Online Newsletter of the Cataloging Directorate, Library of Congress

Volume 2, no. 8 ISSN 1066-8829 November 1994


Series Description and Access
National Library of Canada Contributes to LCSH
Electronic CIP Experiment Receives 100th Manuscript
New York Public Library Joins CONSER
Hungarian SWAT Team
LC Subject Headings Weekly List
Rogen Brown Theatre Collection Cataloged
USMARC Test Records
Cataloging Tools Recently Issued


The Library of Congress has concluded its deliberations concerning the proposal to cease tracing series with the below listed decisions and recommendations. The Library will

  1. continue to provide series authority records and controlled access for all series, numbered and unnumbered;
  2. increase series training and cooperative efforts to share the workload of creating series authority records for all series by providing a solid, basic foundation and continuing education and by increasing cooperative contributions;
  3. provide more efficient policies and procedures for cataloging series by reviewing cataloging levels to provide appropriate access, by increasing the number of series classified as a collection, and by continuing to seek ways to simplify series authority creation and maintenance;
  4. vigorously pursue automated assistance in series work as the area that holds the most hope for reducing cataloging time and increasing productivity.


The National Library of Canada (NLC) is pleased to report the Library of Congress has approved NLC's first contribution for a new subject heading to be included in LCSH on August 23, 1994. Two other proposals were submitted on August 31 and are under review.

The proposals were initially reviewed by the NLC Subject Heading Editorial Committee and forwarded to the Library of Congress. The headings proposed are

           Hockey for women
           Physically handicapped young adults
           Loneliness in old age

NLC has received full support from the Library of Congress for its participation in the Subject Authority Cooperative Program.

NLC will submit headings that are appropriate for inclusion in LCSH and that follow established patterns and authorized instructions. NLC contributions will correspond to new subject concepts identified in Canadian publications as they are analyzed at NLC for inclusion in the bibliography of Canadiana or in the collections. These contributions will contribute to making LCSH more comprehensive and useful for all libraries.

LC and NLC have had a long history of cooperation in many areas, but both have maintained separate subject heading lists as well as separate name authority files. In the last few years the use of LCSH has become more widespread, and the need for cooperation has become more evident. Discussions have been initiated to try to bring these separate files closer together.

Ingrid Parent, Director General for NLC's Acquisitions and Bibliographic Services Branch, visited LC in September 1993 to launch the discussions. Ms. Parent met with LC staff including Sarah Thomas, Director for Cataloging; Sally McCallum, Chief, Network Development and MARC Standards Office (Net Dev/MSO); and John Byrum, Chief, Regional and Cooperative Cataloging Division and agreed to identify the areas where the files differed.

NLC will continue to create and include in Canadian Subject Headings any heading that cannot fit the LCSH structure or which requires a different formulation. Also included in LCSH will be headings specific to the Canadian context in order to bring out the Canadian perspective adequately and provide appropriate subject access for Canadian libraries.

For further information, contact Patrice Landry, chair of the NLC Subject Heading Editorial Committee and Acting Chief, Subject Analysis Division: telephone: (819) 994-6900; FAX: (819) 953-0291; Internet: [email protected]

In the meantime, Diane Humes, Senior Cataloging Policy Specialist, Cataloging Policy and Support Office, and Larry Dixson, Network Development Specialist, Network Development and MARC Standards Office, visited NLC Sept. 29-30 for further discussions on reconciling the cataloging rule interpretations and the CAN/MARC and USMARC authority formats to facilitate the integration of these two national files.


In the previous issue of LCCN was an article on the bibliographic workstation (BWS) being installed on catalogers' desks at the Library of Congress as well as some of the experiments underway that utilize the power of the BWS. One of those mentioned was the Electronic CIP experiment. This experiment involves having publishers submit manuscripts for books to be published in their electronic form over the Internet to the Library. Once here, the cataloging is done electronically, and then the CIP data is sent back to the publisher in the form of an electronic mail message over the Internet. In November of 1993, the University of New Mexico Press submitted the first manuscript in the experiment. This past October, HarperCollins (adult division) submitted the 100th manuscript to be processed electronically. The submission of the 100th manuscript is important because it demonstrates that this approach to processing forthcoming titles can succeed when publishers and the Library work together to find ways of improving the CIP process.


The CONSER (Cooperative Online Serials) Program announces that the Research Libraries of the New York Public Library (NYPL) has joined the program. As a "full level" participant, NYPL will create, modify, and maintain bibliographic and authority records for serials in Roman alphabet languages and in print, microform, electronic, and mixed media formats. In addition, NYPL will contribute to the technical development of CONSER and serials cataloging through participation in the Policy and Operations Committees.

With a collection of over 400,000 serial titles, NYPL expects to contribute over 8,000 records a year to the CONSER database. Karen Hsu, Chief of the Cataloging Division, will serve as the Policy Committee representative and Edith Gewertz, Head of the Serials Cataloging Section, will serve on the Operations Committee.


In recent years, the Library of Congress had accumulated a sizeable backlog of uncataloged Hungarian titles. Some of the uncataloged items dated from the 1970's, and hundreds were under no bibliographic control. The reorganization of the Cataloging Directorate along team management lines and a new institutional climate that encouraged staff initiatives prompted a group of Hungarophile employees to submit a plan for the elimination of this arrearage. Based on the experience of an earlier project to reduce a mostly English language backlog, the group felt confident that the approximately 3,000 titles could be processed within 12 weeks by a 6-member team. The plan was accepted, and on April 18, 1994, the "Hungarian Swat Team" went into action. The group of 3 descriptive catalogers, 1 serials cataloger, 1 subject cataloger, and 1 technician was determined to eliminate the backlog within 12 weeks, and this commitment served as a potent impetus. Progress was monitored on a weekly basis, so that priorities, assignments, and workflow could be continuously adjusted to ensure staying on target.

The first task was to sort the materials into 3 broad categories: titles for which OCLC copy would likely be available, those suitable for collection-level treatment, and candidates for discarding.

A systematic search was then begun for usable OCLC copy. The hit rate was fairly high at first, approaching 50%, but relatively few of the records had significant information beyond that available on the LC preliminary record. The cataloging quality was also very mixed. Titles for which no OCLC records were found received either full, enhanced minimal-level, or minimal-level cataloging, based on the team's assessment of their potential research value.

As the project advanced, the team relied increasingly on the Internet as a cataloging resource. Many Hungarian libraries provide first rate cataloging, often accessible through the Internet. At the forefront is the Szechenyi Library (the Hungarian national library), and the team experimented with downloading these records to a disk, massaging them, and then copying them to the LC database. This approach holds great promise, but needs further refinement. Other Hungarian databases were also investigated. Particularly useful was the online public catalog of the University of Szeged Library. Response time was good, searching fairly easy, and it was of great help with difficult-to-analyze books.

Given the limited time allotted the project, it was not possible to create a separate bibliographic record for every title. The team, therefore, grouped some materials by genre or topic and created a variety of "collection-level records" for gathering these materials. Through this device, varying degrees of bibliographic control could be extended to many items in an efficient manner.

The team created several collection-level records for publications dealing with the postwar Communist era (1945-1989). Since this was such a distinctive and in many ways aberrant period in Hungarian history, it provided a convenient framework for grouping materials. Examples of these collection level records are

                 Hungarian Communist publications
                 Hungarian poetry
                 Hungarian literature from Transylvania 
                 Hungarian humor
                 Art catalogs

Throughout the project, there was frequent collaboration with cataloging specialists, area specialists, law librarians, and others. The team discarded books of questionable research value or changed levels of treatment only after consulting with the appropriate parties.

The processing of art catalogs is a good illustration of how the team worked with staff from other areas of the Library and exercised discretion in dealing with specific items. There were many such catalogs in the backlog, and quite a few of them seemed too ephemeral to be added to LC's classified collections. In consultation with the Prints and Photographs Division, guidelines for processing these were developed. Only the more substantive ones were cataloged, either separately or as part of a collection- level record, and the others were transferred to the National Gallery of Art.

Many valuable titles surfaced during this project and are now under bibliographic control. After 12 weeks, the tally of books processed was 2,712.


Beginning January 1995, the LC Subject Headings Weekly Lists will be accessible on Internet through LC's gopher, LC MARVEL. This service will begin with list 1 for 1995 and will include a file for 1994, ultimately keeping 18-20 months of list available. The new lists will be loaded onto LC MARVEL on a weekly basis, making the data more timely than the monthly print version.

Because of a declining customer base for the print version, the Cataloging Distribution Service will no longer make the print version available after completion of the 1994 lists. Lists #48-52 will be the final print version.

To access the weekly lists on LC MARVEL beginning in January, telnet to; login as marvel. Select the menu options Libraries and Publishers (Technical Services), Cataloging at the Library of Congress, and LC Subject Headings Weekly Lists.


At the request of the Motion Picture, Broadcasting, and Recorded Sound Division, members of Music and Sound Recordings Team III of the Special Materials Cataloging Division cataloged the sound recordings that comprise the Rogen S. Brown Theatre Collection; cataloging was completed in September 1994. This small collection (approximately 639 sound discs) is comprised of commercial recordings of theatrical shows, mostly musical, many with the original cast, bequeathed to the Library by Rogen S. Brown, a.k.a. Steven W. Brown, a theatre enthusiast and avid collector. Over 100 years of musical theatre is represented, with a range of shows from The Mikado to Oh Calcutta. The collection is valuable because many of the sound recordings are rare and appear on obscure labels. Some of the rarer discs are Fly Blackbird, Rugantino, and See Saw. Other parts of the Brown collection include theatrical posters and photographs.


USMARC test records are available from the anonymous FTP site at the Library of Congress for the following types of records:

Format Integration Test Records

A multi-format file of records with format-integrated variable fields is available upon request and at no charge.

This file of approximately 70 records contains test data with examples of each indicator value, subfield, and variable field (01X-88X). Some of the records contain an unusual number of fields and are longer than 9050 characters. This is a Library of Congress working file and does not contain records representing all bibliographic formats at this time. A particular element may be missing in any one type of record, but it will be represented in another type of record. Because the intent of format integration is to extend all data elements across all bibliographic forms of material, any data element will be valid in any type of record.

USMARC records for books, computer files, music, and visual materials will be included in this test file.

If a tape or diskette is required, requests for the test file should specify whether a 9-track tape reel, a tape cartridge, a 3.5" or a 5.25" diskette is desired and should be sent to the mail or Internet address given below.

To request the file by anonymous FTP, use this sequence of commands:

           (login) anonymous
           (password) your email address
           cd pub
           cd marc.test
USMARC Classification Format Test Records

The test records use the record format defined in the USMARC Format for Classification Data. There are two files with USMARC classification records for classification numbers and captions in the subclasses HA through HC (Statistics, Economic Theory, Economic History). These are the USMARC records themselves and does not include any software for display or manipulation of the data. They were created using software called Minaret and were exported into a USMARC communications format. These are intended to be test records, for experimentation only.



These are schedule records (coded "a" in 008/06 Type of record). There are between 1,376 of these.


These are table records (coded "b" in 008/06 Type of record). There are 638 of these. These include only those tables referenced in the schedule records.

           (login) anonymous
           (password) your email address
           cd pub
           cd marc.test
           get class.test
           get table.test


Cataloging Service Bulletin, no. 65, Summer 1994
Cataloging Service Bulletin, no. 66, Fall 1994
Library of Congress Rule Interpretations, 1994, Update No. 3

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 protected] (eMail), (202) 707-5831 (voice), or (202)707-6629 (fax). Listowner: David Williamson. Address subscription inquiries to the listowner at [email protected]

LC CATALOGING NEWSLINE is available in electronic form only and is free of charge. To subscribe, send a mail message to [email protected] with the text: subscribe lccn [firstname lastname]. Back issues of LCCN are available through the listserver. To find out what is available, send a mail message to [email protected] with the text: index lccn. To get a specific file, send a mail message to [email protected] with the text: get lccn [filename].

All materials in the newsletter are in the public domain and may be reproduced, reprinted, and/or redistributed as desired. Citation to the source is requested.

LC Cataloging Newsline Home Page
Cataloging Directorate Home Page
Library of Congress Home Page
Library of Congress
Comments : [email protected] 07/05/00