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CaMMS Research & Publications Committee: Foundational Cataloging Resources

To promote awareness of the current status of research in cataloging and classification.

General Resources

Daniel N. Joudrey, Arlene G. Taylor, & David P. Miller. (2015). Introduction to Cataloging and Classification. 11th edition. Santa Barbara, CA: Libraries Unlimited. ISBN: 9781598848571

Lois Mai Chan & Athena Salaba. (2016). Cataloging and Classification: An Introduction. 4th edition. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN: 978144232495

Cataloger’s Desktop
Provides up-to-date electronic access to over 300 cataloging and metadata resources including guidelines from the Library of Congress, Program for Cooperative Cataloging, and OCLC; RDA and AACR2 (requires separate RDA Toolkit subscription); Classification Web and WebDewey (both require separate subscriptions); and many specialized resources by contributing libraries and library organizations. Contains hypertext links between resources, multiple search approaches, and customization options. Annual subscription models range from single user to discounted rates for increasing numbers of concurrent users. 

Available online Cataloger’s Desktop

Available to order Cataloging Distribution Service, Library of Congress


BIBFRAME (Bibliographic Framework Initiative)
Initiated by the Library of Congress, BIBFRAME uses a Linked Data model to provide a foundation for the future of bibliographic description, both on the web, and in the broader networked world. As such, developers are concentrating on creating a transition from MARC21 formats to the BIBFRAME model.

Available online BIBFRAME (Bibliographic Framework Initiative)

Descriptive Cataloging

RDA: Resource Description & Access
Designed for the digital world and an expanding universe of metadata users, RDA: Resource Description and Access is the current unified cataloging standard. Based on the conceptual models of FRBR (Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Data) and FRAD (Functional Requirements for Authority Data); contains links to PC-PCC Policy Statements and the full text of AACR2, among other cataloging resources.

Available through RDA Toolkit and in Cataloger’s Desktop

Available in print (2015 rev.) through ALA Editions

Library of Congress-Program for Cooperative Cataloging Policy Statements (LC-PCC PSs)
RDA policy interpretations representing LC and PCC practice (except where noted as solely LC practice.

Freely available as part of the RDA Toolkit, click on Resources tab. 

Available in Cataloger’s Desktop

Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules, 2d ed., 2002 revision, 2005 Update (AACR2)
International descriptive cataloging code, with rules governing: description; choice of entry; form of name, title, and series headings; and corresponding catalog references. Chapter 12 is used in conjunction with other chapters to catalog continuing resources (serials and integrating resources) in any format. Developed by Joint Steering Committee for Revision of AACR.

Available in loose-leaf: ALA Editions (978-0-8389-3555-2)

Available in Cataloger’s Desktop 

Available in RDA Toolkit

Library of Congress Rule Interpretations (LCRI)
United States companion to Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules, 2d ed., parallel in structure to it, with amplifications, explications, and additions. This, de facto, defined a common national descriptive cataloging practice. Developed by Library of Congress, Cataloging Policy and Support Office; no longer updated.

Available for free download Library of Congress Rule Interpretations (LCRI)

Available in Cataloger’s Desktop



Dewey Decimal Classification, DDC 23 (Dewey Decimal Classification & Relative Index), 23rd ed. (2011)

Available also in Abridged Edition 15 (2012)

Available in print

Available online Dewey Decimal Classification  

Available in Cataloger’s Desktop with subscriptions to both Cataloger’s Desktop and WebDewey​.

Library of Congress Classification

Available online at Classification Web

Available online through the LC Linked Data Service website

NLM (National Library of Medicine) Classification 2016
Developed by United States National Library of Medicine for the arrangement of library materials in the field of medicine and related sciences.

Available online NLM (National Library of Medicine) Classification 

Classification and Shelflisting Manual (2013)
Instructions for establishing and using classes in Library of Congress Classification. Developed and maintained by Library of Congress, Policy and Standards Division. Succeeds Subject Cataloging Manual: Shelflisting and Subject Cataloging Manual: Classification.

Available online Classification and Shelflisting Manual (with selected updates) for download

Available in Cataloger's Desktop

Available online Shelflisting Instruction Sheets Guide

Further information here



MARC (General)
United States standards for representation and exchange of bibliographic and related data in machine-readable form. Developed and maintained by Library of Congress, Network Development and MARC Standards Office. Additional information available online from the MARC21 home page:  Full and concise formats are available through the same links, with “concise” formats containing abridged descriptions of every data element, along with examples. Full and concise versions are identified in the header of each field description.

MARC 21 Format for Bibliographic Data, 1999 ed. (updated through 4/16)
MARC 21 Format for Authority Data, 1999 ed. (updated through 4/16)
MARC 21 Format for Classification Data, 2000 ed. (updated through 4/16)
MARC 21 Format for Holdings Data, 2000 ed. (updated through 4/16)
MARC 21 Format for Community Information, 2000 ed. (updated through 4/16)
Available in Cataloger’s Desktop

MARC 21 Code Lists

MARC Code List for Countries, 2003 ed. (last updated 4/4/2008)
MARC Code List for Geographic Areas, 2006 ed. (last updated 4/7/2008)
MARC Code List for Languages, 2007 ed. (updated continuously)
MARC Code List for Relators
Source Codes for Vocabularies, Rules, and Schemes
MARC Code List for Organizations, 2000 ed.
The above code lists are also available in Cataloger’s Desktop

OCLC Bibliographic Formats & Standards

Available online OCLC Bibliographic Formats & Standards


Subject and Form/Genre Headings

Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH)
List of subject headings for all subjects, generally for larger research libraries. Developed and maintained by Library of Congress, Policy and Standards Division. LCSH has been actively maintained since 1898 to catalog materials held at the Library of Congress. 

Print-ready PDF editions issued annually. Available for free download

Available online in Classification Web

Available online through the Subject Authority Headings search on the LC Authorities website

Available online through the LC Subject headings search on the LC Linked Data Service website

Library of Congress Subject Headings Master Database
Available by FTP: Washington: Cataloging Distribution Service, Library of Congress. Weekly.

Children’s Subject Headings (CSH) List
List of subject headings for children’s literature. Developed and maintained by the Library of Congress’s Children’s and Young Adults’ Cataloging Program (CYAC), was known as Annotated Card Program (ACP). Machine-readable subject heading authority records are included in and distributed with the Library of Congress Subject Headings Master Database.

Available online Children’s Subject Headings (CSH) List

Available online in Classification Web

Available online through the Subject Authority Headings search on the LC Authorities website (look for "LC Annotated Children's Catalog subject headings" entries)

Available online through the LC Children's Subject headings search on the LC Linked Data Service website

Library of Congress Genre/Form Terms List

Available online in Classification Web.

Available online through the LC Genre/Form Terms search on the LC Linked Data Service website

Free-floating Subdivisions: An Alphabetical Index
Alphabetical index to free-floating subject subdivisions used with Library of Congress Subject Headings. Developed and maintained by Library of Congress, Policy and Standards Division.

No longer available in print; included in Cataloger’s Desktop and Classification Web

Available online as a free incomplete list of Free-Floating subdivisions (H1095) 

Getty Vocabularies
Structured terminology for art, architecture, decorative arts, archival materials, visual surrogates, conservation, and bibliographic materials. Under the editorial oversight of the Getty Vocabulary Program.

Art & Architecture Thesaurus (AAT)

Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names (TGN)

Union List of Artist Names (ULAN)

Cultural Objects Name Authority (CONA)

Available online for limited research and cataloging use, through licensing options and fee-free Linked Open Data for extended use.

Sears List of Subject Headings, 21st ed. (2014)
List of subject headings for all subjects, generally for smaller public and school libraries.

Available in print: New York: H. W. Wilson Co.

Available online: EBSCOhost.

Subject Headings Manual (SHM) (2008)
Instructions for establishment and usage of Library of Congress subject headings and subject subdivisions. Developed and maintained by Library of Congress, Policy and Standards Division.

Available online Subject Headings Manual (SHM)

Also available in Cataloger’s Desktop


Other Resources

Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR)

Current text available online from IFLA webstite FRBR 

Tillett, B. (2003). What is FRBR? A Conceptual Model for the Bibliographic Universe.

Available online from the Cataloging Distribution Service Library of Congress.

ILFA Library Reference Model (IFLA LRM)

Available online from IFLA LRM August 2017 version (not yet formally approved)

ISBD International Bibliographic Description

Available online from IFLA  ISBD