Maps in Books

Introduction | Workflow | "In" Analytic Process


In response to the theft of numerous maps from the Beinecke Library, and the subsequent difficulties in identifying which maps originally came from the Beinecke collection, it was decided that a project to more adequately catalog maps in books be undertaken. The initial focus of the project will be on the material held in the Taylor collection, a collection of books and manuscripts relating to the science and technique of navigation and to the discovery and exploration of the coasts and lands of America. The project will then expand to include pre-1800 material, titles cited in J.E. Alden's European Americana: a chronological guide to works printed in Europe relating to the Americas, 1493-1776, and titles cited in A catalogue of books relating to the discovery and early history of North and South America forming a part of the library of E. D. Church.

Additionally, there may instances when curators flag newly acquired titles for maps in books.

Cartographic materials, including maps in books, receives original cataloging according to the latest full national standard for descriptive cataloging, which is the latest version of Resource Description and Access, commonly known as RDA.


1. RBCU members will methodically work through the "Maps in Books” spreadsheet available on the Rare Book Cataloging Unit’s directory in the “Map Cataloging” folder. When working on material using the Maps in Books spreadsheet, choose material only from the “Misc. maps” and “Taylor” sheets.

2. Page the selected title. Check the holdings of the title; if there are additional copies, page them as well for recataloging. Additionally, search on the title to insure there are no other copies on separate bibliographical records. If there are other matching copies on separate bibliographical records, page them for recataloging. Do not recatalog other editions.

3. Upgrade the entire record to full level RDA cataloging, including, importantly, upgrading the 300 and making sure the relevant fixed fields are in agreement with it.

4. Catalog the select map(s) in the host item following the “in” analytic process below.

"In" Analytic Process

The "In" analytic record method is appropriate whenever fuller description and access is desired for a map contained within a larger work. Rather than adding a note and analytical added entry in the bibliographic record for the larger work, the cataloger creates a separate bibliographic record for the map. This "In" analytic record provides a complete description of the map (the component part) and contains a linking entry citing the record for larger work (the host item).

General rule

Describe the map according to RDA instructions for cartographic materials, supplemented by the additional guidelines provided below. Consider the map itself (not the host item) to be the chief source of information. Transcribe information found in the chief source of information. Supply information taken from outside of the chief source of information in square brackets as needed.

Title and statement of responsibility area

Transcribe information as it appears on the map.

245 1 2 ‡a ‡a A map of the Indian Territory, northern Texas, and New Mexico, showing the great western prairies / ‡c by Josiah Gregg.

If there is no title on the map, supply one in square brackets from one of the following sources, in order of preference:

245 1 0 ‡a Ursa major / ‡c A. Jamieson for 1820.
500     ‡a Title from list of maps on page 6 of atlas.

If no title can be supplied, devise one according to the provisions of 1B6, being sure to include the name of the geographic area depicted.

245 1 0 ‡a Map of Washington, D.C.
500     ‡a Title devised by cataloger.

Publication, distribution, production, etc., area

Transcribe information as it appears on the map.

264   1 ‡a London : ‡b Published February 1, 1822, by G. & W.B. Whittakers, T. Cadell, & N. Hailes, ‡c [1822]

(Comment: Publication information taken from map. Imprint of the host item may be given in a note or in the linking entry in the 773 field)

If information does not appear on the map, but can be supplied (e.g., from the host item or from another source), supply the information in square brackets and make an explanatory note. If no place of publication, distribution, production, etc., can be supplied, use the abbreviation "s.l." in square brackets. If no publisher, distributor, etc., can be supplied, use the abbreviation "s.n." in square brackets.

264   1 ‡a [New York] : ‡b [Henry G. Langley] ; ‡a [London] : ‡b [Wiley & Putnam], ‡c [1844]
500     ‡a Imprint supplied based on book title page.

(Comment: The imprint supplied using information found on the host item's t.p. is given in normalized form, not transcribed as it appears)


Record the dimensions of the map following the instructions for measuring maps on sheets (see Map Cataloging page). If an exact measurement cannot be determined because some portion of the map is concealed by the host item's binding, use "approximately" to indicate that the measurement is approximate.

300     ‡a a 1 map : ‡b copper engraving ; ‡c 28 x ca. 24 cm

(Comment: The height of the map can be determined but not its width)


Folded maps. Always note if the map is folded. For maps obviously folded subsequent to issue, make a local note. In case of doubt, assume the map was issued folded.

300     ‡a 1 map : ‡b color ; ‡c 24 x 22 cm
500     ‡a Folded.

(Comment: Book was issued with folded map)

300     ‡a 1 plan : ‡b lithograph ; ‡c 29 x 27 cm
590     ‡a Folded at foot.

(Comment: Map was folded when atlas was rebound)

Location note. Make a note to indicate the location of the map within the host item, unless apparent from the rest of the description. If it is known that the map does not appear in this same location in all copies of the larger work, make a local note instead. In case of doubt, do not use a local note.

500     ‡a Bound facing page 16 of text.
500     ‡a Folded frontispiece map.

(Comment: Location note is combined with note indicating folding in this example)

Citation note. Always cite the host item in a note, prefaced by the word “In.” Depending on the system, this note may instead be generated from the host item entry (see below). Give whatever information is appropriate for easy identification. Abridge the information as needed without using the mark of omission.

500     ‡a In: Historisch-genealogischer Calender, oder, Jahrbuch der merkwürdigsten neuen Welt-Begebenheiten für 1784.

MARC 21 coding specific to the “In” analytic record

Leader and control fields. The leader and control fields of an “In” analytic record should reflect the characteristics of the map rather than the host item.

For the bibliographic level (07), use the value a (monographic component part) or b (serial component part), depending on whether the map appears in a monograph or serial.

Host Item Entry (Citation). Use field 773 to create a linking entry to the record for the host item that contains the map.

When a citation note is generated from this field, the introductory term “In” may be generated by a “blank” in the second indicator, or custom introductory text may be created by second indicator “8” and free text in subfield ‡i.

Follow institutional policy when deciding the amount of detail to provide. See MARC 21 Format for Bibliographic Data for a full list of possible subfields.

Example of a brief host item entry:

773 0   ‡a Gregg, Josiah, 1806-1850. ‡t Commerce of the prairies, or, The journal of a Santa Fé trader ‡w(OCoLC)702556451

Example of a lengthier host item entry:

773 0 8 ‡7 p1am ‡i Folded plate in: ‡a Leavenworth, Charles S. ‡t Loochoo Islands. ‡d Shanghai : "North-China Herald" Office, 1905. ‡g Facing page 186 ‡w(OCoLC)1074229

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