Libraries Policies: Cataloging Policies
Level of Cataloging
The preferred level of cataloging for most items represented in the University Libraries online catalog is "full level" cataloging at the second level of description as described in the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules, 2nd edition, rule 1.0D2. This level of description is applicable to all types of materials.
A. Fuller cataloging:
Certain materials, notably rare books and items in special collections, may justify cataloging at the third level of description (AACR2, rule 1.0D3), or above.
B. Less-than-full cataloging (sometimes called "minimal level" or "core record level"): Certain materials may not be of such permanence or value that they justify full level cataloging. Others may be so numerous that the only way to provide any sort of bibliographic control is to produce brief, minimal, or less-than-full cataloging records. Less-than-full records provide limited access and description. Decisions to handle any category of materials at a less-than-full level must be carefully considered, and must be made only after appropriate consultation with those affected. For materials cataloged by units outside Technical Services, this includes consultation with Technical Services.
C. Collection level cataloging:
Archival cataloging: Much cataloging of archival materials is handled at the collection level rather than at the item level. Because this practice is the norm for archival cataloging, such cataloging, if produced at a comparable level with AACR2 level 2, is considered "full".
Other materials: Other types of material that may be candidates for cataloging at the collection level include:
- Materials whose primary importance is association with the group (e.g. minor pieces acquired through bulk purchase of a private library)
- Materials too numerous to handle individually (e.g. large collections of minor materials acquired together)
- Materials with a preponderance of minor, ephemeral, or difficult to describe items (e.g. ephemeral files, clipping files, etc.)
- Materials for which no cataloging
expertise exists locally (e.g. items in various
Related documents: Standards fpr Local Cataloging
Additional Descriptors: Minimal Level Cataloging; Collection Level Cataloging; Archival Cataloging; Core Record Level Cataloging