Library of Congress

Program for Cooperative Cataloging

The Library of Congress > Cataloging, Acquisitions > PCC > NACO > About > NACO Parameters

The following is a brief outline of the seven fundamental parameters within which all NACO participants agree to work. The underlying principle of the NACO Program is that participants agree to follow a common set of standards and guidelines when creating or changing authority records in order to maintain the integrity of a large shared authority file. During NACO training, these guidelines are discussed and built upon with an ever growing awareness of the need to streamline efforts while building a consistent and predictable file that will reduce the efforts of the global library community and maximize its resources.


A basic principle of NACO is that all authority contributions are to be formulated using the following documentation:

  • RDA: Resource Description & Access
  • LC-PCC Policy Statments for RDA: Resource Description & Access
  • The MARC 21 Authority Format (including the supplements issued by the Library of Congress: LC Guidelines, and Descriptive Cataloging Manual (DCM) Z1)
  • The Library of Congress Subject Headings Manual (SHM) Instruction Sheet H 405


  • NACO participants may contribute new name authority records (NARs) and may make changes to existing authority records in the LC/NACO Authority File (LC/NAF), with some exceptions.
  • NACO libraries may contribute series authority records and music uniform title authority records only after completing the appropriate additional training. Information on joining the NACO-Music funnel project and a schedule of series training workshops are available on request from the Cooperative Cataloging team.
  • NACO libraries are not obligated to contribute all authorities generated by their cataloging or any one individual heading, except in the following cases:
    1. All bodies that are part of an established hierarchy; e.g., when establishing a body that is entered subordinately to its parent body, if an NAR for the parent body is not present in the LC/NAF, it must be established and contributed as well.
    2. All bodies referred through in cross references; e.g., if a heading is entered independently and a reference is given through a higher body, the higher body needs to be represented in the authority file as well, this may mean that the library will need to create an additional name authority in addition to the one the library needs to use in its catalog.
    3. All names and corporate bodies used in see also references (5XXs); e.g., when establishing a name for an author who uses a pseudonym, or a corporate heading representing an earlier and later change of name, the library will need to connect the headings by means of see-also's. In order to avoid blind references the participant will need to make sure that the corresponding heading is established.
    4. All headings under which uniform titles are entered; e.g., if an NAR for the uniform title Works is entered under an author who is not established in the LC/NAF, an NAR for the author must be contributed as well.
    5. Although NACO libraries are not required to contribute uniform title NARs, if one is contributed, all eligible elements must be represented in the LC/NAF as set out in LC Descriptive Cataloging Manual Z1, Introduction.


  • All headings in the LC/NAF are eligible to be changed by NACO participants.


  • The construction of the master file database utilized by the LC/NAF does not allow for online cancellation of authority records by participants or the bibliographic utilities. Therefore when candidates for deletion are identified (usually because of duplication) NACO participants are asked to forward requests for cancellation of NARs to their Library of Congress liaison.


  • In order that LC bibliographic records (as distributed by CDS) remain in synch with the LC/NAF, we ask that NACO participants notify their Library of Congress liaison to perform bibliographic file maintenance if these fall within the specified parameters listed in the Guidelines for reporting BFM. Upgrades or notification of needed changes to bibliographic records in the utilities because of these changes are determined by the specific utility membership policies.


  • Normalization is a program requirement that has been agreed to by all copy holding participants of the LC/NAF (LC, OCLC, and the BL) in order to detect duplicate records. This may affect how certain headings and cross references are formulated (e.g., libraries may need to create "non-unique" headings in order to avoid duplicates due to normalization or add certain references only to local files).


  • Libraries with large collections of literature often find that the presence of 053s (LC classification number for literary authors) on authority records are helpful in improving the efficacy of their workflow. NACO libraries, while not obligated, are encouraged to add 053s to their newly created authority records for literary authors by using the 053 request form found on the NACO Home Page.
  • In order to maintain the integrity of the LC Classification Schedules, 053s may be added without consultation with LC only if these class numbers have appeared on LC-issued records.

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