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How do I catalogue my collection of books, music etc?

Two men browsing the card catalogue at Baillieu Library


While the National Library is unable to provide specialist advice on cataloguing, there are a number of online resources you can use. 

The best place to find bibliographic details for books, sheet music, CDs, DVDs, and videos is through Libraries Australia, the National Bibliographic Database. The Libraries Australia free online service is now integrated into the discovery service Trove. An enhanced subscription service for Libraries Australia is also available at most libraries.

Microsoft Access or Excel are easily accessible tools you can use to create a catalogue. However, they are not ideal as it involves copying and pasting individual fields from the source catalogue record into the Access or Excel field.

There are several products which allow you to import the entire record. Some examples of free and inexpensive commercial products available online include:

There are also more sophisticated and expensive bibliographic tools available. If you are associated with a university you may be able to download a copy of:

Bibliographic/software and standards information can be found on the wiki OpenOffice.org. For some general tips on cataloguing try a Google search for cataloging basics, which will provide a number of informative sites. You can also search under the alternative spelling of ‘cataloguing’.

There are also many useful print items available. Try searching the Library’s catalogue with the words cataloging handbooks. If you are unable to visit the Library, Trove can help you find and get items at libraries near you.