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The Library of Congress > Program for Cooperative Cataloging > CONSER > CONSER Task Force on AACR Review

Task Force Members:

This task force developed from not only the desire to be prepared for a possible international conference of cataloging experts, as described below, but also to rethink our rules for title changes and other important aspects of cataloging. The work of this task force is important in shaping the future of serials cataloging and CONSER's role in the cataloging community. The final recommendations should provide a vision for serials cataloging and a guide for action.


The Joint Steering Committee for the Revision of AACR (JSC) has proposed to the Committee of Principals that an international conference of cataloging experts be held no later than mid-1997 to review some of the basic principles underlying the 2nd edition of the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules. It is planned that a consultant would be hired who would work with the JSC to identify experts to present papers on topics such as carrier vs. content, what constitutes "the work", and the concept of main entry.

There are a number of serial-related issues that could be presented at such a conference. Crystal Graham, at the request of CONSER, outlined many of the shortcomings of the code as to its treatment of serials in a paper delivered at the AACR 2000 preconference, held in June 1995. This paper provides an excellent starting point for the task force.

Based on discussions at the CONSER Operations meeting, review of Crystal's draft paper, and recent investigations into the cataloging of electronic serials, Jean Hirons suggested five possible topics for a CONSER paper. They were discussed at the CONSER At Large meeting in June 1995, and are:

  • Whether a new category of "dynamic" material should be defined
  • The need to integrate seriality into rules for non-print serials
  • "Identifying" an item as opposed to "describing" the item
  • Title changes--should we be considering earliest entry, latest entry, or more logical rules for successive entry?
  • Uniform titles as main entry for translations and language editions

[Hirons, Jean and Crystal Graham. “Issues Related to Seriality,” in International Conference on the
Principles and Future Development of AACR. The Principles and Future of AACR. Jean Weihs, ed.
Chicago : American Library Association, 1998. Prepared for presentation at the JSC for Revision
of AACR Conference in October 1997.]


The CONSER Policy Committee charges the CONSER Task Force on AACR Review with the following:
  1. Beginning with the five issues mentioned above, and using Crystal Graham's paper as a resource, define the issue(s) to be addressed at the proposed conference and recommend changes needed in AACR2, including specific rule revisions as appropriate. The final report should state the problem(s) briefly, present recommendations for change, and summarize the reasoning behind the recommendations.
  2. Recommend a person (or persons) who could serve as the spokesperson for CONSER and who could write and deliver at the proposed conference a paper based on the recommendations of the task force, if invited to do so.
  3. As appropriate, recommend further changes to the code or RIs that would not be included in the paper but could be submitted through normal channels. And if it appears that the proposed conference will not take place or that a serials-based paper will not be requested, recommend action to be taken on the proposals in part one of this charge.

Time frames:

  • Interim report due in conjunction with ALA mid-winter meeting, Feb. 1996
  • Draft of final report ready for comment at Operations meeting, May 1996
  • Final report due end of June 1996


Bartley, Linda, Maureen Landry, and Julia Blixrud. "LiOnCat: The Library Online
Catalog (with a focus on serials)," April 1990 {not published; distributed to Operations Committee}
Bernhardt [Beck], Melissa, "Dealing with Serial Title Changes: Some Theoretical
and Practical Considerations," Cataloging & Classification Quarterly 9:2 (1988) pp.25-39.
Graham, Crystal. "What's wrong with AACR2: a serials perspective"
ISDS Manual [selected pages]

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