Omnibus format means multiple volumes released in a single binding. This can be problematic when it happens with series that are cataloged on a single multivolume record, such as graphic novels.
Publishers sometimes reissue volumes of a series in an omnibus format, frequently with a new volume number: e.g., what was separate volumes 1, 2, and 3 are re-released as a single v. 1, what was separate volumes 4, 5, and 6 are re-released a single v. 2. Regardless of whether the omnibus volumes are renumbered (v. 1) or retain their original numbers (v. 1-2-3), if the original books were cataloged on a multivolume record, then the new volumes need a new multivolume record.
Non-series books originally published separately are sometimes combined into a single omnibus. This happens fairly often with romance, fantasy, and science fiction novels. The omnibus should be cataloged separately from the original books. In addition to a contents note, the catalog record for the omnibus should contain added entries for each of the original titles or author-title combinations, as appropriate.
When individual volumes of an ongoing series that have never before been published are issued as an omnibus, the only significant difference from previous volumes is the fact that more than one volume is present in a single binding, and the existing volumes have been cataloged on a multivolume record, the omnibus volume may be added to that record: e.g., v. 20 is followed by v. 21-22-23. A 500 note should be added to the record:
500 Vols. 21-22-23 issued in combined omnibus format.
Or, if appropriate:
500 Beginning with v. 21-22-23, volumes are published in combined omnibus format.
If the publisher later decides to reissue the earlier volumes in the omnibus format, a new multivolume record will be required at that time, regardless of whether the reissued volumes are numbered as "volume 1-2-3" or are renumbered to "volume 1".
Occasionally, a publisher will issue a short "series" in one self-contained multivolume book: e.g., a single volume numbered "volume 1-2-3" with the series ending in v. 3. These titles just need a monographic record. If, at a later time, the publisher decides to extend the series, the monograph can be overlaid with a multivolume record.
Call number analytics
Enter the first & last volume numbers of the item in hand in the call number |z, separated by a hyphen. For example,
v. 21-23 instead of