Online Newsletter of the Cataloging Directorate, Library of Congress

Volume 2, no. 6, ISSN 1066-8829, August 1994


NACO Expansion
SACO Operations
Class J, Political Science
Decimal Classification
Toward a Common MARC Format
MARBI Meetings
New on LC Marvel
Cataloger's Desktop


In an effort to reach the goals set forth in the strategic plan of the Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC), Sarah Thomas, Director for Cataloging, has focused the resources of the Cooperative Cataloging Teams on expansion of the NACO program. Since the start of the 1994 fiscal year nine new NACO libraries have been added to the growing roster of libraries in the Cooperative Cataloging Program. These are: ArtNACO, University of Virginia, University of Minnesota, Dance Heritage Coalition, Cleveland Public Library, Wayne State University, University of Oregon, Brigham Young University, Huntington Library, and University of Miami. Additional training was also provided to two NACO members, Cornell University and the New York State Library, as those institutions expanded their participation.

LC is planning to send its cadre of NACO trainers across the country to train ten new libraries by September 30th. Starting on August 1st with the University of Wisconsin--Madison, the training will continue all summer and will add University of California, Riverside; University of Oklahoma; Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University; University of Alabama; University of Texas at Arlington; Emory University; University of New Mexico; and University of Illinois at Chicago. The California Academy of Sciences will send its cataloger to LC for training in September, bringing the total of new libraries trained in fiscal year 1994 to 20.

Plans for fiscal year 1995 are already in place to include the training for the Hebrew Funnel Project, which will be coordinated by Brandeis University, the first week in October and the North Dakota State University Funnel later in the fall. The addition of all these new libraries will bring the total of participants in the NACO program, including the individual libraries in the funnel projects, to over 130. The NACO libraries will form the foundation of the BibCo program (successor to NCCP) for the contribution of bibliographic records to the PCC. With these new additions the program is well on its way to fulfilling its goals.


SACO (Subject Authority Cooperative Program) had its origins in the Cooperative Subject Cataloging Project (CSCP). Libraries participating in CSCP contributed subject heading proposals, subject heading change proposals, classification number proposals, and classification number change proposals in either manual or electronic mode to the Cooperative Cataloging Teams. These proposals were reviewed by the LC liaison and forwarded to the Cataloging Policy and Support Office (CPSO) for editorial review for eventual inclusion in Library of Congress Subject Headings.

With the support of the Cooperative Cataloging Council, the Cooperative Cataloging Teams have redesigned the original CSCP program. SACO continues to accept subject heading proposals and is expected to expand. This growth will result in increasing numbers of subject heading and classification contributions. To facilitate the proposal process, the Cooperative Cataloging teams will post information screens on LC MARVEL in early September that include:

Guidelines for SACO membership. These guidelines outline the parameters for participation in SACO.

Forms. Online versions of the manual proposal forms (Subject heading change form soon to be developed and implemented).

Instruction screens. Help screens to guide participants through the subject heading proposal process.


Thanks to a generous grant from the Edward Lowe Foundation, staff members of Collections Services have been able to revise the J (Political science) classification schedule and convert it to the online format. This revision was long overdue. The current schedule dates essentially from 1910, and although several new editions had been issued since then, each was basically a cumulation of the piecemeal additions and changes made over the years. No major revision had ever been undertaken.

The revised schedule is streamlined, updated, and reflects current practice. While large scale shifting of materials was avoided, many obsolete or never used numbers have been eliminated and areas of overlap consolidated. The following should be noted:

1) Numbers for constitutional history, the judiciary, legislative practice, and other legal topics have been removed from the schedule or referred to appropriate areas of the K (Law) schedules. Legislative documents, however, for countries other than the U.S will continue to class in J100-J981; U.S. legislative documents will class in KF.

2) The schedule will include classes J through JV. JX (International law) is being be replaced by JZ (International relations) and KZ (International law), which will be issued as separate schedules.

3) The geographic portions of the schedule have been updated to reflect the geopolitical realities of the late 20th century, and an attempt has been made to provide more consistent and predictable subarrangements under each country.

4) Captions and notes have been revised, and LCSH terms incorporated to the extent possible.

Catalogers at the Library will begin using the online version of the revised schedule in the near future, and the new printed edition should be available in early 1995.


In its Miami ALA meetings, the Subject Analysis Committee (SAC) authorized establishment of two ad hoc subcommittees to deal with Dewey matters. One is a subcommittee to assist in the review process leading to publication of Abridged Edition 13 in 1997, the other to act as a vehicle for comment on the Decimal Classification Division's request for advice in the choice and priority of materials to classify.

This reassessment, being conducted in the worldwide Dewey community, asks consideration of the following questions:

      1)  Should U.S. CIPs continue to be the highest priority?

      2)  Which languages after English should receive the fullest

      3)  Should currency of imprint be a consideration?  If so,
what should be the cutoff (e.g., last three years)?

      4)  Which subjects should be given priority?

      5)  Are there formats or languages that would be good
candidates for cooperative cataloging arrangements?

      6)  Are there large categories of materials (e.g., popular
fiction) presently being classified by the division that would be
candidates for unclassified treatment because most libraries use
alternative arrangements?

Comments on these questions and suggestions from newsletter readers are welcome. Please respond to David Smith, Chief of the Decimal Classification Division,


On June 21, 1994, representatives of the Library of Congress (LC) and the British Library (BL) met to review principles for harmonization and simplification of USMARC and UKMARC. The objective of the meeting was to discuss the possibility of increasing compatibility between the two formats with the ultimate goal of achieving a single MARC format. Currently US MARC and UKMARC share a number of commonalities, but differ in several ways, including requirements for punctuation, treatment and labelling of subfields, and use of filing information. Both LC and the British Library maintain conversion programs to process each other's records. In addition, each organization staffs development and maintenance operations to support the separate formats. In seeking to align the two formats more closely, the libraries recognize that changes take time to work out because of system implications for the community. Both LC and the BL will consult widely with users of the formats through their well-established consultative mechanisms. By moving toward a common format, LC and the BL will avoid redundant effort and facilitate the sharing of bibliographic records on a wider international front.

Another relevant topic was the relationship between the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules (AACR) and the MARC format. The group recommended preparing a discussion paper on the links between the cataloging rules and the format, which, if investigated, might result in a simplified record and reduced cost in the creation of the record. One possible outcome might be increasing the communication between the Joint Steering Committee for revisions to AACR and those responsible for MARC format development.

As a result of their recent meeting, the Library of Congress and the British Library have agreed to examine more closely the differences between USMARC and UKMARC and to prepare a discussion paper on the essential features of UKMARC that are not already in USMARC. LC and the National Library of Canada are already conducting a similar review of USMARC and CANMARC, and the National Library of Canada will join LC and the British Library in subsequent meetings, so that all three formats are considered in the reconciliation of the formats. Staff from the British Library, the Library of Congress, and the National Library of Canada will meet to consider the discussion papers at the Library of Congress on November 8 and 9, 1994.


The following are results of proposals and discussion papers considered during the USMARC Advisory Group meetings at the ALA Annual Conference in Miami Beach, June 25-27, 1994.

      Proposal No. 94-9 (Changes to the USMARC Bibligraphic Format
to Accommodate Online Systems and Services):  Approved as amended. 
Changes made to fields 270, 301/307, 531 not approved.  Additional
proposals will be initiated as a result.

      Proposal No. 94-10 (Encoding of Patent Information in the
USMARC Bibliographic Format):  Deferred until next meeting due to
lack of sufficient time for discussion.

      Proposal No. 94-11 (Addition of Subfield $n (Note in Field 037
(Source of Acquisition) in the USMARC Bibliographic Format): 
Approved as amended.  Description of subfield amended.

      Proposal No. 94-12 (Core Record Designation in USMARC
Bibliographic Records):  Option 2 approved as amended (add value to
Leader/17 (Encoding Level) and add a code in field 045$a for pcc)
Value 4 to be used instead of 3.

      Proposal No. 94-13 (Interactive Multimedia Code for USMARC
Bibliographic Format):  Option 1 approved (add code j to 008/26 for
computer files).

      Proposal No. 94-14 (Extension of USMARC Authority Fields 053
and 083 for Local Use):  Approved.

      Proposal No. 94-15 (Field Link and Sequence Information in the
USMARC Formats):  Approved in part as amended.  The technique of
using subfield $8 was approved with amendments.  The field link
type codes were not approved, and each case will be considered in
subsequent proposals.

      Proposal No. 94-16 (Encoding of Cancelled/Invalid Report
Numbers in the USMARC Bibliographic Format):  Approved Option 2
(define only subfield $z in field 088).

      Proposal No. 94-17 (Changes to the USMARC Bibliographic Format
to Accommodate the Content Standards for Digital Geospatial
Metadata (CSDGM)):  Approved as amended with some parts
provisional.  This paper will be reposted to the USMARC list
archives with changes incorporated.

      Discussion Paper No. 78 (Location and Access Information for
Non-Internet Resources in USMARC Records):  A proposal will come
back using the third option: use of 856 field, coding all needed

      Discussion Paper No. 79 (Defining Subfield $v for Form
Subdivision in the USMARC Formats):  A proposal will come back to
define subfield $v in Bibligraphic 6XX fields and Authority 1XX
fields, as well as a new 18X subdivision field. Field 155 was also
requested to be added complementary to field 655. 

      Discussion Paper No. 80 (Defining a Component Item Entry Field
in the USMARC Bibligraphic Format):  Not discussed because of time
constraints. Will be discussed on USMARC list and paper reissued
for next meeting.

      These papers are available from the USMARC list archives with
the names:

      [paper no.].doc, e.g.,


      Cover sheets with status information and review of meeting
discussion is available from the USMARC list archives with the

      [paper no.].cov, e.g.,


      To retrieve, send email to: with text:
get usmarc [filename], e.g., get usmarc 94-15.cov

      The files can also be retrieved from LC Marvel (LC's Gopher).
Telnet to; login as marvel. Select Libraries and
Publishers, then USMARC Standards, then USMARC List Archives. The
cover sheets and documents are available with the name of the
proposal/discussion paper followed by (Status) for cover sheets and
(Document) for paper itself.


Reports from the seven Cooperative Cataloging Council task groups and four CPSO-led task groups listed below can be found under:

       Libraries and Publishers (Technical Services)
           Cataloging at the Library of Congress (Programs and     
                 Cooperative Cataloging Programs at the Library of  
                      Cooperative Cataloging Council

      AACR2 Code Revision Task Group
      Automation Task Group
      Cataloger Training Task Group
      Core Bibliographic Record for JACKPHY Task Group
      Core Bibliographic Record for Music Task Group
      Series Authority Record Task Group
      Subject Authority File Task Group

      Separate Name and Subject Authority File Task Group
      Descriptive Cataloging Documentation Task Group
      Subject Cataloging Documentation Task Group
      670 Field (Sources Found) Task Group

The July 1994 update of the CONSER Plan and issue no. 2 of CONSERLINE (June 1994) can be found under the Cooperative Online Serials Program (CONSER) portion of the above Cooperative Cataloging Programs menu hierarchy.


Nine of the most popular Library of Congress cataloging publications are now accessible on one convenient CD-ROM disc, available only from the Library's Cataloging Distribution Service. Cataloger's Desktop offers access to the latest editions of: Library of Congress Rule Interpretations; Subject Cataloging Manual: Subject Headings; Subject Cataloging Manual: Classification; USMARC Concise Formats; USMARC Format for Authority Data; and all the USMARC code lists: languages, countries, geographic areas, and relators, sources, description conventions. Until now, all publications have been available only as printed material.

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Files can be customized to suit a user's needs. Each user can create a personal file initialized by his/her password. Personalized notes, bookmarks, highlighting, and links can be included. The notes can also be applied to each update of the product without having to file new pages or manually transfer important information.

Cataloger's Desktop is a subscription product with quarterly, fully cumulated issues. The entire text of the USMARC Format for Bibliographic Data will be added with the second quarterly issue. In the future, other cataloging tools will be added to the product.

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To order Cataloger's Desktop, to request either a 3.5" demonstration diskette or a demonstration CD-ROM (both are free), to receive a copy of the system requirements, or to request additional information contact: Library of Congress, Cataloging Distribution Service, Customer Services Section/Dept. EF, Washington, DC 20541-5017. Telephone: in the U.S. call toll-free 1- 800-255-3666 or call (202) 707-6100. Fax: (202) 707-1334. TDD: (202) 707-0012. Internet:

LC CATALOGING NEWSLINE (ISSN 1066-8829) is published at least quarterly by the Cataloging Directorate, Collections Services, Library of Congress, and contains news of cataloging activities throughout the Library of Congress. Editorial Office: Cataloging Policy and Support Office, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. 20540-4305. Editor, Robert M. Hiatt; Editorial Advisory Group: John Byrum, Roselyne Chang, Rebecca Guenther, Angela Kinney, Albert Kohlmeier, John Mitchell, Susan Morris, Geraldine Ostrove, Regina Reynolds, David Smith, Richard Thaxter, Susan Toulmin, and David Williamson. Address editorial inquiries to the editor at the above address or (eMail), (202) 707-5831 (voice), or (202)707-6629 (fax). Listowner: David Williamson. Address subscription inquiries to the listowner at

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Comments : 06/19/00