Cataloging and Classification: Description and Access Reports

Annual Reports

  • 2020

    Report from CC:DA — ALA Virtual Annual 2020
    Ryan Tamares, Stanford Law School

    Day 1, Thursday, July 9, 3:00-5:00 Eastern/12:00-2:00 Pacific

    CC:DA Chair’s report on CC:DA Motions and Other Actions, January—June, 2020. Highlights:

    Noted that this was the first CC:DA virtual meeting in history. A hybrid (physical and virtual) meeting had been planned for Midwinter 2021; however, CC:DA proposes and history disposes: the COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated an all-virtual meeting now.

    The Chair reported on CC:DA activities since ALA Midwinter:

    • Motion to authorize NARDAC representatives to share the committee’s responses to three papers; approved unanimously
    • Motion to approve the revised CC:DA Procedures and send them to CaMMS Chair for consideration; motion carried
    • Motion to authorize our NARDAC representatives to share the committee’s responses to three further papers on July 1

    Six task forces:

    • CC:DA Task Force on the “Proposal on Changing Procedural Guidelines for Proposed New or Revised Romanization Tables”
    • CC:DA 3R Task Force
    • Virtual Participation Task Force
    • CC:DA Procedures Review Task Force
    • CC:DA RDA Beta Toolkit Training Investigation Taskforce
    • Cataloging Code of Ethics Feedback Task Force (formed at Midwinter; postponed because of the pandemic; still in process of formation.

    Full report posted here

    Library of Congress Liaison Melanie Polutta gave a report. Highlights:

    • Reopening milestones:
      • Phase 1, part 1, June 22: 5% of staff
      • Phase 1, part 2, July 20: more staffing onsite as local conditions permit
    • Staffing continues to change – Retirements (Karl Debus-Lopez, Leslie Hawkins), new hires, other staffing changes (Clara Liao as one of the section heads, Policy, Training, and Cooperative Programs Division (PTCP); Aaron Kuperman, Acting Law Section Head)
    • Documentation changes (Descriptive Cataloging Manual, Policy Statements, markup for policy statements (close work with PCC))
    • Literature policy: Decision to use commonly identified titles for poetry collections of single agents has been officially adopted; streamlined work and reduced need for authority work.
    • BIBFRAME – conversion specs being worked on, test files available from this latest version of specs
    • Subject cataloging: LCSH online training has been fully completed and the LC Classification online training has likewise been completed and mounted on the LC’s Website. Training includes lectures and training exercises.

    Full reported posted here

    Report from CC:DA Task Force to review the Proposal on Changing Procedural Guidelines for Proposed New or Revised Romanization Tables, Peter Fletcher, Chair. Highlights:

    • Suggestions for improvements. Main points:
      • LC revision document didn’t address current procedures that LC already has. This information is on the website and could be included into the LC’s document;
      • Role of CC:DA and CC:AAM (Committee on Cataloging: Asian and African Materials) — CC:AAM will vote on Romanization tables for their languages; historically that has been the case. CC:DA and CC:AAM have historically been distinct bodies on voting with respect to New Romanization bodies.
      • Chairs should be informed of Romanization table proposals. In the case of languages not covered by CC:AAM, the revision first goes to the relevant language body (e.g., Slavic) and then goes to the CC:DA for vote. Strictly speaking, however, CC:DA does not include languages within its remit.
    • Reasons for new proposal guidelines: staffing issues, revitalization of the process, better collaboration with stakeholders
    • Technical guidelines not to be changed
    • Questions from CC:AAM meeting in June: who constitutes romanization review board?
    • High level review board proposed during CC:DA meeting (some questions still remaining to be hashed out)
    • Recommendation made during discussion of report for joint report from both CC:AAM and CC:DA tasks forces on Romanization – Confer outside of meeting with CC:AAM for combined report

    Full report posted here

    Day 2, Monday, July 13th: 2:00-4:00 Eastern/11:00am-1:00 Pacific

    Report of the ALA Representatives to the North American RDA Committee, Stephen Hearn & Dominique Bourassa. Highlights:

    • RSC membership changes:
      • Gordon Dunsire’s term as Technical Team Liaison to the RSC and chair of the RSC’s Technical Working Group will end on December 31. Damian Iseminger (LC) has been chosen to succeed him on January 1, 2021 for a two-year term. Until then, Damian will serve as Technical Team Liaison-Elect
      • Honor Moody (Harvard University) began her two-year term as Examples Editor on January 1, 2020
      • In June, Thi Bao Tran Phan (LAC) replaced Nathalie Mainville as Canadian Committee on Cataloguing (CCC) Representative to NARDAC.
    • NARDAC’s Terms of Reference document won’t be affected by CORE
    • Efforts continue to form the Africa, Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean RDA regions
    • At the January meeting, the RSC discussed operational plans, best practices for asynchronous meetings, and fast track changes. Members evaluated discussion papers on string encoding schemes, content elements, and implementation scenarios, and four fast-track change recommendations. Meeting minutes are available here.
    • 3R Project
      • RDA project switchover remains December 15, but no plans to take down current documentation
      • Improvement of searching and filtering in search functionality
      • Free training available from the RSC Youtube channel
      • The RDA Lab Series will be presented from June 30 to December 8, through ALA eLearning

    Full report posted here

    Report on the CC:DA 3R Task Group, including discussion of revised proposal to add the RDA element curator agent of work, Bob Maxwell, Chair, CC:DA 3R Task Group, and Karen Stafford, Liaison, Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLIS/NA). Highlights:

    Maxwell reported the following activities since ALA Midwinter:

    • 3R Task Group remained in place as a sounding board for NARDAC to talk through proposed changes to RDA
    • Main project in last 6 months was the Curator proposal, originally submitted by ARLIS Stafford spoke on proposal to introduce element sets “Curator agent of work” and “curator agent of work of”
    • Presentation on possible modeling
      • Four possible treatments:
        • Shortcut between an agent and an exhibition corporate body.
        • Shortcut between an agent and an item
        • Shortcut between agent and a manifestation
        • Shortcut between an agent and an exhibition as an aggregating work. ** Preferred by ARLIS.
    • Dominique Bourassa explained “shortcut” in RDA:
      A shortcut is a way to elide over entities that are not of interest for the purposes of description: e.g.,
      (1) Manifestation to (2) Expression and (2) Expression to (3) Work

      (1) Manifestation to (3) Work
      i.e., a shortcut cuts out the “middle “entity in a series of entities concatenated.
    • Curator – relationship to an item, without having to describe exhibition/catalog
    • Shortcuts should be modeled to offer other possible solutions to other issues
    • Proposal was shared with LC and Canadian Committee on Cataloging as a learning project

    Full report posted here

    Report from the PCC liaison, Everett Allgood. Highlights:

    • Two new taskgroups for LD4P (PCC groups on expansion of cataloging for Sinopia; PCC application profiles)
    • PCC Virtual meeting scheduled for August 18, 2020
    • Completed pilot mapping App I current appendix ←> Beta toolkit
    • Mapping, Wikidata ←> MARC21
    • Standing Committee on Standards:
      • Dealing with policies for diachronic works
      • Treatment of non-human personages and pseudonyms
      • Language code task group — considering ISO-639-3 instead of current MARC list, which is more restrictive
    • Standing Committee on Training:
      • FAST training formed
      • NACO Participants’ Manual draft revision completed
      • FAST training for PCC task group
      • Sinopia training task group

    Full report posted here

    Day 3, Wednesday, July 15th: 1:00-3:00 Eastern/10:00am-12:00 Pacific

    Work and plans for CC:DA, Chair, Amanda Ros. Highlights:

    CORE survey

    • CC:DA charge under CORE?
      • OK, minor changes only needed
    • Are we reaching the right audience
      • LITA & LLAMA under CORE umbrella – opportunities to reach out (also, possible representation from LITA & LLAMA to CC:DA)
    • Does your group or activity need to continue?
      • YES. No groups identified that CC:DA might/could/should merge with. Should be a future agenda item for meetings as CORE develops
    • Cataloging Ethics Task Force
      • Cataloging Ethics document released, but committee still be formed
    • Procedures Task Force
      • Comment: Watching Curator proposal for further developments
    • 3R Task Force
      • Comment: Good to continue for ideas from NARDAC/RSC representatives
      • Comment: Recommended to keep task force active while 3R Project still being completed
    • Virtual Participation Task Force
      • Suggestion for a logistics team
      • Suggestion for a possible additional intern
      • Future meetings may change if ALA dictates another platform etc
      • Comment from the CC:DA chair: CC:DA didn’t have go through ALA because of pandemic; perhaps work with CORE/ALA for a standing schedule as well as a more uniform online platform (considering both for online meetings as well as archiving recordings of meetings)
      • Comment: Use CORE survey to address platform/archiving needs
    • RDA Toolkit Training Task Force
      • Timeline pushed back due to pandemic
      • Ongoing work; only paid training identified (expensive)
    • Romanization Tables Task Force
      • Report being revised; still some unofficial meetings to be had with CC:AAM
      • Questions from CC:DA-CC:AAM liaison (Jia Xu) – understanding to make sure joint reporting from joint task forces/CC:AAM level
      • Comment on clarification for responsibilities
    • ALCTS/CaMMS Subject Analysis Committee’s Subcommittee on Faceted Vocabularies (SSFV) – Best Practices for Recording Faceted Chronological Data in Bibliographic Records (Version 0.9)
      • CC:DA Task Force to be formed; charge approved

  • 2019

    Report From ALA Annual, CC:DA meetings,
    June 22, 24, 2019, Washington, D.C.

    by Ryan Tamares, ALA CC:DA Liaison, AALL

    Library of Congress Report
    Submitted by Kate James, LC Liaison, CC:DA

    Policy and Standards Division and Cooperative and Instructional Programs Division Merger

    The Policy and Standards Division (PSD) and the Cooperative and Instructional Programs Division (COIN) have merged to form a new division called the Policy, Training, and Cooperative
    Programs Division (PTCP). Judith Cannan is the chief of the new division. The merger was prompted by the overlap of tasks carried out by the staff of the two former divisions, including developing and communicating cataloging policy decisions, responding to queries from the cataloging community, interacting with internal and external constituents as Library of Congress experts, providing training and briefings, producing and maintaining cataloging documentation, and involvement with the Program for Cooperative Cataloging. The merged division will allow for more efficiency in these areas of overlap. It consists of two sections, with some staff members reporting directly to the chief.


    The Network Development and MARC Standards Office (NDMSO) and the Cooperative and Instructional Programs Division (COIN) continue to work together on BIBFRAME development and testing. Approximately 50 Library of Congress catalogers are currently participating in BIBFRAME Pilot Phase Two. Approximately 60 additional LC staff members, including several from LC’s Overseas Offices, will begin training this summer to join the Pilot by the end of the fiscal year.

    Cataloging Policy and Standards

    Library of Congress-Program for Cooperative Cataloging Policy Statements frozen as RDA Toolkit frozen during the 3R Project – any necessary changes during this period will be posted:

    An updated interface for Classification Web will be released in late summer or early fall of 2019.

    Linear Name Changes for Macedonia (Republic) and Swaziland addressed.

    “Multiple” Subdivisions cancellations detailed.

    Moratorium on LCDGT Proposals still in place while PSD evaluates LCDGT’s structure and principles.

    U.S. ISSN Center – Revisions to ISO 8:1977, Presentation and Identification of Periodicals, and ISO 3297, the ISSN Standard.

    Full report:

    Report of the ALA Representatives to the North American RDA Committee (NARDAC)
    Dominique Bourassa and Stephen Hearn, ALA Representatives, NARDAC

    3R Project

    Three major releases affecting content, display, and functionality of the RDA Toolkit were posted since ALA Midwinter: February 21, April 30, and May 22.

    Highlights include the ability to create links without logging into a profile, improved filtering of search results, a footer with the page publication date, a PDF print button, and the
    implementation of the sought-after citation numbering.

    The project to add a visual browser to the beta Toolkit was suspended. Instead, a breadcrumb navigation has been added to give more options to users navigating through the Toolkit. To
    increase user experience, the RSC plans to explore ways to further improve navigation within the Toolkit.

    For a description of changes associated with rollouts, see,, and

    Stabilization of the English text

    Stabilizing the English text of RDA was the RSC’s highest priority. The RSC accomplished this goal in three steps: the first step consisted in finalizing the RDA vocabularies and element set in the RDA registry; the second, in finalizing the instruction wording in the RDA entity and element chapters; and the third, in finalizing the guidance and resource chapters. Comments and suggestions from individuals and communities were taken into consideration when making changes to the text of RDA. Many were implemented. The RSC is planning to send responses to communities’ feedback. RSC responses to comments from the 3R Task Force and NARDAC have been received and distributed.

    Highlights of changes to RDA instructions since ALA Midwinter include:

    • Revision and addition of instructions in many elements, such as name of person, access point for manifestation, etc.;
    • Introduction of new elements for more precise linking, among which are contributor agent to aggregate and designation of version;
    • Hard or soft deprecation of some elements, such as other distinguishing characteristics of work and other distinguishing characteristics of expression;
    • Revision and addition of instructions in guidance chapters.

    The stabilization of the English text of RDA, published in the April 30 release of the beta Toolkit, marks a milestone towards the completion of the 3R project. The stabilized text can now be used as the basis for translations, policy statements, RDA examples, and supplementary materials such textbooks.

    Completion of the 3R Project: At the earliest, the projected date for completion of the 3R project is early 2020. Until then, the original RDA Toolkit remains the official text of RDA. After the completion of the 3R project, the RDA Toolkit is planned to be updated quarterly.
    For more information on the stabilization of the English text of RDA and the next steps in the 3R Project, consult

    Full report:

    PCC Report for CC:DA at ALA Annual 2019
    Submitted by Julian Everett Allgood, PCC liaison to CC:DA

    The PCC has formed the Task Group on Metadata Application Profiles (MAPs). The task group is charged with helping the PCC understand issues and practices associated with the
    management of MAPs. This group will also help develop the expertise needed within PCC to work with MAPs.

    Phase I of the limited use of ISBD punctuation in bibliographic records has been implemented. PCC libraries now have the option of omitting terminal periods of descriptive fields. The guidelines are on the PCC website: Phase II allowing PCC libraries to omit punctuation between subfields of descriptive fields will be implemented after the ALA annual conference.

    The PCC Task Group on Engagements and Broadening the PCC Community administered a survey that was distributed to many distribution lists covering various communities and cataloging groups. The survey included questions addressed to both PCC and non-PCC members. The majority of responses were from academic libraries (70%) and from the United States (81%). Survey results will be available later this year.

    Collaboration with the Wiki community: The PCC held a Wikidata workshop in conjunction with the PCC Operations Committee meeting. Additional information is available from this page:

    To advance its strategic direction in the area of expanding use of linked data value vocabularies, the PCC has set up a formal relationship with the ALCTS Subject Analysis Committee’s Subcommittee on Faceted Vocabularies and the OCLC FAST Policy and Oversight Committee.

    Full report:

    The RDA Steering Committee also made these presentations:
    (only one presentation posted online at the time of report-writing, as linked below)

    • Basic information about translation process / James Hennelly, Director, ALA Digital Reference
    • Basic information about policy statement development / Hennelly
    • Policy statement development from the BL perspective / Thurstan Young, British Library
    • RDA in MARC / Young
    • Application profiles / Gordon Dunsire, RSC Technical Team Liaison Officer
    • Future processes for changes to RDA / Kathy Glennan, Chair, RDA Steering Committee

    Future Processes for Changes to RDA

    RSC does not yet have a formal procedure process; NARDAC still has to develop in this way
    Quarterly basis would allow for spreading out of proposals —relief valve
    Process must change to work with Beta Toolkit
    Examples in the Toolkit would not be covered by the new proposal process
    Changes directed to RSC channels, i.e., NARDAC for our region
    Guidelines will be developed and disseminated
    Expected: Mix of proposal directives/directions/unsolicited discussions papers/etc.
    CC:DA’s calendering/working structure will not work with the new RSC/NARDAC approach to changes – working remotely & asynchronously will have to be more fully developed
    Guidelines/calendarizing for proposals needing translation
    Asynchronous meetings very helpful if participants don’t have a common language

    Testing/adjustment period for making proposals for first RSC face-to-face meeting, Santiago, Chile, October 22, 2019

    Proposal must “show the work”
    Framework must be setup by RSC
    Proposals may have to be more “internationalized” besides streamlined
    Proposals will be reviewed not only by NARDAC but EURIG, ORDAC.
    Proposals may not be able to accommodated during the stabilizing period/3R development.

    For the period before the next RSC meeting in Santiago, Chile, October 2019, proposals may be made through RSC.

    Non-Human Personages and New RDA: Considerations for the LC/NACO Authority File
    Presented by Kate James, LC Liaison, CC:DA
    (slides unavailable at the time of report-writing)

    From the perspective of LC, not RSC; preview of forthcoming paper
    Overview: FR models & RDA; Person entity; non-human personages; possible practical solutions

    * New RDA = BetaToolkit, not for use for current production *

    RDA model review: FRBR (1998); FRAD (2009); FRSAD (2011)

    Consolidation: reconciliation needed between 3 models; LRM result, approved by IFLA
    Professional Committee, 2017 → 3R Project Goals include alignment with LRM

    Definition change for person in new RDA (see Chris Oliver’s presentation on LRM – Toolkit Youtube channel for one way to access)

    LRM, conceptual; RDA, practical
    Expansions – RDA example: Family as sub-type of Collective agent
    Exceptions – RDA example: Res not in RDA
    Definition of Person:
    FRBR: an individual, living or dead
    FRAD: an individual or persona or identity established or adopted by an individual or group
    RDA: An individual or an identity established by an individual, either alone or in collaboration with one or more individuals
    LRM: an individual human being – NOTE: LRM allows for human beings who are assumed to have lived
    (One representation of person may be the authorized access point)
    Non-Human Personage
    Examples: Fictitious character, real animal; Spirit, deity, angel and other non-human, non-animal possibly real individuals
    Does NOT include unnamed individuals/things/animals/etc
    LRM -approach
    Non-human personages included in Res
    Res has association with Res
    Res is subject of Work
    Res has appellation Nomen
    RDA did not implement Res, LRM approach does not work for RDA (out of scope)
    RDA Entity is all other entities defined in RDA
    Ground rules
    Accept the model
    Instructions for subjects outside the scope of RDA
    Instructructions not meant for the weirdest book you’ve ever cataloged
    Relationships must be accurate to serve users and create good linked data
    RDA approach – slide (note Entity v entity)
    Nomen appellation of RDA entity
    Work has subject ?
    Work has related entity of work ?
    Agent has related entity of agent ?
    Implications for NAF
    Name authority records for non-human personages cannot be coded RDA
    Non-human personages cannot have Agent relationships to Works, expressions, etc.
    Instructions for identification of non-human personages cannot come from RDA or LC-PCC PSs
    How to make this work
    Keep existing NARs and LC/NAF and allow new NARs for individual non-human personages as needed
    Keep fictitious groups and places in LCSH
    New LC manual for instructions for constructing heading for non-human personages
    New MARC description convention source code for 040 $e and 075 $2
    Key: Is a REAL PERSON represented by a NAR/authorized access point?
    Questions of Linking outside/inside the (LRM) model

  • 2018

    Report of the AALL Representative to the American Library Association, Association for Library Collections and Technical Services,
    Cataloging and Metadata Management Section
    Committee on Cataloging: Description and Access (CC:DA)
    ALA Annual Meeting 2018, New Orleans, Louisiana

    Robert Bratton, George Washington University Law Library, AALL Representative/Liaison to CC:DA.

    I. Law cataloging and general cataloging issues before CC:DA

    With the RDA Toolkit “frozen,” there were no change proposals for CC:DA to discuss and vote on for the 2018 ALA Midwinter and Annual meetings.

    II. RDA Toolkit Restructure and Redesign Project (3R Project)

    Work on the 3R Project continues. A beta version of the RDA Toolkit was made available in June, 2018. You may access the beta Toolkit here. The following links may be helpful:

    III. Governance Structure of RDA

    The five-year transition period changing the governance structure of RDA is underway. As reported last time, representation on the RDA Steering Committee (RSC) will be based on UN regions rather than by library organizations. The impact for U.S. catalogers: instead of an ALA representative serving on the RSC, there will be one person representing North America on the RSC. Currently, North America is defined as Canada and the United States (and if they ever adopt RDA: Bermuda, Greenland, and Saint Pierre and Miquelon). The NARDAC representative to the RSC will be Thomas Brenndorfer, and the new RSC Chair-elect is Kathy Glennan.


    The North American RDA Committee (NARDAC) formed in January 2018. Current membership includes two representatives from the American Library Association (Dominique Bourassa, Yale University, and Kathy Glennan, University of Maryland), two from the Canadian Committee on Cataloguing (Thomas Brenndorfer, Guelph Public Library, and Nathalie Mainville, Library and Archives Canada), and two from the Library of Congress (Damian Iseminger and Kate James). They have met virtually three times so far this year (February 28, April 4, and May 25) and they plan to meet again on July 13. For further reading, please see the full report on NARDAC and RDA related activities for January-June 2018.

    V. Library of Congress report

    Please see the Library of Congress report. LC’s BIBFRAME Phase Two testing continues.

    VI. PCC report

    Please see the report from the Program for Cooperative Cataloging.

    VII. CC:DA Meeting Agenda

    Many of the proposals, papers, and reports can be accessed from CC:DA’s posted meeting agenda.

  • 2017


    Robert Bratton, George Washington University Law Library, AALL Representative/Liaison to CC:DA.


    With the RDA Toolkit frozen until April 2018, there were no change proposals or discussion papers for CC:DA to consider and comment on at this meeting.

    The RDA Steering Committee (RSC) wants more input from “specialist” metadata communities, and the Monday morning meeting time reserved for CC:DA was devoted exclusively to this. People from various cataloging communities (cartographic, audiovisual, rare materials, music, etc.) all gave feedback and there was a lot of interesting discussions. Two significant things that came up in this meeting: 1) some in the serials community think we need to revisit the instructions for major/minor title changes for serials, and 2) instructions for subject analysis remain out of scope in RDA for the foreseeable future.


    The 3R Project is roughly one quarter complete. Many of the changes are of the under-the-hood variety to make the RDA Toolkit more of a web based resource and less like a book. One improvement will be, when you log out and then back into the Toolkit it will take you to where you last were. Content changes to RDA are based on implementing the FRBR-Library Reference Model (LRM). The FRBR-LRM is an attempt to consolidate the three separately developed conceptual models (FRBR, FRAD, FRSAD) into a single, consistent model. The LRM offers a “four-fold path” for metadata:

    1. Unstructured. Ex.: A note. Ex.: The author writes in English. [Text string]
    2. Structured. Ex.: An authorized access point. Ex.: English. [Text string]
    3. Identifier. Ex.: An identifier. Ex.: eng [Text string]
    4. International Resource Identifier (IRI). Ex.: http://id/ [Thing]

    This approach will allow RDA to use four implementation scenarios: 1) flat-file, 2) linked authorized access points between bibliographic and authority records, 3) relational or object database, and 4) linked data).

    Some changes have already been incorporated into the RDA Toolkit, such as changing “the authorized access point” to “an authorized access point.” This shifts emphasis from one single AAP to the ability to have multiple AAPs (such as the name clusters in VIAF). Also, the phrase “person, family, or corporate body” has been replaced with “agent” based on the LRM.

    While there are many changes coming to the RDA Toolkit, Gordon Dunsire (Chair of the RSC) assured us that catalogers will be able to continue to work as we currently are, if we choose to do so. There was supposed to be an official update in June, but as of this writing it has not been posted in the Toolkit. Initial status report from February 28, 2017.


    The five-year transition period changing the governance structure of RDA is underway. As reported last time, representation on the RSC will be based on UN regions rather than by library organizations. The impact for U.S. catalogers: instead of an ALA representative serving on the RSC, there will be one person representing North America on the RSC. Currently, North America is defined as Canada and the United States (and if they ever adopt RDA: Bermuda, Greenland, and Saint Pierre and Miquelon).


    Kathy Glennan (the current ALA representative to the RSC) reported that progress has been made but many details remain unresolved. The North American RDA Committee (NARDAC) will comprise at least six members: two from ALA, two from the Canadian Committee on Cataloging (CCC), and two from the Library of Congress. It could be seven members if the Chair decides that s/he cannot also serve as a community representative. It could be up to nine members if NARDAC decides it needs to co-opt two additional members. ALA still has to decide the process for nominating and appointing the proposed two representatives, determining the length of the appointments, and reviewing the role of CC:DA in relation to NARDAC. ALA, at the highest level, has the responsibility for approving the final terms of reference, and the ALCTS Board will approve the ALA representatives to NARDAC. The RDA Board has requested that the everything relating to NARDAC be finalized by the end of the 2017 calendar year.

    The governance structures for the European RDA Interest Group (EURIG) and the Oceania RDA Committee (ORDAC) have been finalized.

    For further reading, please see Kathy’s full report (PDF) on all RSC activities.


    Dave Reser gave the Library of Congress report (PDF). Jane Sánchez was appointed Law Librarian of Congress, effective Feb. 5, 2017.


    From Dave Reser’s report:

    “[Network Development and MARC Standards Office (NDMSO)] revised BIBFRAME extensively and published BIBFRAME 2.0 in March-April 2017 … In June 2017, ABA began training the 40 former pilot participants in BIBFRAME 2.0. In July, an additional 27 cataloging staff will be trained in BIBFRAME 2.0. By August, the BIBFRAME Pilot will resume with approximately 65 catalogers and copy catalogers using BIBFRAME 2.0. In contrast to the 2016 pilot, the BIBFRAME 2.0 phase will feature a simulated dynamic BIBFRAME environment, achieved by converting all bibliographic and authority records in the Library of Congress Online Catalog to BIBFRAME 2.0. The new phase of the BIBFRAME Pilot will test: input of bibliographic data using BIBFRAME 2.0 vocabulary; name authority work (using RDA as the cataloging standard) with MODS vocabulary; and non-Latin bibliographic description in native scripts. Participants will create descriptions of each resource in both MARC 21 and BIBFRAME 2.0. To encourage experimentation with BIBFRAME by the community, BIBFRAME 2.0 and all BIBFRAME tools developed at LC are made available for download on the software sharing site, GitHub.”


    Lori Robare submitted the report from the Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PDF). A few highlights:

    • At the request/nagging of AALL catalogers, LC revised the LC-PCC Policy Statement regarding omitting information from statements of responsibility. It now reads:LC practice/PCC practice for Optional omission: Generally do not abridge a statement of responsibility. Essential information that should not be omitted includes words or phrases that are considered part of a person’s name or provide identifying elements often used in an authorized access point. (For example, terms indicating a familial relationship such as “Jr.” or a title of nobility such as “Duke of Norfolk.”)This implies that we can choose to omit things that are not “essential information” as defined by the PS. Victory!
    • “The PCC is moving forward to implement the recommendations of the PCC ISBD and MARC Task Group, which call for eliminating ISBD punctuation that coincides with MARC coding. As a first step, OCLC and LC are creating test sets of records and a small group is being formed to track the testing and analyze results.” My understanding is that some punctuation will have to remain, such as ” : $b” and ” = $b” in the MARC 245, but the objective is to eliminate most pre-ISBD and ISBD punctuation from MARC records. Please see the Task Group’s revised final report (PDF).
    • “Work will resume on implementing a new approach to authorized access points (AAPs) for translations once the process for posting PS changes during 3R is clarified. In summary, existing expression authority records qualified only by subfield $l will be regarded as undifferentiated. Catalogers may continue to create authority records for specific expressions but will no longer create undifferentiated authorities. A work authority will be required in all cases to support the AAP in the bibliographic record, and a language qualifier added to a work AAP in a bib record will not require a separate authority record. Some outstanding issues are still being resolved before implementation.”
    • “The Task Group on Supplements and Special Numbers has drafted a revision to LC-PCC PS 2.12, (which instructs to treat a supplement or a special number to a serial as a series, while other policy statements prescribe either series treatment or other methods) and is gathering examples.”
    • The PS at RDA was revised to clarify when an RDA AAP can be revised (e.g. adding a death date, or correcting an error).
    • “Series Policy Task Group. This group has finished its review of series-related LC-PCC PS and sections of DCM Z1. The group submitted a successful revision proposal of the DCM Z1 manual on what should be done when SAR information is needed on a work/expression record that already has been established as a NAR. The group proposed that a pre-existing NAR should be coded as a series authority record so that it can validate the authorized access point whether it appears in the 1XX/240, 7XX, or 8XX. This policy change is now reflected in the DCM Z1 1XX section. Additional proposals still under review include LC-PCC PS 1.8.2, 2.12.9, and (Explicit instructions to add parentheses in chronological designation of series AAPs, additional examples of recording numbering in series AAPs) and sections of LC-PCC PS 6.27 and 24.6 relating to One or several series authorized access point: language editions.”
    • “Bob Maxwell is working on a white paper to identify outstanding issues related to aggregate works. Once his paper has been completed, a joint SCS-SCT task group will be formed to resolve any remaining issues, and to develop guidelines or best practices. Timeframe: summer-fall 2017.” I’ll note that there is also an RSC Working Group examining aggregates.
    • It was not mentioned in the report, but there is a white paper hot of the presses: Linked Data Infrastructure Models: Areas of Focus for PCC Strategies (PDF).


    Many of the proposals, papers, and reports can be accessed from CC:DA’s posted meeting agenda.

  • 2016


    Robert Bratton, George Washington University Law Library, AALL Liaison to CC:DA.

    ALA Committee on Cataloging: Description & Access (CC:DA)


    1. I submitted AALL’s one change proposal regarding adding instructions for creating authorized access points (AAPs) for single laws governing multiple jurisdictions.After some discussion and questions, CC:DA voted unanimously to approve our proposal. The proposal will be reformulated by ALA’s representative to the RDA Steering Committee (RSC) and go on for comment by other cataloging communities and the RSC itself.
    2. Regarding our previous change proposal for adding an instruction for the AAPs for the names of international courts. It is not official yet, but the current consensus is to add a sentence about international courts in the RDA instruction for names of courts ( pointing to the instructions for names of corporate bodies ( An example of an international court will be added to the instruction for international bodies ( We should have the final decision sometime in July. While they may not accept our proposal exactly as worded, they are going to add language and an example pertaining to international court AAPs, and that was the whole point.The international courts proposal and a few others were put through as an experiment informally called “fast track plus.” Ironically that has delayed the decision on the proposal for a longer period of time than it normally would have. If this experiment succeeds, the change will go into the August RDA Toolkit release.
    3. There was a change proposal to allow for greater flexibility in creating variant access points. The proposal also seeks to make the language and substance of all the instructions pertaining to variant access points more in synch with each other. CC:DA voted unanimously to approve the proposal. I questioned the examples in the proposal at RDA because I thought they were a bad idea. The response I got was that such variants might be needed to link AAPs from different controlled vocabularies together. However, an LC-PCC PS may be needed to clarify not to make such variant access points within a single controlled vocabulary like the NACO Authority File.
    4. A Task Group submitted a discussion paper pertaining to the ongoing debate on how RDA should handle “accompanying material.” One of the sticking points is whether or not there should be a “single path” or if there needs to be a distinction between supplementary things that are on the same carrier as the primary resource (e.g. bonus content on a DVD) and things that are on a different carrier than the primary resource (e.g. a DVD supplement published with a book).
    5. During the past six months, ALA submitted fast track proposals to:
      • Clarify that for early printed resources, distribution and manufacture statements relating to booksellers and printers may be treated as publication statements.
      • Revise to better address multiple parallel other title information statements.
      • Add eight new terms and revise one existing term in RDA Appendix I, for roles associated with music/AV resources.
      • Update the RDA/MARC mapping in the “Tools tab” to link MARC Authorities field 377 to RDA 6.11 (Language of Expression) and vice versa.


    The FRBR-LRM was published in February 2016 and open for comment through May 1, 2016. The FRBR-LRM is an attempt to consolidate the three separately developed conceptual models (FRBR, FRAD, FRSAD) into a single, consistent model. ALA’s comments prepared by a CC:DA Task Force were rather critical of the proposed model. Gordon Dunsire spoke at the CC:DA meeting about the internationalization of RDA and application profiles. During the question-and-answer portion, he said the FRBR Review Group has set aside a full day at their upcoming meeting to discuss all of the feedback they have received on FRBR-LRM. He said he assumed the model would be modified based on feedback and ultimately adopted. The meeting will be held at the IFLA World Library and Information Congress, 13-19 August 2016, Columbus, Ohio. A blog post containing links to different community responses is available.


    The five year transition period changing the governance structure of RDA is underway. As reported last time, representation on the RSC will be based on UN regions rather than by library organizations. The impact for U.S. catalogers: instead of an ALA representative serving on the RSC, there will be one person representing North America on the RSC. Currently, North America is defined as Canada and the United States (and if they ever adopt RDA: Bermuda, Greenland, and Saint Pierre and Miquelon). Kathy Glennan (the current ALA representative to the RSA) reported that little has been done to set up how this will work for the U.S. and Canada, so for now and the near future it is the status quo. The Europeans have done some work on establishing how they will have a single representative.


    Dave Reser gave the Library of Congress report. President Obama’s nomination of Dr. Carla D. Hayden to be the next Librarian of Congress was approved by the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration on Thursday, June 9, 2016. The nomination now goes to the full Senate for consideration. Timing of consideration by the Senate is unknown, but Dr. Hayden is expected to be confirmed. If confirmed, Dr. Hayden will be the first woman and first African American to be Librarian of Congress.

    Gabe Horchler, Head of the Law Section, retired on February 20, 2016, after 45 years at LC. Interviews for his successor were underway as of June 10, 2016.

    The ABA Directorate has permission to fill approximately 30 vacancies from open postings not limited to internal applicants in 2015-2016. Most of the open positions are for professional librarians and may carry specific language requirements.


    Phase one of the BIBFRAME pilot testing at LC took place between October 1, 2015 and March 31, 2016. Participants in the first pilot were approximately 40 catalogers and technicians who catalog materials in all languages, scripts, and formats. They cataloged the materials they regularly received. During this process the BIBFRAME vocabulary, Editor, and Profile Editor were all revised. The original vocabulary is now referred to as BIBFRAME 1.0. The vocabulary that will be used in the second pilot testing is BIBFRAME 2.0. The second pilot will begin no sooner than October 2016. A full report of the pilot, phase one is available.


    Lori Robare gave the report from the Program for Cooperative Cataloging. There is a lot of work currently underway and the report is worth reading (it’s only three pages). A few highlights:

    • The Series Policy Task Group has almost finished its review of series-related LC-PCC PS and sections of DCM Z1. The group has submitted a small number of revisions that will appear in the August 2016 release of the RDA Toolkit (Series introduction, DCM Z1 380, 381, and 5XX fields, LC-PCC PS,
    • A major revision of the May 2014 preliminary edition of the entire RDA series training manual is nearly complete. Several revised sessions are already posted on the Catalogers Learning Workshop website and the remaining sessions should be completed soon.
    • The Standing Committee on Training has completed guidelines for the use of MARC authority fields 672 (Title related to the entity) and 673 (Title not related to the entity), which are expected to be incorporated into the DCM Z1 manual in the August 2016 release of Cataloger’s Desktop.
    • A group was charged with identifying revisions needed to NACO Funnel web pages and documentation. A review of BIBCO, CONSER, and SACO Funnel documentation may follow.


    Many of the proposals, papers, reports, and discussions can be accessed from CC:DA’s posted meeting agenda.

  • 2015


    Robert Bratton, George Washington University Law Library, AALL Liaison to CC:DA.


    Governance Structure of RDA

    Big changes to come in the governing structure of RDA. The JSC has proposed a five year transition period to become the RDA Steering Committee (RSC). They want the representation to be based on UN regions rather than by library organizations. What this means is that instead of ALA having a representative who serves on the JSC, there would be one person representing North America on the RSC. The goal is to make RDA “truly international” and to expand the use of RDA to the archives, linked data, and museum communities. There was much consternation among CC:DA about this.

    Impact of FR Consolidation

    From the IFLA RDA Review Group’s Report of Activities 2013-2014:

    “During the IFLA 2013 conference in Singapore, the FRBR Review Group decided to form a Consolidation Editorial Group to lead the work of bringing the three conceptual models (FRBR, FRAD, and FRSAR models) together into one coherent model. [This process is often referred to as ‘FR consolidation’] Consolidation work had reached a point where it required a small group to gather the results of numerous consultations, to identify areas that still needed attention, and to start giving shape to the consolidated conceptual model. The members of this group are Patrick LeBoeuf, Pat Riva, Miriam Säfström, and Maja Žumer. … During 2013/2014, the Consolidation Editorial Group held two series of meetings.”

    From the RDA JSC meeting minutes, November 4, 2014:

    “The JSC working principle during this time will be that extensive changes to RDA with high risk impact factors will not be implemented. Proposals may be accepted in principle, but suspended pending review. Proposals unlikely to be impacted by external factors — which [Kathy] Glennan understood to include most FRBR Group 1 entities — will continue to be implemented. The JSC is unwilling to spend resources on changing RDA structure and content where it is likely that those changes will be overwritten in the next year or two. For instance, extensive renumbering of instructions will be avoided for the time being. The JSC advised groups developing proposals — such as CC:DA — to take this working principle into account when prioritizing tasks. This should not hamstring CC:DA in its choice of issues to tackle. Rather, CC:DA should carefully plan the timing of its efforts.”

    Law related issued before CC:DA

    Kathy Glennan (the ALA representative to the JSC) shared her draft of the “Laws, etc.” proposal. She changed nothing substantive from the AALL proposal (which CC:DA approved at their ALA Midwinter meting), and John Hostage and I found no major problems with it. Kathy asked us about the maintenance/clean up aspects of the proposal. We both responded that it is a concern, but that it shouldn’t prevent the proposal from going forward. I’m wondering if the established “Laws, etc.” uniform titles can be flagged to not automatically convert to RDA as part of Phase 3B (they currently aren’t, unlike the AAPs for treaties). There are currently almost identical numbers of “Laws, etc.” and “Treaties, etc.” established uniform titles.

    There has also been progress on the other AALL proposal that CC:DA approved at Midwinter, pertaining to numbering in the names of military units (RDA Kate James (the RDA Examples Editor) continues to consult with Kathy Glennan, John Hostage, and myself about which examples to retain, add, or eliminate.

    Folks at LC proposed a new fast track proposal regarding the names of certain courts. LC didn’t like the wording of the instruction (fair point) and they noticed two anomalies in the examples. If you look at RDA, you will notice the two courts in India have qualifiers unlike any of the other examples. LC proposed that all the other examples be changed to follow this practice.

    Instead of: France. Cour d’appel (Lyon)
    you’d have: France. Cour d’appel (Lyon, France)

    I balked at this because it creates ever more maintenance for little or no improvement in satisfying the FRBR user tasks. I again enlisted John Hostage, who independently reached the same conclusion, and he provided invaluable information about the historical context of this rule in AACR2. Kathy took this back to the folks at LC, who changed their minds and agreed with us. They are still proposing improving the wording of the rule and making all of the examples consistent with current practice.

    Contents notes

    There was a change proposal that partly addressed the lack of instructions for contents notes. This is something CC:DA has been struggling with for a long time, and it got bogged down again. They are/were trying to fit it in to the chapters about relationships, but a better approach emerged that perhaps these instructions really belong at RDA Chapters 2 and 6, as notes rather than relationships.

    There was a proposal with many new relationship designators (some pertaining to jurisdictions) and it passed.

    You can access the proposals and the online discussions from CC:DA’s Working Documents page.

    Minutes from CC:DA’s Midwinter meeting


    LC has working on developing controlled vocabulary for Demographic Group Terms. The terms are capitalized, plural, faceted, and in natural language order. For example if you wanted to apply the terms for African American women, you would use two DGTs: African Americans; Women. The pilot phase 1 has about 400 terms, and they are working on a bigger list they hope to release by the end of 2015. The terms are visible in ClassWeb. They are not accepting suggestions for new terms until after the initial release.

    LC plans to issue approximately 40 genre form terms for religious materials. From the SACO announcement: “In September 2015 the meeting will approve approximately 40 genre/form terms for religious materials. The proposals appear on Tentative List 1518. PSD is requesting comments on the proposals; please email Janis L. Young at through August 31, 2015.”

    LC is working on refresher RDA webinars, cheat sheets, etc. that will be available “soon” as part of their Catalogers Learning Workshop.

    There was discussion of three new-ish MARC fields (the links are to MARC bibliographic documentation, but the fields are valid in both bibliographic and authority records):

      • 385 – Audience characteristics (“I want books written for Spanish speaking teenagers.”)
      • 386 – Creator/contributor characteristics (“I want books written by Scottish women.”)
      • 388 – Time Period of Creation (“I want books written during World War II.”) [Has not been implemented yet]

    NACO Phase 3B

    Gary Strawn has developed the software routine that will convert approximately 7.5 million authority records to be coded as RDA. These are all the remaining authority records that aren’t flagged with that cheery 667 note that they must be evaluated by a cataloger. 1xx AAPs will remain unchanged, all obsolete indicators will be replaced with blanks, and many other ambitious automatic changes.

  • 2014


    30 July 2014

    Liaison name: John Hostage

    Liaison organization: ALA Committee on Cataloging: Description and Access (CC:DA)

    Primary contact: Peter Rolla, chair

    The work of CC:DA continued to be focused on RDA (Resource Description & Access) in the past year. The revision proposal that I prepared last year concerning access points for treaties was considered by the Joint Steering Committee for Revision of RDA (JSC). I traveled to Washington, D.C., in November 2013 to be available when the proposal was discussed at the JSC meeting. It was important to be able to explain some of the legal details and the needs of law libraries. Even after the proposal was accepted, there was still extensive consultation with the AALL representative while the text was prepared for publication in the RDA Toolkit. This finally became a reality in April 2014. The entire process seems to have brought increased respect for AALL in the cataloging community.

    The CC:DA task force on place names that I was serving on has been reconstituted as an international working group reporting directly to the JSC. I continue to serve on this working group, which will try to internationalize and simplify the rules.

    Law catalogers in AALL continue to examine ways in which to improve RDA. In the coming year we will be considering a proposal to eliminate the conventional collective title (uniform title) “Laws, etc.” from the cataloging rules.

    In this and other efforts, AALL will be represented by the new representative to CC:DA, Robert Bratton. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to serve the association as representative for the last six years.

  • 2013


    John Hostage
    Harvard Law School Library
    hostage [at]

    24 July 2013

    Primary contact (at ALA): Peter Rolla, chair.

    The work of CC:DA continued to be focused on RDA (Resource Description & Access) in the past year. After years of deliberation and preparation, RDA was fully implemented by the national libraries and many other libraries in this country, including law libraries, earlier this year. In the past year the text of RDA has been reworded for greater clarity and readability. Meanwhile, work on the Bibliographic Framework Transition Initiative, now nicknamed “Bibframe,” has continued. The goal is to produce a model to replace the MARC format and take full advantage of the possibilities of RDA in the developing linked data world.

    CC:DA continues to study proposals for revisions to RDA. In collaboration with other law catalogers, I prepared a proposal to change the construction of access points for treaties under RDA. The text as written called for entering treaties under the first-named signatory. For many multilateral treaties this would lead to access points that started with “Afghanistan” or “Albania” or some other country at the beginning of the alphabet. This was unacceptable to the law cataloging community, so we proposed that the access point for all treaties should consist of the title of the treaty followed by the date of signing. This proposal was accepted by CC:DA and sent on to the Joint Steering Committee for Revision of RDA (JSC), which will decide on the matter at its next meeting later this year.

    CC:DA has been looking at proposals for revisions to other parts of RDA, especially the instructions and vocabularies for relationship designators, an area that is emphasized much more strongly in RDA than it was in AACR2. Another area is the instructions concerning names of places; I am serving on a task force that is studying ways to make the instructions simpler and more consistent.

    The law cataloging community is considering whether we want to propose other changes in the coming year. One possibility is the elimination of the conventional collective title “Laws, etc.,” which is used for certain compilations of laws.

  • 2012

    Report of the AALL Representative to the American Library Association,
    Association for Library Collections and Technical Services,
    Cataloging and Classification Section: Description and Access (CC:DA)
    ALA Midwinter Meeting, Dallas, Texas, January 2012
    ALA Annual Conference, Anaheim, California, June 2012

    John Hostage
    Harvard Law School Library
    hostage [at]

    1 August 2012

    Primary contact (at ALA): Peter Rolla, chair.

    The work of CC:DA continued to be focused on RDA (Resource Description & Access) in the past year. RDA is a new cataloging code designed to replace AACR2. The RDA Toolkit was released two years ago. It is an online, subscription-based resource that contains the text of RDA as well as the RDA element set, various mappings, workflows, and related resources. Some libraries have begun applying RDA on at least a partial basis, and the three national libraries in the U.S. (LC, NLM, NAL) announced this spring that enough progress had been made on the improvements they demanded a year ago that they can implement RDA in March 2013. Among those improvements is rewording the text of RDA for greater clarity and readability. Several chapters have been done already and should be published in the RDA Toolkit later this year. Another condition for adopting RDA was the development of a new bibliographic framework to replace the MARC format, which was identified as a requirement to take full advantage of RDA. The Library of Congress is leading an effort called the Bibliographic Framework Transition Initiative to accomplish this goal and has hired an outside consultant to develop an initial model.

    CC:DA continues to study proposals for revisions to RDA. The AALL proposal concerning the rules for certain place names, which was first introduced in 2010, has continued to undergo review by the committee; it is close to getting final approval and being sent on to the Joint Steering Committee for Development of RDA (JSC). The AALL representative also served on a couple of CC:DA task forces, including one to review the use of the Chicago Manual of Style in RDA and one to revise the document Building International Descriptive Cataloging Standards.

    There are some issues in RDA that still concern law librarians. One of the big changes introduced in RDA has to do with the entry of treaties. Many multilateral treaties that were entered under title according to AACR2 will be entered under the first-named signatory to the treaty under RDA. Although this is consistent with the treatment of other works in RDA (if treaties can be considered collaborations between various signatories), the result is troubling to law catalogers. In addition, it is not always easy to determine the first-named signatory, nor are the sources consistent. The continued use of the uniform titles (or, as they are now known, “preferred titles”) “Laws, etc.” and “Treaties, etc.” has been questioned. The law cataloging community has not come to a consensus about whether to pursue changes to RDA in these areas.

  • 2011

    Report of the AALL Representative to the American Library Association,
    Association for Library Collections and Technical Services,
    Cataloging and Classification Section: Description and Access (CC:DA)
    ALA Midwinter Meeting, San Diego, California, January 2011
    ALA Annual Conference, New Orleans, Louisiana, June 2011

    John Hostage
    Harvard Law School Library
    hostage [at]

    8 July 2011

    Primary contact (at ALA): Lori Robare, chair.

    The work of CC:DA (visit website) continued to be focused on RDA (Resource Description & Access) in the past year. RDA is a new cataloging code designed to replace AACR2. The RDA Toolkit was released a year ago. It is an online, subscription-based resource that contains the text of RDA as well as the RDA element set, various mappings, workflows, and related resources. The three national libraries in the U.S. (LC, NLM, NAL), assisted by many other libraries, put RDA through an extensive period of testing. After evaluating the results of that testing, they announced in June that they intended to implement RDA no earlier than January 1, 2013, contingent on a number of improvements being made. In a related move, the Library of Congress announced in May a Bibliographic Framework Transition Initiative to investigate the development of an eventual replacement for the MARC 21 format. Many people believe a new data transmission carrier is necessary to take full advantage of RDA and to integrate library data in the wider world of information on the web.

    CC:DA continues to study proposals for revisions to RDA. At the Midwinter meeting in January it considered two proposals from the AALL representative. One of them was a simplification of the rules of entry for the reports of a single court (168 KB PDF). It was approved by the committee and sent on to the Joint Steering Committee for the Development of RDA (JSC), which has the final word on the text of RDA. The other proposal concerned the rules for certain place names. At the Midwinter meeting the committee indicated it would like to see certain changes in the proposal and sent it back for more work. A new version (168 KB PDF) was considered at the Annual conference in June. There were still some small changes that were desired by the committee, but the proposal will probably be sent to the JSC soon.

    RDA and previous cataloging codes have been concerned only with descriptive cataloging. Subject cataloging has been handled by other processes. However, RDA includes a number of placeholder chapters for subject entities to align with the underlying models of FRBR (Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records) and FRSAD (Functional Requirements for Subject Authority Data). Now CC:DA and the JSC are starting to consider how to incorporate these subject elements in RDA.

  • 2010

    Report of the AALL Representative to the American Library Association,
    Association for Library Collections and Technical Services,
    Cataloging and Classification Section: Description and Access (CC:DA)
    ALA Midwinter Meeting, Boston, Mass., January 2010
    ALA Annual Conference, Washington, D.C., July 2010

    John Hostage
    Harvard Law School Library
    hostage [at]

    8 July 2010

    Primary contact (at ALA): John Myers, chair.

    In the past year CC:DA continued to be focused on RDA: Resource Description and Access, the new cataloging code to succeed AACR2. At the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Boston a beta version of the RDA Toolkit was demonstrated. The toolkit is an online text database that will include the full text of RDA plus the RDA element set view, mappings to other systems, the ability to create or share workflows, and other related resources. There was also discussion of the pricing of RDA, which turned out to be more expensive than many had expected. Access to RDA is based on an annual subscription model, starting at $195 for a solo user. Institutional licenses start at $325, with additional charges for each concurrent user.

    At the Midwinter Meeting CC:DA was given a presentation on application profiles by Diane Hillmann, Jon Phipps, and Karen Coyle. An application profile is a set of metadata elements, policies and guidelines defined for a particular application. It is an important tool for managing and processing data in the Semantic Web.

    The committee reviewed a list of issues in RDA that had been deferred. A couple of them were of particular interest to law catalogers. One issue was a simplification of the rules for reports of a single court that had been proposed by AALL. The AALL representative was asked to prepare a revision proposal before the Annual Conference, which he did with the help of the Descriptive Cataloging Advisory Group, especially Marie Whited. However, CC:DA later decided to postpone consideration of rule revision proposals until after the final text of RDA was available. The proposal may be considered at the Midwinter Meeting in January 2011. It is expected that there will be a rule revision process for RDA similar to the one for AACR2. The next meeting of the Joint Steering Committed for the Development of RDA (JSC), the body which makes the final decisions on changes to RDA, will take place in the spring of 2011.

    The main focus at the Annual Conference in Washington was celebrating the official release of RDA a couple of days earlier. RDA will undergo a period of testing by the Library of Congress, National Library of Medicine, and the National Agricultural Library, in partnership with a number of other institutions, during the next six months. The results of this test will be announced early in 2011 and the national libraries will decide whether to implement RDA at that time. (Most observers find it hard to believe they will decide not to implement.)

  • 2009

    Report of the AALL Representative to the American Library Association,
    Association for Library Collections and Technical Services,
    Cataloging and Classification Section: Description and Access (CC:DA)
    ALA Midwinter Meeting, Denver, Colorado, January 2009
    ALA Annual Conference, Chicago, Illinois, July 2009

    John Hostage
    Harvard Law School Library
    hostage [at]

    17 July 2009

    Primary contact (at ALA): John Myers, chair.

    The work of CC:DA has been focused to a large part on the development of Resource Description and Access, otherwise known as RDA. This new cataloging code, a successor to AACR2, has now completed its editorial phase. A complete draft consisting of hundreds of page in multiple PDF files was released for review in November 2008. There was much criticism of the fact that the online product for which RDA has ostensibly been designed was not available for review. A demo version of the product was promised for February, but has still not appeared as of this date. At the annual conference in July it was reported that the developer was directed to work on the actual database instead. The Joint Steering Committee for Development of RDA (JSC) discussed comments on the draft at its March meeting and delivered the final text to the publishers in June. The release date for the online product is now projected for late November. The planned testing period by the three U.S. national libraries and a group of other libraries won’t begin until after that. The testing will take place over six months and then be evaluated by the national libraries, so there won’t be a decision on implementation until late 2010.

    Since not all issues were resolved for this initial release of RDA, attention will soon turn to proposals for revisions. There are still some issues that law catalogers are not satisfied with, such as entry for treaties, entry for court reports, and uniform titles for laws and treaties.

    I will be reporting to the Technical Services Special Interest Section and to various cataloging groups at the AALL annual meeting in Washington.

  • 2008

    Report of the AALL Representative to the American Library Association,
    Association for Library Collections and Technical Services,
    Cataloging and Classification Section: Description and Access (CC:DA)
    Midwinter Meeting, Philadelphia, January 11-15, 2008
    Annual Meeting, Anaheim, June 28-30, 2008

    Kathy Winzer
    Robert Crown Law Library
    Stanford University
    kwinzer [at]

    This report is my last as the AALL representative to the American Library Association’s Committee on Cataloging: Description and Access (CC:DA). John Hostage will replace me, and a more knowledgeable and effective representative would be hard to find!

    I would like to thank the Descriptive Cataloging Policy Advisory Working Group members who helped throughout the year with comments on the draft, advice, and encouragement, often with extremely short deadlines. The chair, Ann Sitkin, made sure that all of my requests for assistance were sent to the group, and her counsel and suggestions were always helpful and positive. John Hostage had the brilliant idea of setting up wiki for comments on the December draft of RDA, allowing participating members of the committee to place their comments under the various issues being discussed. Going forward, some of the ideas and suggestions that were entered into the wiki may help to formulate proposals for changes in RDA rules.

    For the last few years the CC:DA has spent a lot of time and energy reviewing and commenting on the various drafts of RDA: Resource Description and Access, commonly called RDA, which hopes to replace Anglo American Cataloging Rules, 2nd ed.. RDA emanates from the Joint Steering Committee for Development of RDA (JSC) which includes representatives from Australia, Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom. Because the legal rules were on the agenda, I attended their October meeting in Chicago. At the start of the meeting, the editor of RDA proposed substantial changes in the structure and organization of the document. The changes were suggested to better align RDA with FRBR, and after some discussion, the JSC accepted the new structure. The new organization is provided on the JSC website at: Unfortunately, the legal rules were not discussed at the meeting, and I was sent off to work on examples for rules that consisted of the phrase: “To be discussed.”

    In December and at the January meeting, CC:DA reviewed a draft of sections 2-4 and 9, which correspond to part B, access control in the previous structure. The Descriptive Cataloging Policy Advisory Working Group took advantage of a pbwiki set up by John Hostage. The wiki format allowed us to discuss the issues in an organized way with separate pages for treaties, court reports, and commentaries, as well as the uniform titles Laws, etc. and Treaties, etc. Trying to keep track of these disparate subjects was extremely difficult with email, where one message might include comments on several topics, and I very much appreciated John’s great idea. The comments entered in the wiki informed the comments I entered into the CC:DA wiki, and many were later incorporated into the ALA document that was sent to the Joint Steering Committee for RDA. In particular, AALL recommended that the rules for court reporters be simplified, and that the rules for treaties be both simplified and clarified. In response to the JSC request for alternatives to the uniform title conventions of “laws, etc.” and “treaties, etc.,” we were unable to identify a practical alternative. These will remain until after the publication of RDA in 2009. The full ALA response to the draft is at: (339 KB PDF), and the law rules start at 6.23 at the bottom of page 22. Also of interest are the comments on heads of government and heads of state. RDA follows AACR2 in using the language of the jurisdiction for heads of government, but using the language of the cataloging agency for heads of state. ALA suggests that access points for both be created in the language of the jurisdiction.

    Part of the difficulty of providing meaningful feedback for the drafts of RDA has been the way drafts are issued. New draft chapters are issued (and sometimes reissued) for review in isolation, and understanding how (or whether) it will all work together is impossible. The JSC plans to release a full draft in October using the software of the final online version. We will have a three month period to comment on how the various parts of the whole work together. Comments on the actual rules will not be addressed until after publication. Once RDA is published, the three national libraries, some library educators, and a variety of libraries will spend some months testing to ensure that it is a workable and useful tool. Implementation will follow if the testing is successful, perhaps in early 2010. Task groups are now working on implementation and training issues that will ease the transition to the new rules. RDA training workshops tailored to law catalogers will be important in enabling law libraries to understand and follow the new rules. The new CC:DA representative will no doubt play an important role as we move forward.

    Since the JSC is not planning to entertain any comments on RDA rules until after publication, AALL will have some time to prepare detailed proposals for rule changes that we identify in the October draft. Possible areas where we may want to suggest changes include the rules for court reports, constitutions, and treaties. The JSC still wishes to eliminate the “etc.” from “Laws, etc.” and “Treaties, etc.” Although AALL did suggest a way to eliminate “etc.,” that suggestion did not go forward in the ALA report. Since AALL’s comments are in the wiki, we will still have the suggestion we formulated to consider in the future.

    In addition to RDA, CC:DA is also considering next steps in response to the report from the LC Working Group on the Future of the Bibliographic Record. An ALCTS Task Group identified a number of recommendations which will require CC:DA participation. A few of these: Analyze cataloging standards & modify them to support data sharing; Make use of bibliographic data from foreign libraries, publishers, etc. that may not conform to U.S. standards; Share responsibility for original cataloging; Promote participation in PCC. In coming months the new representative to CC:DA from AALL will doubtless be asked to work on some of these issues as groups are formed to address them.

  • 2007

    Report of the AALL Representative to the American Library Association,
    Association for Library Collections and Technical Services,
    Cataloging and Classification Section: Description and Access (CC:DA)
    Midwinter Meeting, Seattle, January 2007
    Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C., June 2007

    Kathy Winzer
    Robert Crown Law Library
    Stanford University
    kwinzer [at]

    Discussion at the meetings of CC:DA centered on the continued development of RDA–Resource Description and Access (RDA) and related documents. The new prospectus, issued June 17, 2007, reiterates the new approach taken by this document “designed to provide a flexible and extensible framework for the technical and content description of digital resources.”

    A meeting of RDA, Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DCMI), and the IEEE Learning Objects Metadata (LOM) communities was held in London in May 2007. The participants agreed that RDA and DCMI should work together to build on the existing work of both communities for the benefit of all. The meeting recast the broader context into which RDA needs to fit: as a metadata schema, as an application profile, as a content standard.

    Important to note is RDA’s alignment with the conceptual models developed by the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) embodied in Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR) and Functional Requirements for Authority Data (FRAD). Understanding FRBR is critical to understanding the structure and principles of RDA.

    RDA provides guidelines and instructions for recording data that is independent of any particular structure or syntax for data storage or display, including ISBD and MARC. However, guidelines and instructions for possible presentation formats will be included in appendices. RDA is currently divided into parts A and B, with a possible part C for data about metadata. Part A includes guidelines and instructions on recording descriptive data. Part B contains the guidelines and instructions on formulating access points and recording the data used in access point control.

    With the exception of the Introduction and chapter 5 on Acquisition and Access, all of part A has been released for comment. The Joint Steering Committee for the Development of RDA (JSC) addressed numerous issues raised by the constituencies, including AALL, in new drafts of chapters 3, 6 and 7. Of particular interest to law catalogers is the section on legal rules in chapter 6 (Persons, Families, and Corporate Bodies Associated with a Resource). Legal rules are currently separate fro the general rules, but the possibility of merging them is under consideration. Another possibility is to reorganize them around “roles.” Chapter 7 contains the rules for related resources and conveys information directing users to related resources that may be relevant to their needs. The guidelines and instructions in this chapter focus on the use of identifiers, names, and descriptions to refer to resources that are related to the resource being described. Instructions on formulating the access points will be covered in chapter 13 in part B (access point control).

    The schedule for completion of RDA is:

    • July-September 2007: Review of revised chapters 6-7
    • December 2007-March 2008: Review of part B
    • July-September 2008: Review of complete draft of RDA
    • 2009: Release of RDA

    Law catalogers play an important role in the development of this cataloging tool as we continue to inform CC:DA and the JSC about legal resources and the elements necessary to describe them so that users can find, identify, and select them from the catalog. As the CC:DA liaison, I enter our comments and suggestions for improvement into the database designed for this purpose. I strongly encourage any interested law librarian to send comments and suggestions to me so that our official response to the various drafts of RDA can be as strong and useful as possible.

    In addition to my work as AALL liaison, I also work on the RDA Examples Committee 2. This group is tasked with formulating examples for the RDA rules in chapters 6, 7, and part B. Primarily I worked on the legal section of chapter 6 to identify example. I received much assistance from the Technical Services SIS Committee on Descriptive Policy, chaired by Ann Sitkin, as I worked on updating, correcting, and adding examples to the legal rules.

  • 2006

    Report of the AALL Representative to the American Library Association,
    Association for Library Collections and Technical Services,
    Cataloging and Classification Section: Description and Access (CC:DA)
    Midwinter Meeting, San Antonio, January 2006
    Annual Meeting, New Orleans, June 2006

    Kathy Winzer
    Robert Crown Law Library
    Stanford University
    kwinzer [at]

    ALA’s Cataloging and Classification Section’s Description and Access (CC:DA) Committee regularly meets on Saturday afternoon and Monday morning. To better enable the committee to discuss the various drafts of RDA, Resource Description and Access, an additional Friday meeting was held during both the midwinter and annual meetings. All meetings were well attended with lively discussion and more visitors than available seating. Who knew our cataloging rules could inspire such interest? With the exception of a few reports, including the Library of Congress, and representatives from NISO, Marbi, and the ALA Publications Office, RDA dominated the discussions.

    A draft of several chapters of part one was released in mid December, only a few weeks before the first day of the midwinter meetings. The Joint Steering Committee took an unprecedented step in making RDA drafts publicly available and starting a list to encourage public comment. Drafts of RDA and other working documents can be accessed at: With public access, law catalogers can fully participate in the process of developing RDA.

    The second draft was released shortly before our June meeting, allowing little time for the committee to read and reflect upon the new work. However, the members of CC:DA are a dedicated group of professionals, and many used time spent flying to the meeting to carefully study the new draft.

    Individual comments on the drafts are entered into a shared database called Confluence and reviewed by others on the committee, who agree or disagree with the comments and suggestions. In commenting on part 1, AALL suggested improvements to the rules for integrating resources and to the section concerning mode of issuance. The rules for when to create a new record did not include integrating resources, which do, in fact sometimes end an old edition and start all over. Even an integrating website sometimes freezes the content in place and starts a new site. We also proposed that the rules for replacement volume sets be included in RDA and suggested a possible means to that end in our Confluence comments. Our suggestions were included in the CC:DA response and were forwarded to the Joint Steering Committee. The editor is working on a discussion paper on modes of issuance that will be released in August; we should know more with the release of that document.

    AALL will enter comments for chapters 6 and 7 this month, especially concerning the legal rules, in time for them to be incorporated into the CC:DA comments sent to the Joint Steering Committee in September. One question is whether the special rules for legal and other special types of material need to be kept in separate sections rather than being incorporated within the general rules. The current draft keeps most of the legal rules previously included in AACR2 chapter 21 intact, with some simplification and clearer language. In most cases the rule of 3 has been eliminated, although it still can be found in the section on choosing the primary access point when more than one person, family, or corporate body is responsible for creating a work.

    Many of the old catalog card based terms have been replaced by terms taken from natural language. Because we no longer have a card on which to type a “heading” taken from the “tracings” at the bottom of the card, the term access point clarifies what we really mean, as does “primary access” for the cataloger jargon “main entry.”

    Although RDA is being developed for use in English language communities, there is also a push for internationalization of the standards. The Library of Congress has issued a proposal for making RDA open to use by any community with a context other than English language, other than latin script, and other than Western-style Arabic numerals, and other than Gregorian/Julian calendar. The key issue affecting the law community is the proposed revision of the rules concerning treaties (rule, deletion of, and revision of The proposal is designed to remove the preference for English alphabetic order from the rule, using the title of a treaty as the primary access point, with additional access points for the governments or other parties concerned. AALL will need to respond to this proposal shortly.

    RDA will be used most effectively as an electronic resource, although a print loose-leaf version will also be published. Because it is designed to be a content standard, independent of the format used to communicate the information, RDA will not use a particular display standard within the document. Rather it will provide links to ISBD and other presentation formats which will be contained in appendices. An advantage of the electronic version will be the ability to easily identify rules and bring together rules for specific kinds of resources. At this time a prototype can be viewed at for an idea of what the online version might contain.

    The last part of RDA will be released at the end of 2006, with a projected publication date of 2008. Revising our cataloging code to reflect the electronic age requires us to focus on how best to provide access to our resources for our users. The task is not for the faint of heart. I hope the Law community will participate in review and comment on RDA and other documents so that we ensure that our needs are met by the new cataloging code.

  • 2005

    Report of the AALL Representative to the American Library Association
    Association for Library Collections and Technical Services
    Committee on Cataloging: Description and Access (CC:DA)
    Midwinter Meeting, Boston, January 2005
    Annual Meeting, Chicago, June 2005

    Kathy Winzer
    Robert Crown Law Library
    Stanford University
    kwinzer [at]

    The Committee on Cataloging: Description and Access (CC:DA) regularly meets on Saturday afternoon and Monday morning. During the 2005 midwinter meeting, an additional Friday 9:00 to 5:00 meeting was held to allow additional time for discussion.

    Midwinter meetings were dominated by discussion of the first draft of AACR3, part one. The Friday meeting was an Omnibus Task Force meeting during which intense discussion of the first draft took place. A summary of significant issues in AACR2 that remain unresolved in AACR3 was created by an ad hoc group which was used for further discussion at the regular meetings of CC:DA. Concerns were voiced about the structure of the draft, the difficulty of its use, and the perception that the draft was largely a rearrangement of the old rules. Problems were noted in the GMD/SMD area, where charts included in the draft were difficult to understand and apply. The discussions begun on Friday continued through the regularly scheduled meetings on Saturday and Monday.

    The deadline for comments into Confluence, the shared workspace set up by the current CC:DA chair, was February 11. A group of eight law catalogers reviewed the draft and sent me their comments, which I input into Confluence. I was asked to summarize the section of the comments dealing with integrating resources and later the introductory and general sections. The summarized version then went to Jennifer Bowen to use in creating her report to the Joint Steering Committee (JSC). Her full report is available:

    At the April meeting of the JSC, comments and suggestions regarding the draft led to a change in direction for the work in progress. The new code is designed to simplify, clarify, and update AACR2, and the new standard has been tentatively titled RDA: Resource Description and Access. RDA is being designed for the digital environment: a web-based product as well as a loose-leaf; addressing cataloging of all digital resource (and analog); with resulting records usable in digital environments including the Internet, Web OPACs, etc. One goal of the new standard is to appeal to constituencies beyond the traditional library catalogers with a multinational content standard providing bibliographic description and access for all types of media.

    Because RDA is seen as a content standard, it will be independent of the format used to communicate the information (i.e. MARC21). As a consequence, the new standard will not include the ISBD punctuation instructions at the beginning of every section. Rather punctuation guidance will be in an appendix at the end.

    The overall structure proposed for RDA is similar to the original AACR3: part 1 to identify the resource and to describe the technical characteristics of the resource; part 2 to address relationships, related works, expressions, manifestations, and items, as well as persons, corporate bodies, and families that play some role with respect to the resource being described. The idea of a “primary access point” is being discussed to replace the term “main entry heading,” but the concept remains the same-to give primary emphasis to the creator of the work contained in the manifestation being cataloged. Part 3 will address authority control.

    At the end of May a memo was posted on the JSC website, asking for input from the various constituencies concerning the special rules in chapter 21. The JSC wishes to eliminate and simplify rules in this chapter, combining or eliminating rules whenever possible.

    Since the rules currently in 21.31 through 21.36, the special legal rules, directly affect us, I quickly asked the group that reviewed AACR3 to review these special rules, trying to find areas in the rules that could be made simpler to understand or eliminated. The report to CC:DA was due on July 11, which did not give us much time. Our report has been sent to CC:DA and will be mounted on the CC:DA website soon. The URL for the CC:DA website is below. In brief, we recommended that most of the rules be retained, with a major change suggested in the treaty area.

    The rules in chapter 21.31 through 21.36 frequently call for entry under jurisdiction and uniform title. In our review we retained this instruction but did not discuss the form of the uniform title itself. The question of whether to continue with the artificial “Laws, etc.” and “Treaties, etc.” is one AALL must address. In particular, we will need to consider the function of the Compiled statutes and Session laws uniform titles.

    The JSC has stated that future drafts will circulate more widely than the first draft of AACR. AALL is more fortunate than some groups in that we have a Cataloging and Classification Committee from whom we can draw “official” names. The work of review is extremely time-consuming. A reviewer is expected to read and carefully consider all areas of a draft and to provide both general and specific feedback. A reviewer is not permitted to say “I hate it” and not provide a way to improve it.

    I was especially fortunate in working with 7 of our most experienced, knowledgeable and dedicated catalogers. I’d like to publicly acknowledge the work of Julie Griffith Kees, John Hostage, Rhonda Lawrence, Nancy Poehlmann, Ann Sitkin, Regina Wallen, and Marie Whited. I hope that others will volunteer to work on future projects as they are identified in the near future. The draft of part 1 of RDA will be coming out in October, for example, with May 2006 for the draft of part 2, October 2006 for the draft of part 3, and the completion of the general introduction, appendices, and glossary in May 2007. Publication date is hoped to be 2008.

    Please watch for emails on the TS list for future issues and questions. You were all very helpful when I asked if “S.l.” and “s.n.” should be retained. The JSC was convinced by constituency response, including ours, that something needed to be put into the publication area to indicate that a resource was published. I believe an English phrase such as “Place unknown” and “Publisher unknown” is currently being considered.

    Some websites of interest:

    CC:DA website, where various documents are posted

    Strategic plan for RDA on the JSC website:

    Other documents on the JSC website:

    RDA: Resource Description and Access: Background and Context
    Presentation by Barbara Tillett at ALA Annual June 2005

    Changing Direction: From AACR to RDA
    Presentation by Jennifer Bowen at ALA Annual June 2005

    Jennifer Bowen’s executive summary on RDA:

    Library of Congress has several websites of interest:

    Library of Congress Cataloging Policy and Support Office, where various documents of interest to catalogers are posted, including some on FRBR

  • 2004

    Report of the AALL Representative to the ALA ALCTS/CC:DA
    Committee on Cataloging: Description and Access
    2004 Annual Report

    Kathy Winzer

    Publication of Differences Between, Changes Within

    The publication providing guidelines for when to create a new record: Differences Between, Changes Within was finally published. It is now available on the ALCTS website, free for download to ALCTS members. Printed copies are also available and can be ordered from ALCTS. A new task force has been given the charge to keep this publication up-to-date as the descriptive cataloging rules evolve and change. As new versions are posted on the Web site, the updates will be widely announced.

    CC:DA Sponsored Programs

    This year the committee sponsored a preconference entitled: Back to the Future: Understanding the Functional Requirements of Bibliographic Records Model (FRBR) and Its Impact on Users, OPACs, and Knolwdge Organization. The program was well attended and received excellent reviews from attendees.

    Matthew Beacom is chair of a committee to develop a program on AACR3 for ALA annual 2005. You may want to attend ALA annual in Chicago next summer for full details on AACR3. Another task force was formed to develop a program to introduce the new publication, Cataloging Cultural Objects.

    Rule Revisions

    The 2004 rule revisions are out and in the warehouses for distribution. The 2005 rule revisions are still in discussion and revision, but include one that will change the way we capitalize single letters used to represent words and also multiple letter prefixes in compound terms. A revision was issued July 5, with responses due by Sept. 20. The ALA revised proposal on coloured illustrations was finally agreed to with amendments. The proposal to change Rule A.40 German orthography will be in the 2005 package, confirming non-capitalization of “acht”. Deletion of the Turkish word “bir” from the list of articles in Appendix E was approved. A proposed revision on designations of function is also being discussed, with responses due by Sept. 20.

    International Cataloging Code

    Barbara Tillett of the Library of Congress reported on the international effort to develop an International Cataloging Code. A meeting of experts took place in Germany last year and worked toward the goal of increasing the ability to share cataloging information worldwide by promoting standards for the content of bibliographic and authority records used in library catalogs. A draft Statement of International Cataloguing Principles, 19 December 2003, was produced. A link to the draft statement is also available on the CC:DA site


    In April 2004 the Joint Steering Committee (JSC) decided to go forward with a third edition of the Anglo American Cataloging Rules (AACR), with a mid-2007 production goal. Much of the focus for CC:DA this past year involved the preliminary work leading to the new edition, but the volume of work needed for a new edition is more than the constituencies can provide. Therefore, an editor will soon be hired to manage the project, and the role of the constituencies (of which CC:DA is one) will be to respond to the proposals and drafts written by the editor and the JSC. Because a new edition is on the horizon, 2005 rule revisions are the last to be made to AACR2.

    FRBR in AACR3

    The JSC affirmed the general principle of using in AACR3 the most specific Functional Requirements of Bibliographic Records (FRBR) term possible, and to use the term “resource” when specific terms cannot be used. The incoming editor is charged with continuing the work to incorporate FRBR terminology and concepts throughout AACR3. This year much of the discussion centered on incorporating FRBR terminology into the appendices and providing glossary definitions.

    Organization of AACR3

    Overall. The new edition will contain three main parts: part I rules for description, part II rules for choice of access points, and part III rules for form of access points, with a new section on authority control. A general introduction will be written after the three parts are completed. A new approach to successively issued resources is being considered to facilitate cataloging and end-user tasks (currently in Chapter 12). Chapter 25 will be extensively re-written to reform the “uniform title” concept and develop headings for works and expressions, enabling better collocation of works and expressions.

    Part One. The JSC decided on an outline for part one:

    • Introduction
    • General rules (By ISBD area with references forward to supplemental rules for specific content types)
    • Chapters for content (Only supplemental rules, no references back to General chapter)
    • Chapters for medium/technical description (Primarily ISBD area 5 with relevant physical description notes from ISBD area 7)
    • Chapter(s) on mode of issuance (Successively issued over time)

    Task Force on Consistency across Part I of AACR2
    Much of the work of CC:DA is done by Task Forces who provide proposals and drafts for the JSC to consider. One of the most active groups this year is the Task Force on Consistency across Part I of AACR2, which produced a prototype of Part I that illustrates the changes we may see in the new edition. The prototype, together with many other documents from this task force and others is available on the CC:DA web page: Last year the JSC discussed the latest task force proposals on ISBD areas 2 (Edition), 3 (Material specific details), 4 (Publication, etc.). The ALA Task Force will prepare a proposal on area 5 (Physical description) for discussion prior to the October 2004 meeting.

    JSC decided to discharge the Joint ALA/BL Task Force to Reconceptualize Chapter 9, as the proposed reorganisation of part I will make it possible for cataloguers to select rules which are relevant to describe all aspects of a resource (i.e. content, carrier, and issuance).

    Part 3, Authority Control. The Library of Congress revised their proposal for the incorporation of authority control in AACR. Extensive discussion about the proposal took place, and many suggestions for improvement were made. There is agreement that authority control should be incorporated into AACR, but not always a clear consensus on how that should be done. Another area still in the discussion phase is how to deal with multipart monographs and monographic series in AACR. British and U.S. catalogers differ in outlook on how to treat this type of material. CC:DA noted that we need to move foreword by reaching common agreement on what is meant by terms such as collection, multipart monograph, monographic series; vocabulary differences are seen as the easiest difficulty to overcome.

    JSC discussed the sixth interim report of the Format Variation Working Group, which contained the draft of new rules for chapter 25 (uniform titles). The draft rules allowed for the creation of identifiers for works and expressions. At the meeting the JSC decided that continuing work on chapter 25 would be folded into the work on authority control, under the direction of the Editor.

  • 2000

    Report of the AALL Representative to ALA/ALCTS/CCS/CC:DA
    Cataloging and Classification: Description and Access
    2000 Annual Report

    In this report I will highlight information from the Midwinter and ALA Annual meetings which is of greatest interest to law catalogers. Other information is available on-line in the form of various reports and position papers, and I will give the appropriate URLs for anyone who wants to delve into any of these areas in greater depth.

    ALA Midwinter (San Antonio)

    Complete minutes of the meeting are available at:

    Of particular interest to law catalogers:

    Report of Barbara Tillett (LC)

    The 2000 edition of KJ-KKZ (Law of Europe) should be available for purchase from CDS by May 2000. KBR (History of Canon Law) and KBU (Law of the Roman Catholic Church, The Holy See) are in the final stages of development. In cooperation with Islamists at Harvard Law School Center for Islamic Legal Studies, KBP (Islamic Law) is in an advanced stage of development. A draft of KBM (Jewish law) will be developed by LC and two specialists at NYU. [Now available at so/kbm.html. Aaron Kupperman has been posting on the TS-SIS listserv some very important comments on the draft.]

    LC will no longer be able to guarantee uniqueness of call numbers because there is no capability for reserving numbers in their new ILS. If an item is reclassed to another number, its former number may now be used for a totally different item.

    October 1st is the target date for adoption of Pinyin Romanization. Check with your utility to learn how this is going to be handled.

    Tillett’s full report is available at:

    Brian Schottlaender (Representative to Joint Steer Committee on the Revision of AACR2)

    Schottlaender’s report was a long and detailed description of JSC decisions on a wide variety of cataloging issues, none of which was specifically law related. Many would have some impact on the types of general cataloging practices followed in law libraries (such as a whether or not a distinction should be made between a disk and a disc). Schottlaender’s report is not available separately, but is summarized in great detail in the CC:DA minutes (citation given above).

    Jean Hirons (CONSER Coordinator, LC)

    Hirons gave a report on her proposal Revising AACR2 to Accommodate Seriality (available at The proposal outlines methods for treating “integrating resources” – an item which at any one time is complete in itself, but which changes over time because parts of it are removed and others added. While most catalogers are encountering this phenomenon for the first time as they deal with web-based publications, law catalogers have dealt with these problems for many, many years in our handling of monographic looseleafs. Hirons proposes to change the word “serial” to “continuing resource” in many of the rules in Chapter 12, and to make a distinction between serials and integrating resources.

    Mary Larsgaard (Task Force on Metadata)

    Larsgaard gave a preliminary report at Midwinter. The Final Report is now available at:

    Elizabeth Mangan (ALA/MAGERT)

    The bulk of the meeting was spent discussing proposed revisions to the rules for cataloging cartographic materials. The proposal is available at:

    ALA Summer Meeting July 2000 (Chicago)

    Full minutes will be available on the CC:DA web site:

    There was further discussion of Jean Hirons’ Report on Revising AACR2 to Accommodate Seriality (see above). AALL was asked to comment particularly on the issue of looseleafs; Ann Sitkin volunteered to review the Report and submit comments to CC:DA.

    General discussion included suggestions for revision to the rules concerning the transcription of titles of nobility or terms of honor when they appear on the title page, and the optionality of parts of statements of responsibility (e.g., translators).

    John Hostage (Harvard Law Library) presented a proposal to bring AACR2 into compliance with ISO standards by removing the period after cm and mm in most examples. These are unit symbols in the metric system (not abbreviations) and they should be treated the same as the raised zero for degrees or the dollar sign. A cm or mm should be followed by a period only if it appears at the end of a field (e.g., the 300), with the period added in compliance with the rule which requires each field to end in a period. During discussion a question was raised: if we insist on following ISO standards for the 300 field, do we commit ourselves to following the standard for all the fields? The proposal was defeated 4-3, but a motion was passed to create a task force to study the ramifications of adopting ISO standards for AACR2. John Hostage will be on this task force.

    A report was given by the Task Force on an Appendix of Major and Minor Changes, a committee formed to make recommendations for changes (or guidelines) for the use of serials catalogers who must decided whether a title change is major or minor (with major changes requiring the creation of a new record). Barbara Tillet suggested that CC:DA concentrate on listing “major” changes, and assume that anything else is minor (when in doubt… consider a change “minor”), but the committee felt that it was in just such doubtful situations that catalogers most need guidance. The Task Force will continue its work. For further information:

    There was more discussion on changes to the rules for cartographic materials (see above).

    A new cataloging code is being developed for the use of rare book and manuscript catalogers: Descriptive Cataloging of Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance, and Early-Modern Manuscripts (

    Short reports were given on a number of proposals currently under consideration:

    Don Chatham of ALA Publications announced that the updates to AACR2 are available for downloading or printing out at

    William Benemann
    AALL Representative to CC:DA

  • 1998

    Report of the AALL Representative to ALA/ALCTS/CCS/CC:DA
    Cataloging and Classification: Description and Access
    1998 Annual Report

    The Committee met at both the Midwinter and Annual ALA meetings in 1998. This report summarizes both sessions.

    Brian Schottlaender, the representative to the Joint Steering Committee for the Revision of AACR, reported on the international conference held last October in Toronto. The JSC recommended three areas for continued study as a result of the conference. They are, seriality, underlying principles, and the issue of content vs carrier. Tom Delsey (National Library of Canada) is responsible for a study of the underlying principles of AACR2. He has not yet reported. The issue of content vs carrier was delegated to CC:DA by the Joint Steering Committee and a Task Group led by Martha Yee (UCLA) has begun looking at Rule 0.24. A progress report will be presented in January 1999.

    A CONSER task group has been formed to study the Hirons/Graham paper on Seriality presented in Toronto and to formulate possible rule revisions based on the recommendations in the paper. A subgroup of this task force has been formed, led by this representative, to study the impact of proposed changes on loose-leaf publications and to recommend possible rule revisions specifically related to loose-leafs. Since the legal cataloging community has the most experience with this type of publication, this subgroup is formed primarily of catalogers from law libraries. Ms Hirons attended CC:DA meetings in Washington and presented a summary of the Modified Model C proposal and of her group’s discussions of the past months. To briefly summarize, this proposal divides the bibliographic world into monographic entities and ongoing entities. Ongoing entities can be either successive, such as traditional print journals, or integrating, such as loose-leafs, databases and websites. Seriality task groups have been concentrating on defining these entities and will also be addressing its impact on the rules. In a related development, a new member has been added to CC:DA, from the Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC) to facilitate the presentation of rule revision proposals from CONSER and PCC and from the Seriality Task Groups.

    A Task Group on Conference Proceedings continued its work on defining what constitutes a named conference (Rule 21.1B1). Two options were presented, one giving more specific guidance, and the other more generalized. The second, more generalized option was approved by CC:DA, which would change the wording to read: Consider a corporate body to have a name if the words referring to it are a specific appellation rather than a general description.

    Another task group is looking at harmonization of ISBD(ER) and AACR2 Chapter 9. This group will identify areas of AACR2 which are not in conformance with the ISBD(ER), and if necessary, propose rule revisions. This group is just beginning its work and will report at Midwinter.

    The Task Force on Metadata and the Cataloging Rules presented its final report. The full report (as well as the draft reports of other task groups) can be found at: Its findings, very briefly stated, are that metadata is not a substitute for cataloging, but can be viewed as a source of information.

    Finally, an update on AACR2e and the print version of the AACR2. The work on the electronic version of AACR2 is just about finished. Preparation work is expected to be finished by mid-July, after which the Joint Steering Committee must review the text one more time. It is expected to be incorporated into LC’s Cataloger’s Desktop and be available in the October release. The 1993 amendments have all been incorporated in the text. The 1997 amendments will not be. They will appear as a separate section in the electronic version. A new print version of AACR2 will be issued at the end of September or early October. The 1997 amendments will not be incorporated into the printed text either, but will be printed separately within the new edition. This news caused some dismay, since apparently no separate issuance of the 1997 amendments is planned and the only way to obtain them is to buy the new print edition.

    CC:DA Action items – 1998

    1. Omission of names, dates and numbers from the title proper.
      Rule 12.1B7 instructs the cataloger to omit from the title dates and numbers that constitute the designation of the serials issue. The proposed revision would allow for the omission of other names, dates, prices and numbers that do not constitute designation.
    2. Prescribed punctuation for the series area.
      Rule 1.6A lacks two situation of prescribed punctuation: 1) when the numbering consists of a numeric and/or alphabetic designation followed by a chronological designation; and 2) when the title of a subseries is preceded by the alphabetic or numeric designation for the subseries. Proposal corrects this situation.
    3. Numbering grammatically integrated.
      The proposed revision of 1.6B1 adds the missing instruction for transcription of the title proper when the numbering is grammatically integrated with the title of any comprehensive publication.
    4. General information about series numbering.
      Proposed revision of 1.6G adds examples with chronological and alphabetic designations.
    5. Both numeric and chronological designations for series.
      The proposed revision adds the option to record the chronological designation when an item in a series has both a numeric and a chronological designation.
    6. General information about subseries.
      Rule 1.6H does not address three general subseries situations: the selection of title proper when some of the main and subseries titles are not in the same languages or scripts, the handling of such phrases as “new series” or “second series” when numbering is lacking, and action to take when there is doubt about the subseries. The proposed revision adds instructions in these situations.
    7. Numeric and chronological designation of a serial.
      Rule 12.3C4 incorrectly uses the term “numbering” when “numeric and/or alphabetic designation” should be used. The proposed revision changes the wording.

    Ann Sitkin
    AALL Representative to CCDA
    Cataloging Services Librarian
    Harvard Law School Library
    Cambridge, Mass. 02138
    sitkin [at]

  • 1997

    Report of the AALL Representative to ALA/ALCTS/CCS/CC:DA
    Cataloging and Classification: Description and Access
    1997 Annual Report

    The Committee held meetings at both the Midwinter and Annual meetings. This report summarizes discussions and actions taken at both meetings.

    There were two major accomplishments in the area of outreach and communication with the cataloging community. First, is the publication by ALCTS of a brochure describing the work of the Committee: Building International Descriptive Cataloging Standards: the role of the American Library Association’s Committee on Cataloging: Description and Access. Second, the completion of the work of the Task Force on Document Distribution which establishes a Committee home page and procedures for posting draft documents, committee reports minutes, and maintaining the site. Instructions for comments on draft proposals will be posted when appropriate. Please visit the site at:

    Considerable time was spent on reviewing and acting on rule revisions proposed by the Library of Congress. These proposals emanate from the Library of Congress’ review of its Rule Interpretations and were proposed by the Program for Cooperative Cataloging, with the goal of bringing AACR2 and the LCRI’s more in alignment. Libraries which follow the LCRI’s have generally adopted the practices recommended in these rule revisions. The majority of the revisions concern rules under 12.1 dealing with the title proper of serials, rules 12.7B1 dealing with relationship of serials with other serials, rules 1.6 on punctuation and numbering of series titles and series parallel titles. (See below for list of rules.) The Committee gave its approval to most of the revisions, which must now be approved by the Joint Steering Committee for Revision of AACR. Some of the proposals were deferred to the Serials Cataloging Committee for further consideration. The Committee approved a proposed new Appendix to AACR2 which lists all initial articles to be omitted when the rules call for omission.

    The Committee discussed and approved a proposal to include a new Appendix in AACR2 which will list all initial articles to be omitted where omission instructions exist in the rules. The list includes articles in many languages.

    Plans for the International Conference on the Principles and Future Development of AACR for October 23-25, 1997 in Toronto are well under way. Drafts of the papers to be presented are being posted on the Conference web page for public viewing. Some of the papers topics are discussions of: Concepts of “work”, “edition”, and “publication”; Content vs carrier; Relationships between bibliographic entities; concept of main entry; and, concept of seriality. The Joint Steering Committee for Revision of AACR2 will meet immediately following the Conference to consider the results, and formulate an action plan for the development of formal proposals or additional investigation as needed. The web site for conference information is:

    The Committee discussed and approved a proposal to include a new Appendix in AACR2 which will list all initial articles which are to be omitted where omission instructions exist in the rules. The list includes articles in many languages.

    At both Midwinter and Annual meetings reports were heard concerning the relationship between Chapter 9 of AACR2 (Computer Files), the publication Guidelines for the Bibliographic Description of Interactive Multimedia, and IFLA’s ISBD(ER), International Standard Bibliographic Description for Electronic Resources. There are numerous instances of differing practices among the three publications. The general consensus was that those wishing to follow the Guidelines should continue to do so, as well as those adhering to Chapter 9. There will be no attempt at this time to revise the Guidelines. The only change that is being considered and recommended is that the GMD for computer files be changed from “computer files” to “electronic resource” in Chapter 9 of AACR2 and in the Guidelines, and a proposal to add a number of terms and cross references to the AACR2 Glossary relating to electronic resources, such as CD-ROM, Computer optical disc, Diskette, Laser optical card, Magnetic disk, and more.

    CCDA held an historic joint meeting with MARBI to discuss issues of mutual concern relating to Metadata and the Dublin Core. The discussion raised more questions than it answered, such as, Is Dublin core data a title page surrogate? Can this data be added as is to our catalogs? Does it have any value? What guarantee do we have that creators will supply core data? There was general agreement to appoint a joint task force to look at metadata and the cataloging rules.

    David Epstein, from ALA Editions, reported that work on the electronic version of AACR2 (known as AACR2-e) is proceeding towards completion. Release is expected at the end of November. Third party licensing has been approved, allowing vendors, such as the Library of Congress, to include AACR2-e in products such as the Catalogers Desktop. AACR2r will be reprinted at the same time, incorporating all new revisions approved by the Joint Steering Committee since the 1993 Amendments were issued. The text will be available in paperbound copy only. The loose-leaf version will be discontinued.

    Ann Sitkin
    AALL Representative to CCDA
    Cataloging Services Librarian
    Harvard Law School Library

    List of rules under discussion at ALA/ALCTS/CCS Committee on Cataloging: Description and Access (1997)

    • Omission of titles from the title proper (12.1B1)
    • Omission of names, dates, and numbers from the title proper (12.1B7)
    • Words and phrases in the title proper (12.1B3)
    • Relationships with other serials (12.7B7)
    • Prescribed sources for series area for serials (12.0B1)
    • Prescribed punctuation for the title and statement of responsibility area (12.1A1)
    • Numeric and chronological designation in a serial (12.3C4)
    • Prescribed punctuation for the series are (1.6A1)
    • Scope of the series area (1.6A3)
    • Numbering grammatically integrated with series title (1.6B1)
    • Parallel titles of series (1.6C1)
    • General information about series numbering (1.6G1)
    • Both numeric and chronological designations for series (1.6G3)
    • General information about subseries (1.6H1)
    • More than one series statement (1.6H1)
    • Definition of “numbering” (Appendix D)
    • Definition of “series” (Appendix D)