LC Cataloging Newsline

Online Newsletter of the Cataloging Directorate, Library of Congress

Volume 6, No. 10, ISSN 1066-8829, August 1998

Geographic Area Code
Web FAQ for Cataloging at LC
Czech-Language Materials
Library of Congress Classification Schedules H-HJ and J-JV
Digital Table of Contents (TOC) Project
Retrospective Conversion of Incunabula Records
National Register of Microform Masters Reconversion Project
New Issue of CONSERLine

Geographic Area Code

In March 1998 the Network Development and MARC Standards Office (NDMSO) announced the 1998 edition of the USMARC Code List for Geographic Areas (cf: Major changes since the previous (1994) edition include changed codes for the former Soviet republics and a changed code for Hong Kong. The detailed changes are given below for your convenience.

The Library of Congress has determined that these new/changed codes will not be added to its current automated system. This means LC will not implement these new/changed codes until after implementation of its integrated library system. Therefore, LC staff, including those working in external systems, are asked not to use the new/changed codes but to continue to use the now obsolete codes until further notice. When these new/changed codes occur in records imported from external files into MUMS files with active input/update systems, they will generate error messages. LC policy is to change the new/changed codes back to their old counterparts.

Detailed list of changes

1.   Additions of new codes:

          New code       Jurisdiction

          a-cc-ha        Hainan Province (China)
          a-cc-tn        Tientsin (China)

2.   Changed codes

          New code       Jurisdiction             Obsolete code

          a-ai           Armenia (Republic)       e-ur-ai
          a-aj           Azerbaijan               e-ur-aj
          a-cc-hk        Hong Kong (China)        a-hk  (Hong Kong)
          a-gs           Georgia (Republic)       e-ur-gs
          a-kg           Kyrgyzstan               e-ur-kg
          a-kz           Kazakhstan               e-ur-kz
          a-ta           Tajikistan               e-ur-ta
          a-tk           Turkmenistan             e-ur-tk
          a-uz           Uzbekistan               e-ur-uz
          e-bw           Belarus                  e-ur-bw
          e-er           Estonia                  e-ur-er
          e-li           Lithuania                e-ur-li
          e-lv           Latvia                   e-ur-lv
          e-mv           Moldova                  e-ur-mv
          e-ru           Russia (Federation)      e-ur-ru
          e-un           Ukraine                  e-ur-un


John Byrum (chief, Regional and Cooperative Cataloging Division) and Ann Sandberg-Fox (cataloging consultant/trainer, Fairfax, Vermont) are the authors of "From ISBD(CF) to ISBD(ER): Process, Policy, and Provisions." This article, which appears in the April 1998 issue of Library Resources & Technical Services, p. 89-101, provides a detailed review of the newly published International Standard Bibliographic Description for Electronic Resources and points to areas in AACR2 that are affected by changes introduced by ISBD(ER).

Web FAQ for Cataloging at LC

A frequently asked questions (FAQ) web page on "Cataloging at the Library of Congress" ( was recently developed as part of a broad effort to provide general information to users of LC's web site. A navigational page includes the cataloging FAQ along with thirteen other FAQs that fall under the following categories: general information about LC, Internet and digital services, library services, and special programs and services ( The cataloging FAQ comprises more than twenty questions and answers geared to the general user, covering a wide range of cataloging topics. It was developed by Bill Anderson, Serial Record Division, with assistance from Susan Morris and David Williamson (both from the Office of the Director for Cataloging). Below is a sampling of the questions.

Czech-Language Materials

The Program for Cooperative Cataloging announces BIBCO member Indiana University, Bloomington has initiated a program to provide national-level records for Czech-language publications, a major body of East European publishing. This initiative resulted from the recent appearance in OCLC of records from the National Library of the Czech Republic (OCLC symbol: LGP) and has prompted the Indiana University Libraries to re-examine how it handles Czech-language materials.

Indiana University, Bloomington collects heavily in Czech and Slovak studies; creates or upgrades existing OCLC records to Program for Cooperative Cataloging BIBCO (national-level) status, and creates the matching authority records; and has depth of Czech-language cataloging expertise.

As a result the libraries decided to mainstream almost all Czech-language material and to include them in the standard BIBCO processing.

Some details of this project:

Questions about this project may be directed to Michael Kaplan, Director of Technical Services, Indiana University Libraries ([email protected]).

Library of Congress Classification Schedules H-HJ and J-JV

A thorough revision of major portions of the H and J classification schedules was recently completed. Started in 1993 as an initiative of the Bibliographic Enrichment Advisory Team (BEAT), the work was done primarily by the Business and Economics Team, Social Sciences Cataloging Division, with help from other staff of the Social Sciences Cataloging Division and the Cataloging Policy and Support Office. Nearly seven hundred pages were revised, including subclasses J-JV (Political science) and H-HJ (Economics). Resources provided by BEAT were critical to the success of this undertaking, which could serve as a prototype for other portions of the LC classification in need of revision.

As a result of this project, the J classification schedule and subclasses H through HJ are more compact and clearer. Form and chronological subarrangements have been standardized. Geographic lists have been expanded and updated. Complex subarrangements have been simplified. Overlapping or difficult to distinguish topics have been consolidated, and notes have been added to clarify usage.

Topical captions were revised to reflect LCSH terminology. As a corollary project, class numbers have been added to the subject authority records in the 053 field. This should boost cataloging efficiency by providing the class number that is associated with a specific subject heading. The addition of classification numbers on authority records is especially useful for catalogers using Classification Plus, a product of the Cataloging Distribution Service. Classification Plus contains the electronic versions of LCSH and LC Classification with hot links between these two tools.

Digital Tables of Contents (TOC) Project

The Bibliographic Enrichment Advisory Team (BEAT) initiated a project in early 1997 to investigate the economic and technical feasibility of using the World Wide Web to link MARC bibliographic records for selected business books represented in the LC catalogs to tables of contents (TOC) data for those works.

As a pilot, this project concentrated on printed monographic publications in the fields of business and economics (particularly, the areas of small business and entrepreneurship) with the expectation that techniques developed by the project could be extended to other materials, resources permitting. The project itself continued a small research and development experiment completed in summer 1997 that developed workflow and automated processes for a pilot that began in late autumn and continued into early 1998. The pilot sought to determine if the results obtained in the earlier prototype could be duplicated in an environment that more closely reflects actual production conditions in LC's Cataloging Directorate. The results of that pilot were sufficiently promising that the Library has moved into a limited production mode.

In brief, the project creates TOC data from surrogates of the TOC, and by scanning and optical character recognition (OCR) as well as original programming written by project staff, materials are subsequently HTML-encoded and placed on a server at the Library. In the process the associated MARC records are also modified and links to the TOC data are inserted, using the 856 field as a pointer to the TOC file on the web server. The operations are largely automated and use off-the-shelf desktop computers and scanning equipment and conventional software, supplemented with the applications programs developed by Library staff.

In addition, HTML meta-tags containing key words and other index terms are also being encoded in the TOC files, so that a general web search can also result in a user finding a TOC file, and through the links built into the TOC file, being pointed to the bibliographic record. Both the MARC records and the linked TOC data may be viewed through a web browser by accessing any of three of the Library's online catalog access options, available at URL:

The Library has recently agreed to expand the subject coverage of materials to include other areas in which BEAT has also sponsored projects. Among others, these may include computer science, technology, and economics.

The Digital TOC Project has generally been meeting its original target of making available data for approximately one hundred TOC a month. In the production mode the Library has placed approximately five hundred files on the web server.

Retrospective Conversion of Incunabula Records

The Library of Congress collections include approximately 5,700 incunabula, the largest assemblage of fifteenth-century European printed books in the Western Hemisphere. Until recently, however, access to this material was limited because only 3,000 had been cataloged but relatively few of those had online records. Two recent projects, one in the Cataloging Policy and Support Office (CPSO) and one in the Rare Book Cataloging Team of the Special Materials Cataloging Division (SMCD), have been initiated to convert to machine-readable form manual cards for incunabula held by the Library of Congress.

The CPSO project is focused on creating MARC records for approximately 500 canon and Roman law titles held by the Law Library and the Rare Book and Special Collections Division. The development of the LC classification schedule for canon law prompted the selection of this group of incunabula. By May 1998, MARC records had been created for all five hundred titles, and one hundred twenty-seven had been completely revised. Revision of the remaining records is expected to be complete by the end of the summer.

A distinctive feature of these records is the use of two 050 fields: the first containing the appropriate K classification number and the second containing the "Incun" shelf number and custodial information. In conjunction with the addition of new classification numbers, all subject headings are being reviewed and updated and a 655 field using the LCSH term "Incunabula" is being added.

The SMCD project will provide MARC records for the approximately 2,500 remaining manual incunabula records. The records are being created in the PREMARC file (LC's local retrospective file) and replicate the information on the manual cards. However, obvious errors are being corrected, some information is being standardized, and all title information represented by contractions is being supplied in full to improve accessibility. In addition, all copies for each title held by the Library are being recorded to create a complete inventory of holdings. This project is expected to be finished by the end of 1998.

Once these retrospective conversion projects are complete, SMCD will begin to catalog the remaining 2,700 uncataloged incunabula.

National Register of Microform Masters Conversion Project

For more than a decade, the Library of Congress (LC) and the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) have cooperated in a project that created 579,556 online records for the monographic and serial preservation microform masters that were listed in the National Register of Microform Masters (NRMM) published by LC from reports submitted by libraries, microform publishers, and other institutions through 1984. These projects have been funded by grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. In December 1997 the final steps in this retrospective conversion were completed. The NRMM reports are now available online in the OCLC and RLIN databases and are accessible to preservation departments and the broadest possible community of national and international scholars.

The NRMM machine-readable records were created according to national standards for national and international distribution. These represent 536,784 monographs in roman alphabet languages, 12,953 monographs in non-roman script languages, 7,083 musical scores, and 22,736 serials. The titles described by NRMM reports represent more than two hundred languages, with over forty percent of the reports in languages other than English, concentrating primarily in Western European languages. All other foreign languages make up about ten percent. Chinese, Japanese, and Korean reports were not converted by the project.

An aspect of this project is that the online records describe titles held by more than two hundred thirty contributing institutions. The Library of Congress (the largest noncommercial producer of microfilm), the New York Public Library, Harvard University Libraries and several ARL libraries played dominant roles in contributing to the NRMM. Among microform publishers, University Microfilms International, General Microfilm Company, and Research Publications were major contributors. LC's primary responsibility in the project was the establishment of a quality assurance program. The initial bibliographic specifications were an important impetus for developing ARL's Guidelines for Bibliographic Records for Preservation Microform Masters in 1990. Since then, the guidelines have served as the project's bibliographic standards. LC was also responsible for creating and holding the microfilm security copy of the master file and for distribution of project records.

The February 1998 issue of Association of Research Libraries Newsletter features an article on the project that is also available on the ARL web site (URL: An ARL web page, (URL:, describes the scope and content of the project and provides detailed information on the NRMM reports that were converted and on the categories of reports that could not be processed.


The CONSER Program announced the publication of the 12th issue of its newsletter, CONSERline, published in July 1998 with the following contents:

CONSER Celebrates 25 Years CONSER Announces New Training Initiative Providing Access to Journals in Full Text Databases Update on AACR2 Revision Process CONSER Operations Committee meets at LC

This issue is available on the web at URL

For additional issues, go to the CONSERline home page URL

To subscribe to the email version of CONSERline, send to [email protected] the message SUBSCRIBE CONSRLIN Your Name.

LC CATALOGING NEWSLINE (ISSN 1066-8829) is published irregularly by the Cataloging Directorate, Library 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: William Anderson, John Byrum, Roselyne Chang, Janice Herd, Angela Kinney, Albert Kohlmeier, John Mitchell, Mary Louise Mitchell, Susan Morris, Geraldine Ostrove, David Smith, Linda Stubbs, 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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