Online Newsletter of the Cataloging Directorate, Library of Congress

Volume 2, no. 9, ISSN 1066-8829, December 1, 1994


Highlights from the 1994 Annual Report
Cooperative Cataloging Programs in Fiscal Year 1994
NACO Hebraica Funnel
Series Authority Class


Sarah E. Thomas recently issued her report as Director for Cataloging covering fiscal year 1994 that ended September 30. Below are highlights excerpted from that report.


Despite a reduction in staff due to budgetary constraints, staff cataloged a record 279,809 titles, 13,000 more than the previous record year in 1992, and over 110,000 more than were cataloged in 1982.

The directorate established twin goals of staying current with incoming receipts and reducing the historical arrearage. Divisions focussed on work completed exceeding receipts, with the result that the directorate received 327,545 items for cataloging and completed 337,171.

Copy Cataloging

Perhaps the single biggest factor in increasing the production was LC's broad-scale introduction of copy cataloging, the practice of adapting bibliographic records created by librarians outside the Library for internal use. Copy cataloging has shot up from a mere 1,800 titles in FY 91 to more than 45,000 in FY 94.

Arrearage Reduction

A SWAT team concentrating on materials in English, French, and Italian in the arrearage had cataloged over 7,000 titles, double "normal" production. A Hungarian SWAT team eliminated the entire backlog of Hungarian titles in only 90 days, and an Arabic SWAT team processed almost 5,000 items by the end of the fiscal year. Another team, made up of 5 catalogers from various divisions and one from the Rare Books and Special Collections Division, eliminated almost 100,000 pamphlet items in 3 months and left a well-organized collection in its wake.

Cooperative Projects

Another creative approach to increasing the number of titles cataloged was to coordinate cataloging with other libraries. In one, LC gives priority to Mexican imprints, while Princeton University assigns priority treatment to Italian titles, thus conserving the resources on LC's romance languages teams with the goal of processing 7,000 titles at substantially reduced cost and with increased throughput, since the Library will do original cataloging on only 3,500, rather than 7,000 items. A project with Harvard University differs in that Harvard and LC are cooperating in the cataloging of materials in LC's respective German arrearage. Titles held in common by the two libraries are divided and cataloged, with the result that LC's German language teams bear only half the load, and titles can be cataloged with dispatch.

The Program for Cooperative Cataloging gained momentum, with a major recruitment effort bringing in over 35 additional ARL members wishing to participate and numerous other libraries. With the endorsement of a core bibliographic record for monographs, the PCC made noteworthy progress toward a standard record that would feature access points under authority control and essential data elements that would lead to more cost-effective cataloging. Authority contributions to NACO are up by 6% and bibliographic record contributions increased by 98%. As the 36 libraries trained this year move to independence, the Library can expect to see even more dramatic increases.

Both the National Library of Canada and the British Library are cooperating with the Library to reduce the number of inconsistencies in cataloging practice, making record sharing easier, and in reviewing differences in the various versions of the MARC format used for communicating the bibliographic records. The British Library began contributing personal name authority records to what has been renamed the Anglo-American Authority File.

Bibliographic Workstations

The bibliographic workstations (BWS) being installed throughout the Cataloging Directorate have provided a powerful means of connectivity, multitasking, cutting and pasting, macro use, and other features that are revolutionizing cataloging. The many labor-saving programs available through the BWS increased productivity for certain phases of cataloging by as much as 25% and reduced some clerical aspects of cataloging.


The BWS played a key role in the pilot Electronic Cataloging in Publication program and in the text capture and electronic conversion (TCEC) initiative led by the Bibliographic Enrichment Advisory Team. In 1993, LC initiated a research and development project to test the feasibility of transmission of electronic manuscripts over the Internet in lieu of mailing the printed galleys. The University of Arizona Press, the University of New Mexico Press, the University of South Carolina Press, the University of Tennessee, and HarperCollins sent over 75 texts in electronic format to LC for cataloging in the CIP program. TCEC enables the Library to include tables of contents in bibliographic records and to modify rapidly source copy obtained through searching over the Internet.

Staff in the Cataloging Policy and Support Office made progress in the online conversion of the LC classification schedules to MARC records. About half the schedules have been converted and incorporated into a single database using the USMARC format for classification.

Decimal Classification

The Decimal Classification Division, at over seventy years the oldest of the directorate's outreach programs, added Dewey numbers to over 115,000 records, an increase of 3,000 over FY 93, and the editorial team completed work on the schedules and tables for Dewey's Edition 21, to be published in 1996.


One of the few and one of the most crucial appointments made in this year was that of the chief of the Cataloging Policy and Support Office with Barbara Tillett filling the vacancy left by the retirement of Ben Tucker two years' previous. Susan Vita assumed responsibility for managing the Special Materials Cataloging Division in May to tackle the enormous sound recordings arrearage along with a number of other challenges.


The monographic cooperative cataloging programs coordinated by the Regional and Cooperative Cataloging Division contributed to numerous successful accomplishments both nationally and internationally. The staff of the Cooperative Cataloging Teams invested significant time and effort to attain record achievements in Name Authority Cooperative Program (NACO) library expansion, international library cooperation, innovative cooperative projects, documentation contributions and improvements, and continuous NACO and Subject Authority Cooperative Program (SACO) training enhancements. Total participation increased to 140 institutions, an increase of 36 over the previous fiscal year, a record high. The number of NACO funnel projects doubled in FY 94; funnel projects provide for joint ventures of several institutions to contribute to cooperative programs through one coordinating institution, thereby pooling resources and sharing information.

Despite staffing shortages, the catalogers on the Cooperative Cataloging Teams conducted 21 separate NACO training classes (over 50% in the last quarter of the fiscal year). True cooperation was achieved through the NACO institutions' willingness to pay for half of the trainer's travel expenses. Representatives from two cooperating institutions participated as observers during NACO training sessions in September, leading the way for those observers to conduct eventually sessions on their own. Several newly trained NACO participants attained independence in record time this year. The cooperative cataloging staff also developed a pre-training package of information for future NACO institutions to introduce them to the program and its benefits; the NACO Participants' Manual was published for the benefit of all NACO institutions; and, the NACO training outline and training materials have been revised on an ongoing basis.

SACO activities focused on training new libraries to submit subject proposals through the online subject proposal form on MARVEL, eliminating backlogs of proposals, collaborating with the Cataloging Policy and Support Office (CPSO) to streamline and clarify procedures for handling cooperative proposals, developing guidelines for SACO membership, creating new and revised online versions of the manual subject proposal and change forms to be mounted on MARVEL, developing help screens to be used in conjunction with these online forms, and working toward future expansion of SACO.

In the international cooperation arena, cooperative cataloging achieved two major milestones this year: the contribution of more than 3,000 personal name authority records to the name authority file from the British Library and the inclusion of subject heading proposals from the National Library of Canada to LCSH. Both these national libraries are continuing their dialogue with LC in an effort to bring about greater cooperation. Other highlights include a visit to LC from a representative of the National Library of Australia and visits to Great Britain and Canada by members of the International Cooperative Program group.

The Cooperative Cataloging Council (CCC) continued into its second year of operation, concentrating on the transition to the (PCC), the establishment of a governance structure for the program, and the expansion of the work done by the seven original task groups. The reports of these task groups laid the groundwork for the formation of the PCC by setting a standard for program bibliographic records, now known as the core record, and suggesting a means for the efficient production and dissemination of all program records, including authorities. The Library of Congress will function as the Secretariat and it is expected that this role will primarily be carried out by the Regional and Cooperative Cataloging Division and the Cooperative Cataloging Teams.


October 2-7, 1994, marked the beginning of a cooperative cataloging project relating to Hebraica and Judaica librarianship as catalogers from nine major Judaica libraries met in New York City at the Jewish Theological Seminary and the New York Public Library for formal NACO training. Participants were taught the details of creation and revision of records in the National Authority File and learned procedures for submitting new and revised LC subject heading proposals. The training covered the USMARC authority format, AACR 2 1988, the LCRIs, and the Hebraica Cataloging Manual (by Paul Maher of LC) as applied to the cataloging of Hebraica. Use was also made of a workbook for establishing Hebrew and Yiddish personal names, consisting of 133 examples of name authorities compiled by Joan Biella of LC.

Brandeis University Libraries and the Lucius N. Littauer Foundation provided generous support for the project.

The first funnel record (nr94-33898) was submitted on October 11, 1994, by Gratz College. Since that time additional headings have been flowing through the funnel coordinator and into the national authority file.


Judy Kuhagen, Senior Cataloging Policy Specialist, CPSO, developed and conducted a series authority course at the Library of Congress November 30-December 2 for catalogers from eight NACO libraries, the cooperative cataloging liaisons, and additional Library of Congress catalogers. The course achieved the goals 1) to train NACO libraries in series authority procedures to prepare them for the contribution of series authority records to the National Authority File; 2) to prepare LC catalogers in their role as liaisons to the cooperating libraries; and 3) to develop a training module for the Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC) BIBCO program. The course covered AACR 2, LCRIs, the authorities format, and related LC documentation.

Participants from NACO libraries included Sherman Clarke, Amon Carter Museum Library; Carroll Davis, Columbia University; Louis Becker, New York Public Library; John Sluk, Oberlin College; Noelle VanPulis, Ohio State University; Arline Zuckerman, University of California, Los Angeles; Susan L. Tsui, University of Dayton; and Stephen Hearn, University of Minnesota.

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