RBT Basic Copy Cataloging

A. Pre-Cataloging Examination | B. Descriptive Verification | C. Fields to Delete |  D. Authority Verification | E. Call Number and Location | F. Materials Processing |  G. Export Queue | H. Statistics | I. Workflow and methodology |  J. Problems | K. Detailed Policies and Procedures

A. Pre-Cataloging Examination

Criteria for C&T copy cataloging

  1. Imprint is post 1900.
  2. Item is in the Roman alphabet.
  3. The item is being added as a copy to an Orbis record or full level (encoding level=blank, 1, I, or L) or core level (encoding level=4) cataloging copy for the exact edition is available in OCLC.
  4. The cataloging appears to be straightforward.
  5. If the catalog record is CIP or less than full, check OCLC for a full-level record. If none, consult a catalog librarian.

If the exportQ window is red, set aside the book for a week or two until the exportQ window is no longer red.

When to create a separate record.
Follow the guidelines on when to create separate records for different printings of the same edition. Occasionally a curator will request exceptions to these guidelines.

See Different Printing for changes to be made when deriving from a record for a different printing.

B. Descriptive Verification

Fixed Fields

Verify that the fixed fields are correct.

Variable Fields

Verify the following:

020 Verify that the same ISBN number on the book is recorded in the 020 field. A 020 for the paperback edition may also be on the record

240 Not part of the descriptive verification. See D. Authority Verification

245 Every word in the 245 must be on the title page unless the word is in [brackets]. The converse is not true; not every word on the title page will appear in the 245 field. Not all punctuation in the 245 field will necessarily appear on the title page.

250 Check for information about the edition on the title page, the verso of the title page, and the colophon. If the edition information on the book differs from the edition information on the record, the cataloging copy is not the same edition. A different printing is generally considered the same edition, but only if there is no evidence of revision, e.g. "Second printing with corrections."

260 Make sure your record has the same place of publication and publisher. The date of publication must be the same.

  • Separate Records: If the book is a later printing and the date differs, all relevant dates must appear in the 260. See: transcription of dates in 260 field for instructions. The 008 Publication Status is r: Reprint/Reissue Date and Original Date. Date 1 will be the later printing date; date 2 will be the original date.
  • One Record: Follow instructions in transcription of dates in 260 field. Follow MARC guidelines for 008 in the Cataloger's Desktop.

300 Check pagination, illustrations, and size.

  • ‡a: the last page of each pagination sequence should be recorded in subfield ‡a.
  • ‡b: illustrations will be recorded in subfield ‡b. Verify that there are illustrations if there is a ‡b subfield, but do not re-count the illustrations if numbered.
  • ‡c: Measure the book. Accept variations up to a centimeter; remember that size is always rounded up to the next centimeter.

4xx Verify that the series statement in a book is transcribed in a 4xx field. For series access, classification, etc., see D. Authority Verification.

5xx If there are notes about accompanying material (e.g. Errata slips for insertion, plates in pockets) verify to make sure the accompanying material is present.

Reproduction vs. Original
If you are cataloging a photocopy for a location, do not consider the photocopy to be the equivalent of the original. If the bib record is for the original, consult with a catalog librarian. Conversely, if you have a copy of the original, and the cataloging is for a reproduction (microfilm, photocopy, electronic resource), do not consider your book as matching the bibliographic record. The copy for the reproduction may form the basis for a new record by removing the fields that pertain only to the reproduction. Consult with a catalog librarian.

Notes on Printings
Make a note on the printing. For more information on the number line, see Number Line in Modern Trade Editions.

  • Separate Records:
    Make a 500 note, quoting from the item.
500     ‡a "1st printing, March 1972 ... 8th printing, July 1978"--T.p. verso.
500     ‡a Number line on t.p. verso indicates 3rd printing: "8 7 6 5 4 3 88 89 90 91 92."
  • One Record:
    Make a 590 note for each printing.
590     ‡a BEIN Zc35 +975bLb: "Second printing - April 1976."
590     ‡a BEIN 1997 1330: Number line on t.p. verso indicates 2nd printing: "10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 "

Limited Edition Notes
Transcribe any limited edition notes, in full if feasible (even if parts of the note do not apply to the copy in hand); these are usually found either in or near the colophon or on the t.p. verso. Do not transcribe the number or letter of the copy in hand here; it goes in the copy-specific note.

Copy Specific Notes
Bibliographical variants (590 in combination with 500)
Imperfections (590)
Copy number of limited edition (590)
Original wrappers, Paperbound, Spiral-bound or Stapled (590)
Dust jacket (590)
Belly band (590)
Uncut [i.e. untrimmed; not to be confused with unopened] (590)
Provenance (590)
Binding information (590)
Bound-with notes (590)
In case with notes (590)
Manuscript material in printed works (590)
Material shelved separately (590)


590     ‡a BEIN Za P865 943C copy 2: No. 26. Autographed by the author and illustrator. Original wrappers.

Different Printing
When creating a record for each printing and deriving from a catalog record for a different printing, follow the guidelines for specific fields below. Other fields will not change.

008 Publication status: r:reprint/reissue date and original date
Date 1: [reissue date]
Date 2: [original date]
Cataloging source: d:other
010 Do not change, if in book
020 Do not change, if in book
035 Delete
040 Change to: ‡a CtY-BR‡c CtY-BR
260 Date (‡c and or ‡g): If printing date differs from what is in record, change date to reflect what is in book. See Dates in 260 for more information.
4xx Add or delete a series statement to reflect what is in book.
500 Add a printing note.

Add name tracings for provenance information. More complete information can be found in the Provenance Notes and Tracings

The coding for provenance tracings is 692 14 for personal names, 693 24 for corporate names, or 693 14 for corporate headings beginning with a jurisdiction, followed by a subdivision indicating the nature of the provenance evidence.

The following subdivisions are authorized for provenance tracings:

‡x Autograph.
‡x Bookplate.
‡x Ms. notes.
‡x Ownership. [Used when no provenance evidence is in item]
‡x Presentation inscription to [forename initials] [surname].
‡x Presentation inscription from [forename initials] [surname].
‡x Presentation inscription. [Used when source is not specified or identified]
‡x Stamp.

If the heading is already present in the record (such as the case in an author's presentation inscription), simply copy and paste, changing the tag and indicators and adding the subdivision as appropriate. Otherwise, Search the name in Orbis to determine how it has been used on bibliographic records. Use the authorized form (i.e., the form on the authority record) of the name if there is one. If one does not exist, use the form that has been used in Orbis. If the name has not been used in Orbis, construct a simple heading using the form found in the book.

692 1 4 ‡a Poe, Hal ‡x Autograph.

Private Press Tracings
Beinecke collects certain private presses and designers and would like printer/publisher tracings made for all private presses. For presses, the coding is 710 2#; for individuals, it is 700 1#. For more information see Private Presses.


710 2   ‡a Grabhorn-Hoyem (Firm).
700 1   ‡a Hunter, Dard, ‡d 1883-1966.

Ethnic Literature
If indicated on the BLIPS, add special local tracings for ethnic genre:

690   4 ‡a Asian American literature.
690   4 ‡a Latin American literature.
690   4 ‡a Hispanic American literature.

C. Fields to Delete

Delete superfluous fields from the record. For more information see:

035 Field: Delete, Retain, or Add

Variable Field Deletion Policy

D. Authority Verification

Search the series as a title and a series title. If there is a series authority record or a classed together analyzed serial record in Orbis, determine if the series is classed together. If no series authority record is found, or if there are any questions, consult a catalog librarian. Follow the policies in Yale Policies for NACO Series Authority Records.

If the bib record is LC, only the series needs to be verified.

If the bib record is not LC, search Orbis. If there is no authority record in Orbis, search LCDB. If a personal name with a prefix or a compound surname does not have a corresponding authority record, consult a catalog librarian.

See Authority control workflow for C&T staff for detailed policies and procedures.

E. Call Number and Location

The size boundaries are:

up to 25 cm. high
up to 23 cm. wide
between 26 and 37 cm. high
over 23 and up to 31 cm. wide
over 37 cm. high
over 31 cm. wide

F. Materials Processing

For Beinecke policies on marking, see Marking.

After the book is cataloged, recycle all paper travelling with the book except for BLIPS and blue flags for multivolume sets.

G. Export Queue

Enable the OCLC and MARS options in ExportQ. Export the record if it is the only MFHD with a call number. If there are multiple MFHDs, but this is the first with a call number, export it. For detailed policies and procedures see:

Policy on exporting bibliographic records from Orbis

Using the ExportQ Program

H. Statistics

Keep track of items cataloged. Follow the latest Catalog Dept. policies on statistics.

I. Workflow and methodology

  • The cataloging assistant searches the books, pulling cards as necessary. Any book not fitting the criteria for copy cataloging is put aside for original cataloging.
  • If adding a copy to an RLA record, follow the instructions in Revised Procedures for adding copies to RLA records.
  • If the book is an added copy to an Orbis record, there should be indication in some way on the searching slip that it is a duplicate that is being kept. If the added copy is going into the General Collection, assign a new Year/Number call number.
  • Do not reclassify the YCAL copy if the classification does not follow current conventions, except to rearrange printings, editions. If there is no other YCAL copy, classify according to the YCAL instruction page.
  • Check the Fixed Fields; check the record in the OPAC. Export the record to OCLC and MARS using ExportQ.
  • Write the call no. on the BLIPS.
  • If your work is being revised, make a printout of the bib. record. Note on the printout any problems you think need particular review and put the book with its BLIPS on a designated review shelf.

J. Problems, or, When to Consult a Catalog Librarian

Headings. Records in the utilites often do not have the authorized form of the heading. Headings must match authorized form. Common examples of ways that the headings do not match up are:

  • authorized form has a birth date and the heading in the utility does not;
  • authorized form does not have a birth date and the heading in the utility does have one;
  • authorized heading is slightly different from the heading in the record;
  • heading is a common one (e.g., Tate, James; Cox, Elizabeth);
  • heading does have an authority record but record needs a cross reference (e.g., NACO: Burdick, Carol; book: Carol Burdick Hudson)

For more information on the authority validation messages in Voyager, see Authority Validation Messages. It is vitally important that the guidelines are followed for these messages.

Series. If there are questions on whether a phrase is a series, a series-like note, a series is traced, etc., consult a Catalog Librarian. If there is not series authority record, consult a Catalog Librarian.

Uniform title. Uniform titles are used mainly for translations or for collections (e.g., Poems, Works). Consult a Catalog Librarian if there are any questions.

Incomplete Multipart Monographs. Consult with a Catalog Librarian.

Complicated Comparison Sheet. If there is a complicated comparison sheet, consult with a Catalog Librarian.

Classification. Any questions or conflicts regarding classification should be referred to a Catalog Librarian.

K. Links to Detailed Policies and Procedures

Cataloging at Yale

SML Catalog Dept.

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