Cataloger's Desktop Help


Cataloger's Desktop lets you do a wide range of searches including simple keyword search; Boolean search; browse search; use limits, facets, and filters, advanced search, as well as saved search. After login you are taken to a basic search page unless you've set Desktop to open on the Browse Contents page. (See Preference set up for information about setting your opening page.)

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What are Core resources?

Many Cataloger's Desktop subscribers prefer to use only the most widely used cataloging resoruces. Library of Congress staff surveyed Desktop subscribers and identified which resources are used most frequently. When you set the Search box or the Browse Contents view to display Core resources you will be consulting the following resources: Resource pull-down
  • AACR2: Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules
  • ALA-LC romanization tables
  • BIBCO Participants' Manual
  • Classification Web
  • CONSER Cataloging Manual (CCM)
  • CONSER editing guide (CEG)
  • CSM: Classification and Shelflisting Manual
  • DCM: Descriptive Cataloging Manual
  • DDC: WebDewey (OCLC)
  • LC Authorities
  • LC cutter table
  • LC Online Catalog
  • LCRI: LC Rule Interpretations
  • MARC 21 Format for Authority Data
  • MARC 21 Format for Bibliographic Data
  • MARC Code List for Countries
  • MARC Code List for Geographic Areas
  • MARC Code List for Languages
  • MARC Code List for Relators, Sources, Description Conventions
  • NACO Participants' Manual
  • RDA: Resource Description & Access
  • SACO Participants' Manual
  • SHM: Subject Headings Manual
You can change the resources you consult when searching or browsing resources at any time by changing the Resources pull-down box next to the Search button. If you wish to change the resources that you search or browse by default, select Preferences on the ribbon and change the default resource set there.  

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What are My resources?

Setting Cataloger's Desktop Preferences allows subscribers to establish which resources they prefer to consult routinely. If you prefer to define a collection of resources that you consult routinely, define your work profile in Preferences and then select My resources as your default search and browse collection. If you prefer to use a pre-defined set of the 25 most popular resources, select Core resources in Preferences.
You can change this search and browse collection to either Core resources or All resources at any time by selecting the pull-down box next to the Search box. When you change the search and browse collection by changing the pull-down box next to the Search box, this change only persists for your current work session. It will return to your default search and browse collection the next time you open Cataloger's Desktop. Resource pull-down

Refine your search

The search results screen allows you to refine your search by employing one or more facets. On the left-hand side of the screen are several facet boxes labeled: Source Document, Cataloging task, Material type, Publisher, Resource type, Language, Country, and New resources.

The Source Document box allows you to limit your search by cataloging resource. Each resource in this box has one or more search hits, with the number of hits noted in parentheses after the resource title.

The Cataloging task box allows you to limit your search by cataloging resources that are relevant for a specific type of cataloging activity. Each task in this box has one or more search hits, with the number of hits noted in parentheses after the task.

The Material type box allows you to limit your search by the type of resource you are cataloging. Each material type in this box has one or more search hits, with the number of hits noted in parentheses after the material type.

The Publisher box allows you to limit your search by the resource publisher or provider. Each publisher in this box has one or more search hits, with the number of hits noted in parentheses after the publisher.

The Resource type box allows you to limit your search by the type of cataloging resource. Each resource type in this box has one or more search hits, with the number of hits noted in parentheses after the resource type.

The Language box allows you to limit your search to resources by language. Each language in this box has one or more search hits, with the number of hits noted in parentheses after the language.

The Country box allows you to limit your search to resources that are particularly relevant to a specific country. Each country in this box has one or more search hits, with the number of hits noted in parentheses after the country.

The New resources box allows you to limit your search to resources that have been either recently added or updates. Each date range in this box has one or more search hits, with the number of hits noted in parentheses after the date range.

Each facet box can be collapsed by clicking the collapse facet at the end of the facet title, or expanded by clicking the expand facet at the end of the facet title.

Selecting a facet will limit your search by the facet, in effect performing a and Boolean search. If you wish to remove a facet from your search, click the X icon at the right-end of the facet.

Remove facet by clicking the X

Refine your search

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Spelling correction

When you perform a keyword search in which one or more words may be misspelled, Desktop will carry out the search and return results (if any). If the search engine identifies one or more possible alternative spellings, it will suggest them with a the notation Did You Mean: . If you wish to re-run the search with the alternative spellings, simply click the word(s).

Spelling alternative

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Sort by ...

The Sort by pull-down allows you to chose the order in which you prefer your search results to be sorted. The default sort is the relevancy order based on search weighting built into the search engine. If you don't make a sort selection, the relevancy sort will be applied by default. You can choose to have your search results presented instead in alphabetical order of the results set's titles, or alternatively, in date order, with the most recently added or updated resources appearing first.

Sort by...

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Search Classification Web

Cataloger's Desktop's search engine will retrieve information from Classification Web, provided that you are a current subscriber to Class Web. Click here to subscribe to Classification Web LC-external website.

The following Classification Web resources are indexed in Cataloger's Desktop:

  • LCSH: LC Subject Headings
  • Children's SH: LC Children's Subject Headings
  • LCDGT: LC Demographic Group Terms
  • LCGFT: LC Genre/Form Terms
  • LCMPT: LC Medium of Performance Terms
  • LCC: LC Classification

Search Classification Web resources using the same discovery techniques as would be appropriate for any other Cataloger's Desktop resource. Desktop resource hits are filed under the Desktop Resources view tab just below the search box. Class Web resource hits are filed individually to the right of the Desktop Resources view tab. LC Classification hits are sorted in classification number order and can be further limited by LCC class or sub-class. All other Class Web resource hit lists are sorted alphabetically.

Class Web search result lists in Cataloger's Desktop represent partial headings, captions, or notes and should not be used to assign headings or class numbers without first referring to Classification Web. It is very important that you follow the (View details in Classification Web) link to Classification Web to see the full hit.

BT = Broader Term; UF = Use For

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Search weighting

Cataloger's Desktop's search engine retrieves and sorts information a variety of ways. The intent is to provide the most useful information first in the search results list, with less relevent materials appearing lower on the list.

The following steps are taken to achieve the outcome that the most relevant resources appear first:

  • Resources with the largest audience and the widest applicability (e.g. MARC 21 formats, Subject Headings Manual, RDA, AACR2, LC-PCC PS, LCRIs) are weighted ahead of resources with narrower audiences or more narrow applicability.
  • Hits in the title of the section of the resource are weighted higher than hits in the resource description or citation.
  • Hits in the resource's publisher are weighted lower.
  • Keyword hits elsewhere in the resource receive no weighting boost.

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Results / page

The Results / page pull-down allows you to specify how many hits you prefer to see when you perform a search. The default number of search hits displayed is 10, but you can change that number to 20, 50, or 100. You can also change the default number of search hits displayed in your Preferences.

Results per page

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Search FAQs

Search techniques

Q: I know the AACR2 rule number and want to find related rules in RDA. Can I do that?
A: Yes. Just type the AACR2 rule number into the searchbox, enclose it in quotes (e.g., "1.1B1") and then click the Search button. All of the related RDA instructions will be retrieved. You may want to limit the search by selecting the checkbox next to RDA and/or LC-PCC PS.

Q: Can I search words close to one another. For example Cataloger and Judgement within 5 words?
A: You can search for terms close to one another, but you can not limit that search to specific proximity parameters (such as 'within 5 words')

Q: Can I search with wildcard symbols (like an asterisk)?
A: Yes the asterisk wildcard is supported.

Q: Is there a limit on the number searches I can save?
A: There is not a hard limit, but you will find them less useful if you save large numbers of searches.

Q: If I don't choose a resource in Contents, what am I searching?
A: Cataloger's Desktop defaults to "Core resources" unless you change it.

Q: I would like to limit my search to a single document. How can I do that?
A: The quickest way is to select (click or check) the checkbox on the left-hand end of the document's Contents view. You can choose 1 or more subsections of the document by expanding the top level listing and then selecting each section that you want to search.

Q: Are my preferred resources searched if I use the search box (assuming that I haven't selected some other subset?)
A: Yes, if you set that as your default resource set. If you don't set it as your default resource set, then you will search the Core resource set.

Q: Should I always use quotes when searching?
A: You can enclose more than a single keyword in quotes if you want to do a 'phrase' search, that is to say, all of the words searched together in sequence.

Q: Will Desktop retrieve catalog if I search catalogue?
A: Yes. Desktop knows equivalent American, Australian, British, and Canadian spellings. Desktop also knows equivalent terms, such as the American "period" versus the British "full stop."

Q: With the catalog/catalogue, period/"full stop" searches, does it work in reverse? That is, if I search catalogue or period, will it retrieve the same number of hits as catalog and "full stop" respectively?
A: Yes, Desktop uses several different thesauri to establish bi-directional linguistic equivalents. If you are aware of additional instances that should be added to Desktop's dictionary, please email Bruce Johnson to have it added.

Q: The search looks like it treats the words accompanying and material separately even though I had them in quotes in the search.
A: It DID find all instances of either word within a document, but it's only retrieving documents that have these words in sequence.

Search - What resource you're searching

Q: Can I search by MARC tag or MARC code?
A: Yes. Use the Advanced Search menu.

Q: If I enter a search and I'm unsure what resource has the answer, should I select All resources in the pull-down next to the search box before executing the search?
A: Yes.

Search - Interface questions

Q: Do the search results (hits) appear in the hit list in alphabetical order of the resource title?
A: No. Desktop employs search weighting, giving certain very important resources (like the MARC formats, the Subject Headings Manual, RDA, and the LC-PCC PSs) higher relevancy ranking as compared to more specialized or narrowly-focused audience resources.

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