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Bicentennial Conference on	Bibliographic Control for the New Millennium: Confronting the Challenges of Networked 	Resources and the Web
sponsored by the Library of Congress Cataloging Directorate

Ann Huthwaite
Ann Huthwaite
Bibliographic Services Manager
Queensland University of Technology Library
Kelvin Grove Campus
Victoria Park Rd.
Kelvin Grove Qld 4059

AACR2 and Its Place in the Digital World: Near-term Revisions and Long-term Direction

About the presenter:

Ann Huthwaite is currently the Library Resource Services Manager at the Queensland University of Technology Library, where she is responsible for the cataloguing and acquisitions functions. She has been the Australian representative on the Joint Steering Committee for Revision of AACR (JSC) since 1994, and was appointed Chair of the Committee in 1999.

Ann has a long involvement with cataloguing in Australia. She has been a member of the Australian Committee on Cataloguing since 1992, and was that committee's representative on the ABN Standards Committee. She was a joint editor of Cataloguing Australia for several years, and convened the 13th National Cataloguing Conference in 1999. She has served on the executive of the Queensland Group of the ALIA Cataloguers' Section since 1987, generally as President of the Group.

Prior to her appointment at the Queensland University of Technology as the Cataloguing Librarian in 1989, Ann worked in various positions at the State Library of Queensland.

Ann holds a Bachelor of Arts degree and graduate diplomas in education and librarianship. She also holds a Master in Applied Science (Information Studies) from Charles Sturt University. The focus of her research for this degree was user interaction with the catalogue.

Full text of paper is available


The context in which cataloguing operates has changed significantly since AACR2 was first published. We have seen the emergence of new media and new modes of publication. Electronic documents are less stable and more difficult to define than their print counterparts. The ready availability of networked resources on the Internet has changed the way in which users obtain and use information. More stakeholders are involved in the provision of access to bibliographic resources. The ability of the current rules in AACR2 to adequately describe electronic resources has been called into question. The emphasis on the item in hand--the physical object--is considered inappropriate for cataloguing remote access electronic resources. The related class of materials concept has also been shown to be flawed. The proliferation of records for the same work is becoming confusing for users, particularly for serials published in different formats. The Joint Steering Committee for Revision of AACR (JSC) is acutely aware of the concerns expressed by the cataloguing community about the adequacy of the existing rules, and significant work has taken place in recent years to address these concerns. Work undertaken includes the organization in 1997 of the International Conference on Principles and Future Development of AACR. The relevancy of the rules in the online environment was a major focus. Principal outcomes included the commissioning of three reports: a logical analysis of the rules by Tom Delsey, using a data modeling technique; a report on seriality; and a proposal to revise Rule 0.24 to advance the primacy of intellectual content over physical format. Several initiatives are being pursued as a result, including a major revision of Chapter 12, a revision of Rule 0.24, an expanded introduction, and a new appendix defining major and minor changes. At the same time, a major revision of Chapter 9 has been in progress, to bring the rules into closer alignment with the International Standard for Bibliographic Description for Electronic Resources (ISBD(ER).

This paper will review progress on these developments, including the outcomes of the JSC meeting to be held in London in September, and will focus on the implications for the cataloguing of electronic resources. JSC is also considering suggestions for the reorganization of Part 1 of AACR2 according to ISBD areas. The first stage of a prototype has been developed to test the feasibility of the proposal. This paper will review progress to date, and will present the advantages and disadvantages of the proposed restructure.

Various possibilities for the long-term direction of AACR will be explored, bearing in mind that JSC members represent their constituent bodies, and decision-making takes place in a consultative environment. Future changes to the code will be in the hands of the Anglo-American cataloguing community, not a small group of individuals. The paper will also explore the relationship between AACR2 and metadata schemes. It will present the case that both sets of standards have a role to play, and that AACR will continue to be used for electronic resources of lasting value.

Lynne C. Howarth
Lynne C. Howarth, commentator Associate Professor and Dean
Faculty of Information and Studies
University of Toronto
140 St. George St.
Toronto, Ontario
MSS 3G6, Canada

B.A. (McMaster),
MLS, Ph.D. (Toronto)

About the commentator: Lynne Howarth completed her Ph.D in library and information science and was appointed to the Faculty of Information Studies, University of Toronto in 1990, becoming Dean in 1996. Prior to that she worked as Cataloguing Supervisor, then Systems Librarian at North York Public Library, and taught cataloguing and classification at McGill University (Montreal), and principles of information management at Ryerson Polytechnical University. Current teaching and research are focused on the creation and application of bibliographic tools and standards, organization and management of technical services, and knowledge management applications in private and public sector institutions. She was recently awarded a three-year grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada to develop a metadata-enabled web search prototype. She is a member of the IFLA Section on Cataloguing and chairs its Working Group on Metadata Schemes.

Full text of commentary is available

Library of Congress
December 21, 2000
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