Committee on Cataloging: Description and Access

Library of Congress

Library of Congress Liaison Report to
Annual Meeting, June 2001

Submitted by Barbara B. Tillett, LC Liaison to ALA/ALCTS/CCS/CC:DA

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LC Exhibit Booth

The Library’s exhibit booth is no. 705 in the Moscone Convention Center. The schedule of in-booth presentations will be publicized in Cognotes (the conference daily newspaper) and on the Library’s Conference Web page at <>.

Giveaways at the exhibit booth include: National Digital Library: Library of Congress; The Library of Congress: It’s More Than a Library; The Library of Congress: 25 Questions Most Frequently Asked by Visitors; The Library of Congress: Thomas Jefferson Building; American Memory bookmarks; Exploring the Library of Congress via the Internet: Quick Reference Guide to the Library of Congress Web Site; Center for the Book brochures and bookmarks; Revised Classification Schedule flyers; Revised Classification Plus and Cataloger’s Desktop flyers; Classification Web postcards; Understanding MARC (single copies); MARC 21 flyers; CIP posters.

The Cataloging Distribution Service will raffle 3 one-year subscriptions to Classification Web at half-price, and will give away the newly revised Understanding MARC Bibliographic, LC Classification posters, 2001-2002 CDS Catalog of Bibliographic and Cataloging Products and Services, MARC 21 key rings, and CDS shopping bags.
NLS/BPH will have free braille alphabet cards and rulers, an FAQ factsheet about NLS/BPH, reference bibliographies and circulars on assistive technology, low vision and library services.

Digital Future / National Digital Library

National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program
The first meeting of the national advisory committee for this effort took place at the Library of Congress on May 1. In December 2000, the 106th Congress appropriated $100 million for this effort, which instructs the Library to spend an initial $25 million to develop and execute a congressionally approved strategic plan for a National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program. Congress specified that, of this amount, $5 million may be spent during the initial phase for planning as well as the acquisition and preservation of digital information that may otherwise vanish. The legislation authorizes as much as $75 million of federal funding to be made available as this amount is matched by nonfederal donations, including in-kind contributions, through March 31, 2003. The effect of a government-wide recission of .22 percent in late December was to reduce this special appropriation to $99.8 million.

The legislation calls for the Library to work jointly with the Secretary of Commerce, the director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the National Archives and Records Administration. The legislation also directs the Library to seek the participation of “other federal, research and private libraries and institutions with expertise in the collection and maintenance of archives of digital materials,” including the National Library of Medicine, the National Agricultural Library, the Research Libraries Group, the Online Computer Library Center and the Council on Library and Information Resources.


Human resources specialists from the Library will be available at the ALA Placement Center in the Moscone Convention Center. Library Services is partnering with Human Resources Services to provide ALA attendees the most current information on jobs that are available at the Library. Print copies of current vacancy announcements will be available. Prospective applicants may access information on all available jobs through the ALA Placement Center Web site at <> prior to and during the conference.

Integrated Library System

ILS Program Director Barbara Tillett received the Arthur S. Flemming Award for outstanding Federal service in the administrative category on June 5. The Flemming Awards program is now in its 52nd year and honors individuals with three to fifteen years of Federal service who have made extraordinary contributions to the Federal Government. Tillett was honored for her oversight of the LC ILS implementation.

Since October 1, 1999, Library staff have conducted acquisitions, cataloging, circulation, serials check-in, and reference service tasks on the Voyager integrated library system developed by Endeavor Information Systems, Inc. On August 21, 2000, the Library officially accepted the LC ILS system after extensive testing and 40 consecutive days of acceptable response times. The LC ILS primary database resides on a Sun E10000 server and includes nearly 12.5 million bibliographic records; approximately 12.5 million holdings records; over 12.9 million item records; approximately 5.4 million authority records; over 28,400 patron records; data for circulation and acquisitions transactions; and over 32,200 vendor records, ledgers, funds, tables, and keyword and other searchable indexes.

Based on Endeavor’s expected release of a stable version of Voyager 2000 in late spring 2001and training for other major Library activities this fall, the Library has deferred implementation until February 2002. The Library requires several months to thoroughly test new software, prepare and deliver training to staff, and install the client software throughout the Library. Although these tasks could be completed by September, it was decided to postpone implementing a new release during September and October — a period of intensive activity for staff preparing for the end of the fiscal year (September 30) and start-up of the next fiscal year. The Library concluded that February is probably the best month of the year in which to implement the most recent Voyager release proven to support the Library’s needs. We regret the delay this causes our users in access to LC’s name and subject authority records in MARC 21 Format via our Web OPAC and Z39.50.

The next Voyager release includes new features and capabilities especially for acquisitions, serials check-in, and OPAC functions, and also includes the capability to display Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, and Hebrew vernacular characters in the Web OPAC (from data stored in the 880 fields of MARC bibliographic records).

Staff continue to prepare for the migration of Congressional Research Service (CRS) and the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS/BPH) files to the LC ILS later this year.

After several years of preparation, on Jan. 2, 2001 the Library successfully implemented a re-structuring of the Library of Congress Control Number (LCCN), a key identifier in use at the Library since 1898 (when it began as the Library of Congress Card Number), and a critical element included in every record exported from the LC ILS. Changes in preprocessing routines created by ITS for converting records loaded into the LC ILS from other sources (e.g., the bibliographic utilities) worked flawlessly, and exports of new records containing the restructured LCCNs went smoothly.

The Library continues with its conversion of the 900,000-title serials check-in file that will contribute to the Library’s inventory control and materials security initiatives. After completing the letter ‘F’ in the serials file in March, the serials conversion effort shifted from working alphabetically through the Serial Record Visible File to concentrating on special needs such as converting serials handled by the Western European Acquisitions Section and serial entries for state and U.S. federal documents to support the project that is testing serials check-in by Library acquisitions sections.

Staff continued pilot projects to determine the most cost efficient and least time consuming approach to conducting a physical inventory and entering data to the LC ILS in order to achieve the Library’s inventory goals of knowing what is in the collections and where these items are located. The pilot process steps included: finding the bibliographic description in the LC ILS, finding or creating the appropriate holdings record/ item record combination, affixing a barcode to the volume, scanning the barcode into the item record, and updating control information in the LC ILS to state that a physical inventory of the volume had been performed. The shelflist card file was used as a supplemental resource during the process. Results from the pilots will be used to request funding to conduct the physical inventory and add data from the 12 million card shelflist to the LC ILS.

Libraries with recent experience in inventory techniques, especially those libraries with extensive collections, are encouraged to contact Joyce Owens ( in the ILS Program Office.

Pinyin Romanization
All 172,487 LC Chinese bibliographic records have been converted by RLG, and all 8870 Chinese CONSER records have been converted by OCLC. Converted bib records were then loaded into the LC database, and distributed by the Library’s Cataloging Distribution Service (CDS). OCLC will also convert Wade-Giles access points on non-Chinese CONSER records. The Library will continue to work with OCLC to plan their conversion of non-Chinese bib records in the WorldCat database. The Library plans to identify and convert access points on its own non-Chinese bib records later this year.

Cleanup of authority records is nearing completion. NACO volunteers have reviewed and modified well over half of the 8362 Chinese non-unique personal name authority records. This task should be completed within the next several months.

Since January, LC catalogers have been working diligently to reduce the backlog of Chinese material that accumulated during the moratorium last year. For that reason, strategies are being developed to utilize other resources to correct converted bib records. Unconverted text that affects access will be corrected first.

The Library continues to share information about the conversion project on its pinyin home page, <>. There are explanations of how authority and bib records converted, along with new, detailed explanations of conversion errors and inconsistencies; periodic updates to the project timeline; and tips for classifying and Cuttering Chinese material after pinyin conversion, particularly Chinese literary authors. In addition, a draft clarification of LC’s implementation of pinyin romanization guidelines was circulated for comment; after the many helpful comments have been analyzed, a revised, final version will be posted.

Detailed information about the conversion of subject headings is also being prepared for the pinyin home page. There will be lists of headings that converted correctly, those that need to be updated, and those that were not converted by the machine program (and therefore need to be converted manually).

Please send questions concerning conversion specifications, romanization practices, and converted authority and LC bibliographic records to Philip Melzer at

A full description of the Pinyin Conversion Project, including background documents, time line, and FAQ, is available on the Pinyin Web page, <>

Additional information can be found on the public ILS home page at: <>

Cataloging Directorate

Cataloging in Publication

The 30th anniversary of the CIP program will be celebrated at ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco. CIP will sponsor a 2-hour ALA ALCTS program, ACIP: a Vision for the Future@ on Monday, June 18 at 2:00 pm, Moscone Center, room 306. John Celli, chief, Cataloging Distribution Service, Craig Van Dyck, vice-president of Manufacturing, Scientific, Technical, Medical Publishing, John Wiley & Sons, and Pat Thomas, 44-year librarian and Margaret Mann Award recipient, will trace milestones of the CIP program and demo the New Books Program.

The ECIP (Electronic CIP) program continues to expand rapidly. In May, 660 ECIP galleys were cataloged; the total year-to-date (through May) is 4,629. Since the inception of the ECIP program in fiscal year 1997, a total of 20,132 ECIP galleys has been cataloged. The number of participating publishers now stands at 918.

Cataloging Policy

New MARC 21 Data Elements in LC Bibliographic and Authority Records. Lists identifying data elements from recent updates to the MARC 21 Bibliographic and Authority Formats that will become valid in LC’s system are available at the CPSO Web page, <>. The lists are provided to assist in evaluating the impact on automated systems as these elements could be present in records distributed by the Library of Congress; they do not necessarily reflect values that will be actively supplied by LC cataloging staff. In addition to these elements that will be implemented in August 2001 (no earlier than August 15), there is also a list of elements that will NOT become valid in LC’s system until LC implements an upgrade to its existing system (February 2002 at the earliest).

LC Classification. The 2001 editions of D-DR (History (General) and History of Europe) and G (Geography, Maps, etc.), and KL-KWX (Law of Asia and Eurasia, Africa, Pacific Area and Antarctica) were sent for publication.

Fiction Cataloging. Instructions on fiction cataloging were updated in the most recent distribution of the Subject Cataloging Manual: Subject Headings, 2001 Update Number 1, H 1790. LC is applying these special provisions for increased subject access to fiction as internal resources permit. As of January 2001 these provisions are being applied to cataloging for current acquisitions of American novels and novels of other English-language literature.

Art Cataloging. On February 1, 2001, the location of geographic subdivisions in art subject headings was changed to conform to the standard order used for most other topics with geographic subdivisions preceding chronological subdivisions. Headings such as Drawing--20th century--France were reformulated as Drawing, French--20th century. Painting, Modern--20th century--France has been changed to Painting, French--20th century. CPSO has changed 248 subject authority records affected by this standardization in the formulation of art subject heading strings. Work has begun within CPSO to update subject headings assigned to existing bibliographic records in the LC database. Subject Cataloging Manual instruction sheet H 1250, “Art and Fine Art,” was revised and a new list of free-floating subdivisions, including chronological subdivisons, was created for application to art headings (Cf. H 1148). Both instruction sheet and free-floating subdivision list were included in the 2001 Update Number 1 of the SCM: Subject Headings.

LC Bicentennial Conference on Bibliographic Control for the New Millennium (Nov. 2000)

Proceedings of the entire Conference have been published and will be available for sale at the LC exhibit booth. The publication is: Bicentennial Conference on Bibliographic Control for the New Millennium (2001), 574 pages, ISBN 0-8444-1046-2; $45 North America/$50 outside North America. To order please contact: Library of Congress, Cataloging Distribution Service, Customer Services Section, Washington, DC 20541-4912 U.S.A.; e-mail:

Beacher Wiggins, Director for Cataloging, Library of Congress, announces the availability of the draft Bibliographic Control of Web Resources: A Library of Congress Action Plan. This Plan stems directly from recommendations made during the Library’s Bicentennial Conference on Bibliographic Control for the New Millennium, November 15-17, 2000. The plan can be viewed on the Conference Web site at <>. Comments on the plan should be directed to Judy Mansfield, chief of the Arts and Sciences Division, in writing via email at or via fax at 202-707-0973.

Sunday, June 17: “Forum on Digital Reference and Bibliographic Control: Options for Collaboration,” 4:30-6:30 pm, Grand Hyatt San Francisco, Dolores Room, cosponsored by the Library of Congress and RUSA. Hosted by Beacher Wiggins, Director for Cataloging and Diane Kresh, Director, Public Service Collections. Intended as an opportunity for both public and technical services librarians, as well as other interested parties, to share their views on issues of mutual interest relating to the bibliographic control of World Wide Web resources in library collections, the forum is an outgrowth of a recommendation made at the Library of Congress Bicentennial Conference on Bibliographic Control for the New Millennium, held November 13-15, 2000, sponsored by the Cataloging Directorate.

Cataloging Electronic Resources

Sue Vita, Chief of SMCD, is leading the initiative to mainstream the processing of electronic resources throughout the Cataloging Directorate. Fifteen subject catalogers volunteered from all cataloging divisions to work with the Team=s first phase of expansion. They have begun working with an online workflow, testing a paperless system for processing and distributing Internet resources. Testing and experimenting with this paperless workflow showed the need for an automated traffic manager, and a request has been submitted to the Automation Planning and Liaison Office. All monograph cataloging divisions have been asked to volunteer two senior catalogers for three-to-four month, full time details to the CFM Team to learn descriptive cataloging of electronic resources.

Special Materials Cataloging Division / Music Teams

CD Workflow. Since its inception in April 2000, this new workflow has achieved currency in creation of initial bibliographic control records (IBCs) for all published popular and classical CD receipts. Staff have created approximately 23,000 records. Beginning in May 2001, we will make approximately half of all newly created IBCs available for distribution. Designed for automated matching with OCLC records, these records contain enough information to accurately identify the items as well as information that provides useful, if not complete, keyword access to musical groups, performers, composers, and titles. The automated matching and authority processing components of this workflow are still in the testing phase.

UPC/EAN codes. As part of the CD Workflow (see above), the MSR teams began to include UPC/EAN codes in bibliographic records for sound recordings. The scanability of these codes insures accurate and efficient searches in the LC Database for these materials. These have proven so useful, in fact, that the LC Music Cataloging Advisory Group is considering the possible use of these codes for current score cataloging as well.

Machine-Derived Authority Records (MDARs). The final load of 7,000 MDAR records was accomplished in early August 2000. These records were combed for errors via machine-processing and we received reports of obvious problems. We finished correction of all identified authority and bibliographic record errors in early February 2001. No more MDARs will be created; with the implementation of the LC ILS, LC catalogers create headings for all names and name-title headings used in music records.

NACO Music. The NACO Music workflow is changing to provide speedier response to requests and more straightforward submission guidelines. An email account ( has been established to accept all requests for maintenance to music bibliographic records or music name/series authorities. The responsibility for handling these requests will be shared by all senior music catalogers.


The National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections (NUCMC) is pleased to announce that an agreement has been reached with OCLC for a trial gateway. Since April 23 the NUCMC Web page <> has contained a link to a search form that provides access to OCLC archival and manuscript cataloging through LC’s Z39.50 client. No account number or password is required to use the gateway.

This gateway, in conjunction with the existing NUCMC/RLIN gateway that has been running since the summer of 1996, goes a long way to fulfilling the decades-old NUCMC mission of providing access to information relating to archival and manuscript collections in U.S. repositories. The cataloging in OCLC and RLIN is a critically important source of such information. In the thirty-four years during which NUCMC distributed cataloging in printed volumes, it produced descriptions of some 72,000 collections; the new “virtual” NUCMC provides access to over three-quarters of a million catalog records in the two bibliographic utilities.

There is one caution in using the OCLC gateway. This gateway will retrieve between 90 to 95% of the archival and manuscript cataloging in OCLC. (The gateway will retrieve those records with Leader 06 values of “b” and “p”; it will not retrieve those records with the Leader 06 value of “t.”) Informal polling has indicated that such a gateway will be useful even if it does not retrieve 100% of the relevant records and therefore this gateway is being made available as a pilot.

Under our agreement with OCLC, the trial is to run for a period not to exceed six months or for a specific number of searches, whichever is reached first. Prior to the expiration of the pilot, LC and OCLC will evaluate the results of the period of free access to determine the costs and feasibility of possibly continuing the gateway. NUCMC welcomes comments regarding the usefulness of the gateway and suggestions of ways to improve it. Please respond directly to NUCMC <>.

Cataloging Directorate Statistics

Cataloging (Books and Serials) Production

                              FY01 through April        FY00
LC Full/Core-Level Cataloging          97,575          159,091
Copy  Cataloging                       14,750           22,477
Minimal-Level  Cataloging               9,632           16,080
Collection-Level Cataloging             2,133            3,009
TOTAL records created                 124,090          200,657
TOTAL volumes cataloged                   N/A          224,544

Authority Records
Names                                  49,085           86,992 
Series                                  4,548            6,772
Subjects                                3,775            7,494
TOTAL                                  57,408          101,258

For more information contact: Beacher J. Wiggins, Director for Cataloging, Library of Congress, LM 642, Washington, DC 20540-4300 (telephone: 202-707-5333 or Internet:

National Services Directorate

Cataloging Distribution Service

Classification Web. The Cataloging Distribution Service (CDS) will be demonstrating Classification Web, a new subscription service that will provide libraries worldwide with Web access to Library of Congress Classification and Library of Congress Subject Headings. Demonstrations will take place in the Library’s exhibit booth theater at 2:00 PM on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday and throughout the day at the CDS workstations in the booth. Following a highly successful pilot test conducted from January-May 2001, CDS is moving forward with plans to have Classification Web on the market later in 2001.

Cataloger’s Desktop and Classification Plus. CDS will demonstrate Cataloger’s Desktop and Classification Plus in the exhibit booth theater at 2:30 PM, Saturday through Monday, in addition to continuous demonstrations at the CDS workstations. Cataloger’s Desktop and Classification Plus (CD-ROM) provide electronic access to essential LC cataloging tools and AACR2.

New CDS publications. The CDS booth display will feature ten newly-published LC Classification schedules, including the long-awaited 2001 edition of Class G. Also on display will be the complete set of MARC 21 publications, the new SACO Participants’ Manual (2001), and the just published Proceedings of the Bicentennial Conference on Bibliographic Control for the New Millennium . The conference was held at the Library of Congress, Nov. 15-17, 2000.

Operations Directorate

Network Development and MARC Standards Office (NDMSO)

Metadata Encoding and Transmission Standard (METS). The Metadata Encoding and Transmission Standard is an XML schema designed for the purpose of describing digital objects in library collections. The schema provides a standard form for the recording and transmission of structural, administrative, and technical metadata. The schema is currently at the alpha draft stage, draws on the experience gained in the Making of America projects. The development of METS is an initiative of the Digital Library Federation. The NDMSO is participating in the development effort and will also serve as the maintenance agency for the proposed standard.

MARC Organization codes. In February the MARC Organization Codes became available online, being served from LC’s implementation of SiteSearch. LC has also made recent changes to the procedures for assignment and maintenance for MARC organization codes to better serve the global use of the format. For example, LC will be phasing out its assignment responsibility for South Africa, transferring it to the National Library of South Africa (NLSA). This is an arrangement already in place for many years with the National Library of Canada. In the future, MARC users will be referred to NLC and NLSA organization code Web sites for codes for Canadian and South African organizations.

Public Service Collections Directorate

Geography and Map Division

Cataloging Initiatives. A total of 15,508 maps were controlled by 7,603 bibliographic records, 1,168 atlases were controlled by 1,072 records. The members of the Cataloging Team participated in a thorough review of the LC Classification Schedule, Class G. This portion of the classification schedule, which covers cartographic materials, was last published in 1976. The G schedule will be published in 2001 by the Library in both printed and electronic formats.

A series of formal meetings are being held between the Geography and Map Division and the National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA) regarding cooperative map cataloging, sharing of bibliographic data, the development of geospatial searching capabilities, and the development of shared graphics interface for geospatial searching. Test records for two map series have been imported from NIMA and G&M is in the process of analyzing the potential benefit to the Division.

Motion Picture, Broadcast and Recorded Sound

New Online Catalog Describes Sound Recordings. The new database, called SONIC (Sound ONline Inventory and Catalog), includes some 350,000 entries representing more than 25 percent of the Library’s sound recording holdings. SONIC is available through the Library’s Web site at <>

New Audio Preservation Initiative. On November 9, 2000, President Clinton signed the National Recording Preservation Act of 2000, establishing the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress (P.L.106-474). The new law encourages the preservation of historic sound recordings, many of which are at risk from deterioration. It directs the Librarian of Congress to name sound recordings of aesthetic, historical, or cultural value to the Registry, to establish an advisory National Recording Preservation Board, and to create and implement a national plan to assure the long-term preservation and accessibility of the Nation’s audio heritage.

The advisory National Recording Preservation Board will be made up of leaders in the field of music, sound recording, librarianship, and audio engineering. Through consultation with this Board, and studies conducted by the Board, the Librarian of Congress will commission and carry out a national preservation plan for historic audio recordings. The plan will outline recommendations on the use of new technologies for preservation, programs to increase public awareness of audio preservation, and strategies to increase accessibility of sound recordings for educational purposes.

Jeremy Adamson was appointed chief of the Prints and Photographs Division, effective May 6, 2001.

Prints and Photographs Division

Prints & Photographs Online Catalog (PPOC). More than 10,000 users ran almost 60,000 searches in PPOC in April 2001. Of these searches, 45,336 were executed from outside of the Library of Congress. The URL is: <>. New subjects include: all 112,000 negatives from the Great Depression in the Farm Security Administration collection, including thousands that were never printed on paper; presidential inauguration pictures; Herblock editorial cartoon drawings; Blondie comic strip drawings; advertising, Polish, and World War I posters; New Yorker covers, Harper’s Weekly engravings, and Puck lithographs; Irving Underhill photographs of New York City; engineering drawings for the Croton Aqueduct (N.Y.); and photographs related to Luther Burbank and Sigmund Freud.

Additional information about the Library of Congress activities is available on the LC Web site.