Online Newsletter of the Cataloging Directorate, Library of Congress

Volume 3, no. 1 ISSN 1066-8829 January 1, 1995


Cooperative Cataloging Council Meeting
Cooperative Cataloging and Library Vendor Fair
LC Task Force for the Digital Library
NLC and LC Name Authority Practices
BEAT Annual Report
Foreign MARC Resource Files
Family Names


At a meeting at the Library of Congress on November 17, the Cooperative Cataloging Council (CCC) completed its work and prepared for the transition to the Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC). Some of the key topics covered at the meeting are noted below.

Training Program

A key aspect of this training program is the goal of changing the culture and values of cataloging. It places an emphasis on cataloger judgment and decision-making and interaction between catalogers and trainers. The PCC will be instrumental in sponsoring and publicizing such training, overseeing the preparation of documentation, and assisting with institutional training.

Core Record

Staff of Cornell University and the University of California, Los Angeles will conduct a pilot projects on the core record for monographs to establish the cost effectiveness of the core record.

Executive Council

The CCC appointed a nominating committee composed of the three permanent PCC executive members to identify institutions for the rotating representatives to the Executive Council. Elections for these slots will be held in January. Two operational advisors (Margaret Shen, Cleveland Public Library, and Marty Joachim, Indiana University, Bloomington) were also appointed to the council.

Reports of the Task Groups

The CCC task groups have completed their charges and submitted their reports. Recommendations contained in these reports will be analyzed to determine which can be decided at the next meeting and which should be referred to one of the three new standing committees (automation, training, or standards) or to other affected groups to be appointed shortly.

The new PCC Executive Council will formally take over from the CCC and begin its work at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in February 1995.


On November 18 the Cooperative Cataloging Council (CCC) and its Automation Task Group met with library service vendors at the Library of Congress to brief the vendors on the Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC) and its automation requirements. During the morning session over 100 persons, including 41 representatives from 31 vendor organizations, heard presentations and saw demonstrations of new library technologies such as Harvard's DOS-based technical services workstation using windows, macros, and pop-up files; Northwestern University's machine-generated authority records; LC's Text Capture and Electronic Conversion (TCEC) (described above); Cataloging Distribution Service's Cataloger's Desktop; LC's version of online LC classification; and the Library's implementation of the Z39.50 client server.

During the afternoon session Sarah Thomas, CCC chair, and Michael Kaplan, chair, Automation Task Group, led a strategic discussion on the goals of the PCC and the role that vendors might play in improving systems and services to libraries, thereby enabling those libraries to make more and better cataloging available at lower cost. Brainstorming produced the identification of three areas of functionality as top priority for vendor attention: Data manipulation (cut/paste, macros); more sophisticated analysis of data features; and global update of data in all types of modules. The Automation Task Group also will focus its next investigations on these priorities. All present concluded that this meeting marked the beginning of an important dialogue and that this collaborative initiative should be continued.


Laura Campbell, director of Library Distribution Services, Constituent Services, is leading a Library-wide task force of eleven staff members detailed for six months to formulate the underpinnings of the Library's nascent National Digital Library Program. The task force will study and make recommendations on both the electronic conversion of the Library's materials in a wide variety of formats and the subsequent accessibility and delivery of the converted collections.

Four staff of the American Memory Program, which served as bellwether for the digitization effort, will complement the task force's ranks. Collection Services members are Larry Dixson, Network Development and MARC Standards Office, and Beth Davis- Brown, representing the Cataloging Directorate.


On September 29 and 30 the National Library of Canada hosted a joint meeting with representatives from the Library of Congress to address mutual interests in an Anglo-American authority file in cooperation with the British Library. The specific objectives of the meeting were to identify and assess differences in cataloging practice for name headings; to investigate achieving harmonization in AACR 2 rule interpretations and in MARC formats for name authorities; to inform each other of respective practices in establishing name authorities; and to exchange information about respective system capabilities and discuss the systems implications of establishing an Anglo-American authority file. Among the topics the group discussed were "division of the world" (names vs. subjects); cross references; uniform titles; personal, corporate, conference, and geographic names; and AACR 2-compatible headings. Noted for each topic was whether the practices are already in agreement or whether there are differences that need further investigation before a decision can be reached to resolve them. Future work will include consideration of a policies convergence agreement reflecting similar concerns between the British Library and LC.


The 1994 annual report of the Bibliographic Enrichment Advisory Team (BEAT) is available on the World Wide Web. Anyone with a web browser (such as Lynx, Mosaic, or WebExplorer) can read this document by pointing their browser to:

BEAT is involved in several projects involving the conversion of the LC Classification Schedules to electronic form, adding access vocabulary of relevance to small business and entrepreneurship to Library of Congress Subject Headings, including summaries in selected serial records, including tables of contents in selected book records, and continuing work in the electronic CIP experiment. Other research and development efforts are continuing with encouraging results, such as linking the bibliographic record with the table of contents (by using the 856 field) when the table of contents is contained in a file on the World Wide Web.


In an effort to increase potential sources of cataloging copy LC is reviewing foreign MARC records in its resource files. To examine the workflow issues related to the use of these external source records, the Library is also conducting an experiment in using them. One of the objectives is to formulate guidelines for evaluating foreign MARC records. Proposed so far as areas to examine are adherence to ISBD; the presence of certain fields, including at a minimum the 245, 260 and, 300 fields; fields that would be desirable to delete, such as the 856 field; fields LC does not normally use but that could be "passed through," such as the 015, national bibliography number, field; fields that contain foreign language data, such as notes and illustration statements; how to handle such fields and what the implications for the 040 field might be; whether there are fields that should be retained initially because they are useful for LC's cataloging and deleted later; fields that must always be examined by a cataloger; fields consistently absent that have to be added by LC; and whether the changes that would be needed would be so numerous that foreign resource records would serve better as sources for information rather than as bases for LC cataloging records. Samples of French, German, and Japanese records have been examined for the quality of their data. Not yet examined are currency of the data and whether procedures such as deletion of unwanted fields and translation of selected foreign text (e.g., in notes) can be accomplished through automation.


The Cataloging Policy and Support Office is reconsidering the Library's policy on the treatment of family names in cataloging. Currently, LC creates a subject authority record for the form of a family name that, after research, is deemed to be the most common form of that name. See references are made from variant spellings of the name identified during the research.

The change under consideration is to establish in the name authority file all family names following AACR 2 rules in the form found in the item being cataloged. Whether in the name or subject authority file, each authority record would be authorized for use as a main, added, or subject entry.

Reasons supporting LC's current policy include: (1) variant spellings of family names are common and pose a significant problem in doing genealogical research (e.g., Zimmerman vs. Zimmermann); (2) using one form of a family name assists the researcher by bringing together works about that family regardless of the spelling of the family name chosen by the author of a particular work; (3) the researcher is led to the form of name chosen for the heading by numerous see references from all of the variant spellings found in the research done to identify the most common form of the family name.

Reasons given for changing the policy include: (1) many libraries with genealogy or manuscript collections prefer to have the subject heading assigned to a work reflect the spelling of the family name used by the author of the work; (2) some library users are offended that the spelling of the family name that they use exists as a see reference rather than as an authorized heading; (3) many libraries do not make see references; (4) manuscripts catalogers follow the cataloging rules found in Archives, Personal Papers, and Manuscripts, compiled by Steven Henson, which permits main entry headings under family names; (5) reference librarians must instruct researchers in library policy for handling family names in catalogs.

LC would need to consider the following, if it were to change the existing policy:

(1) Impact on workload. Cancelling authority records from the subject authority file would be extremely time consuming. In addition, catalogers would be called upon to establish numerous authority records in the name authority file as a result of a change in policy; subject catalogers would need to assign more family name headings for applicable variant spellings to some of the books they catalog;

(2) Impact on products. CDS has prepared and published a product incorporating all of LC's family name headings. This product would be made out-of-date by the change in policy. The size of LCSH would change significantly either by adding thousands of additional headings or by cancelling all family name headings currently included.

LC would be interested in having comments on this proposal.

Please send your comments to

                 Barbara B. Tillett
                 Chief, Cataloging Policy and Support Office
                 Library of Congress
                 Washington, DC 20540-4305
[email protected]

Comments should reach CPSO no later than March 1, 1995.

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]

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