# How to cite a book in a multi-author, single-editor collection in biblatex?

I use biblatex and biber, and biblatex's standard styles. I need to cite a self-standing book by a classic Latin author that appeared in a multi-volume collection put together by a single editor. Here is how the reference should appear in the bibliography:

Boethius ( (-)). In Categorias Aristotelis libri quatuor. In: Patrologia Latina. Ed. by Jacques-Paul Migne. Vol. . Chadwyck-Healey.

But I cannot get biblatex to produce what I want. If I use the following ref (as per biblatex's manual, sec. 2.3.5):

@INBOOK{BoethiusOnCateg,
booktitle = {In Categorias Aristotelis libri quatuor},
maintitle = {Patrologia Latina},
year = {1995 (1844-1855)},
editor = {Jacques-Paul Migne},
author = {Boethius},
volume = {64}
}


I get the following output:

Boethius ( (-)). In:Patrologia Latina. Vol. : In Categorias Aristotelis libri quatuor. Ed. by Jacques-Paul Migne. Chadwyck- Healey.

If I switch to another of the manual's suggestions, namely:

@BOOK{BoethiusOnCateg,
title = {In Categorias Aristotelis libri quatuor},
maintitle = {Patrologia Latina},
year = {1995 (1844-1855)},
editor = {Jacques-Paul Migne},
author = {Boethius},
volume = {64}
}


I get the same result:

Boethius ( (-)). Patrologia Latina. Vol. : In Categorias Aristotelis libri quatuor. Ed. by Jacques-Paul Migne. Chadwyck-Healey.

I tried other permutations of maintitle, title, and booktitle with @BOOK and @INBOOK, but I cannot get the desired result.

Any suggestions?

• Several comments: (1) We need to see how you are calling biblatex; (2) I tend to think of the PL and PG more as a 'series' than a 'multi-volume' collection: thus, I'd change it to series = {Patrologia latina} and number = 64; (3) change your years so biber+biblatex can parse them correctly: origyear = {1844/1855} and year = 1995. Depending on your bibliography style, it may make sense to have a main entry for the PL and then simply have a crossref (or xref) field pointing to it. This is what I do unless I'm forced by publishing requirements to do otherwise.
– jon
Dec 6 '13 at 20:37
• @lockstep: Good point on origyear, I had forgotten about that. I call biblatex with: \usepackage[backend=biber,natbib=true, citestyle=authoryear-ibid, bibstyle=authoryear-ibid, sorting=nyt, indexing=cite]{biblatex} Dec 6 '13 at 23:14
• @lockstep: as for PL being a series and not a work...well, my guess it is neither, really, but closer to the latter than to the former. At any rate, Ill experiment with series/number as well Dec 6 '13 at 23:20
• The reason I (not lockstep) suggested series is because any "collection" of variously-authored volumes that runs to 221 volumes seems more a series. (Different, at least, from an 'opera omnia' collection of a single author.) Incidentally, I believe the real title is Patrologiae cursus completus. Series latina (with the other being the Series graeca); cf. also the Corpus christianorum, series latina (and graeca again).
– jon
Dec 7 '13 at 0:23
• @jon, sorry for the mistaken attribution. After a few experiments, I eventually followed your suggestion and switched to series/number plus a manually inserted \emph to get the series' title italicized. That almost exactly what I wanted. Thanks for the suggestion. BTW, you are right that the complete title of the original printed edition of PL is indeed longer than just PL (indeed it is even longer than what you wrote, according to my library), but I am quoting from the online edition, which goes only as Patrologia Latina, as far as I can tell. Dec 7 '13 at 4:18

(Summarizing some of the ealier comments.)

The Patrologia Latina, which runs to 221 printed volumes, and which contains far more works by a wide variety of authors, is probably better thought of as a series. That said, I find there is no great way to refer to individual works in series such as these insofar as each volume itself often contains several titles. Anyway, I would write the .bib entry like this. (Note that I don't actually use the subscription-based version you are referring to, but a free one available here. This site incidentally includes all the PL and PG [and more]. I have left your publisher and date of publication information as if, however.)

(Thanks to Moewe; and proof that RTFM is actually valuable...)

It turns out that biblatex is designed from the outset to support different types of 'pagination': page, column, line, verse, section, paragraph. (If none of these apply, then the original answer suggests how you could create your own system.) The PL/PG are printed in columns, so we want to use:

pagination = {column},
bookpagination = {column},


in our entry. (It seems that both are necessary: one for the citation and one for the bibliographical entry.) This leads to the following entry, which I have embedded in a complete example document:

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{filecontents}
\begin{filecontents}{\jobname.bib}
@INBOOK{BoethiusOnCateg,
title = {In Categorias Aristotelis libri quatuor},
booktitle = {Manlii Severini Boetii opera omnia},
editor =    {Migne, Jacques-Paul},
author =    {Boethius},
year =      1995,
origyear =  {1844/1855},
series =    {Patrologia latina},
number =    64,
bookpagination = {column},
pagination =     {column},
pages =    {159--295},
langid =   {latin},
}
\end{filecontents}

\usepackage[T1]{fontenc}
\usepackage[english]{babel}
\usepackage{csquotes}
\usepackage[
backend=biber, natbib=true, style=authoryear-ibid, sorting=nyt, indexing=cite
]{biblatex}

\DeclareFieldFormat[inbook]{series}{\mkbibemph{#1}}

\begin{document}

\cite[200]{BoethiusOnCateg}

\printbibliography

\end{document}


@INBOOK{BoethiusOnCateg,
title = {In Categorias Aristotelis libri quatuor},
booktitle = {Manlii Severini Boetii opera omnia},
editor = {Jacques-Paul Migne},
author = {Boethius},
year =      1995,
origyear =  {1844/1855},
series =    {Patrologia latina},
number =    64,
columns =  {159--295},
langid =   {latin},
}


I've added a 'columns' field since the PL doesn't use pages, but colums. If you want that information printed in your bibliographical entry, you need to do some extra configuration. For example, in biblatex-dm.cfg you could add the following (which limits changes to @inbook entries):

 % use a 'columns' field instead of 'pages'
\DeclareDatamodelFields[type=field,datatype=literal]{columns}
\DeclareDatamodelEntryfields[inbook]{columns}


In your main .tex file, or in a biblatex.cfg file, you then would add:

\renewbibmacro{chapter+pages}{%
\ifentrytype{inbook}%
{\printfield{chapter}%
\setunit{\bibpagespunct}%
\printfield{columns}%
\newunit}%
{\printfield{chapter}%
\setunit{\bibpagespunct}%
\printfield{columns}%
\newunit}%
}
\NewBibliographyString{columns}
\DefineBibliographyStrings{english}{%
}
\DeclareFieldFormat[inbook]{columns}{\bibstring{columns}\space#1}


and, in order to get the series printed in italics, rather than hardcode it into the bibliography, you would use something like:

\DeclareFieldFormat[inbook]{series}{\mkbibemph{#1}}


And so, putting it all together, you'd get this:

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{filecontents}
\begin{filecontents}{\jobname.bib}
@INBOOK{BoethiusOnCateg,
title = {In Categorias Aristotelis libri quatuor},
booktitle = {Manlii Severini Boetii opera omnia},
editor = {Jacques-Paul Migne},
author = {Boethius},
year =      1995,
origyear =  {1844/1855},
series =    {Patrologia latina},
number =    64,
columns =  {159--295},
langid =   {latin},
}
\end{filecontents}

\usepackage[T1]{fontenc}
\usepackage[english]{babel}
\usepackage{csquotes}
\usepackage[
backend=biber, natbib=true, citestyle=authoryear-ibid, bibstyle=authoryear-ibid, sorting=nyt, indexing=cite]{biblatex}

\begin{filecontents*}{biblatex-dm.cfg}
% use a 'columns' field instead of 'pages'
\DeclareDatamodelFields[type=field,datatype=literal]{columns}
\DeclareDatamodelEntryfields[inbook]{columns}
\end{filecontents*}

% 'series' in italics
\DeclareFieldFormat[inbook]{series}{\mkbibemph{#1}}
% use a 'columns' field instead of 'pages'
\renewbibmacro{chapter+pages}{%
\ifentrytype{inbook}%
{\printfield{chapter}%
\setunit{\bibpagespunct}%
\printfield{columns}%
\newunit}%
{\printfield{chapter}%
\setunit{\bibpagespunct}%
\printfield{columns}%
\newunit}%
}
\NewBibliographyString{columns}
\DefineBibliographyStrings{english}{%
}
\DeclareFieldFormat[inbook]{columns}{\bibstring{columns}\space#1}

\begin{document}

\cite{BoethiusOnCateg}

\printbibliography

\end{document}

• One small thing: I do not think the new columns field is strictly necessary, we can just use pagination/bookpagination = {column} and carry on using the pages field (provided we do not need actual pages anywhere, but your MWE and comment "instead of 'pages'" suggest this might not be the case). Apr 20 '14 at 5:46
• @moewe -- The loading is just from the OP, I just didn't bother to change it. Your other suggestion is probably good, though (never really noticed those fields before); I'll make changes to the answser (later today, hopefully).
– jon
Apr 21 '14 at 15:47
• Ahhh, I expected something along those lines, but I could not find the call to biblatex` in the question before I posted my comment above (I now realise the OP specified that in the comments); sorry for the noise. Apr 21 '14 at 19:23