Library catalog
Overview
 
A library catalog is a register of all bibliographic
Bibliography
Bibliography , as a practice, is the academic study of books as physical, cultural objects; in this sense, it is also known as bibliology...

 items found in a library
Library
In a traditional sense, a library is a large collection of books, and can refer to the place in which the collection is housed. Today, the term can refer to any collection, including digital sources, resources, and services...

 or group of libraries, such as a network of libraries at several locations. A bibliographic item can be any information entity (e.g., books, computer files, graphics, realia
Realia (library science)
In library classification systems, the term realia refers to three-dimensional objects from real life such as coins, tools, and textiles, that do not easily fit into the orderly categories of printed material...

, cartographic materials, etc.) that is considered library material (e.g., a single novel
Novel
A novel is a book of long narrative in literary prose. The genre has historical roots both in the fields of the medieval and early modern romance and in the tradition of the novella. The latter supplied the present generic term in the late 18th century....

 in an anthology
Anthology
An anthology is a collection of literary works chosen by the compiler. It may be a collection of poems, short stories, plays, songs, or excerpts...

), or a group of library materials (e.g., a trilogy
Trilogy
A trilogy is a set of three works of art that are connected, and that can be seen either as a single work or as three individual works. They are commonly found in literature, film, or video games...

), or linked from the catalog (e.g., a webpage) as far as it is relevant to the catalog and to the users (patrons) of the library.

The card catalog was a familiar sight to library users for generations, but it has been effectively replaced by the online public access catalog (OPAC).
Unanswered Questions
Encyclopedia
A library catalog is a register of all bibliographic
Bibliography
Bibliography , as a practice, is the academic study of books as physical, cultural objects; in this sense, it is also known as bibliology...

 items found in a library
Library
In a traditional sense, a library is a large collection of books, and can refer to the place in which the collection is housed. Today, the term can refer to any collection, including digital sources, resources, and services...

 or group of libraries, such as a network of libraries at several locations. A bibliographic item can be any information entity (e.g., books, computer files, graphics, realia
Realia (library science)
In library classification systems, the term realia refers to three-dimensional objects from real life such as coins, tools, and textiles, that do not easily fit into the orderly categories of printed material...

, cartographic materials, etc.) that is considered library material (e.g., a single novel
Novel
A novel is a book of long narrative in literary prose. The genre has historical roots both in the fields of the medieval and early modern romance and in the tradition of the novella. The latter supplied the present generic term in the late 18th century....

 in an anthology
Anthology
An anthology is a collection of literary works chosen by the compiler. It may be a collection of poems, short stories, plays, songs, or excerpts...

), or a group of library materials (e.g., a trilogy
Trilogy
A trilogy is a set of three works of art that are connected, and that can be seen either as a single work or as three individual works. They are commonly found in literature, film, or video games...

), or linked from the catalog (e.g., a webpage) as far as it is relevant to the catalog and to the users (patrons) of the library.

The card catalog was a familiar sight to library users for generations, but it has been effectively replaced by the online public access catalog (OPAC). Some still refer to the online catalog as a "card catalog". Some libraries with OPAC access still have card catalogs on site, but these are now strictly a secondary resource and are seldom updated. Many of the libraries that have retained their physical card catalog post a sign advising the last year that the card catalog was updated. Some libraries have eliminated their card catalog in favour of the OPAC for the purpose of saving space for other use, such as additional shelving.

Goal

Charles Ammi Cutter
Charles Ammi Cutter
Charles Ammi Cutter is an important figure in the history of American library science.Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Cutter was appointed assistant librarian of Harvard Divinity School while still a student there...

 made the first explicit statement regarding the objectives of a bibliographic system in his Rules for a Printed Dictionary Catalog in 1876. According to Cutter, those objectives were

1. to enable a person to find a book of which either (Identifying objective)
  • the author
  • the title
  • the subject
  • the category

is known.

2. to show what the library has (Collocating objective)
  • by a given author
  • on a given subject
  • in a given kind of literature


3. to assist in the choice of a book (Evaluating objective)
  • as to its edition (bibliographically)
  • as to its character (literary or topical)


These objectives can still be recognized in more modern definitions formulated throughout the 20th century. 1960/61 Cutter's objectives were revised by Lubetzky and the Conference on Cataloging Principles (CCP) in Paris. The latest attempt to describe a library catalog's goals and functions was made in 1998 with Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records
Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records
Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records—or FRBR, sometimes pronounced —is a conceptual entity-relationship model developed by the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions that relates user tasks of retrieval and access in online library catalogues and...

 (FRBR) which defines four user tasks: find, identify, select, and obtain.

Catalog Card

Main Entry
eg.
Arif, Abdul Majid.
Political structure in a changing Pakistani
villages / by Abdul Majid and Basharat Hafeez
Andaleeb. -- 2nd ed. -- Lahore : ABC Press, 1985.
xvi, 367p. : ill. ; 22 cm.
Includes index.
ISBN 969-8612-02-8
kutta

Types

Traditionally, there are the following types of catalog:
  • Author card: a formal catalog, sorted
    Collation
    Collation is the assembly of written information into a standard order. One common type of collation is called alphabetization, though collation is not limited to ordering letters of the alphabet...

     alphabetically according to the authors' or editors' names of the entries.
  • Title catalog: a formal catalog, sorted alphabetically according to the title of the entries.
  • Dictionary catalog: a catalog in which all entries (author, title, subject, series) are interfiled in a single alphabetical order. This was the primary form of card catalog in North American libraries just prior to the introduction of the computer-based catalog.
  • Keyword catalog: a subject catalog, sorted alphabetically according to some system of keywords.
  • Mixed alphabetic catalog forms: sometimes, one finds a mixed author / title, or an author / title / keyword catalog.
  • Systematic catalog: a subject catalog, sorted according to some systematic subdivision of subjects. Also called a Classified catalog.
  • Shelf list catalog: a formal catalog with entries sorted in the same order as bibliographic items are shelved. This catalog may also serve as the primary inventory for the library.

History

Library catalogs originated as manuscript
Manuscript
A manuscript or handwrite is written information that has been manually created by someone or some people, such as a hand-written letter, as opposed to being printed or reproduced some other way...

 lists, arranged by format (folio
Book size
The size of a book is generally measured by the height against the width of a leaf, or sometimes the height and width of its cover. A series of terms is commonly used by libraries and publishers for the general sizes of modern books, ranging from "folio" , to "quarto" and "octavo"...

, quarto, etc.) or in a rough alphabetical arrangement by author. Printed catalogs, sometimes called dictionary catalogs enabled scholars outside a library to gain an idea of its contents. These would sometimes be interleaved with blank leaves on which additions could be recorded, or bound as guardbooks in which slips of paper were bound in for new entries. Slips could also be kept loose in cardboard or tin boxes, stored on shelves. The first card catalogs
Index card
An index card consists of heavy paper stock cut to a standard size, used for recording and storing small amounts of discrete data. It was invented by Carl Linnaeus, around 1760....

 appeared in the nineteenth century, enabling much more flexibility, and towards the end of the twentieth century the OPAC was developed (see below).
  • c. 245 BC: Callimachus
    Callimachus
    Callimachus was a native of the Greek colony of Cyrene, Libya. He was a noted poet, critic and scholar at the Library of Alexandria and enjoyed the patronage of the Egyptian–Greek Pharaohs Ptolemy II Philadelphus and Ptolemy III Euergetes...

     is considered the first bibliographer and is the one that organized the library by authors and subjects. The Pinakes
    Pinakes
    Pinax may refer to:*Pinax, a votive tablet that served as a votive object deposited in a sanctuary or burial chamber*Pinakes, a 3rd-century-BCE work by Callimachus, the first library catalog system*Pinax...

    ( "tables") was the first ever library catalogue. Variations on this system were used in libraries until the late 1800s when Melvil Dewey
    Melvil Dewey
    Melville Louis Kossuth Dewey was an American librarian and educator, inventor of the Dewey Decimal system of library classification, and a founder of the Lake Placid Club....

     developed the Dewey Decimal Classification
    Dewey Decimal Classification
    Dewey Decimal Classification, is a proprietary system of library classification developed by Melvil Dewey in 1876.It has been greatly modified and expanded through 23 major revisions, the most recent in 2011...

     in 1876, which is still in use today.
  • c. 800: Library catalogues are introduced in the House of Wisdom
    House of Wisdom
    The House of Wisdom was a library and translation institute established in Abbassid-era Baghdad, Iraq. It was a key institution in the Translation Movement and considered to have been a major intellectual centre during the Islamic Golden Age...

     and other medieval Islamic
    Islamic Golden Age
    During the Islamic Golden Age philosophers, scientists and engineers of the Islamic world contributed enormously to technology and culture, both by preserving earlier traditions and by adding their own inventions and innovations...

     libraries where books are organized into specific genre
    Genre
    Genre , Greek: genos, γένος) is the term for any category of literature or other forms of art or culture, e.g. music, and in general, any type of discourse, whether written or spoken, audial or visual, based on some set of stylistic criteria. Genres are formed by conventions that change over time...

    s and categories.
  • 1595: Nomenclator of Leiden University Library
    Leiden University Library
    Leiden University Library is a library founded in 1575 in Leiden, Netherlands. It is regarded as a significant place in the development of European culture: it is a part of a small number of cultural centres that gave direction to the development and spread of knowledge during the Enlightenment...

     appears, the first printed catalog of an institutional library.
  • 1674: Thomas Hyde's catalog for the Bodleian Library.


More about the early history of library catalogs has been collected in 1956 by Strout.

Sorting

In a title catalog, one can distinguish two sort orders:
  • In the grammatical sort order (used mainly in older catalogs), the most important word of the title is the first sort term. The importance of a word is measured by grammatical rules; for example, the first noun may be defined to be the most important word.
  • In the mechanical sort order, the first word of the title is the first sort term. Most new catalogs use this scheme, but still include a trace of the grammatical sort order: they neglect an article (The, A, etc.) at the beginning of the title.

The grammatical sort order has the advantage that often, the most important word of the title is also a good keyword (question 3), and it is the word most users remember first when their memory is incomplete. However, it has the disadvantage that many elaborate grammatical rules are needed, so that only expert users may be able to search the catalog without help from a librarian.

In some catalogs, person's names are standardized, i. e., the name of the person is always (cataloged and) sorted in a standard form, even if it appears differently in the library material. This standardization is achieved by a process called authority control
Authority control
Authority control is the practice of creating and maintaining index terms for bibliographic material in a catalog in library and information science. Authority control fulfills two important functions. First, it enables catalogers to disambiguate items with similar or identical headings...

. An advantage of the authority control is that it is easier to answer question 2 (which works of some author does the library have?). On the other hand, it may be more difficult to answer question 1 (does the library have some specific material?) if the material spells the author in a peculiar variant. For the cataloguer, it may incur (too) much work to check whether Smith, J. is Smith, John or Smith, Jack.

For some works, even the title can be standardized. The technical term for this is uniform title
Uniform title
A uniform title in library cataloging is a title assigned to a work which either has no title or has appeared under more than one title. It is part of authority control...

. For example, translations and re-editions are sometimes sorted under their original title. In many catalogs, parts of the Bible
Bible
The Bible refers to any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the individual books , their contents and their order vary among denominations...

 are sorted under the standard name of the book(s) they contain. The plays of William Shakespeare are another frequently cited example of the role played by a uniform title in the library catalog.

Many complications about alphabetic sorting of entries arise. Some examples:
  • Some languages know sorting conventions that differ from the language of the catalog. For example, some Dutch
    Dutch language
    Dutch is a West Germanic language and the native language of the majority of the population of the Netherlands, Belgium, and Suriname, the three member states of the Dutch Language Union. Most speakers live in the European Union, where it is a first language for about 23 million and a second...

     catalogs sort IJ as Y. Should an English catalog follow this suit? And should a Dutch catalog sort non-Dutch words the same way?
  • Some titles contain numbers, for example 2001: A Space Odyssey
    2001: A Space Odyssey (novel)
    2001: A Space Odyssey is a science fiction novel by Arthur C. Clarke. It was developed concurrently with Stanley Kubrick's film version and published after the release of the film...

    . Should they be sorted as numbers, or spelled out as Two thousand and one?
  • de Balzac, Honoré
    Honoré de Balzac
    Honoré de Balzac was a French novelist and playwright. His magnum opus was a sequence of short stories and novels collectively entitled La Comédie humaine, which presents a panorama of French life in the years after the 1815 fall of Napoleon....

    or Balzac, Honoré de? Ortega y Gasset, José
    José Ortega y Gasset
    José Ortega y Gasset was a Spanish liberal philosopher and essayist working during the first half of the 20th century while Spain oscillated between monarchy, republicanism and dictatorship. He was, along with Nietzsche, a proponent of the idea of perspectivism.-Biography:José Ortega y Gasset was...

    or Gasset, José Ortega y?

For a fuller discussion, see collation
Collation
Collation is the assembly of written information into a standard order. One common type of collation is called alphabetization, though collation is not limited to ordering letters of the alphabet...

.

In a subject catalog, one has to decide on which classification
Library classification
A library classification is a system of coding and organizing documents or library materials according to their subject and allocating a call number to that information resource...

 system to use. The cataloguer will select appropriate subject headings for the bibliographic item and a unique classification number (sometimes known as a "call number") which is used not only for identification but also for the purposes of shelving, placing items with similar subjects near one another, which aids in browsing by library users, who are thus often able to take advantage of serendipity
Serendipity
Serendipity means a "happy accident" or "pleasant surprise"; specifically, the accident of finding something good or useful without looking for it. The word has been voted as one of the ten English words hardest to translate in June 2004 by a British translation company. However, due to its...

 in their search process.

Online catalogs

Online cataloging has greatly enhanced the usability of catalogs, thanks to the rise of MAchine Readable Cataloging = MARC standards
MARC standards
MARC, MAchine-Readable Cataloging, is a data format and set of related standards used by libraries to encode and share information about books and other material they collect...

 in the 1960s. Rules governing the creation of catalog MARC records include not only formal cataloging rules like AACR2
AACR2
AACR2 stands for the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules, Second Edition. It is published jointly by the American Library Association, the Canadian Library Association, and the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in the UK. The editor is Michael Gorman, a British-born...

 but also special rules specific to MARC, available from the Library of Congress and also OCLC
OCLC
OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc. is "a nonprofit, membership, computer library service and research organization dedicated to the public purposes of furthering access to the world’s information and reducing information costs"...

. MARC was originally used to automate the creation of physical catalog cards; Now the MARC computer files are accessed directly in the search process. OPACs have enhanced usability over traditional card formats because:
  1. The online catalog does not need to be sorted statically; the user can choose author, title, keyword, or systematic order dynamically.
  2. Most online catalogs offer a search facility for any word of the title; the goal of the grammatic word order (provide an entry on the word that most users would look for) is reached even better.
  3. Many online catalogs allow links between several variants of an author name. So, authors can be found both under the original and the standardised name (if entered properly by the cataloguer).
  4. The elimination of paper cards has made the information more accessible to many people with disabilities, such as the visually impaired, wheelchair users, and those who suffer from mold allergies.

See also

  • AACR2
    AACR2
    AACR2 stands for the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules, Second Edition. It is published jointly by the American Library Association, the Canadian Library Association, and the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in the UK. The editor is Michael Gorman, a British-born...

  • Cataloging
    Cataloging
    Cataloging is the process of listing or include something in a catalog. In library science is is the producing of bibliographical descriptions of books or other kinds of documents...

  • Collation
    Collation
    Collation is the assembly of written information into a standard order. One common type of collation is called alphabetization, though collation is not limited to ordering letters of the alphabet...

  • International Standard Bibliographic Description
    International Standard Bibliographic Description
    The International Standard Bibliographic Description is a set of rules produced by the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions to describe a wide range of library materials within the context of a catalog. The consolidated edition of the ISBD was published in 2007...

  • Social cataloging applications
    Social cataloging applications
    A social cataloging application is a web application designed to help users to catalog things—books, CDs, etc.—owned or otherwise of interest to them...

  • Union catalog
    Union catalog
    A union catalog is a combined library catalog describing the collections of a number of libraries. Union catalogs have been created in a range of media, including book format, microform, cards and more recently, networked electronic databases...

  • Dialcat
  • Nomenclature
    Nomenclature
    Nomenclature is a term that applies to either a list of names or terms, or to the system of principles, procedures and terms related to naming - which is the assigning of a word or phrase to a particular object or property...

  • Dewey Decimal Classification
    Dewey Decimal Classification
    Dewey Decimal Classification, is a proprietary system of library classification developed by Melvil Dewey in 1876.It has been greatly modified and expanded through 23 major revisions, the most recent in 2011...


Other sources

  • Chan, Lois Mai. Cataloging and Classification: An Introduction. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1994.
  • Svenonius, Elaine. The Intellectual Foundation of Information Organization. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 2000.
  • Taylor, Archer (1986) Book Catalogues: their varieties and uses; 2nd ed., introductions, corrections and additions by W. P. Barlow, Jr. Winchester: St Paul's Bibliographies (Previous ed.: Chicago: Newberry Library, 1957)
  • Hanson, James C. M. Catalog rules; author and title entries (Chicago: American Library Association. 1908)

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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