ALCTS - Association of Library Collections & Technical Services

Committee on Cataloging: Description and Access

ALA Representative to the Joint Steering Committee
ALA/ALCTS/CCS Executive Committee

26 June 1999

  1. JSC Mission Statement

    The JSC Mission Statement was approved by the Committee of Principals at its March meeting. As anticipated, the CoP asked us to incorporate a statement about meeting user needs. Thus, the Mission Statement now reads:

    In support of effective cataloguing practice, the Joint Steering Committee develops and maintains the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules according to established principles for bibliographic description and access. To this end, the Committee works in a timely and proactive manner to formulate a cataloguing code that is responsive to user needs and changes in the information environment, and that results in cost-effective cataloguing.

  2. “Internationalization” of AACR2

    In February and March of this year, Ann Huthwaite, Chair of JSC, began drafting a “White Paper” on AACR2 Internationalization. At the CoP meeting in March, it was agreed that it is really more appropriate for the CoP to consider those issues. Thus, Stuart Ede of the BL will convene a group with representatives also from LC and the NLC. Sally Strutt will serve as the JSC liaison. The group’s report is due at the next CoP meeting. Huthwaite will continue work on the White Paper, although it has been put on the back burner for the time being, given the press of other business.

  3. Concise AACR2

    Ann Huthwaite learned at the CoP meeting in March that the next concise edition of AACR2 was scheduled to be published in June (i.e., this month) and that Michael Gorman’s manuscript included changes he had made to chapter 9 in anticipation of AACR2 and ISBD(ER) harmonization. Since Concise is intended to be an abridged version of the main text, not a variation on it, it requires JSC review and endorsement. The CoP agreed with the JSC that incorporation of changes in Concise in re: chapter 9 would be premature. JSC agreed to review and comment on Concise within 30 days of receipt of the manuscript, a task which was completed in April. Thanks to Bob Ewald’s thorough review of the document on the JSC’s behalf, over 1,000 differences between AACR2 and Concise were identified and forwarded to Michael. He has amended his manuscript to correct most of these differences, and he revised manuscript has been reviewed by Ann Huthwaite and again by Bob Ewald and found to be in compliance with the main text. It is now forthcoming from ALA Editions.

  4. Harmonization of AACR2r and ISBD(ER)

    Because we have not yet completed work on harmonizing AACR2r and ISBD(ER), the JSC has developed the following statement for distribution to the Anglo-American Cataloguing community:

    The Joint Steering Committee for Revision of AACR (JSC) has decided in principle that the rules in AACR2 should be brought into harmony with international standards. Work is currently underway to seek closer alignment with the International Standard Bibliographic Description for Electronic Resources (ISBD (ER)). Substantial amendment of the rules in Chapter 9, as well as changes to other rules in some sections of the code, will be necessary. While a significant change will be the general replacement of the term ‘computer file’ with the term ‘electronic resource,’ including in the GMD, it is clear that wholesale replacement of one term for the other would be neither correct nor desirable. The American Library Association is taking the lead on reviewing the two standards. Brian Schottlaender, ALA representative to the JSC, has done considerable preparatory work, which has been reviewed by the other JSC constituent representatives. There is already agreement on many of the proposed changes. A task force of the ALA Committee on Cataloging: Description and Access (CC:DA) is now preparing a series of recommendations towards harmonization, and will submit its report to the JSC in July. It is hoped that final agreement on the revisions will be reached at the JSC meeting in October 1999 in Brisbane. The next revision package will contain the amendments endorsed at that meeting.
    Unfortunately, in preparing this report, I realized that the statement has yet to be posted anywhere.

  5. Updating Schedule

    At the CoP meeting in March, these principles in re: rule revision were agreed to:

    • Changes to the text should be disseminated as soon as possible after rule revisions are agreed on by JSC. The practice of waiting until there are sufficient revisions before distributing amendments is to be abandoned.

    • Changes to the text of the print and electronic versions should be synchronized.

    • Changes to the electronic version will be fully integrated.

    There was a lot of discussion about the revision cycle. It was agreed that we should aim for a yearly cycle in the first instance, timed so that rule revisions resulting from JSC meetings (which lately have been towards the end of the year) can be disseminated quickly. An end of year deadline should be aimed for.

    The publishers agreed that changes to the printed version could be mounted on a Web page from which AACR users could print them off, perhaps free of charge (because of the expense involved in administering a charging mechanism). It was also agreed that the option of purchasing printed amendment packages from the publishers should also be available. The publishers are going to look into the technical issues so that they can be ready for the first round, following the JSC meeting in October. The CoP is planning to have a teleconference in September to finalize the process for distributing amendments.

  6. Reports to JSC

    • The logical analysis of the code, parts 1 and 2 (a.k.a. the “Delsey Report”)
      --> comments due to JSC by September 1999.
    • “Revising AACR2 to Accommodate Seriality” (a.k.a. the “Hirons report”)
      --> now avalialable on the Web at
      --> comments due to JSC by September 1999.
    • The CC:DA 0.24 T/F Report
      --> comments, even if only in form of interim report, due to JSC by September 1999.
    • The CC:DA ISBD(ER) Harmonization T/F Report
      --> comments due to JSC by September 1999.

  7. Status of Rule Revision Proposals

    • Definitions for “Computer disk” and “Computer optical disc” [4JSC/ALA/25]
      --> agreed to but needs summarizing.
    • Harmonization of AACR2 with ISBD(ER) [4JSC/ALA/27]
      --> pending.
    • Works that report the collective activity of a conference, etc. (21.1B2(d)) [4JSC/ALA/28]
      --> pending.
    • Entry under corporate body (21.1B1) [4JSC/ALA/29]
      --> pending.
    • British nobility [4JSC/BL/1-6]
      --> pending.
    • More than one series statement [4JSC/LC/37]
      --> pending.
    • Not all parts in a series [4JSC/LC/45]
      --> pending.
    • Definition of “monographic series” [4JSC/LC/46]
      --> withdrawn.
    • Rule Revisions [4JSC/Rule Revision/1/Consolidated/1]
      --> pending.

Submitted by Brian E.C. Schottlaender
ALA Representative to the Joint Steering Committee