The basis for the development of Universal Bibliographic Control (UBC) is international standards agreed and accepted so that the bibliographic- records prepared in each country for its publications are accepted by other countries and can be readily interpreted. There is no international cataloguing code, but most current national codes have the Paris Principles as their basis. There are also multi-national codes such as the Anglo-American Cataloging Rules (AACR) which is in use in all parts of the world in varying ways and for different purposes. The current trend in preparing international cataloguing tools such as ISED (M) : International Standard Bibliographic Description for Monographic Publications and ISBD (S): International Standard Bibliographic Description for Serials, which have been adopted in many national bibliographies and national codes, indicates that even if there is no international cataloguing code, yet the existing codes will be offering the same solutions. The authors of AACR in preparing the revised edition are asked to take its international use into account and in so doing will contribute much to UBC.
The evolution of modern practices in bibliographic description is traced to provide a frame of reference for consideration of the new ISBD (M) International Standard Bibliographic Description for Monographic Publications. The origin and objectives of the standard are discussed, and the American experience in its application is reviewed.
The paper describes the work in progress toward an international machine-readable cataloging system and discusses the problems remaining.
The history of the development of the Anglo-American Cataloging Rules is a record of some successes and some failures in the attempt to produce a rational and efficient code. There is still a generous opportunity for improvement, an opportunity which should be utilized as we move into a new era of computerized catalogs.
The history of the National Union Catalog, established at the Library of Congress in 1901, and of the National Union Catalog Publication Project, undertaken in 1967, are traced, and the editing process involved in preparing an estimated 20 million cards for pre-1956 imprints is detailed. With approximately two-thirds of what is already the largest printed bibliography completed, all volumes are now scheduled for publication by the end of 1979.
In 1947 the Monthly Catalog inherited the duties of the discontinued Document Catalog. Since then it has been expected to serve both as a sales catalog of federal publications and as a "comprehensive index of public documents." Its fulfillment of these two goals is examined through a sample of depository publications from 1971. The time required to list a document in the bibliography and the extent of the Monthly Catalog's indexing are studied; comparison is made with Library of Congress cataloging. With computerization a renewed response toward fulfilling its charge is possible for the Monthly Catalog.
Icelandic literature is a problem for the cataloger because it involves the many literary forms of the Old Norse (to 1540) and the modern Icelandic literature. Further, the problem of entry is unusual because Icelandic personal names (with certain exceptions) do not contain a surname, but rather a personal name or names and a patronymic, ending in -(s)son or -dottir, and occasionally a toponym. Since 1968, the Library of Congress has been revising old entries as necessary and establishing new entries under a new practice.