Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The borderless world of cataloging/cataloguing

Out of the last 20 visitors to my blog, only 6 were from the United States.
Hello and thank you, international people.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

MARC21 Record for a Hiccup

001 0001
003 gatl
005 200910271651
040 ## $agatl
043 ## $an-us-ga
045 0# $ay109 $b2009102716
082 04 $a612.26’02’758’152’05
100 1# $aDeGrasse, Suzanne. $d1970-
130 2# $aA Hiccup[realia] $f2009. $gSingultus.
180 ## $xSingultus
240 12 $aA Hiccup $f2009. $gSingultus.
245 12 $aA Hiccup. $cSuzanne DeGrasse $fOctober 27,   2009, 10:00:01-10:00:03
246 11 $aA Hiccough
300 ## $aOne Second. $b12dB
520 ## $aA single hiccup issued forth suddenly by a haywire electrical impulse directed at the diaphragm of Suzanne DeGrasse at 16:51 on October 27, 2009, in Madison County, Georgia.
650 #0 $aHiccups. $vRealia $zMadison County, Georgia
650 #0 $y2009
656 #7 $aArchivist.$2dot.
680 ## $iA single hiccup issued forth suddenly by a haywire electrical impulse directed at the diaphragm accompanied by a sharp intake of air which creates a glottal sound characterized by the phoneme "hic".

(please notice the use of 656)
(n.b. record may be incorrect, do not quote me unless it is verified)

Monday, October 26, 2009

So, what IS the difference between AACR2, RDA, DDC, LC, FRBR, CCO and MARC? (and we're adding in ICP and CDWA-Lite)

Guidelines for Cataloging:

with structures such as:

Controlled Vocabulary
Establishment of Authority and subsets
Some form of linking data
Established Relationships between data
Widespread use across borders and fields of study

is represented by:
CCO for art, music, museum-housed items
AACR2 for text, recorded materials, and sometimes realia
RDA, which is what AACR3 turned into
Dublin Core (metadata terms, not specific items)
ICP and
FRBR,(and FRANAR and FRASAD and ...) the rules for RDA

Guidelines for Shelving:

with structures such as:

numerical representation
alphabetical representation
divisions by subject, location, time period, other specifics

is represented by:


Guidelines for Syncing Bibliographic Data with Electronic Resources:

with structures such as:

Binary or numerical representation of order and placement
Structured syntax
Proscribed punctuation 
keywords: metadata, framework, data sets, metadata element set, interoperability

is represented by:

CDWA-Lite (Categories for the Descriptions of Works of Art)
MODS (Metadata Object Description Schema)

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Soon (or, "soon") we will have computers without keyboards.  We will just talk.  Except those who cannot speak due to a speech impediment or muteness.  or deaf people.  Hmmm.  Maybe that's good news for carpal tunnel sufferers but not for others.
Soon (ibid) we will have everything imbedded with computerness and so you can touch the wall and it will tell you all about it's wallness.
Someday we will insert nanobots into our brains and speak fluent foreign languages.
Right now, I just want to know if I can catalog a cake pan with RDA, or with FRBR, or MARC or CCO or this new co-operative cataloging wiki.
No one seems to know the answer.
Here's another question: Why can't the Smithsonian, due to financial and technological constraints, catalog many of its realia collections?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The difference between AACR, LOC, DDC, FRBR, CCO, MARC and RDA

Just in case you were wondering.
Because I was.

  • Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules
  • Designed for use in the construction of catalogues and other lists in general libraries of all size.
  • Follow the sequence of cataloguers' operations in most present-day libraries and bibliographic agencies.
  • Proceed from general to specific details.
  • Covers rules for books, cartographic materials, manuscripts, music, sound recordings, motion pictures and videorecordings, graphic materials, electronic resources, three-dimensional artifacts and realia, microforms and continuing resources.
  • Developed for use by libraries in Canada, The United States and The United Kingdom.
  • Uses structured punctuation; in fact, is very concerned with and focused on punctuation
  • Primary Responsibility stems from the CDS, Cataloging Distribution Service
  • Uses The Cataloger's Destop: "a revolutionary cataloging tool created by the Library of Congress, using Folio software"
  • A limited list of resources found in the Cataloger's Desktop:
    • LCRI (Library of Congress Rule Interpretations)
    • Library of Congress Classifications and Subject Headings
    • AACR2
    • MARC 21
    • OLAC (Authority Tools for Audiovisual and Music Catalogers)
    • BISAC Subject Headings (Book Industry Study Group)
    • CCO (Cataloging Cultural Objects)
    • OCLC
    • CONSER
    • Cutter-Sanborn Tables
    • CSDGM (Content Standard for Digital Geospatial Metadata)
    • DCMI (DublinCore Metadata Initiative)
    • Erklärung zu Internationalen Katalogisierungsprinzipien (I just like that word)
    • IASA (International Association for Sound and Audiovisual Archives)
    • ISAD (International Standard Archival Description)
    • ISSN (International Standard Serial Number) 
    • ISBD (International Standard Bibliographic Description)
    • SEPIADES: Recommendations for Cataloguing Photographic Collections
    • FRBR (Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records
  • Dewey Decimal Classification
  • Currently we are on the 22nd revision
  • Is a division of the Library of Congress (!)  Ok, so why does the LC not use the DDC?
  • Is a hierarchical classification system, proceeding from general to specific
  • Comprised of 10 classes (100-900) plus 000 for generalalities (ufo's and librarians)
    • Each class is divided into 10 divisions
    • Each division is divided into 10 sections
    • the numbers following the decimal point refer to notations regarding more specific aspects of the subject such as location, time period, and language.

  • Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records
  • Developed by IFLA (International Federation  of Library Associations) between 1992-1995
  • Evolved out of the AACR3 revision but ended up as a separate entity rather than an update of terminology only (see RDA)
  • Is very conceptual and visual rather than concrete like AACR (which is very much an if/then model) and is useful as a system, as well as a method of organizing information for access.
  • Works well with the Web and web based resources 
  • Has three main 'Entities'
    • Group One:
      •  'Work', 'Expression', 'Manifestation' and 'Item'.
    • Group Two (responsible for Group One)
      • Person' and 'Corporate Body'
    • Group Three (subjects of Group One and/or Two)
      • 'Concept', 'Object', 'Event' and 'Place'.
  • Deals with 'Bibliographic Relationships' 
    • Inherant
    • Content
      • Equivalent
      • Derivative
      • Descriptive
    • Whole/Part and Part to Part
      • Sequential
      • Companion
      • Aggregation
  • Assigns User Tasks, which are Cutter's Objects, evolved
    • Find
    • Identitfy
    • Select
    • Obtain
    • Navigate
  • Off shoots are: 
    • FRAD (Functional Requirements for Authority Data
    • FRSAR (Functional Requirements for Subject Authority Records)
    • FRANAR (Functional Requirements and Numbering for Authority Record
  • Cataloging Cultural Objects
  • Developed by the Visual Resources Association as a guide for describing cultural works (architecture, art, dance, music etc.) and their images (photographs, paintings, etc.)
  • Contains rules for formatting data, suggestions for required information, controlled vocabulary requirements, and display issues.
  • Can be a complement to AACR2 or completely separate.
  • Leaves leeway for the cataloger and the individual institution to adapt the rules so that their particular data set can be retrieved, repurposed and exchanged effectively and efficiently.
  • Deals with Works and Images
    • sometimes an image is an image of a work, sometimes the image is a work in itself.  They can be both, simultaneously: the difference is found in the particular level of cataloging and access point.
  • Deals with Specificity and Exhaustivity
    • allows and encourages catalogers to be as descriptive as possible, within time, space and funding constraints.  Less is not more, it is less.
  • Like FRBR, deals with Relationships between things:
    • Related
      • Intrinsic
      • Whole/Part
      • Group and Collection
      • Series
      • Componants
    • Extrinsic
      • like AACR2's "see also"
  • Like FRBR is also a very visual model with the relationships between entities shown as flow charts, with reciprocity
  • Has required elements (not required but listed are in 2nd level bullet)
    • Work Type
    • Title
      • language
    • Creator
    • Controlled Creator 
    • Role
    • Measurements 
    • Materials and Techniques
      • Type
      • Technique
      • Color
      • Extent
      • Edition
      • State
      • Inscription
      • Facture
      • Physical Description
      • Condition
      • Conservation History
      • Style
      • Culture
    • Date: earliest and latest
    • Current Location
      • creation location
      • discovery location
      • former location
    • Subject 
      • extent and subject type
      • Class
      • Description
    • View Description
    • View Type
    • View Subject
    • Personal and Corporate Name
    • Names
    • Biography
    • Birth and Death date
    • Nationality
    • Life Roles
    • Sources
      • gender
      • earliest and latest activity
      • related people 
      • events
    • Geographic Place
    • Names
    • Place Type
    • Broader Context
    • Sources
      • coordinates
      • dates
      • related places
      • relationship type
    • Concept
    • Terms
    • Broader Context
    • Note
    • Sources
      • term qualifier
      • dates
      • related concepts
      • relationship type
    • Subject
    • Names
    • Sources
    • Broader Context
      • related keywords
      • related subjects
      • related geographic places
      • related people
      • related concepts
      • relationship type
  • Machine Readable Cataloging
  • A standardized way to format bibliographic information so that when entered into a computer it creates an understandable record for the item.
  • Currently in its 21st revision since being developed by the Library of Congress in the 1960's
  • Pre-web, pre-a lot of things.
  • Has both variable and fixed fields 
  • 200 Fields numbered from 001 to 880 
  • 001 to 099 are fixed fields containing standard numbers, classification numbers, codes, and other data elements relating to the record.
  • 800 subfields 
  • 999 tags (according to these folks)
  • subfields convey certain information about the field and are expressed as $a, $c, each delimiter expressing the kind of information found in the following subfield
  • uses letters and symbols to indicate additional information such as format or additional part of a record
  • Only 4% of fields account for 80% of all records
  • In a study done by OCLC, out of 56 MILLION records, only one used the 656 856 field. (
    • so terribly sorry.
  • Roy Tennant, Senior Program Manager for OCLC, said "MARC must die"
  • No entities other than libraries use it
  • "Lossy Output Format" William Moen said this.
  • Originally intended as a transfer format (!!!) but ended up as a metadata scheme.
"Of course the importance of using internationally accepted standards is beyond doubt, but there clearly exists widespread misunderstanding of the functions of certain standards, like for instance MARCMARCis NOT a data storage format. In my opinion MARC is not even an exchange format, but merely a presentation format"  
  • Resource Description and Access
  • created concurrently but separately with ICP, the new IFLA cataloging principles
  • Utilizes FRBR and FRAD
  • grew out of AACR3, which was never really created
  • Web-based
  • Is not a display standard like MARC but does show visually how data is connected
  • Includes a broader, expanded view of the bibliographic universe
  • Two parts: Recording Attributes and Recording Relationships
  • Shows more connections, relationships and pathways
  • Change in technology, focus and view
  • Metadata can be used beyond the library and catalogs will no longer be isolated because they will be online, where there is global access to the data
  • Has 4 groups
    • FRBR #1
      • Work
      • Expression
      • Manifestation
      • Item
    • FRBR #2
      • Person
      • Family
      • Corporate Body
    • FRBR #3
      • Concept
      • Object
      • Event
      • Place
    • FRAD
      • Name
Sources and References
I would recommend looking at my previous blog entry titled The Recipe of Alphabet Soup which gives direct links to every site I accessed to write this entry.  All texts used are cited below.

Mortimer, Mary. Learn Descriptive Cataloging. 2nd ed. Friendswood, TX: Total Recall,   2007. Print.
Mortimer, Mary.  Learn Dewey Decimal Classification. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2000.
JSC for revision of AACR. Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules.  2002 Revision, 2005 update.  Chicago: American Library Association, 2005
Taylor, Arlene. Understanding FRBR: what it is an how it will affect our retrieval tools. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited, 2007.
Baca, Murtha, Patricia Harpring, Elisa Lanzi, Linda McRae, and Ann Whiteside on behalf of the Visual Resources Association.  Cataloging Cultural Objects: a Guide to Describing Cultural Works and Their Images.  Chicago: American Library Association, 2006
Tillett, Barbara. "What is FRBR?." Library of Congress Cataloging Distribution Service. (2004): online pamphlet available at
RDA core elements and description from the American Library Association, updated 06/01/09. 

Bibliographic Control Alphabet Soup:AACR to RDA and Evolution of MARC webinar attended live Wednesday, October 14, 2009, 1 PM to 2:30 PM
Slides with correct information that has not been filtered through my thinking processes available at:
lectures given by:
Tillett, Barbara
Hillmann, Diane L.
Moen, William E.

Dr. Moen is the one who gave the Roy Tennant quote.

The Recipe of Alphabet Soup

The Chefs

NISO: National Information Standards Organization
IFLA: International Federation of Library Associations
DCMI: Dublin Core Metadata Initiative
PCC: Program for Co-operative Cataloging
NSDL: National Science Digital Library

The Ingredients

AACR: Anglo-American Cataloging Rules
MARC: Machine Readable Cataloging
ISBD: International Standard Book Description
RDA: Resource Description and Access
FRBR: Functional Requirements of Bibliographic Records
FRAD: Functional Requirements for Authority Records
ONIX: Online Information Exchange.  A framework used by publishers
XML and RDF: Extensible Markup Language and Resource Description Framework.  Two kinds of computer languages, essentially.
SKOS: Simple Knowledge Organization Schema
VIAF: Virtual International Authority File.  A mashup of data from 15 international institutions.  The semantic web in action.

The Kitchen

The Semantic Web: A place where all data is shared.  Freed from application constraints.  Kind of like an international metadata Show and Tell and yes, everyone brought enough candy to share with the class.

The chefs
took the ingredients
in the kitchen
and made...
Well, what did they come up with?  Not FRBR, those were first published in 1998. (!)  Not RDA, that was what the AACR3 turned into, around 2002. 
It seems that the ultimate product was a lovely multiligual cake named (the most unfortunate of all the acronyms) ICP. 
IFLA published the ICP in February of 2009 and no one has challenged it or made any moves to try any funny stuff since then.  I think we can rest a bit, for the cake, she is ready.
I stand corrected.  There is at least one co-operative cataloging group that seeks to provide a "serious alternative to RDA".  They have a wiki up and I've just recently seen several references to it: so it's gaining in popularity, or at least visibility.  I'll have to read more before I make my statement of philosophy but right now I don't understand.

Someone left the cake out in the rain.

Bibliographic Control Alphabet Soup: AACR to RDA and Evolution of MARC

I virtually attended this webinar using my phone and my laptop, in the comfort of my own home, with my dogs all present.  What a wonderful thing.
Initially I felt a little overwhelmed and my brain was telling me to sleep, but I perked up and became very absorbed after the first 10 minutes.  I took 7 pages of notes which I will turn into a paper of sorts, but I wanted to share some distillation with anyone who happens to stumble upon this blog.  Since they light-heartedly named the webinar an alphabet soup, I will keep with that theme.
One warning, though.
This whole THING is based on a "cloud computing" kind of principle.  There is a lot of stuff.  All stuff is attached to other stuff, and a lot of stuff is attached to other stuff, but not all stuff, and it can get really, really big and it can also get really, really small.
Unless you are familiar with clouds and this kind of world-ordering, nothing is going to make sense.  I'm sorry.  I struggled to get here. 
The further I went and the more detail-oriented I got, the more laden and spaghettied it seemed.  I realized just tonight that yes, while there are hundreds of layers to all this, I DON'T HAVE TO BE IN ALL OF THEM.
Essentially I am trying to get a good grasp on RDA and FRBR and how it/they are going to affect the cataloging of ephemera.  Better?  Worse?  Neither?  Completely Unrelated?

On to the next blog entry...

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Archivist's Toolkit

Apparently I do not have time right now to be sick.  So I have downloaded the opensource software for The Archivist's Toolkit, which, according to the website, is

the first open source archival data management system to provide broad, integrated support for the management of archives. It is intended for a wide range of archival repositories. The main goals of the AT are to support archival processing and production of access instruments, promote data standardization, promote efficiency, and lower training costs.
I also excavated this fact today: that RDA and FRBR will be replacing AACR2 in 2010.  FRBR I am learning about, but great, now I have to look up RDA (Resource Description and Access) and totally forget everything I know about AACR2, which I was just getting used to.

Monday, October 5, 2009


But it's 616.2, not 616.9.
I'm using 612.821 and 641.87 and thank goodness for 391.4!

(I am ill, but it is a cold, not a communicable influenza/H1N1 disease.  I'm using sleep and non-alcoholic beverages, and thank goodness for handkerchiefs!))

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBRBRBBBBBRRR)

Does this look complicated?  Does it look a wee bit overwhelming?  Am I required to know this?  Is FRBR great?  Or is it just another way of retrieving information that will have to do until we figure out the ultimate information retrieval tool?  Will we ever?  Can it just be that there are some ways of sorting and retrieving that work better for some things but not all?  Why is my Pug so itchy?  Why can't I find very much online about CCO?  I like the DDC!  I think it's good!  I don't know about LC yet because I'm looking more at cataloging and that's more MARC stuff.  Am I missing something?  Can anyone answer my questions?