling to reveal the characteristics of their listeners or viewers, the individuals who receive their message remain largely anonymous. The news media (newspapers, newsmagazines, news broadcasts, news Web sites, etc.) specialize in providing the latest information about current events, with or without commentary, usually without intending to entertain. Directory information on print and broadcast media is available in the Gale Directory of Publications and Broadcast Media, an annual reference serial available in most academic and large public libraries. Singular: medium. See also: media literacy and public television.


media center
A facility within an educational institution responsible for providing a full-range of media resources, equipment, and services, staffed to assist students and instructors in utilizing its collections, usually supervised by a media specialist. A media center can be a separate facility, a separately administered unit located in the same building as a library, or an integral part of the library. Synonymous with learning resources center. See also: listening room and viewing room.


media concentration
On June 2, 2003, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted 3-2 to change its rules on media ownership to allow a company to 1) own television stations that can reach a higher percentage of the national audience, 2) increase the number of stations it owns in a given geographic area, and 3) own both television stations and newspapers in the same market. On June 25, 2003, the Council of the American Library Association passed a Resolution on New Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Rules and Media Concentration expressing its opposition to the rule changes, citing the FCC's mandate to foster diversity, localism, and competition in the U.S. broadcasting system.


media kit
A packet of promotional materials, including biographical information, photographs, clippings, background information, press releases, etc., distributed to the media to generate publicity for an event, publication, or product. Formerly called a press kit.


media literacy
The ability to access, analyze, evaluate, and create messages in a variety of forms (print, audio, film/video, Internet, etc.) based on an informed, critical understanding of the nature of mass media, the techniques used by producers of media, and the impact of those techniques on the individual and society. An interdisciplinary field, media literacy has evolved as a necessary response to the complex, pervasive, ever-changing electronic communication environment of the 21st century. Click here to connect to the homepage of the Center for Media Literacy. Compare with information literacy.


media mail
A special rate available from the U.S. Postal Service to businesses and the public for mailing books of at least eight pages, film (16mm or narrower), printed music, printed test materials, sound recordings, play scripts, printed educational charts, loose-leaf pages and binders containing medical information, and computer-readable media, lower than the rate charged for parcels of comparable weight that do not contain such items. Advertising restrictions apply. Click here to learn more about media mail. Synonymous with book post and book rate. Compare with library mail.


media specialist
A librarian or other individual with specialized training in the creation, selection, organization, maintenance, and provision of access to media of all kinds, who may also be responsible for supervising a media center or the media department of a library, including collections, equipment, and facilities for listening and/or viewing, and any service personnel.


mediated search
A systematic search in which a trained intermediary, such as an online services librarian or information broker, assists the end-user in locating desired information, by helping to formulate and execute appropriate strategies for searching online catalogs and databases and by using more traditional bibliographic finding tools. Compare with end-user search.


mediation
An extra-judicial procedure for resolving disputes, in which two or more parties voluntarily employ another party (mediator) to find common ground on which a compromise can be negotiated. Usually less costly and time-consuming than arbitration, mediation is usually confidential and the parties are free to terminate the process at any point.


medical book
A book published in print, on CD-ROM, or online for the use of medical practitioners, researchers, and/or students (example: Physician's Desk Reference) or for laypersons with an interest in health care (Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide). The category includes textbooks, reference works, and consumer guides, often published in successive editions. Currency is essential in maintaining medical collections used by practitioners. Click here to see an online exhibition of anatomical illustration in medical books of the 16th-18th centuries (Special Collections, Glasgow University Library). See also: medical illustration and medical library.


medical illustration
A graphic representation intended to document or illuminate a specific medical condition or procedure, used primarily as an instructional aid in the identification and treatment of disease or in medical education. Click here to see examples, courtesy of the Association of Medical Illustrators.


medical library
A type of special library maintained by a university medical school, hospital, medical research institute, public health agency, or medical association to serve the information needs of students, researchers, and practitioners in the health sciences (medicine, nursing, dentistry, pharmacy, etc.), with collections that include print and online resources related to medicine and allied health. The largest medical library in the United States is the National Library of Medicine, located in Washington, D.C. Medical librarians are organized in the Medical Library Association (MLA). Synonymous with health science library. See also: hospital library.


Medical Library Association (MLA)
Founded in 1898, MLA has a membership of librarians and other individuals engaged in professional library or bibliographic work in medical libraries and allied scientific libraries. An affiliate of the American Library Association (ALA), MLA publishes the quarterly Bulletin of the Medical Library Association (BMLA). Click here to connect to the MLA homepage.


Medical Subject Headings (MeSH)
The thesaurus of controlled vocabulary used by the National Library of Medicine of the United States. MeSH subject headings are used in the NLM's MEDLINE database (available on the Web as PubMed), in Index Medicus, and in bibliographic cataloging records. MeSH headings are published in print by the NLM in an alphabetically arranged annotated list and in tree structures. Click here to connect to the online MeSH Browser.


medium
In information storage and retrieval, the physical substance or material on which data is recorded (parchment, paper, film, magnetic tape or disk, optical disk, etc.) or through which data is transmitted (optical fiber, coaxial cable, twisted pair, etc.). In a more general sense, the material or technical means by which any creative work is expressed or communicated, in print or nonprint format. Plural: media. See also: McLuhan, Marshall.

In printing, a typeface of intermediate weight, as distinct from lightface or boldface. Medium type is standard for printed text. See also: mediumistic writing.


mediumistic writing
A written work transmitted through a psychic medium who claims to have received it as a communication from the spirit of a dead person or entity. In libraries, such works are cataloged under the name of the medium with an added entry under the name of the purported author(s).


medium of performance
The voice(s) and/or instrument(s) for which a musical work is composed, recorded in the note area of the bibliographic description in the order given on the actual item (example: soprano and piano).


MEDLARS
An acronym for Medical Literature Analysis and Retrieval Service. Originally responsible for maintaining and leasing of a collection of National Library of Medicine databases to libraries and research institutions, the MEDLARS Management System (MMS) has expanded its scope to include database development, management, testing, and quality assurance aimed at enhancing access to health information for health professionals and the public. Click here to learn more about MMS and here to see a list of NLM databases and electronic resources.


medley
A musical composition consisting of a string of well-known melodies or passages from various pieces that share a common characteristic (composed by the same person, during the same period, in the same genre, etc.), arranged so that the end of one coincides with the beginning of the next, with no break in continuity.


MEDLINE
Created and maintained by the National Library of Medicine, MEDLINE is the largest bibliographic database in the world, indexing the literature of the biomedical sciences. It includes Index Medicus, Index to Dental Literature, and International Nursing. It also covers allied health, biological and physical sciences, humanities, and information science as they relate to medicine and health care, as well as communication disorders, population biology, and reproductive biology. MEDLINE contains over 11 million bibliographic records representing articles indexed since 1966 from over 3,900 journals, as well as monographs published as the result of biomedical congresses and symposia. Approximately 67 percent of the records in MEDLINE include abstracts. Click here to connect to PubMed, the free public version of MEDLINE sponsored by the National Center for Biotechnology Information.


meeting room
A room in a library that is available to the library's users for meetings, usually by reservation in advance of the meeting date (see this example at the Leominster Public Library). Most are equipped to handle a fairly large group, with portable chairs and tables, a podium (sometimes with microphone), projection equipment, and in some cases a small kitchenette for serving food. Maximum capacity is usually posted. To avoid misunderstandings, conditions governing use are best stated in written policy or guidelines. Compare with conference room.


meeting room policy
A written statement of the conditions governing the use of a public meeting room on the premises of a library, including reservation procedures and any restrictions on use (see this example at the Harris County Pubic Library). Meeting room policies have been challenged at some public libraries in the United States, particularly over issues of free speech and separation of church and state.


megabook
See: blockbuster.


megabyte (MB)
See: byte.


MegaHertz (MHz)
A measurement of the transmission speed of electronic devices, named after the German physicist Heinrich R. Hertz. One MHz equals 1 million cycles per second. In computing, a MegaHertz is usually equal to 1 million bps (bits per second). When used in reference to a computer's clock, the number of MHz indicates the speed of the central processing unit (CPU).


megalethoscope print
A photographic print made on thin translucent paper or canvas, colored and specially mounted on a curved frame for viewing as parlor entertainment in a megalethoscope, a large viewing device patented in 1862 by Swiss-born optician and photographer Carlo Ponti. The device contains a large magnifying lens, which gives the illusion of depth and perspective when the albumen photographs are either backlit by an internal light source (usually an oil lamp or kerosene lantern) or lit by daylight admitted through a system of doors and mirrors. When illuminated by daylight, a daytime view appears; when lit from behind, the slide is transformed into a colorful nocturnal tableau. The slides were sometimes pierced to create special dramatic effects (click here and here to see examples).


melainotype
See: tintype.


melodrama
From the Greek word melos, meaning "music." The term originally referred to all dramatic works that included music, but in 19th-century England it was applied to a story or play in which the characters are stereotyped (good or bad), the action exaggerated and emotional, and the plot improbable or sensational, interspersed with catchy songs and orchestral accompaniment, with an invariably happy ending (example: Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street). Melodrama bears the same relationship to tragedy as farce to comedy. Click here to see a Victorian example, published by Cassell in 1886. Other examples can be seen in Victorian Penny Dreadfuls (British Library) and Dime Novels (Library of Congress). In contemporary usage, the adjective melodramatic is applied to any performance or literary work in which the characters are overdrawn and the action taxes the credulity of audience or reader.


member rate
The price paid by a member of a society or association for a subscription to one of its serial publications, usually lower than the rate charged nonmembers.


memo
See: memorandum.


memoir
The record or report of a person's investigations in a specialized field, especially one prepared for presentation to members of a scholarly society. Also, a record of research or observation issued by a scholarly society or institution. Synonymous, in the plural, with proceedings and transactions.


memoirs
A narrative of events or reminiscences based on the author's own observations or personal knowledge of the world in which he (or she) lived, including events witnessed, people known or observed, places visited, etc. The life need not have been historically significant but one that placed the writer in a position to observe firsthand significant events as they unfolded. Unlike a private diary or journal, memoirs are usually written for publication long after the occurrence of the events described and do not necessarily provide a day-to-day account. Click here to see an example, courtesy of the Library of Congress. Compare with autobiography.


memorabilia
Materials of sentimental or historical value to the person who created or collected them, including personal books and papers, clippings, photographs, sketches, correspondence, diaries, journals, notes, invitations, badges, etc. Memorabilia are usually added to special collections, in accordance with a library's collection development policy.


memorandum
A formal note distributed internally to one or more persons in a company, agency, organization, or institution, with a header indicating the date it was sent and stating to whom it is addressed (To:), from whom it is sent (From:), and the subject of the text (Re:). Unlike a letter, a memo does not require a full salutation or signature at the end of the text--the sender may simply initial his or her name in the header (see this example). Also, an informal note jotted down, sometimes in haste, as an aid to memory. Plural: memorandums or memoranda.


Memorandum of Agreement (MOA)
A formal document outlining the mutual responsibilities of a depository library and a library or other institution receiving selectively housed materials from the depository on extended loan. Signed copies of the MOA are sent to the regional librarian and to the Library Programs Service (LPS) of the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO). A sample MOA is contained in the FDLP's Instructions to Depository Libraries (to enlarge click on lower right-hand corner of image).


memorial photograph
A photograph made to commemorate a deceased person (or pet) who appears in the image while still alive, as distinct from a post-mortem photograph made of the body after death. Memorial photographs are often black-bordered and may be accompanied by verse or vital statistics concerning the life of the deceased. They are sometimes seen mounted on old tombstones. The category includes morteotypes (daguerreotypes embedded in gravestones).


memorial volume
A book written and published to commemorate a person or group of persons (example: Edgar Allan Poe: A Memorial Volume [1877] by Sara Sigourney Rice).


memorial work
Prints, cards, black-edged stationery, and other graphic items produced in memory of a deceased person or to mark the anniversary of the death of an important public figure (click here and here to see examples).


memory
The space available for holding or storing data on a computer. External memory consists of permanent storage space on hard disks and floppy disks. Main memory (RAM) stores data only during a single work session, which is why files must be saved before ending a session. Because main memory also allocates space to the operating system, the amount of usable memory is usually less than total RAM, which may limit the size of application programs that can be run on a given computer and the maximum speed at which it can process data. Click here to learn more about computer memory, courtesy of HowStuffWorks.


mending
Minor restoration of a book's condition not requiring replacement of material or removal of the bound sections from the cover. When mending of library materials is done in-house, the job should be given to a person who is properly trained, to avoid permanent damage to items in need of attention. Click here to see an example of a document damaged by improper mending. As a general rule, mending should be done only to the extent necessary, using reversible procedures whenever possible. Compare with rebinding and repair.


mending tape
A generic term for various kinds of adhesive tape designed specifically for making minor repairs on books and other printed materials, available by the roll from library suppliers, either single- or double-sided, with pressure-sensitive or water-based adhesive. For mending tears in paper, acid-free tape is preferred. Most commercially available pressure-sensitive tapes ("magic tape," "masking tape," etc.) have an acidic adhesive that yellows over time, turning the paper yellow before eventually falling off, sometimes leaving a sticky residue (click here to see a document damaged by the use of acidic tape). In conservation, reversibility may require the use of a tape that can be easily removed without damaging the item.


mental map
A map depicting a geographic area of any extent according to the subjective perceptions of a particular person or group of people, rather than in relation to physical reality, for example, a New Yorker's view of the United States west of the Hudson River. Click here to see an example from The New Yorker. The category also includes maps in which an area is sized according to the quantity of the subject involved, for example, human population per square mile, which would, on a map of the United States, make the state of Texas considerably smaller than New York.


mentor
An experienced, trustworthy person who willingly provides useful advice to a new member of a community, profession, or organization to assist the person in achieving success in his or her new position and environment. Mentoring relationships can either be established informally by the participants or under the formal sponsorship of an organization. Mentoring of recent library school graduates can be arranged through the New Members Round Table (NMRT) of the American Library Association (ALA).


menu
In computer systems, a display of two or more options from which the user may select by typing letters or numbers (or some other combination of keys) or by clicking on a link, icon, text label, etc., with a mouse or other pointing device. Main menu options often lead to lower-level submenus in a hierarchical display. See also: Gopher, menu bar, and menu-driven.

Also, a written or printed list of the dishes and beverages that may be ordered at a restaurant or other eating establishment or that are to be served at a banquet or other occasion, often divided into categories to facilitate selection (see this example). Menus are considered a form of ephemera and are collected by libraries and archives mainly for their historical value. Click here to see a collection of menus of restaurants in the Puget Sound area in the University of Washington Digital Collections. Synonymous with bill of fare.


menu bar
In computing, a list of menu names, usually displayed horizontally below the title bar in a graphical user interface, with corresponding menu options hidden from view. When the user selects one of the menu names, the appropriate list of options is displayed in a drop-down, pop-up, or sidebar menu.


menu-driven
A computer interface that provides a hierarchical sequence of lists of possible choices (options) from which the user must make appropriate selections to accomplish the desired result. Menu-driven interfaces are easier for novices to negotiate but slower and less sophisticated than command-driven systems and consequently less attractive to experienced users. See also: graphical user interface.


Mercator projection
A mathematical method of depicting a globe on a two-dimensional surface, developed in 1569 for navigation by Gerhardus Mercator (Gerhard Kremer), a Flemish geographer, mathematician, and cartographer (click here to see it explained and illustrated in Wikipedia). Straight lines on the Mercator projection are rhumb lines (loxodromes) representing lines of constant compass bearing. It is an example of a conformal projection--at any intersection of latitude and longitude, the Mercator projection maintains all angular relationships (azimuths), preserving shape and direction. However, because it shows lines of longitude as straight vertical lines equidistant at all latitudes, area is increasingly distorted in the direction of the poles, making land masses near the poles appear larger than is actually the case. Click here to see an early world map made using the Mercator projection (Princeton University) and here to see a modern example (University of Pennsylvania).


merchandising
The adoption by libraries of principles of visual display originally developed in business to entice consumers to buy products. Public libraries have long been aware that books displayed face out with the dust jacket covered in a shiny plastic sleeve have higher circulation than books in plain covers displayed spine-out. Library merchandising has expanded to include attractive displays of library materials near the main entrance, on gondolas and slatwall panels, and in special areas (teen zones, cybercafes, etc.) furnished in comfortable style. Some public libraries have also reorganized their collections in user-friendly categories and improved signage.


merge
To combine in logical sequence two or more separate files of information into one, either manually or by an automated process. When such a combination includes the recognition and removal of duplicate files, the process is known as merge/purge. See also: deduping.


merger
The combination of two or more serials into one. A note is included in the bibliographic record for the new serial (Merger of:) indicating the titles of the publications that merged, and a companion note is added to the record for each of the serials that merged (Merged with: to become:) indicating the title(s) with which it merged and the title of the publication created as the result of the merger. The opposite of split. Compare with absorption.


meridian
In cartography, an imaginary line through any point on the surface of the earth (or another celestial body) circling the planet perpendicular to the equator and connecting the geographic poles, where it meets all other meridians. On most modern maps, the 0 meridian runs through Greenwich, England (see this illustration) but on early American maps, the prime meridian often runs through Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, or some other city. The relative position of a meridian is measured in degrees, minutes, and seconds of longitude, ranging from 0 to 180 degrees east or west of the prime meridian, with notation indicating direction (example: 45º, 10', 5" west). Synonymous with longitude line. Compare with parallel. See also: latitude.


MeSH
See: Medical Subject Headings.


meta-analysis
Statistical analysis of the results of a number of studies of related research hypotheses (each study based on similar study and control group populations and on similar design and methods), intended to yield a quantitative aggregate summary of all the findings. Best results are achieved by including only methodologically sound studies, because sources of bias in the original studies are not controlled in meta-analysis.


metadata
Literally, "data about data." Structured information describing information resources/objects for a variety of purposes. Although AACR2/MARC cataloging is formally metadata, the term is generally used in the library community for nontraditional schemes such as the Dublin Core Metadata Element Set, the VRA Core Categories, and the Encoded Archival Description (EAD). Metadata has been categorized as descriptive, structural, and administrative. Descriptive metadata facilitates indexing, discovery, identification, and selection. Structural metadata describes the internal structure of complex information resources. Administrative metadata aids in the management of resources and may include rights management metadata, preservation metadata, and technical metadata describing the physical characteristics of a resource. For an introduction to metadata, please see Priscilla Caplan's Metadata Fundamentals for All Librarians (American Library Association, 2003). Also spelled meta-data. See also: Metadata Encoding and Transmission Standard and Metadata Object Description Schema.


metadatabase
A database of databases, usually formed by aggregating two or more smaller databases to allow the user to search their contents as a whole, instead of repeating the same search in each separately (example: OneFile from Gale, which consolidates the InfoTrac bibliographic databases into a single, very large finding tool). The pace of aggregation has accelerated as very large vendors have dominated the market for access to periodical databases, but however helpful "one-stop searching" may be in interdisciplinary research (and to users who lack the skill to select the optimum databases for a specialized topic), segmentation still offers significant advantages for the experienced researcher.


Metadata Encoding and Transmission Standard (METS)
An XML schema for encoding descriptive, structural, and administrative metadata for digital objects. METS can be used to facilitate the standardized exchange of digital objects between repositories, the development of common presentation utilities, and the archiving of digital objects. METS was developed by the Digital Library Federation and is maintained by the Library of Congress with the advice of the METS Editorial Board. Click here to learn more about METS.


Metadata Object Description Schema (MODS)
An XML schema developed by the Library of Congress for representing MARC-like semantics in the XML markup language. MODS can be used to carry selected data from MARC 21 records or for creating original resource description records according to a specification richer than Dublin Core but less complex than full MARC. MODS cannot be used for the conversion of MARC to XML without loss of data (MARCXML was designed for that purpose). Click here to learn more about MODS.


metadictionary
A search engine that allows the user to search for the definition(s) of a word or phrase in multiple online dictionaries simultaneously. OneLook Dictionary Search is an example that indexes English words and phrases from over 900 dictionary Web sites, with translation to other languages.


meta-index
An index of indexes. For a meta-index of indexes to Web sites, see the WWW Virtual Library.


metal binding
A bookbinding made of one or more metallic substances (gold, silver, brass, etc.), usually by a jeweler or skilled metalworker, often in the form of surface decoration mounted on the boards. Click here to see an elaborate silver binding made in Venice in the 18th-century. To see a 17th-century example in silver filigree, try a keywords search on the term "silver binding" in the British Library's Database of Bookbindings. See also: cloisonné.


metalcut
A relief print made from a metal plate usually attached to a wood block, a technique used chiefly in northern Europe from about 1450 until 1540 for printing religious subject matter (see this example by Hans Holbein the Younger). The results are sometimes difficult to distinguish from woodcuts of the same period. Also spelled metal cut.


metallic ink
Printing ink to which finely ground particles of metal (aluminum, bronze, copper, etc.) have been added to produce a decorative metallic effect, used mainly in display work. During the Middle Ages, powdered gold was added to the ink used in chrysography and gilding. Click here to see metallic paint used to highlight drapery in a miniature in the 15th-century Hours of Simon de Varie (Getty Museum, MS 7).


metal point
A pointed implement made of metal used from the 11th century on for ruling and writing annotations in manuscripts, and for underdrawing. It leaves a trace more discreet than pen-and-ink but more visible than hard point. The color of the mark left on the writing surface varies with the type of metal used: a brownish mark from a ferrous point, a gray line from silver or lead, and a grayish-green trace from copper. Instructions to illuminators and binders' notes written in metal point are sometimes detectable in early manuscripts. Click here to learn more about metal point, courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Also spelled metalpoint See also: plummet.


metamorphic picture
A graphic image that can be transformed by the viewer, mentally or physically, into one or more other images by turning, folding, or sliding a section (click here and here to see examples). Includes reversible head prints (see this example) and pictures with interchangeable parts, such as parts of the body, which can be mixed and matched to show different figures.


metaphor
From the Greek word metapherein, meaning to "to carry across." A figure of speech in which a word or phrase denoting a specific object, person, idea, etc., is applied to something with which it is not normally associated, to attribute one or more of its qualities to the other without using "like" or "as" to make an explicit comparison. The identification or substitution can be direct ("Oaths are straws, men's faiths are wafer-cakes" from Henry V 2.3.51) or merely suggested ("Upon the heat and flame of thy distemper sprinkle cool patience" from Hamlet 3.4.123).

Metaphor has been used as a literary device since the earliest works of recorded literature ("rosy-fingered dawn") to enable imaginative writers to expand the literal meaning(s) of word and phrase. When the elements compared are so dissimilar as to be incongruous, the resulting mixed metaphor ("mixaphor") can be amusing ("rusty lips"). A dead metaphor has become so commonplace as to have lost its force ("time marches on"). The history and grammar of metaphor is studied in the discipline of linguistics. Metaphors are sometimes collected and indexed, usually thematically (see the Metaphors Dictionary edited by Elyse Sommer and Dorrie Weiss).


metapublisher
A third-party electronic service provider in the business of enabling primary publishers to outsource some or all of the text conversion, reference linking, hosting, and gateway services that traditional publishers do not have the resources to provide in-house. Examples include HighWire, Ingenta, and MetaPress.


metasearch
A search for information using software designed to optimize retrieval by querying multiple Web search engines and combining the results. Dogpile, Mamma Metasearch, and WebCrawler are commonly used metasearch engines. SearchEngineWatch.com provides a more complete list. Click here to learn more about metasearch engines, courtesy of the UC Berkeley Library. The term is also used in the more general sense of one-search access to multiple electronic resources. NISO is sponsoring a MetaSearch Initiative to establish best practices and draft standards for metasearch services. Compare with federated search.


metathesaurus
An alphabetically arranged list of the specialized vocabulary of an academic discipline or group of related disciplines, indicating the semantic relations between terms, designed to integrate a number of separate controlled vocabularies (thesauri) developed independently to facilitate information retrieval. A prime example is the UMLS Metathesaurus under development by the National Library of Medicine (NLM) as part of its Unified Medical Language System to integrate into a single system the terminology of the biomedical sciences.


method book
An instruction manual for a particular musical instrument or voice, designed to help aspiring students develop technique and musicality. Often geared to a specific skill level (beginning, intermediate, or advanced), some are written by accomplished players and teachers (example: The Christopher Parkening Guitar Method).


methods journal
A scholarly periodical devoted to disseminating information about the development of new techniques in scientific research and the refinement of existing methodologies (example: the biweekly Journal of Immunological Methods).


metonymy
A figure of speech in which the name of one thing is used for another to which it is related, of which it is an attribute, with which it is associated, or which it suggests (example: "White House" for presidency or "Crown" for king). Reverse metonymy is the use of the name of a thing to refer to one or more of its attributes, for example, a reference in Shakespeare by a monarch to another by the name of the country, rather than the personal name and title.


metropolitan area network (MAN)
A computer network connecting users over a geographic area larger than a local area network (LAN) but smaller than a wide area network (WAN), ranging in size from several blocks of buildings to an entire city. Dependent on communications channels of moderate to high rates of data transmission, MANs use wireless technology or optical fiber, often interconnecting two or more local area networks to form a single larger network. A MAN might be owned and operated by a single organization, sometimes as a public utility, but it is typically used by many individuals and organizations.


METS
See: Metadata Encoding and Transmission Standard.


mezzotint
From the Italian mezzo ("half") and tinto ("tone"). An intaglio printing process in which a serrated implement is applied to the surface of a copper plate to give it a roughened texture ("burr") that prints a uniformly dark ground, portions of which are smoothed by the artist to produce the design in tonal gradations. Because the texture of the surface is degraded by successive printings, only a small number of excellent impressions can be taken from a mezzotint plate before print quality begins to deteriorate. Successive "states" of the print can be produced from a reworked plate, but since reworking is not always done by a person as expert as the original artist, collectors prefer early proofs pulled when the initial burr is still fresh. Also refers to the print that is the result of the process. Click here to learn more about mezzotint, courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The National Portrait Gallery in London provides an early history of mezzotint.


MHz
See: MegaHertz.


MIC
See: Moving Image Collections.


Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature
Named for a school librarian in Topeka, Kansas, who was a long-time active member of the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), the Michael L. Printz Award, sponsored by Booklist, a publication of the American Library Association (ALA), has been given annually since 2000 for literary excellence in young adult literature. Click here to learn about past winners and honor books. See also: Alex Awards and Margaret A. Edwards Award.


microcard
See: microopaque.


microchip
See: chip.


microclimate
The isolated environment (ambient light, temperature, relative humidity, dust, etc.) within a small confined space such as a display case, enclosed bookcase, drawer, box, or other storage container, easier to control than a large storage area when conservation is a high priority.


microcomputer
A generic term for a programmable computer designed to handle relatively small operations, usually a desktop machine containing a single-chip microprocessor on a printed circuit board, which may be part of a larger computer system or connected to a network. The term may have been coined to distinguish personal computers from more powerful minicomputers. See also: mainframe.


microdrive
Originally a brand name for a miniature, one-inch, 170 MB hard disk designed by IBM and launched in 1999 to fit in a CompactFlash (CF) Type II slot, the term has since been applied to similar drives manufactured by other companies (see this example). Some have licensed the name in order to sell re-branded versions. Although microdrives may consume more power than flash memory, they offer some advantages in the way data is stored and manipulated. In 2006, Hitachi introduced an 8 GB microdrive.


microfiche
A small card-shaped sheet of photographic film designed for storing miniaturized text and/or microimages arranged sequentially in a two-dimensional grid (see this example). Microfiche is available in color or black and white (negative or positive). Various formats exist, but ISO recommends 75 x 125 mm (48 frames in four rows of 12) or 105 x 148 mm (60 frames in five rows of 12). Although each sheet usually includes a title and/or index number in a heading across the top that can be read without magnification, the text itself can be read and copied only with the aid of a microform reader-printer machine (see this example). User resistance can be mitigated by keeping equipment in good repair and providing point-of-use assistance.

In most academic libraries, the ERIC document collection is available on microfiche, filed by the six-digit ED number assigned to each document. Newspaper and periodical back files and government documents may also be available on microfiche, usually stored in specially designed metal filing cabinets. The sheets of film may be enclosed in microfiche envelopes to prevent abrasion. The Library of Congress provides Microfilm/Microfiche Photoduplication as a fee-based service. Click here to learn more about microfiche, courtesy of Wikipedia. Abbreviated fiche. Compare with microfilm. See also: superfiche and ultrafiche.


microfiche envelope
A small paper envelope, open at the top and right end, or at the top only, with a high throat for storing and protecting one or more sheets of microfiche so that only the title strip on the first sheet is visible. Archival quality microfiche envelopes are made of acid- and lignin-free paper.


microfilm
The use of 16mm or 35mm photographic film to store miniaturized text and/or microimages in a linear array consisting of a single row (cine format) or double row of frames that can be magnified and reproduced only with the aid of specially designed equipment (see this example). Microfilm is available in color or black and white (negative or positive) and is used (1) in continuous rolls mounted on open spools (see this example) or in enclosed cartridges and (2) in unitized format in jackets or aperture cards. Stored under suitable environmental conditions, its longevity can be measured in centuries. For this reason, it is used for the preservation of paper documents at risk of deterioration.

In many libraries, newspaper and periodical back files are routinely converted to microfilm to save space. Microfilm is the most common form of substitution. Microform reader-printer machines are available in libraries with microfilm holdings for viewing and making hard copies. User resistance can be mitigated by keeping equipment in good repair and by providing point-of-use assistance. The Library of Congress provides Microfilm/Microfiche Photoduplication as a fee-based service. Click here to learn about The History of Microfilm: 1839 to the Present, courtesy of the Southern Regional Library Facility, University of California. Compare with microfiche. See also: master negative, print master, and service copy.


microfilm exchange
The replacement by a library of issues or bound volumes of a serial publication with microfilm, usually to conserve space or preserve titles that are very heavily used (example: national newsmagazines), printed on acid paper (newspapers), or subject to a high rate of mutilation or loss.


microfilm jacket
A transparent plastic holder into which short strips of microfilm are inserted, designed as a unitized format for storing microimages of documents that require periodic updating. Jackets are available in a variety of sizes for both 16mm and 35mm microfilm, plain or color-coded to facilitate filing (see this example). The standard 4 x 6-inch size holds up to 60 images. Compare with aperture card.


microform
A generic term for a highly reduced photographic copy of text and/or images stored on a translucent medium (microfiche or microfilm) or on an opaque medium such as card stock (microopaque or aperture card). Microforms can be original editions or reproductions. Reader-printer machines are required to view and make hard copies. Digital storage media such as magnetic tape and disk, CD-ROM, etc., are superseding microforms in information storage and retrieval, but the transformation is far from complete. Microforms currently available for purchase are listed by author/title and subject in Guide to Microforms in Print, published annually by K.G. Saur. Compare with macroform. See also: computer output microform.


micrographics
A general term for the techniques used to photographically reduce text and/or graphic images to a size too small to be read by the human eye without magnification, usually for the purpose of preservation or compact storage, as in the conversion of newspaper and periodical back files from print to microfilm or microfiche. Micrographic formats also include microopaque and aperture card. Compare with micrography.


micrography
The art and practice of writing in microscopically small characters. Click here to view an online exhibit of Hebrew micrography (Library of the Jewish Theological Seminary) and here to see other examples (Jewish Virtual Library). Photomicrography is the art and practice of photographing very small objects, usually through a microscope, to enable them to be seen by the eye without magnification. Compare with micrographics.


micromanagement
A top-down management style in which the manager closely observes and attempts to control the work of his or her subordinates, often devoting excessive attention to minute details at the expense of more important problems. Unable to delegate authority, micromanagers typically discount the ideas of others or accept creative suggestions only when they can put their own spin on an innovation, creating a work environment of distrust and hostility.


microopaque
A sheet of opaque material, such as paper or card stock, bearing miniaturized text and/or microimages arranged in a two-dimensional grid, which can be magnified and copied only with the aid of special equipment. Common dimensions are 3 x 5 and 6 x 9 inches, with reduction ratios of approximately 24:1 or 20:1. Most microopaques include identifying information in characters large enough to be read without magnification. Reader-printer machines for viewing and making hard copies are usually provided in libraries with microopaque holdings. Synonymous with microcard. Compare with microfiche.


microphone
A device designed to convert acoustic sound vibrations into electrical signals, which are usually fed into an amplifier, recording device, or broadcast transmitter. Abbreviated mic or mike.


microphotograph
A photograph of objects shown at so great a reduction in size as to require a magnifying device for viewing. Microphotography was invented in 1839 by John Benjamin Dancer (1812-1887), a manufacturer of optical and scientific equipment in Manchester, England, who used the "wet plate" collodion process to produce a microimage on collodion film for viewing through a microscope. The category includes microfiche and microfilm. The opposite of macrophotograph. Compare with photomicrograph. See also: Stanhope.


microprocessor
A central processing unit (CPU) etched or printed on a single silicon microchip. To function as a computer, a microprocessor requires a power supply, a clock, and memory. Microprocessors are used in most digital devices (PCs, personal digital assistants, clock radios, etc.).


micropublisher
A commercial company or agency that specializes in publishing documents on microform, for example, Duplication Services at the Library of Congress. In AACR2, the name of the micropublisher of a microreproduction is recorded as the publisher in the publication, distribution, etc., area of the bibliographic description as it appears on the chief source of information (usually the title frame). A list of micropublishers is provided in the front matter of the reference serial Magazines for Libraries, published by ProQuest.


microreproduction
The photographic reproduction of a written or printed work on a scale that can be read only with magnification, usually on microfilm or microfiche, used for economic and compact archival storage, especially of serials and to preserve materials in poor condition or at risk of deterioration. The Canadiana.org provides a searchable research collection of Early Canadiana Online (ECO).

In the case of unpublished manuscripts and maps, a microreproduction is cataloged as an original edition if issued by a commercial publisher (including on demand agencies such as University Microfilms International) or is issued by a non-commercial agency, such as a university photoduplication department, but contains an explicit edition statement relating to the photoreproduction. The statement need not be formally presented and may be on accompanying material. See also: reformat.


microscope slide
A small transparent mount, usually made of glass, designed for holding a minute object, such as a biological specimen or geological sample, for viewing through the lens of a light microscope or microprojector (see this example). In AACR2, microscope slides are cataloged according to the rules for three-dimensional artifacts and realia. Compare with microslide.


microscopic printing
Printing done in a very small type size. Although the first works printed in Europe were in large type, early printers soon realized that with smaller typefaces more matter could be fitted on a page. By 1825, the French type-founder Henri Didot had cast type that produced 25 lines to the inch. Because the casting of extremely small type has physical limitations, most microscopic reduction is now done photographically. See also: miniature book.


microslide
A slide consisting of a single mounted frame of microfilm, not to be confused with a microscope slide.


middleware
A computer program designed to mediate between two otherwise separate application programs, which may be running on different operating systems, allowing data to be exchanged between them. Middleware (also known as "plumbing") is also used to facilitate distributed processing--the interconnection of multiple applications, usually over a network, to create a larger, often more complex application. Some functionality, formerly provided by separately marketed middleware, has been incorporated into operating systems.


midlist
The titles on a publisher's frontlist, usually literary fiction and serious nonfiction written by new and emerging writers, not expected to become bestsellers or even leaders. Recent studies suggest that although publishers continue to issue as many new midlist titles as ever, the failure of bookstore chains to market them competitively has resulted in a decline in their percentage of total book sales. Mid-List Press is an example of a nonprofit, literary small press that publishes books of high literary merit and fresh artistic vision by new and emerging writers and by writers excluded from publication for reasons of profitability.


migrated archives
See: removed archives.


migration
A move from one hardware platform or software system to another, usually because the purchaser or lessee believes the new system to be superior. In libraries, the most common example is from the catalog or database software of one vendor to that of another. Such a change may or may not require the conversion of data from one format to another. Compare with upgrade.


mildew
The growth of microorganisms whose spores remain dormant under cool, dry conditions inside libraries and other facilities but are stimulated by warm, moist air to feed on the leaves and bindings of books and other printed materials (see these examples). The growth of mildew produces an acid harmful to paper and the materials used in binding. It also produces a characteristic musty odor that can be prevented in libraries by maintaining good air circulation, low relative humidity, and adequate lighting. Once started, an infestation of mildew can be difficult to eradicate. Click here to learn more about mildew and books, courtesy of the National Library of Australia. See also: fumigation.


Mildred L. Batchelder Award
An annual literary award given by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) of the American Library Association (ALA) to the American publisher of an outstanding children's book originally published in a foreign language in another country and subsequently translated into English and published in the United States during the previous year. The citation was established in 1966 in honor of Mildred L. Batchelder, children's librarian and former ALSC executive director who believed in the importance of good books in translation for children from all parts of the world. Its purpose is to encourage American publishers to seek out superior children's books abroad and to promote communication among the peoples of the world. Click here to learn more about the Batchelder Award.


military library
A library maintained by a unit of government responsible for national defense, maintaining collections for the use of military staff, but sometimes with a broader mandate that may include accessibility to the general public (example: Nimitz Library at the U.S. Naval Academy). Military librarians are organized in the Federal and Armed Forces Libraries Round Table (FAFLRT) of the American Library Association (ALA) and in the Military Librarians Division (MLD) of the Special Libraries Association (SLA). Synonymous with armed forces library.

Also, a privately funded library devoted to documenting military heritage, for example, the Pritzker Military Library in Chicago, Illinois, which aims to acquire and maintain a collection of materials and develop programs on the role of the citizen soldier in a democracy.


millboard
See: binder's board.


milling
Cutting away a small portion of the binding edge of a book (usually less than one-eighth inch) to prepare the sections for adhesive binding or oversewing, an operation done in a bindery by moving the inner edge of the clamped text block over the rotating blades of a milling machine. In first-time binding, the back folds of the sections are cut away, producing loose leaves. In rebinding, the old adhesive, thread, staples, etc., are cut away along with the folds to prepare the leaves for reattachment.


MIME
An acronym for Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions, a specification that allows non-ASCII files to be formatted so that they can be transmitted over the Internet via e-mail. Supported by many e-mail clients, MIME extends the SMTP protocol to allow the exchange of graphics, audio, and video files, and messages in character sets other than ASCII.


MIME media type
A designation used in Web browsers and other application software to determine file characteristics, consisting of two parts, a type and subtype, separated by a slash (examples: image/tiff, application/pdf, application/msword, etc.). The official list of MIME media types is maintained by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA). Synonymous with MIME type.


mind, body and spirit (MBS)
See: new age book.


miniature
A colorful hand-painted stand-alone illustration in a medieval manuscript or early printed book, often illuminated in gold or silver and enclosed in an ornamental border or painted frame. Click here to see an example in the Burnet Psalter or page through full-page miniatures in the Hours of Anne of France (Morgan Library, MS M.677). The term does not refer to the size of the image (a miniature may fill an entire page); it is derived from the Latin minium, meaning "red lead," a substance used in painting to produce the color vermilion. For online exhibitions of medieval miniatures, see Leaves of Gold (Philadelphia Museum of Art) and Manuscripts at the Getty Museum. Miniatures are also integral to the Persian manuscript tradition. See also: column picture, picture cycle, presentation miniature, and tableau miniature.

Also refers to a small, separate, minutely detailed drawing, painting, or portrait, usually done on ivory or vellum (see this example from Australia or this selection from The Royal Collection of the UK). See also: Cosway binding.

In printing and reprography, a document conceived on a very small scale or a greatly reduced copy of a document, designed to be read or reproduced with the aid of special optical equipment. See also: miniature book and miniature edition.


miniature book
A book conceived on a very small scale, measuring no more than three inches along its greatest dimension (height or width), usually printed in 6-point type or smaller and illustrated on the same scale. Not uncommon, miniature books include Bibles, almanacs, poetry, classics, juvenile literature, tokens, etc. Click here to see a page from a 20th-century miniature atlas (Kansas State University Libraries). Very tiny books, such as those used in doll houses, are usually produced photographically. Of interest to collectors, miniature books have an enthusiastic following in the United States.

Click here to see a set of 18th-century Dutch miniature books in deluxe binding (Koninklijke Bibliotheek). An online exhibition of Miniature Books is provided by the Cushing Memorial Library, Texas A&M University. See also 4000 Years of Miniature Books (Lilly Library, Indiana University). For more information, see the Web site maintained by the Miniature Book Society. See also: miniature edition, miniature library, and necklace book.


miniature edition
An edition of a book in which the copies are of very small size (three inches or less in height and width), usually printed in 6-point type or smaller and illustrated on the same scale. Synonymous with lilliput edition and microscopic edition. See also: miniature book.


miniature library
In 1800, the English publisher John Marshall issued the first of several series of miniature children's books in glazed paper bindings. Each series included as many as 16 separate titles of diminutive size encased in a small wooden box with a lid to which an engraved paper label was pasted and an ornamental pediment added to give the impression of a glass-fronted bookcase. The text in each volume, usually didactic in intent, served to draw the reader's attention to details of the illustration on the facing page. The concept was imitated by other publishers of children's literature in the early 19th century. For examples, see the online exhibition Miniature Libraries from the Children's Books Collections, courtesy of the National Art Library at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Miniature libraries were commissioned by individuals as early as the 17th-century (see this example, courtesy of the University of Leeds). In modern publishing, the term is sometimes applied to a set of children's books sold as a single unit, often encased in a gift box, slipcase, or other container (example: The Dr. Seuss Miniature Library published by Collins in 2004).


miniature score
A music score printed in small type to allow the pages to be reduced to pocket size. Miniature scores are designed to be used by music lovers for study and enjoyment, not for performance.


miniature work
A graphic work that is very small in comparison with the usual size for the genre or physical type, but large enough to be viewed without magnification, for example, a gem photograph or miniature painting. See also: miniature book and miniature score.


minicomputer
A medium-size computer introduced in the 1960s capable of serving up to several hundred users. A dedicated minicomputer is used to run the online catalog in many libraries. Synonymous with midrange computer. Compare with mainframe, microcomputer, and supercomputer.


minimal level cataloging (MLC)
An encoding level that allows more severe limitations on the description and classification of an item (and on the amount of authority control) than in core level cataloging, resulting in a less than complete bibliographic record. MLC was designed to provide access to materials unavailable due to cataloging arrears, as well as items worthy of retention but not considered worth the expense of full level cataloging.


minimize
A feature of a graphical user interface that allows the user to reduce a window to a tab in the taskbar, or to an icon on the desktop, by clicking on a small button in the upper-right-hand corner of the window. The opposite of maximize. See also: multitasking.


minor descriptor
A descriptor or identifier assigned in a bibliographic record to represent one of the less significant aspects of the content of the document (form, methodology, etc.). A minor descriptor or identifier is not marked with an asterisk or distinguished typographically in the list of preferred indexing terms, as is a major descriptor or identifier representing a primary focus or subject of the document. Some indexing systems do not provide minor descriptors and identifiers.


mint
In the antiquarian book trade, a copy in the same immaculate, unaltered condition as when it was first published, new and virtually unused--the highest possible grade in any assessment of condition. Used books in mint condition command a higher price than copies showing signs of wear. Synonymous with as new and pristine. Compare with fine copy. See also: bright copy.


minuscule
A script written in unconnected letters, some of which have ascenders and descenders (b, d, f, g, h, j, k, l, p, q, t, y), as opposed to majuscule in which all the letters are the same height. When connections are made between letters, the hand is cursive. Minuscule is a quadrilinear (or quattrolinear) script because the letters are bounded by four imaginary horizontal lines (at the top and bottom of the minim stroke used to write letters like "m" and "n" and at the top of the ascenders and bottom of the descenders). The lowercase letters of the modern roman alphabet evolved from Carolingian minuscule, a script adopted in Europe during the reign of Charlemagne (8th century). See also: Anglo-Saxon minuscule.


minute book
A blankbook or series of blankbooks in which are recorded the minutes of the meetings of a society, association, board, agency, court, etc., usually on a regular basis. Becuase the information recorded in minute books can be of considerable historical value, they are often archived (see these examples courtesy of the New Jersey Archives).


minutes
Under parliamentary procedure, a written chronological account of the business conducted at a formal assembly, such as a library faculty or staff meeting, usually written from notes taken by an elected or appointed secretary, or other designated attendee, for distribution to all the other participants in advance of the next meeting for their correction and approval. The minutes of important meetings may be archived as a matter of record. In some libraries, minutes are ordered, received, and cataloged as serial publications. See also: minute book.


miracle play
A form of medieval religious drama performed on a movable wagon from a script giving an account of a divine miracle, usually one believed to have occurred in the life of a Christian saint or character from the Bible. Compare with morality play. See also: mystery play.


mirroring
A bluish metallic sheen appearing on the surface of some silver-based photographic images, an aging process that particularly affects silver glass negatives, the most common type of photographic negative from 1880 until the early 1900s when nitrate and acetate films came into use (click here and here to see examples, courtesy of the Library of Congress). Although the nature of this form of deterioration is not fully understood, the fact that it often occurs around the edges of a photograph may indicate that exposure to the atmosphere is a factor. Synonymous with silver mirroring and silvering-out.


mirror site
An exact copy of a Web site, installed on a server other than the one maintained by the official host, usually to handle demand for the site's content in another country or region. When the main server goes offline, the Web site it normally hosts may still be available at one or more mirror sites.


MIS
See: management information system.


misbound
A book in which a map or illustration, a number of leaves, or a complete section has been folded incorrectly, gathered in incorrect sequence, bound in upside down, or omitted (see this example courtesy of Flickr). The publisher will normally send a replacement if such a copy is returned by a bookseller or retail customer.


miscellany
A collection consisting of an assortment or medley of writings on diverse subjects, usually published in a single volume. Click here to see a facsimile of a 13th-century Hebrew miscellany (University of Arizona Library) and here to learn about the 17th-century Trevelyon Miscellany (Folger Shakespeare Library). The term also appears in the titles of books containing literary and other works of various forms, usually related to a specific subject (example: A Medical Miscellany for Genealogists), theme (A Miscellany of Women's Wisdom), person (A James Joyce Miscellany), place (A Handful of Spice: A Miscellany of Maine Literature and History), etc. Although the term is not archaic, it is more common in titles of books and periodicals published in the 19th century than in later works (example: The American Phrenological Journal and Miscellany, published monthly from 1838-1850). Compare with anthology.


mis-en-page
The overall arrangement of elements on a page in an early manuscript, including the number and width of columns and the placement of miniatures, initial letters, decorative borders, line fillers, bas-de-page scenes, etc. The four-column layout of early codices (presumably inherited from rolls) was reduced to two in the early Christian period, with variations depending on type of text. Books of Hours and Italian Renaissance manuscripts were usually written in a single column. Mis-en-page was laid down when the clean parchment or vellum sheets were ruled for copying. The designer sometimes added instructions in metal point to guide the copyist and/or illuminator. The historical development of mis-en-page can be helpful to codicologists in dating medieval manuscripts. Click here to view a complex example in the Murthly Hours (National Library of Scotland) and here to see an example that encompasses both sides of an opening a 15th-century Book of Hours (Cornell University Library). The term is also used in printing to mean the arrangement and design of page elements (type, margins, illustrations, etc.). See also: horror vacui.


misinformation
Information that is erroneous or inaccurate. Also refers to the act of misinforming someone, inadvertently or by intention. Compare with disinformation.


misleading title
A title that indicates neither the subject nor the form of the work, leaving the prospective reader in a state of uncertainty as to its content (example: The Jungle [1906] by Upton Sinclair).


misprint
See: typographical error.


misquote
To repeat incorrectly words that another person has spoken or written, inadvertently or by intention. A quotation made out of context may be misleading, but it is not necessarily a misquote. Quotations included in written works should be properly cited and double-checked for accuracy before publication.


missal
A liturgical book containing all the texts (chants, prayers, and readings) used by the priest in the celebration of Mass, arranged according to the liturgical year. From the 10th century on, the readings formerly contained in the sacramentary were combined with the gradual, evangelary, and epistolary to form a single volume, to facilitate private masses. The earliest medieval examples were copied by hand on parchment or vellum and beautifully illuminated, especially the canon page and the Vere dignum monogram. Click here to page through a 16th-century Italian missal (Getty Museum, MS 87) and here to see an opening in a 16th-century printed example (Special Collections, Glasgow University Library, Bg.1.2). To see other examples, try a keyword search on the term in Google Images. In a more general sense, any book of prayers or daily devotions. Also spelled missale. Compare with breviary.


misshelved
An item in a library collection placed on the shelf out of correct sequence, usually accidentally in reshelving or by a well-intentioned patron, making it as inaccessible to users of the catalog as if it had disappeared. Sometimes an item is intentionally misshelved by a patron to assure future access or to prevent others from using it. Regular, thorough shelf reading is the most effective way to control misshelving.


missing
A code used in the library catalog to indicate the circulation status of an item not checked out that cannot be found anywhere in the library. If a thorough search by library staff fails to locate the item within a reasonable time, a replacement copy may be ordered, provided demand exists and the work is still in print. Compare with lost.


missing copy
Parts of a book, such as the index or appendices, that may not be ready when a publisher sends the typescript and specifications to the printer. If additional copy is to follow, allowance must be made in estimating the cost of printing.


missing issue
An issue of a newspaper or periodical not received by a library subscriber within a specified period of time, or after a designated number of claims, as distinct from an issue lost or stolen following receipt and check-in. The publisher or vendor may offer an extended subscription in compensation. The library may eventually fill the gap by purchasing a replacement from a back issues dealer.


mission
The basic purpose or role of an organization, expressed succinctly in abstract terms. A clearly written mission statement is the basis for formulating achievable goals and objectives in strategic planning and serves as a constant reminder of the organization's primary reason for existing. A well-written mission statement can also serve as an inspiration, especially under trying circumstances, and keep an organization from straying too far from its primary purpose(s).


missionary book
Publisher's slang for the first book published on a subject. To catalog such a work, a new class number and new subject heading may be required.


missive
A formal or official message, especially a detailed and lengthy one, such as a letter sent by a superior authority conveying a mandate, recommendation, permission, or invitation to a specific individual or group of persons concerning an action (or actions) to be undertaken. Also refers to a legal document in the form of a letter, exchanged by parties to a contractual agreement.


miter
In hand bookbinding, to bring materials together at an angle (usually 45 degrees) along a straight line without overlap, as in folding the leather or cloth covering material over the edges of the boards at the corners toward the inside and pasting it down before the endpapers are applied (see this example). Also refers to the joint formed by fitting together two pieces beveled at an angle along a straight line. Also spelled mitre.


mixed authorship
See: mixed responsibility.


mixed materials (MX)
A MARC specification used primarily for the bibliographic description of archival and manuscript materials characterized by a mixture of forms, when archival control is the primary consideration and therefore of greater importance than format or medium. Mixed materials may be monographic or serial. The code MX is often used in written MARC documentation to designate this material type. Prior to 1994, mixed materials were referred to as Archival and Manuscript materials (AM). See also: MARC Format for Archival and Manuscripts Control.


mixed media
A work in which the techniques of two or more graphic or fine art processes are combined, with no single technique predominating. Examples include photographs with a significant amount of overprinting and prints with drawing or collage added. Compare with multimedia.


mixed notation
A classification notation in which two or more kinds of symbols are used, for example, the letters of the English alphabet used to indicate the main classes and first-level subdivisions in Library of Congress classification and the arabic numerals used for further subdivisions (example: ND 2893.A78). Compare with pure notation.


mixed responsibility
In AACR2, a collaboration in which two or more persons or corporate bodies contribute to the intellectual or artistic content of the work, each performing a different function, for example, the author of the text of a children's picture book and the artist responsible for creating the illustrations. Synonymous with mixed authorship. Compare with shared responsibility.


mixing
In sound recording, the process of balancing, equalizing, and combining multiple recording channels (tracks) down to two (stereophonic) or one (monaural), usually done in the recording studio by a technician known as a mixer. Synonymous with mixing down.


MLA
See: Medical Library Association and Music Library Association.


MLA style
A format for typing research papers and citing sources in the humanities developed by the Modern Language Association of America and published in the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, available in the reference section of most academic libraries. See also: APA style and electronic style.


MLC
See: minimal level cataloging.


M.L.I.S.
In the United States, the postbaccalaureate degree of Master of Library and Information Science, granted by a library school upon completion of a required course of study. To be considered for a professional position in most public and academic libraries in the United States, a candidate must have earned either an M.L.I.S. or M.L.S. degree. See also: accredited program and approved program.


M.L.S.
In the United States, the postbaccalaureate degree of Master of Library Science, granted by a library school upon completion of a required course of study. To be considered for a professional position in most public and academic libraries in the United States, a candidate must have earned either an M.L.S. or M.L.I.S. degree. See also: accredited program and approved program.


mnemonic
From the Greek mnemon, meaning "mindful." A code in which the abbreviation(s), symbol(s), or formula(s) are easy to remember (examples: DEL for "delete" and REF for "reference"). Also, a word or rhyme composed by a person to be used as a mental aid in recalling something. See also: mnemonic notation.


mnemonic notation
A classification notation in which the characters representing the classes are directly linked to the name of the class, making it easier for the user to learn and recall the way the classification system is organized. Most notations used in library cataloging and indexing are not mnemonic.


MOA
See: Memorandum of Agreement.


mobile app
An abbreviation of mobile application. In computing, an application program designed to run on a handheld device, such as a smartphone, tablet computer, or e-book reader. According to Lisa Carlucci Thomas, writing in the February 1, 2012 issue of Library Journal, "Mobile technology is driving patron demand for self-service features and responsive communication." She reports that a Mobile Libraries Survey conducted in 2010 by LJ found that 44 percent of academic library and 34 percent of public library respondents offered some kind of mobile services to their patrons, with text message reference services and notifications, mobile library Web sites, and mobile-friendly online catalogs in the lead.


mobile services
Deliveryof library services by physically bringing library staff and materials to the user, for example, in a specially equipped vehicle, such as a bookmobile. Such services may be available to all users, usually on a predetermined schedule, or tailored to meet the needs of a specific category of user (elderly, homebound, developmentally disabled, children in daycare, etc.). Click here to learn about mobile services at the Cleveland Public Library.

Also refers to library services accessible to patrons using handheld devices, including mobile-friendly library Web sites, mobile online catalog access, SMS reference services (via text-messaging), and SMS notifications. For a report on the status of mobile services in American libraries, see the October 15, 2010 issue of Library Journal.


MOCAT
See: Monthly Catalog of United States Government Publications.


mockumentary
A neologism coined from the words "mock" and "documentary." An admittedly fictional motion picture or television program presented in the manner of a documentary, often as a form of parody or satire. To create the impression of reality, mockumentaries are often improvised, in whole or in part. A list of comedic examples is provided in Wikipedia. Compare with false document.


mock-up
A rough but accurate physical representation in wood, cardboard, papier-mâché, plastic, canvas, etc., of a device, apparatus, structure, or process, usually on the same scale, with movable parts that can be manipulated or modified for the purpose of analysis, testing, demonstration, or instruction. Compare with model and reproduction.


model
An accurate three-dimensional representation of the physical appearance of a real object, for example, a globe representing the earth or another celestial body. A model can be the same size as the original object but is usually done to scale (see this architect's scale model of the Macquarie University Library in Australia). They are often used by curators to plan exhibits (see these examples) and by stage designers (see these stage design models by Viennese designer by Joseph Urban). Models are particularly useful in depicting very large objects (example: the solar system). Some are used as toys. Compare with mock-up and realia. See also: bookbinding model, planetary model, and relief model.


model book
A book in which a medieval artist recorded a repertoire of designs for decorated initials and other ornamental motifs (birds, animals, imaginary creatures, etc.) of the artist's own invention or collected from other sources, sometimes with notes concerning execution, for use in underdrawing (see this example, courtesy of the British Library). Click here to see miniatures from two different manuscripts based on the same model (Medieval Manuscript Manual). By the late Middle Ages, engravings were circulated for this purpose. Also refers to a book created by a master scribe and/or illuminator to instruct pupils wishing to learn the art of fine handwriting and manuscript painting. Click here to see an example created in 1561-1562 by Georg Bocskay, Croatian-born court secretary to the Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand I, and illuminated thirty years later by Joris Hoefnagel (Getty Museum, MS 20) or browse the Göttingen Model Book, courtesy of the Göttingen State and University Library. Also spelled modelbook. Compare with pattern book.


modelling
In medieval manuscript illumination, the technique of giving three-dimensional appearance to objects by the use of shading and highlighting, as in this example (British Library, Harley 4335).


modem
A contraction of modulator-demodulator, originally a peripheral device capable of converting digital pulses into analog frequencies for transmission over telecommunication lines and data received in analog frequencies into digital pulses for display on, or processing by, a digital computer. A modem also dials the telephone line, answers calls, and controls transmission speed. Modem speed is measured in baud. Although external modems are still available, most new microcomputers come equipped with a built-in modem. Click here to learn more about modems, courtesy of HowStuffWorks. See also: cable modem, dial-up access, and WebTV.


modern first edition
In the book trade, the first edition of a book published for the first time within the 20th or 21st century (see these examples, courtesy of Biblio.com).


MODS
See: Metadata Object Description Schema.


module
One of several parts of an online tutorial designed in separate units to be completed in a certain sequence. Each unit is sufficiently self-contained that advanced students may skip it if they are already familiar with its content, or complete it out of sequence, although continuity may be lost in doing so. Some tutorials include a self-quiz at the end of each module.

Also, a library furnishing designed to be used alone or in combination with other units to create a customized workspace, for example, worktables of various shapes that can be pushed together to form different configurations, depending on the needs of a particular work group. Modern furnishings for office spaces and computer workstations are often modular in design.


moiré
A textile in which the weave generates an interference pattern that gives the surface a watery or rippled appearance. In inexpensive cotton fabrics, the same effect is achieved by printing the wavy pattern on the surface. Silk moiré is sometimes used in deluxe binding for doublures (see this example, courtesy of Pennsylvania State University) and as a covering material (see this example, courtesy of the British Library). To learn more about moiré pattern, see Wikipedia.

Also refers to a picture distortion seen as a wavy image in photography and graphic displays, which arises when different resolutions or frequencies are superimposed (see this example).


moisture exchange
The migration of moisture from one component of a book (or other publication) to another, for example, from a newly adhered bookplate to the adjacent flyleaf, causing it to cockle. In some cases, such exchange can be prevented by placing a piece of waxed paper or polyester film between the moist element and the adjacent leaf or board until drying has occurred.


MOLA
See: Major Orchestra Librarians' Association.


mold
A group of microscopic lower plants (mildew, fungus, etc.) whose reproductive spores are abundant in most environments but require certain conditions of temperature and humidity to germinate and grow into a variety of forms--powder, fibers, and feathery growth (see this example). Of the many thousands of types of molds, only a few are toxic to humans, but when present mold usually produces a tell-tale musty odor. Mold damage can be irreversible because fungi digest the organic materials present in library materials (click here and here to see examples). In libraries and archives, the best way to prevent infestation is to provide good air circulation and keep temperatures below 70 degrees Fahrenheit and relative humidity below 60 percent (preferably around 50 percent). Once established, molds can be eliminated by using a fungicide or by fumigation. For more information on how to handle this nuisance, see Mould Prevention and Recovery: Guidelines for Heritage Collections by Sherry Guild and Maureen MacDonald (Technical Bulletin #26, Canadian Conservation Institute, 2004) or the topic of mold in Conservation OnLine (CoOL). Also spelled mould. See also: demolding.

In hand papermaking, a wire screen firmly attached to a wooden frame, used as a sieve to catch a uniform layer of liquefied fiber when dipped into a vat of pulp (see this example, courtesy of the Cary Collection, Rochester Institute). The deckle is the edge along which the mat of fiber meets the frame of the mold. Also spelled mould.


molecular sieve
A commercially available desiccant that can be placed inside a sealed film can to passively absorb moisture and the acetic acid vapor generated by acetate decay (see this example). Used in conjunction with proper long-term storage methods, molecular sieves can give extra protection and longevity to archived acetate base film.


Molesworth Institute
Founded in the 1960s by Francis A. T. Johns and Norman D. Stevens (Director of University Libraries, Emeritus, University of Connecticut), the Molesworth Institute serves as a repository of library humor and various types of librariana. The Institute has also published over 50 articles describing research conducted by its staff, including "The Fully Electronic Academic Library" in the January 2006 issue of College & Research Libraries. The Institute's collections include the Archives of Library Humor (the most extensive of its kind), a file on prominent individuals who have worked in libraries, over 1,000 quotations related to libraries and librarians, a large number of postcards depicting books and reading, objects in the shape of books, and children's books dealing with books, reading, libraries, and librarians, all of which will eventually be housed in the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center at the University of Connecticut in Storrs. In 1999, the Institute established a new award to honor outstanding contributions to library humor, named after Edmund Lester Pearson, the library humorist who wrote The Old Librarian's Almanack (Elm Tree Press, 1909) under the pseudonym Philobiblos and whose column "The Librarian" appeared in the Boston Evening Transcript weekly from 1906-1920. The award is tailored to the submission.


monastic library
The collection of books and manuscripts owned by a monastic establishment and maintained for the use of its monks and their guests, traditionally associated with the Christian Church. For many centuries following the spread of Christianity to Europe, monastic libraries were the primary repositories of recorded knowledge. The books in early monastic collections were painstakingly hand-copied by monks trained as scribes who worked in a room called the scriptorium. The primacy of monastic libraries began to wane in the 12th century with the growth of universities. Click here to see an engraving of a 17th-century French Benedictine library and here to see a photograph of the interior of the Baroque-style library at Admont Benedictine Abbey in Austria.


monaural
Sound reproduced from a single channel by an audio playback device with one amplifier or speaker. The result is less realistic than stereophonic or quadraphonic sound recording. Mass-produced phonograph records issued prior to 1958 were monaural. Stereo rapidly superseded monaural recording, which was phased out by the early 1970s. Abbreviated mono. Synonymous with monophonic.


monetary value
See: archival value.


monitor
An output device consisting of an electronic display screen that, when attached to a computer, enables the user to view text and/or images. Computer monitors vary in size, shape, and resolution. A recessed monitor is mounted below the surface of a desk or table, usually beneath a glass panel at an angle to allow the user's line of sight to remain unobstructed in a classroom equipped with a wall screen and LCD projector. Laptop computers have a flat panel monitor that folds down to cover the keyboard. Click here to learn more about computer monitors, courtesy of HowStuffWorks. A television monitor is an analog device designed to display signals from a television receiver or signals prerecorded on videocassette or DVD using the appropriate playback equipment. See also: LCD and pixel.

Also, to check on a person or process periodically to make sure work is progressing smoothly.


monochromatic work
A graphic delineation done entirely in white (see this example by Kazimir Malevich) or in light and dark values of a single color (example). Monochromatic works were important in avant-garde visual art throughout the 20th century and remain so in the 21st century.


monochrome plate
An illustration printed separately from the text in a single color, usually listed by number with any other plates in the front matter of a book. Compare with color plate and duotone.


monogram
A single character or design artfully composed of two or more letters (often a person's initials), used to ornament custom-printed stationery and other items of personal use. Monograms are sometimes found on the bindings of fine books or incorporated into the decoration and/or illustration of medieval manuscripts and early printed books (see incipit page). Click here to see an interlace example in an 11th-century Ottonian sacramentary (Getty Museum, MS Ludwig V 2) and the same monogram (VD for Vere dignum) in the 9th-century Sacramentary of Saint-Denis (Bibliothèque Nationale de France). Click here to see the monogram of Frederik IV of Denmark on a 18th-century velvet binding (Royal Library of Denmark). Compare with cipher.


monograph
A relatively short book or treatise on a single subject, complete in one physical piece, usually written by a specialist in the field. Monographic treatment is detailed and scholarly but not extensive in scope. The importance of monographs in scholarly communication depends on the discipline. In the humanities, monographs remain the format of choice for serious scholars, but in the sciences and social sciences where currency is essential, journals are usually the preferred means of publication.

For the purpose of library cataloging, any nonserial publication, complete in one volume or intended to be completed in a finite number of parts issued at regular or irregular intervals, containing a single work or collection of works. Monographs are sometimes published in monographic series and subseries. Compare with book.


monographic series
A series of monographs, usually issued under a collective title by a university press or scholarly society. Each volume in the series may contain more than one monograph, each with its own title in addition to the series title.


monoline
A typeface in which the strokes of the characters, whether straight or curvilinear, are all of the same thickness, including any serifs. Compare with block letter.


monologue
From the Greek monologos, meaning "speaking alone." A play, skit, or recitation in which all the lines are spoken by a single actor, or a long sequence of lines is spoken by one of the characters alone on the stage. In drama and narrative fiction, an interior monologue reveals the character's private thoughts and feelings. Click here to browse Shakespeare's monologues online. Compare with soliloquy. See also: dialogue.

Also refers to the remarks of a person who continues to speak without interruption for an extended period of time despite cues from listeners that the conversation is being monopolized (reference librarians interrupt politely).


monotype
A print made by drawing with printer's ink, oil paint, or some other liquid pigment on a smooth, flat, non-absorbent surface such as glass or a metal plate, then transferring the image to paper under pressure by hand or in a press before the ink dries. Because most of the ink is transferred from the drawing surface on the first pull, the process produces a single unique print. Additional impressions are much fainter than the first. Known since the 17th century, the technique was first mastered by the French painter Edgar Degas in the late 19th century. To see examples, try a keyword search on the term in Google Images. Click here and here to learn more about the monotype process, courtesy of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Also refers to typesetting by means of a machine invented by Tolbert Lanston and introduced in 1897, consisting of a keyboard used by the compositor to cut a perforated ribbon that guides a mechanical caster, which moves matrices into position for casting one at a time. The finished letters are then ejected into a galley to be used in printing. Because monotype machines cast single letters, corrections are less costly than with linotype, and it is also possible to mix a greater variety of type sizes and typefaces. Click here to learn more about the monotype process.


montage
A composite image made by juxtaposing two or more images, or parts of images (drawings, photographs, pictures, etc.), without separation lines, in a composition that gives new meaning to the whole but preserves the distinctiveness of the individual elements, a technique originally developed as an art form but now used extensively in advertising and graphic design. To see examples, scroll down the homepage of Witness and Response: September 11 Acquisitions hosted by the Prints and Photographs Reading Room, Library of Congress. See also: photomontage.


monthly
Issued once a month (12 times per year) with the possible exception of one or two months, usually during the summer. Many magazines and some journals are published monthly (example: Monthly Labor Review). Also refers to a serial issued once a month.


Monthly Catalog of United States Government Publications (MOCAT)
See: Catalog of U.S. Government Publications (CGP).


Moon type
A touch reading system for the blind, developed in the 19th century by a blind Englishman named Dr. William Moon, which uses simplified embossed symbols mostly derived from the Latin script. More easily learned than Braille, the Moon System of Embossed Reading is used by people who lose their sight after having learned the alphabet. Click here to learn more about Moon type.


morality play
A form of drama popular during the Middle Ages and Renaissance in which the chief characters are personifications of abstract qualities, engaged in an allegorical struggle over the condition of the human soul. Unlike mystery plays and miracle plays, which were presented on mobile wagons, morality plays were usually performed on a stationary platform. One of the longest and best preserved English morality plays is the anonymous 15th-century work The Castle of Perseverance. Click here to see an opening in an early 16th-century printed edition of the Dutch morality play Everyman, courtesy of the Koninklijke Bibliotheek.


moralized bible
See: Bible moralisée.


moral rights
A subset of the rights of the creator of a copyrighted work that includes the right of attribution, the right to have a work published anonymously or pseudonymously, and the right to the integrity of the work, which bars the work from alteration, distortion, or mutilation, even when the creator no longer owns it. Legal protection of moral rights varies from country to country. In the United States, the Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990 (VARA) recognizes moral rights, but only in the case of works of visual art.


Morgan Library, The
Assembled by the wealthy financier Pierpont Morgan and expanded by his son J. P. Morgan, who in 1924 appointed six trustees to administer it as a reference library for scholars, the Morgan Library includes approximately 55,000 rare books and manuscripts as well as a priceless collection of cuneiform clay tablets, old master drawings and prints, coins, and medals. The Library was subsequently incorporated by the State of New York and dedicated to the use of "learned men of all countries."

Between 1902 and 1906, the elder Morgan had an Italian Renaissance-style building constructed adjacent to his residence in New York City to house the collection. In 1928, an Annex was added, and in 1991 the facility doubled in size with the acquisition of the Morgan townhouse and construction of a garden court to connect the various parts. Items from its collections are selectively exhibited in a small museum associated with the Library. Click here to connect to the homepage of the Morgan Library.


morgue
A library maintained by the publisher of a newspaper, usually consisting of back issues, reference materials, indexes and databases, clippings, notes, photographs, illustrations, and other resources needed by reporters and staff to research, write, and edit articles for publication. The term originally referred to the repository of biographical materials collected on persons of interest, for the purpose of writing obituaries. The first newspaper library in the United States was established at the office of the Boston Pilot in 1831.


morocco
A fine-grained leather made from goatskin tanned with sumac, believed to have been introduced into Europe via the Italian trade with North Africa, but later used in reference to any goatskin. According to The Bookman's Glossary (Bowker, 1983), the earliest European bindings in morocco with gilt ornamentation are found on books produced by the great Venetian printer Aldus Manutius in the late 15th and early 16th centuries. They are known as Aldine bindings (see this example). In the second half of the 17th century, Albert Magnus of Amsterdam produced magnificent luxury bindings in gold-tooled morocco (Koninklijke Bibliotheek).

One of the most durable leathers used in bookbinding, morocco is strong yet flexible. Old books bound in morocco are often rare and valuable. Click here to see an early 19th-century binding in green straight-grained morocco (Special Collections, Glasgow University Library, S.M. 1114). To see other examples, try a keyword search on the term "morocco" in the British Library's Database of Bookbindings. Compare with calf and pigskin. See also: levant.


Morris, William (1834-1896)
Born into a fairly wealthy family, William Morris developed a passion for medieval art and culture at an early age. At the University of Oxford, he met Edward Burne-Jones, who would become one of the most important pre-Raphaelite artists and a lifelong friend. Morris began his career in architecture but soon turned to art and graphic design. In 1861, he joined Burne-Jones, artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and two other friends in founding a company devoted to the decorative arts and at the same time began writing poetry. In the 1870s, he became interested in socialism and moved from London to Kelmscott Manor in Oxfordshire.

Still juggling his artistic endeavors with writing and political activism, Morris founded the Kelmscott Press in 1891 and launched a serious revival of the book arts. Unfortunately, he died in 1896 after having published only 53 books under the Kelmscott imprint, but his influence on the graphic arts and the aesthetics of book production was considerable. The Kelmscott edition of The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer is considered one of the finest books ever issued, and his work inspired a generation of fine presses in Britain and the United States. Click here to learn more about Morris' life, courtesy of the Ransom Center, University of Texas at Austin. A selection of his designs is displayed online by the William Morris Society in the U.S. Click here to see an example of his bookbinding, courtesy of Queen's University Libraries.


morteotype
See: memorial photograph.


mosaic binding
A style of decorative bookbinding, dating from the 16th century but more closely associated with 19th century French binders, in which small pieces of leather of various colors are inlaid or onlaid, usually forming regular patterns on one or both covers. The pieces are often gold-tooled around the edges to conceal the join and heighten the effect (click here to see a 17th-century example, courtesy of The Morgan Library). To see other examples, try a search on the keyword "mosaic" in the British Library's Database of Bookbindings. Painted mosaic bindings with borders of gold lines survive, often in poor condition.


motif
A term borrowed from art and music (leitmotif) to refer to a textual element that symbolically represents a specific theme in a literary work by virtue of repetition, usually presented in the opening verse, chapter, or paragraphs and subsequently elaborated. In medieval illuminated manuscripts, a visual theme used in the painting of ornamental borders, initial letters, and miniatures, for example, the putto, the griffin, or the acanthus leaf.


motion picture
A length of film from which an unbroken sequence of still photographs can be projected at speeds of 16 to 24 frames per second, producing the illusion of continuous motion. Motion pictures made in color or black and white, with or without recorded sound, on film 8, 16, 35, or 70mm wide. They include documentaries, feature films, and short films. To view examples, see Internet Archive: Moving Image Archive. Click here to connect to the Motion Picture & Television Reading Room at the Library of Congress. Synonymous with cinefilm, movie, and picture show and with the slang terms flick and pic. Compare with cinema. See also: film clip, film library, filmography, International Federation of Film Archives, still, and trailer.


motion picture play
See: screenplay.


Motion Picture Production Code
A set of guidelines for censorship drafted for the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America by Father Daniel Lord, professor of dramatics at St. Louis University, and Martin Quigley, publisher of the Motion Picture Herald, and adopted in 1930 by the Association of Motion Picture Producers and the MPPDA in response to public concern about moral issues posed by the presence of dialogue in sound films. Voluntary at first, the Code was made mandatory in 1934 in response to pressure from the Catholic League of Decency. Under the direction of Joseph Breen (a Catholic), the Production Code Administration, a department within the MPPDA, reviewed screenplays and the final version of films, and often acted in an advisory capacity during production and editing.

The Code included restrictions on the depiction of sex, marriage, abortion, prostitution, religion, crime, suicide, murder, drug addiction, child kidnapping, and profanity. Under the Code, no motion picture could be shown in an MPPDA-affiliated theater without prior approval. It was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1952 in a decision that brought motion pictures under the protection of the First Amendment. In 1953, United Artists ignored the Code by releasing The Moon Is Blue by Otto Preminger, a film in which sex is frankly discussed (using the words "virgin" and "pregnant"), without the Code's seal of approval. In 1968, the film industry switched to the advisory content ratings system currently in use. Click here and here to learn more about the Code. Synonymous with Hays Code and Breen code.


motion study photograph
A photographic image or set of images, made to record successive phases of the motion of a subject (see this example). The category includes exposures made by separate cameras set up along the path of a moving subject, successive exposures by a single camera that result in separate images, and exposures that result in a single image through intermittent illumination of the subject (Thesaurus for Graphic Materials II). Eadweard Muybridge was an early pioneer of motion study photography. Synonymous with chronophotograph, multiple flash photograph, and time-lapse photograph.


mottled calf
Calfskin used in bookbinding, dabbed or sprinkled with colored dye or tanning acid to give it a decorative spotty appearance. Click here to view an 18th-century ornamented example (Special Collections, Glasgow University Library, Bl9-g.13). Acid used for this purpose eventually causes leather bindings to deteriorate (see this example). See also: tree calf.


motto
A word, phrase, or sentence accompanying an emblem, usually drawing attention to its symbolic significance. In heraldry, the motto typically appears in Latin on a scroll or ribbon beneath a coat of arms or above a crest. It may refer directly to the name or achievements of the person or family or to the symbolic elements of the arms or be merely a pious expression of loyalty, duty, devotion, etc., adopted as a principle of behavior. Click here to view the royal motto Dieu et mon Droit on an 18th-century English leather binding (Special Collections, Glasgow University Library, Bl9-g.13). The motto of Margaret of York is painted on a ribbon in the right margin of an illuminated 15th-century manuscript of Visions of the Knight Tondal (Getty Museum, MS 30). To see other examples, try a keyword search on the term "motto" in the British Library's Database of Bookbindings.


mould
See: mold.


mounted
An illustration or photograph tipped onto a blank page in a book or album. Also, a fragile or damaged leaf, illustration, map, etc., strengthened with backing made of paper, card, or thin cloth. See also: card-mounted photograph.

Also refers to an artifact or specimen placed on a pedestal or inside a case and to a print, photographic image, or document protected by framing, usually against a backing material. Loose specimens and unframed prints and pictures are unmounted. See also: mat.


mourning borders
Heavy black borders printed around a page or column of text in a newspaper or other publication to commemorate the death of an important person or some other tragic event. In the 19th century, narrow black borders were also used on visiting cards presented by relations and intimate friends when calling upon a recently bereaved person or family. Click here to see mourning borders on a broadside announcing the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln (Library of Congress).


mouse
A small handheld input device that, when rolled across a flat surface, allows the user to direct the motion of a cursor or pointer on a computer screen and initiate an operation or select an option displayed in a graphical user interface by pressing down on one of its buttons. Because the button makes a clicking sound when pressed, such programs are called point-and-click applications. In graphics programs, the mouse can be used like a pen, pencil, or paintbrush. Most mouse operations can be executed more slowly using the keyboard. Basic models are designed to be used by a right- or left-handed person. Contoured models are available for either the right or left hand. In laptops, the mouse is usually built-in. Click here to learn more about mice, courtesy of HowStuffWorks.


mouse type
Very tiny, barely readable type used for the fine print in sales contracts, coupons, contest entry forms, etc., to notify the reader of legal restrictions, expiration dates, and other information that the seller is required to display but wishes to downplay.


movable book
A type of novelty children's book containing parts that move, usually through the use of tabs and/or levers, rotating wheels, ingenious folding, etc., usually designed by a paper engineer. Pop-up books are included in this category. Most libraries do not, as a matter of policy, purchase movable books for circulation because the mechanisms that operate them are often not designed to withstand heavy use. Click here to see a late-19th-century example (British Library) and here to view an online exhibition of pop-up and movable books, courtesy of the Rare Books & Texana Collections, University of North Texas Libraries. Other examples can be seen in This Magical Book from the Toronto Public Library.


movable type
Metal type cast as individual units, each bearing a single character or pair of characters, assembled by a typesetter into words, lines, and pages of text in letterpress, then disassembled for reuse once the print job is completed (click here and here to see illustrations). Although there is evidence that printing from wood blocks originated in China, probably in the 11th century, Johann Gutenberg is credited with the invention of modern movable type in Germany in the mid-15th century. Click here to see specimens of Korean metal movable type cast in the 13th century (Library of Congress). See also: printing press.


movie
From "moving picture." See: motion picture.


movie novelization
See: tie-in.


moving
The transfer of all or a portion of the contents of a library (collections, equipment, furnishings, and personnel) from one facility to another, temporarily or permanently. Most libraries hire a professional moving company with library experience to do the actual work, but advance planning and supervision is required for a move to be executed smoothly. Library literature is available on the moving process to assist planners in avoiding common pitfalls. For more on this topic, see Moving Library Collections: A Management Handboook by Elizabeth Chamberlain Habich (Greenwood, 1998).


moving company
A professional mover hired to transfer the contents of a library from one location to another, usually selected in a competitive process in which the company is given the opportunity to inspect the sites before submitting a bid. Unless stated otherwise in the bid specifications, the contractor determines the methods used and provides both personnel and equipment. Professional movers with experience moving libraries work very methodically and quickly because as the move slows or stops, their costs increase.


moving image
A medium of expression consisting of a series of related images recorded on film or videotape, which when viewed in rapid succession, create the illusion of movement. The footage can be edited or unedited. Independent of subject content, the category includes both motion pictures and videorecordings. The rules for cataloging moving image collections are given in Archival Moving Image Materials: A Cataloging Manual, 2nd edition, compiled by Wendy White-Hensen (Library of Congress Cataloging Distribution Service, 2000). See also: Moving Image Collections.


Moving Image Collections (MIC)
Sponsored by the Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA), the Library of Congress, and the National Science Foundation (NSF), MIC is an integrated online union catalog of moving images held by a variety of organizations, including libraries, museums, archives, and television broadcasting companies, including films, videorecordings, and digital streaming video. MIC also includes a directory of archives and links to resources on moving images and moving image preservation. MIC is part of the National Science Digital Library (NSDL). Click here to connect to the MIC homepage.


MP3
The file extension for MPEG Audio Layer-III, a set of standards for compressing and downloading audio files from the Internet that revolutionized digital music. In MP3 format, CD-quality sound is compressed by a factor of about 10, with some loss of original fidelity. MP3 files can be played on a computer using media player software, such as iTunes from Apple or Windows Media Player from Microsoft, and on handheld devices. Also refers to a file compressed in the format.


MP3 CD
A compact disc (CD-R or CD-RW) containing digital audio recorded in the MP3 format, a more compressed file format than is used in standard audio CDs. MP3 CDs are identical in appearance to audio CDs but have a playing time of about 9.5 hours, as opposed to 74 minutes for an audio CD. Because of file compression, MP3 CDs require less battery power, and the digital audio files are buffered in RAM, which protects against skipping. MP3 files are supported by many brands of CD and DVD player.


MPA
See: Music Publishers Association.


MPEG
Moving Picture Experts Group, a working group of experts established by ISO and IEC in 1988 to set standards for audio and video compression and transmission. MPEG also refers to the standard they created. More efficient than JPEG (the standard for compressing still images), MPEG is used to transmit a wide range of audio-video formats, including motion pictures in digital format. MPEG-2 requires bandwidth of 4-15 MB per second and an MPEG board for playback in most computers. Pronounced "em-peg."


MRDF
See: machine-readable data file.


MSL
See: mean sea level.


MT
See: machine translation.


MTV
An abbreviation of Music Television, the cable broadcast network based in New York City that pioneered the use of popular music videos in the early 1980s. Modeled on Top 40 radio, MTV initially hired young VJs (video jockeys) to introduce the videos being played. MTV also has a history of covering global benefit concert series. In the 1990s, MTV began diversifying its offerings to include a variety of non-music-related television programs designed to attract an audience of 12- to 18-year-olds. Click here to connect to the MTV homepage.


MU
See: music.


muckraking
Investigative journalism of the early 20th century, intended to document social problems and expose corruption in public office in newspaper and magazine articles, photographs, and books (example: How the Other Half Lives [1889] by photographer Jacob Riis), as a means of advocating reform. The term was adopted from a speech delivered by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1906. Famous muckrakers include Nellie Bly, Lincoln Steffens, Ida M. Tarbell, Frank Norris, and Upton Sinclair. Muckrakers inspired many whistle-blowing journalists of the second half of the 20th century, including Rachel Carson, Jessica Mitford, I.F. Stone, and Ralph Nader.


mull
See: crash.


mullen
The bursting strength of paper and paperboard, tested by expanding a rubber diaphragm against a sample sheet firmly clamped at two ends in a device, invented in 1887, called the Mullen Burst Tester.


multicast
In telecommunication, to transmit data simultaneously to more than one individual or site connected to the same network, for example, to all who subscribe to an e-mail mailing list, as opposed to broadcasting messages to all who own the appropriate receiving equipment (radio and television).


multidisciplinary journal
A scholarly periodical that publishes articles of interest to researchers in a wide range of academic disciplines (examples: Nature and Science in the sciences). Compare with interdisciplinary journal.


multimedia
A combination of two or more digital media (text, graphics, audio, animation, video, etc.) used in a computer application or data file, such as an online encyclopedia, computer game, or Web site (example: A 2 Z 4 Birders Online Guide). Multimedia applications are often interactive. Synonymous in this sense with digital media.

In a more general sense, any program, presentation, or computer application in which two or more communication media are used simultaneously or in close association, for example, slides with recorded sound. Still images accompanying text are considered illustration.


multimedia item
A bibliographic item containing two or more categories of material in which no single medium predominates (AACR2). The general material designation [kit] or [multimedia] may be used in the bibliographic description if the item has a collective title. See also: kit.


multimedia map
A map available electronically that includes audio, video, and/or animation, in addition to graphic images and text (see WildWorld from National Geographic Society).


multipart item
A monograph complete, or intended to be complete, in a finite number of physically separate parts that may or may not be numbered (AACR2). A library may decide to bind the parts together.


multipart volume
A work published in two or more physically separate parts that together constitute a single bibliographic volume. Reference works too large to be bound as a single volume are published in this manner, for example, some volumes of Dictionary of Literary Biography. Compare with multivolume work.


multiple access
More than one point of access to a file of data, for example, a library catalog or bibliographic database searchable by author, title, subject, keywords, etc., as opposed to a resource that has only one point of access, for example, a printed dictionary arranged alphabetically by headword. Compare with multiple user access.


multiple editions
In publishing, a book available at the same time in more than one edition, for example, the original trade edition, a movie or television tie-in (usually in mass market or trade paperback), and a special anniversary edition. When two editions of the same title are available at the same time, they are known as dual editions.


multiple exposure
Two or more images superimposed, completely or in part, on the same photographic medium (film, plate, or frame), usually done intentionally for special effect (see this example). In a double exposure, two images are superimposed (example).


multiple screen
See: multiscreen.


multiple user access
A file of data that can be used independently by more than one person at the same time, for example, a multivolume print encyclopedia as opposed to a single-volume dictionary. Access to online catalogs, bibliographic databases, and full-text electronic resources by more than one simultaneous user may be governed by licensing agreement. Compare with multiple access.


multiplexer
A communications device that enables two or more signals to be transmitted simultaneously over a single line and then recovered as separate signals at the receiving end. Abbreviated mux.


multiple year rate
The discounted price of a periodical subscription purchased for a period of two or more years, usually less than the rate charged for successive one-year subscriptions. This type of discount is normally offered on popular magazines and trade journals.


multiscreen
A type of motion picture presentation, introduced at the 1900 Paris exhibition, in which the film is shown using three or more projectors on three or more screens or on a single large screen. In 1927, Abel Gance used a process called Polyvision to present Napoléon vu par Abel Gance in which three projectors cast a single wide-screen image on three screens, or three separate images simultaneously, with the two outer images often serving as commentary on the center image. Cinerama, developed by Fred Waller and introduced in 1952, initially used three projectors to create a visual wrap-around effect with the addition of a stereophonic sound system, but eventually switched to 70mm film for a single wide-screen image. In library cataloging, multiscreen projection is indicated as a special projection characteristic in the physical description area of the bibliographic record. Also spelled multi-screen. Synonymous with multiple screen.


multiscript record
In library cataloging, a MARC record that contains data in two or more scripts, for example, the original vernacular script and a transliteration. One script may be considered the primary script of the data content, even though other scripts are also used in the record for data content (see these examples). In MARC 21, ASCII is used for the structure elements of the record, with most coded data also specified within the ASCII range of characters. (MARC 21 Concise Formats)


multitasking
An operating system that permits more than one application program to remain open at the same time, allowing the user to perform multiple operations through shared use of the central processor (CPU), exchanging information between applications if necessary, for example, copying a URL from a Web page to a text document.


multitracking
A method of recording that allows sound from different sources to be recorded separately on parallel tracks on the same tape and later mixed down to one or two tracks.


multiversity
A large university with many constituent and affiliated institutions (schools, colleges, campuses, and research centers) serving a variety of functions.


multivolume work
A work published in two or more numbered or unnumbered volumes under a single title (example: Oxford English Dictionary), sometimes over an extended period (Dictionary of American Regional English). A multivolume work is cataloged as a single entity, with the volumes owned by the library listed in the holdings statement. Compare with multipart volume and series.


mural
A work of art, usually of fairly large dimensions, drawn or painted directly on a wall and/or ceiling. Many libraries are decorated with murals, particularly in children's rooms where the subject matter depicted is often related to reading (see this example at the Henry Waldinger Memorial Library in Valley Stream, New York).


murder mystery
See: mystery.


museum
A publicly or privately funded nonprofit institution whose primary function is the preservation and display of collections of physical artifacts and specimens for the purposes of education, scholarship, and enjoyment. Since books and bindings are physical artifacts, some museums include them in their collections, for example, the illuminated manuscripts and treasure bindings exhibited by the Metropolitan Museum in New York City. Other items found in museums and of interest to librarians include inscriptions, clay tablets, papyrus scrolls, rare maps, letters, diaries, etc. Many museums maintain a library on the premises containing books and other reference materials pertinent to their collections and activities. The concept of "museum" is often broadly interpreted to include archaeological and historical monuments, aquaria, arboreta, botanical gardens, nature centers, etc. Federal grant support is provided to museums through the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). Museums and exhibits are listed by region and subject category in Yahoo! For leading art museums and galleries, try the Art Museum Network.


museum catalog
An organized list of items owned by a museum, often with illustrations accompanied by brief text, for purposes of identification and description. Also spelled museum catalogue.


museum library
A type of special library maintained by a museum or gallery, usually within its walls but sometimes in a separate location, containing a collection of books, periodicals, reproductions, and other materials related to its exhibits and fields of specialization (see this example). Access may be by appointment only. Borrowing privileges may be restricted to museum staff and members. Museum librarians are organized in the Museums, Arts, and Humanities Division (MAHD) of the Special Libraries Association (SLA).


museum publisher
A museum or historical society that issues books, exhibition catalogs, and other publications under its own imprint or in cooperation with other publishers, for example, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Museum publications are usually of fine quality, often issued in both hardcover and softcover editions to appeal to collectors and casual buyers.


music (MU)
One of seven types of items for which the MARC 21 format for bibliographic description establishes content designators for data elements. The category includes printed, manuscript, and microform music, as well as musical and nonmusical sound recordings. Music materials may be monographic or serial. The code MU is often used in written MARC documentation to designate this material type.


musical
A play or motion picture, usually a comedy, of which singing and dancing are an essential part (examples: The Music Man by Meredith Willson and Singin' in the Rain directed by Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen). In modern theater, the distinction between musical and opera is not clear-cut (example: West Side Story by Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim, a modern version of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet). In libraries, musicals and songs are cataloged under the name of the composer, with an added entry under the name of the lyricist when the words are written by a person other than the composer (examples: Lorenz Hart and Oscar Hammerstein who wrote the words for musical works composed by Richard Rodgers). See also: burlesque.


musical presentation statement
In AACR2, a term or phrase found on the chief source of information of a printed music publication or music manuscript, entered in an optional area of the bibliographic record to describe the physical form of presentation (full score, miniature score, piano score, etc.), not to be confused with a statement indicating an arrangement or edition of the musical work. If such a statement is an integral part of another area of bibliographic description, and recorded as such, it is not repeated.


musical work
Three definitions are recognized in AACR2: (1) a musical composition created as a single unit intended by its composer to be performed as a whole; (2) a set of musical compositions with a collective title, not necessarily intended for performance as a whole; and (3) a group of musical compositions assigned a single opus number. In cataloging musical works, main entry is under name of composer, with added entries for arranger, librettist, major performer(s), etc. See also: dramatic musical work.


music library
A library containing a collection of materials on music and musicians, including printed and manuscript music scores, music periodicals, recorded music (CDs, audiocassettes, phonograph records, etc.), books about music and musicians, program notes, discographies, and music reference materials.

Music collections in public libraries are selected and maintained for lifelong learning and leisure pursuits. Academic and conservatory libraries provide resources for music study and research, including original source materials (example: Columbia University Music & Arts Library). National libraries offer unique and often rare musical heritage collections (example: The Aaron Copland Collection at the Library of Congress). Music librarians are organized in the Music Library Association (MLA). See also: International Association of Music Libraries, Archives and Documentation Centres.


Music Library Association (MLA)
Founded in 1931, MLA promotes the establishment, growth, and use of music libraries and collections of music, musical instruments, music literature, music recordings, and related materials in both print and nonprint format. An affiliate of the American Library Association (ALA), the organization also seeks to advance music librarianship, scholarship, and publishing. MLA publishes the monthly Music Cataloging Bulletin. Click here to connect to the MLA homepage. See also: Major Orchestra Librarians' Association.


music paper
Blank paper ruled with five-line staves for writing or copying music by hand (see this example).


music printing
Although the use of movable type to print text was introduced in Germany in the mid-15th century, music continued to be disseminated in manuscript and as oral repertory, mainly because its complexity required technical solutions beyond the capacity of early printers (music uses over 450 symbols and elements, most of which are variable) and because the market for music was limited, compared with the demand for textual works. Click here to see a manuscript leaf from a medieval gradual (Leaves of Gold). Executed with woodcuts in the late 15th and 16th centuries, the first printed music varied considerably in quality (click here to see an example). From the 17th to the late 18th century, American music printers favored freehand engraving (click here to see an engraver at work), but in Europe music typesetting developed steadily and by the mid-18th century, high quality printed scores were being produced by methods that often required two or three passes through the press. Perfect alignment with each pass was difficult to achieve. By the 19th century, J.G.I. Breitkopf's "mosiac" system had become the standard type system for printing music, but engraving--more elegant but also more expensive--held its own well into the 20th century. Click here to learn more about the history of music printing or see the entry "Printing & Publishing of Music" in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (Grove: 2001).


Music Publishers Association (MPA)
Founded in 1895, the Music Publishers Association is the oldest music trade association in the United States. Devoted to fostering communication among publishers, dealers, music educators, and users of music, the MPA addresses itself to all aspects of music publishing, with particular attention to issues affecting publishers of print music for concert and educational use. The MPA sponsors the annual Paul Revere Awards for excellence in graphic design in music publishing. Click here to learn more about the MPA. See also: National Music Publishers Association.


music rights organization
An agency or society that licenses mechanical, synchronization, performance, and other rights on behalf of music copyright holders and collects fees from licenses. Examples include ASCAP, Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI), SESAC, and The Harry Fox Agency.


music score
See: score.


music video
A short film or videotape of a performance of a popular song or other musical composition, a form of entertainment that originated in the promotional clips made in the late 1960s and early 1970s to market recordings. The visual accompaniment may consist of a stylized dramatization or performance by the musicians, often with special effects, or a sequence of images unrelated to the actual performance but intended to interpret or comment upon the lyrics. Film techniques include live action filming, animation, documentary footage, non-narrative abstract images, or a blend of styles. MTV grew out of the music videos of the 1980s.


mutilation
Damage, defacement, or destruction of library materials inflicted intentionally, rather than accidentally, including tearing covers and pages; cutting out illustrations or passages of text; and removing labels, bookplates, protective covers, date due slips, etc.--all actions that drain library resources. The motives for such acts range from an attitude of entitlement, to monetary concerns (libraries generally charge for photocopying), to disapproval of the library's collection development decisions, and outright malice. See also: biblioclast.


Mutoscope
A peep-hole viewing machine developed by the American Mutoscope Company, formed in 1895 by W.K.L. Dickson who had previously assisted Thomas Edison in the development of the Kinetoscope (click here and here to see examples). A succession of individual photographs of uniform size each mounted on a separate card was used in the Mutoscope, instead of the continuous film loop employed in the Kinetoscope. When flipped with a hand-crank, the still images, each slightly different than the preceding one, appeared to be in motion. Backward movement was accomplished by turning the crank in reverse. Because the photographs were larger than the frames of Kinetoscope film, no magnification was required and the image was sharper. Still in existence, the American Mutoscope Company became the American Mutoscope and Biograph Company after developing the Biograph camera and projector for screening images on motion picture film.


MX
See: mixed materials.


Mylar
The brand name of a very strong, flexible, heat resistant polyester plastic film, introduced by Dupont in the 1960s, used as a base for the thin layer of ferrous oxide in which data is magnetically recorded on audiotape and videotape.


mystery
A popular novel, short story, or drama about an unusual event or occurrence, such as a murder or disappearance, that remains so secret or unexplained as to excite popular curiosity and interest. An early example is The Woman in White (1860) by Wilkie Collins. The plot in a mystery often hinges on the efforts of a professional or amateur sleuth to uncover the truth, often narrated by a third-party who witnessed or participated in the action. Clues are usually provided by the author as the story unfolds. Subgenres include detective fiction and suspense. Historical mysteries are set in the 19th century or earlier. English-language mysteries are reviewed in The Mystery Review and The Drood Review of Mystery. For a Web site devoted to mystery fiction, see The Mystery Reader. Synonymous with detective fiction and whodunit. Compare with crime fiction. See also: bibliomystery, Edgar Allan Poe Awards, and gothic novel.


mystery play
A form of medieval religious drama, popular from the 14th to the 16th century, usually performed on a mobile wagon from a script based on a story from the Scriptures or a sequence of episodes from biblical history. In England, the performance of mystery plays was often financed by the local trade guilds in connection with important feast days, such as Corpus Christi. To learn more, log on to the Yahoo! list of Web sites on mystery plays. Compare with morality play. See also: miracle play.


Mystery Review, The
Published quarterly since 1992, The Mystery Review provides reviews, thematic articles, author interviews, out of print features, and information about new books published in the mystery/detective fiction genre in the United States, Britain, and Canada, as well as profiles of mystery bookstores. ISSN: 1192-8700. See also: Drood Review of Mystery, The.


myth
From the classical Greek word mythos, meaning "story." A socially powerful narrative rooted in the traditions of a specific culture, capable of being understood and appreciated in its own right but at the same time part of a system of stories (mythology) transmitted orally from one generation to the next to illustrate man's relationship to the cosmos. In traditional societies, myths often serve as the basis for social customs and observances, although their origins may be long-forgotten.

Many of the archetypes of classical Greek mythology recur in the literature of Western culture, and some have been appropriated by disciplines outside the arts and humanities (example: Oedipus complex in psychology). Some scholars have argued that mythic thinking is integral to human consciousness and that myths are simply a manifestation of the way culture is created by the human mind. Dictionaries of mythology are available in the reference section of public and academic libraries. Bulfinch's Mythology is available online in full-text. See also Folklore and Mythology Electronic Texts. Compare with folktale and legend.



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