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General Guidelines for Cataloging PRINT Monographs

This document is meant to be an overview of local procedures and workflows. For specific information about MARC field standards refer to

OCLC Bib formats and Standards [1]

AACR2rev (online in Cataloger’s Desktop) [2]

Library of Congress MARC guidelines [3]

Monographs come to the Cataloging Department in several ways: Firm orders, standing orders, approvals, PL480s and gifts all have slightly different procedures.

All Firm orders have an order record on Summit. Compare the book in hand to the order record on Summit. The author, title, date, publisher and edition (if there is one) should match. If they don’t, give the problem to your supervisor.

Approvals will have a skeleton record provided by the approval vendor. We overlay these in a bulk process before the records get to cataloging.

PL480s come to us with no order. If you receive a title we already have, put the book in Mr. Singh’s box and indicate it is a duplicate.

Gift books should be searched in Summit first. If we have a copy, and it doesn’t say on the gift slip that we are accepting this as a second copy, give problem to your supervisor.



  • This is a two faceted process:
  1. Find the record (or records) that match the book, then
  2. Decide which is best or an acceptable record.
  • Use the title on the title page. This is the official source of information, NOT the cover, or the spine.
  • There may be several OCLC records for the same piece. Some titles may have both serial and monograph records. We will need to choose which treatment is appropriate.



Author (100) field should match piece

Title (245) field should match piece

Edition (250 field) if present should match piece, when applicable.

(260) Publisher field should contain accurate place, publisher and date.

(300) Physical description should match item or could be completed.


The selection process

If there are more than one record for a title

Choose the DLC record if there is one, if not

Choose the more complete record, if info is about the same

Choose the record with the smaller OCLC number

If no record matches

If there is not an exact match for the item in hand and the record on OCLC, you may refer to OCLC documentation Bib formats for instructions on whether you need to create a new record.

Input separate records for different editions of bibliographic works.

Editions are in defined AACR2 Appendix D

Input separate records to represent different issues of an edition whenever there are significant differences in the description. Significant is defined at the above link.



If there is only a serial record or both a serial and a mono record and you are not a serial cataloger, give to book and record printouts to your supervisor.

Check the date field. If there is a multiple date (DtSt m) (which should be combined with an open date in the 260), give book and record printout to your supervisor.


ACCEPTABLE records must have


050 or an 090 has a complete LC Call number and the call number is not:

    Bibliographies above Z1200

PZ 1-4 (PZ 4.2 and above are OK) Canadian Lit numbers PS8001-8599 Any Literature call number PG, PK, PQ-Pt K zero

    Call number ending in volume or number designation
       * Is complete and matches item
       * Is complete and matches item
       * Edition statement should exist when necessary


BibCo Core Record Standards


Bib record type a or t (for manuscript material)

Bib level m

Desc cataloging form =a

008 data

Type of date

Date 1

date 2 (If Applicable)

Place of publication

Form of item


Modified record (If applcable)

Cataloging source


010 If Applicable

020 If applicable

041 If Applicable

050 or 090 Mandatory

100/110/111/130 If Applicable

240 If applicable

245 a Mandatory

245 n p b c h If Applicable

246 If applicable Assess each item or collection and assign titles that cover variations deemed important to assist users. Cataloger's judgement and/or local policy. Code the 246 for parallel title:31 all other varying titles may be coded 246:13

250 If Applicable

300 a Mandatory

300 b If applicable

490 If Applicable Transcribe form of series statement as it appears on prescribed source.

500: Source of Title prooper If Applicable

501: If Applicable

502 If applicable

505 If Applicable

533 If applicable

546 If Applicable Give the language of the material if not apparent from the rest of the description.

600-630, 650-651 Use jusgement in assessing each item

700-740 Use judgement in assessing each item

776 If apllicable

8XX Applicable If catalogers judgement or local policy is to trace series, include in this field authorized form of series.

Good signs to see in a record (but not required)

042 The LC and Program for Cooperative cataloging participants use this field to indicate a record has been reviewed in a certain way. Some common codes are: lccopycat -- LC has used another institutions record as a basis for its cataloging, pcc -- the program has authenticated record, name and series headings have been checked.

Encoding level blank or I Indicate full level cataloging or core level cataloging.


You have a record lacking a mndatory or applicable field. Lock the OCLC record and add those fields to the Master record.

Problem call numbers

(See also the Call Number document for more specifics)


Bibliographies above Z1200

  • These book need to be assigned an alternative subject number. Sometimes the OCLC record will give the class of an alternative number. Look at the Institutional records in OCLC and use it if it makes sense. Send book and call number to supervisor for number verification.

If there is no number in OCLC go to Classification web.

Log on and go into LC Subject Heading to LC call number crosswalk.

Type in the first subject heading and see what the popular call numbers are for that heading. If you see an appropriate number look it up in summit. Pass the suggested number and book on to your supervisor.

PZ Fiction gets the literature number for the writer. See steps above for researching a call number. Pass on the suggested number to your supervisor for approval.

Canadian Lit numbers PS8001-8599

See steps above for searching a good literature number.


Call number ending in volume or number designation

    Look and see if this is a collected work, or a collected series. (If there is a volume 
    number it has to mean something). Look at the authority file for the series.  This should 
    indicate whether the series is collected or not, it also indicates if SU practice deviates 
    from the nation standard.  If you have questions, ask your supervisor.

== Incomplete call numbers and missing call numbers ==

See Call Number information

== Minimal records==

See the page on the elimination of the backlog [* There is no backlog]


Once you have found or created an acceptable record for the book you need to control the headings. This compares name and subject headings against the OCLC authority file. It does not currently look at the 440.

Update the holdings

Export the record.


In your Summit import file:

1. Delete any non-LC subject headings. (LC subject headings have a 0 as the second indicator). Keep any 653 fields.

2. If there are more than one 090's, delete the ones not used.

3. If there are more than one 035, delete the one you aren't using. (This does not currently apply to SCRC who can retain 035's that correspond to NOTIS numbers)

4. Otherwise, do not delete any other extraneous fields. This is done to limit the amount of time spent on each record.

5. Save the record to the database. This will trigger two validations: MARC and authority validation.



If your record has MARC validation problems:

a box will come up and state the errors.

Correct them. (F2 will give the options).

If there are no MARC problems the system will automatically move on to Authority validation.


There are separate instructing explaining the Summit Authority Validation messages. Please see them for a more detailed explanation.

If Preferences are set correctly, the headings that validate will not display. There are various messages that may come up during the authority validation process to indicate problems

PARTIAL VALIDATION -- This means the first subfield passed MARC validation, but the others did not. This message will come up most of the time that the heading has subdivisions. Carefully check the heading for typos. If it looks wrong to you, ask your supervisor if the heading is OK. Continue on.

SEE ALSO REFERENCE -- Ignore this message.

SEE REFERENCE- This means you are using an old heading that is . Pull up the authority record and copy and paste the new heading as a replacement for the old heading in your record.

NONEXISTANT HEADING -- This is a means there is no authority file in Summit for this heading.

  • Check to make sure it isn't a MESH or other non-LC heading. If it is, delete the heading
  • Check the authority file on OCLC.

If there is a record for the heading, print it out and give to DBM.

If no Authority file exists for a personal or corporate name heading, check to see if it is in use in an LC record. If the name is found in an authority record or in use in an LC record, use that form of the name. If no other use of a name heading is found, accept the heading.

If no LC Authority file is found for a subject heading, give to your supervisor for alternative subject heading assignment.

HEADING VALIDATED -- COSMETIC DIFFERENCES. This means a problem exists. Usually there is a missing comma or other punctuation in the record. Always go back, find the difference and correct it.

856 Validation

Check to see if your record has an 856. If it does refer to the more detailed 856 procedures:



Determining a location can be tricky, depending on a combination of factors including: fund code, call number and selector preference. Please look at the location document for this info. Once the location is determined, In the MFHD, Control N will move the call number from the bib record to the MFHD. Volumes need to included in an 866, please refer to the holdings record instructions for the detailed instructions. MFHD Page

Determine if your book is oversize.


       * Oversize shelving is provided for the general collections in the open stacks of Bird
       * Print items measuring 30 - 41 cm. (width or height) are oversize
       * Print items measuring 42 cm and over (width or height) are oversize flats.
       * Oversize begins at 36 cm. for call numbers "M" (not ML, MT) and "N" (all N classes)
       * There is no oversize in the  A  classification or the  AA  accession scheme.
       * There is no oversize or oversize flat for titles in the GIS laboratory.
       * There is no oversize for any reference location
       * The permanent location determines oversize, not the temporary location. 
       * Binding treatments done after cataloging do not affect the oversize decision.
       * There is no oversize for any of the science locations.
       * There is no oversize for the Architecture Reading Room or the 

Safire Room

       * There is oversize for the MLK Library

== Item records ==

Each title you catalog will need an item record. A single volume monograph requires one item record containing a barcode. A multivolume monograph requires an item record for each volume. Volume numbers are added in the Enum field.

Place barcodes on the front cover of books, serials, scores, and theses. The barcode should be parallel to the top edge of the book; remember that stiffened paperbacks are trimmed a bit as part of that process.

Write the call number in pencil on the first page of the text block; use a label if the page is dark or heavily illustrated.

Catalogers on probation should check their work in the OPAC to check for display problems.

After the book has been cataloged, place on the truck for delivery to marking.

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