Guidelines for cataloguing collection level records

Collection-level cataloguing involves the creation of single bibliographic records for groups of library materials that have been intentionally brought together at the technical processing stage. By grouping related items together at the cataloguing stage, collection-level cataloguing provides libraries with an effective response to growing processing backlogs and, at the same time, offers them the opportunity to enhance access to their increasingly diverse collections.

In collection-level cataloguing the collection described in a single bibliographic record is frequently an artificial one because it has been explicitly created for technical processing purposes. Characteristics upon which such a collection could be based include personal author, issuing body, language, subject, or form of material. Libraries considering collection-level cataloguing should realise that the decision to assemble a group of items for collection-level treatment will rest with their acquisitions, collection development, public services, and technical services staff.

As the majority of projects currently requiring collection-level cataloguing are published textual material, the format for books has been used in these guidelines, but other formats may also accommodate collection-level cataloguing.

The elements of the collection-level cataloguing record are:

  1. 1XX (Main entryheading)

    An appropriate main entry should be determined according to AACR2R. Most collection-level records will be so diverse that title main entry is more likely.

  2. 245 (Title)

    Because of the diversity of material incorporated into collection-level records, the title of each record is to be constructed by the creator of the record. This title, which will be enclosed within square brackets, will begin with the substantive elements of the collection, and will generally be in English.

    • [Crimean War patriotic poems]
    • [Los Angeles Olympic Games of 1984 official materials]
    • [Pitjantjatjarra languagepublications]
  3. 260 (Imprint) All three elements of the imprint field may be included if appropriate. In most cases, however, only the date element will be recorded.

    1. If the collection is finite, a single date or inclusive dates are to be used.

    • 1987
    • 1980-1984

    2. If it is expected that more materials will be added to the collection, inclusive dates based upon the materials initially catalogued are used in the imprint. If the collection is developed from a single item, an open date is used. The dates are enclosed within square brackets.

    • [1965-1973]
    • [1966- ]

    A general note is also added to the record indicating that additional materials may be available:

    Additional materials with other dates of publication may be found in this collection.

  4. 300 (Physical description)
  5. 1. ‡a Extent of item

    a. If the collection is finite, the extent of the collection is given.

    • 17 v.
    • 36 pieces

    b. In describing a multipart item that is not yet complete, give the specific material designation alone.

    • v.

    Optionally, when the item is complete, add the number of physical units.

    2. ‡bIllustrations

    Use judgement. A statement of illustration may be used if it is felt that the illustrations are an important part of the collection.

    3. ‡c Dimensions

    Size is not important and its inclusion is optional. If included, a range is to be given if the items in the collection are not uniform size.

    • 28 cm.
    • 23-30 cm
  6. 5XX (Notes)The general note specified in c2 above is always given when appropriate. Other pertinent notes may be given when judged important for the collection.

    Formal contents notes are rarely made. However, if further information about the content of the collection is deemed important, a general note may be made. Such a note may also contain additional information about the material in a collection, such as formats, forms or genres (maps, travel brochures, etc.) contained in the collection.

    If an item-level finding aid, such as a title listing or card file, exists, make a note to that effect:

    • Title listing in Asian Division card catalogue.
  7. 6XX (Subject headings)The subject heading(s) assigned is (are) the primary access to the majority of items in the collection-level record.
    • Assigned subject headings should be as specific as the collection warrants.
    • There is no limit to the number of subject headings that may be assigned, but a reasonable limitation should be observed.
    • title [Italian Communist Party pamphlets]
    • subject headings
    • 1. Partito communista italiano
    • 2.Italy–Politics and government–20th century
  8. 0X-75X (Added entry headings)Obvious name and title access points should be provided, however, most collection-level records will probably not contain added entry headings.

    Within collections, there may be occasions when persons or corporate bodies are both the author or issuing body, and the subject. In most cases the subject heading entry will offer sufficient access. When it is judged that access through an added entry would also be useful, one may be given.

  9. 043 (Geographic area code) The geographic area code is given when the subject heading deals with a specific geographic area for which there is an existing code.
  10. Fixed fieldsFixed field data will generally be coded as appropriate to the format and content of the collection-level record. The fixed fields listed below are to be handled as indicated.
  11. 1. Leader/07 (Bibliographic level). c
    2. Leader/17 (Encoding level). Assign as appropriate according to current standards.
    3. 008/35-37(Language). The code for the language or primary language of the collection is to be given.
    4. 008/11-14 (Date 2). If the imprint shows inclusive dates, the second date is given here. If the imprint shows a single, open date, code 008/06 (type of date) as “m” and give 9999 in 008/11-14.
    5. 008/15-17 (Place of publication). If all items were published in a single country (or state, province, etc.) give the code for that country. If the items were published in more than one country, the code “vp” is used.