• Chizzy Rose What is a Library Catalogue?
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    A library catalogue (or library catalog) is a register of all bibliographic items found in a library 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, cartographic materials, etc.) that is considered library material (e.g., a single novel in an anthology), or a group of library materials (e.g., a trilogy), 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.

    Charles Ammi Cutter 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)

    Catalogue 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 (hbk.)


    Traditionally, there are the following types of catalogue:

    Author card: a formal catalog, sorted 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.

    Cataloging rules

    Cataloging (or cataloguing) rules have been defined to allow for consistent cataloging of various library materials across several persons of a cataloging team and across time. Users can use them to clarify how to find an entry and how to interpret the data in an entry. Cataloging rules prescribe -> which information from a bibliographic item is included in the entry; -> how this information is presented on a catalog card or in a cataloging record; -> how the entries should be sorted in the catalog. The larger a collection, the more elaborate cataloging rules are needed. Users cannot and do not want to examine hundreds of catalog entries or even dozens of library items to find the one item they need.

    Currently, most cataloging rules are similar to, or even based on, the International Standard Bibliographic Description (ISBD), a set of rules produced by the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) to describe a wide range of library materials. These rules organize the bibliographic description of an item in the following areas: title and statement of responsibility (author or editor), edition, material specific details(for example, the scale of a map), publication and distribution, physical description (for example, number of pages), series, notes, and standard number (ISBN). The most commonly used set of cataloging rules in the English speaking world are the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules, 2nd Edition, or AACR2 for short. In the German-speaking world there exists the Regeln für die alphabetische Katalogisierung, abbreviated RAK. AACR2 has been translated into many languages, however, for use around the world. AACR2 provides rules for descriptive cataloging only and does not touch upon subject cataloging.
    20 April 2011Comment
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