Collection vs. Anthology


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Collection vs. Anthology

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nov. 5, 2007, 10:38pm

I have quite a few books in my library that are made up of collected works - either by multiple authors or an individual authors previously published works.

At this point I've been using either "collection" or "anthology" somewhat indiscriminately between the two. I would however like to be able to distinguish between the two types. I was hoping there was some pre-esxisting linguistic characteristic of the words to help me in this, but as far as I can tell their synonyms. Is there a tag you use to discriminate between the two types of works?

I'd love to hear others suggestions. I know tagging is largely a matter of what works best for the individual but I'm somewhat at a loss here and would love to hear others' ideas.

nov. 6, 2007, 1:44am

Thanks for asking this, I've been wondering, too. Personally, I use the tag "omnibus" when a book has multiple novels by the same author. I'd love to know more about the differences between "omnibus", "collection", and "anthology".

Editat: nov. 6, 2007, 2:35am

I will handle these kinds of books with tags e.g.

OMNIBUS (noun) : a volume of reprinted works of a single author or of works related in interest or theme.
e.g. a book of supernatural stories by Roald Dahl. A complete content of each book is used. An omnibus contained several complete books by one author.

TAGGING: Ominibus - Supernatural

ANTHOLOGY (noun) : a book or other collection of selected writings by various writers usually in the same literary form, of the same period, or on the same subject. e.g. a book of poetry by various poets selected from several books by many poets.

TAGGING: Anthology - Poems

COLLECTION (noun) : a book of selected writings from various books by an author of the same theme or various themes. e.g. a book of selected short stories from various books by the same

TAGGING: Collection - Short Stories

I will tagged the various kinds of books in these manner.This is my method of tagging. There are many
ways of tagging.

Omnibus - George Orwell ( A book containing the complete novels of George Orwell )

Anthology - 20th Century Poems/Love ( A book of selected love poems by several authors published during the 20th century period.

Collection - T.S.Elliot(Poems/Plays) e.g. Selected writings by T.S.Elliot

Note: Please correct me if my reasoning is not accurate.

nov. 6, 2007, 8:42am

I use collection and anthology tags the way your definitions indicate, pieces by single author vs pieces by different authors. I assumed that was the everyday usage of the words.

I think, though, that there are users who don't bother with the distinction and just use one or the other for any book made up of independent smaller parts. I hope nobody get the idea, because of that, to combine collection and anthology.

nov. 6, 2007, 8:46am

I tend to just use anthology. I never really thought about collection in that sense, although if it was in the title ('collected works' or something) I might, but I consider all those types of books equivalent and want to be able to group them together by tag.

I would never combine the tags, though - of course, I don't combine takes, but anyway, collection can mean other things.

Editat: nov. 6, 2007, 9:15am

yeah, what jimroberts said at #4.

I tag "collections" and "anthologies" separately, with the occasional "omnibus" editions of book-length works.

(And I idly dream of the day that LT can handle the table-of-contents pages, with 'editors' pulled out separately from the various contributing authors, a place for all the individual titles of the constituent works,etc.....)

nov. 6, 2007, 9:09am

6 Bob -

Oh, that is my fantasy, too.

Editat: nov. 6, 2007, 10:09am

There's an earlier discussion about this somewhere. I'd had the same understanding of the everyday usage of the words, but you will often find "anthology" defined as containing works by "one or more authors," or as a subset of "collections."

It is very unlikely that there will be uniformity in tagging, or that others will know what we (who tag as in posts 3 & 4) mean by our tags.

I know what I mean, so will persist in tagging my books that way unless I learn of a better way to draw a distinction between a collection of works by one author and a collection of works by multiple authors.

ETA: My tag ties in to where I put the book. My "collections" (e.g. The Best of Joe Author) go with the books by the author. "Anthologies" (multiple authors) have their own section. I think that's how they arrange them in book stores, isn't it?

nov. 6, 2007, 9:59am

Collections of short stories I tag 'Anthology', Collections of novels I tag 'Omnibus'. Mixtures of novels and short stories/poems tend to fall into the 'Anthology' tag, such as the Complete Tales and Poems by Edgar Allen Poe, (touchstones are down again).

nov. 6, 2007, 10:00am

ditto #6 asyouknownbob -- exactly.

nov. 6, 2007, 10:08am

#8 - That's how I shelve books, too. However, it was more a case of "I know it when I see it" then having a good name for either type, but collection-same author, anthology-different authors seems like it would work out quite well to distinguish the two.

Editat: nov. 8, 2007, 11:24pm

Like #4 scoobydo I use collections, anthologies, and omnibus, and in about the same way.

anthologies = multi-author (corrected)
omnibus = multi-NOVEL (could be single-author or multi-author)
collections = every other kind of multi-work edition, which is just the multi-authors

I view "collections" as a generic term, too, so anthologies and omnibuses are special instances of collections.

Like AsYouKnow_Bob I dream of indexed contents that are linked to various works but having developed various bibliographic DBs I know what a friggin' nightmare it is. So I'm not holding my breath.

nov. 6, 2007, 7:04pm


I think you read that wrong. As I understand it, Skoobdo (#3), jimroberts (#4), AsYouKnow_Bob (#6) and I (#8) use "collection" for stories by the same author; "anthology" for stories by various authors.

I guess I think of collection as being similar to "the collected works," which usually means one author.

Editat: nov. 7, 2007, 12:06am

Tagging or Labelling of books is to indicate a generic subject matter of the book's content, and I believe there is no hard and fast rule to it , and it is a book owner's rightful "independent" choice in anyway s(he)
chooses in tagging and labelling, and the most important thing of all, you can easily locate the book from your library shelves or bookcases in your home.There is no right or wrong in the "mechanics" or "methods" of tagging or labelling. Do you agreed or not ?

nov. 7, 2007, 12:12am

Agreed. Tim would be horrified at the thought of having rules. :-)

Editat: nov. 7, 2007, 8:10am

I agree as well. It's simply that when I didn't have a preference in my head, but knew these books needed different tags, I decided to see what others are doing.

nov. 7, 2007, 7:58am

I call them all anthologies. I'm not fussy.

nov. 7, 2007, 11:30am

I use collection vs anthology, in hopes of a multi-author/subwork system at some point. :)

nov. 8, 2007, 11:24pm

#13, i just typed it the wrong way ... sometimes i really shouldn't be librarything-ing late at night! like, umm, now.

des. 4, 2007, 4:21pm

None of the above. For a collection of short stories I use the tag "short stories"; for a collection of essays I use the tag "essays." I don't distinguish between single-author and multi-author collections. But then, I don't have very many books of this type, so a complex system isn't necessary for me.

feb. 26, 2015, 8:43pm

I'm so glad to have found this thread. How about music works/scores? When is a group of songs/pieces considered a collection and when is it considered an anthology? Thanks in advance for your responses!

feb. 27, 2015, 2:14am

I use 'short stories' if that applies. If the stories are by various authors I add 'anthology'.

Editat: feb. 27, 2015, 11:05am

>21 estefsop: I just use "score" for a single score and "scores" for multiple scores whether by the same composer on not. But if I were following my general rule, it would be "score collection" for the same composer and "score anthology" for multiple composers.

feb. 1, 2018, 3:47pm

So on the class number (the spine label), do you use SC for story collection and a Dewey 800 for anthologies--separating the two physically into different areas of the library? (I am a school librarian and do not use Cutter's, etc..)