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Cataloging News

May - June 2011

Reported by Paige Andrew

The following set of map-cataloging-related information was “scraped” from the ALCTS Technical Services Directors of Large Research Libraries Interest Group’s Round Robin Reports (or “Big Heads”) for ALA Annual 2011. Naturally, RDA is on all catalogers’ minds and thus I’ve listed it first.

RDA Implementation Decision by U.S. National Libraries

The Library of Congress, National Agricultural Library, and National Library of Medicine announced on June 13, 2011, that they intend to adopt the new cataloging instructions, Resource Description and Access (RDA), with certain conditions and that implementation will not occur before January 1, 2013. The intervening period will allow time for work to begin on the following tasks to meet the required conditions for implementation:

 Rewrite the RDA instructions in clear, unambiguous, plain English.
 Define process for updating RDA in the online environment.
 Improve functionality of the RDA Toolkit.
 Develop full RDA record examples in MARC and other encoding schemas.
 Announce completion of the Registered RDA Element Sets and Vocabularies. Ensure the registry is
    well described and in synchronization with RDA rules.
 Demonstrate credible progress towards a replacement for MARC.
 Ensure and facilitate community involvement.
 Lead and coordinate RDA training.
 Solicit demonstrations of prototype input and discovery systems that use the RDA element set
    (including relationships).

The three libraries, in their announcement (URL http://www.loc.gov/bibliographic-future/rda/rda-execstatement-13june11.pdf) recognized that ―even though there are many in the library community who would like to see a single ―yes or no — response to the question should we implement RDA, the reality is that any standard is complicated and will take time to develop. As part of addressing the conditions identified, LC will have a small number of staff members who participated in the U.S. RDA Test resume applying RDA, probably in autumn 2011. This will allow LC to prepare for training, documentation, and other tasks related to the further development and implementation of RDA. The executives of the three libraries intend for the U.S. RDA Test Coordinating Committee to continue in an oversight role to ensure that the conditions are met. Dr, Marcum and the Test Coordinating Committee will consult with the LC Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control, the group whose report stimulated the US testing of RDA. Dr. Marcum convened the Working Group in November 2006 to address how the Library of Congress and the library community should address the popularity of the Internet, advances in search-engine technology, and the influx of electronic information resources. The Working Group's final report and recommendations, published in January 2008 as On the Record, are available at URL <www.loc.gov/bibliographic-future/>.

The Library of Congress, National Agricultural Library, and National Library of Medicine based their decision on the analysis of the U.S. National RDA Test that was formally conducted from July 1 through December 31, 2010. Twenty-three other institutions in the U.S. participated with LC, NAL, and NLM by creating or updating bibliographic and authority records using the RDA cataloging instructions. For a small common set of 25 resources, the test institutions created records under both RDA and AACR2 or other current cataloging standards. Testers also completed questionnaires to document their experiences in applying RDA. The U.S. RDA Test Coordinating Committee analyzed the records and questionnaire responses during the first four months of 2011 and submitted its report and recommendations to the senior management of LC, NAL, and NLM on May 9.

The U.S. National Libraries RDA Test Steering Committee is co-chaired by Christopher Cole (National Agricultural Library), Jennifer Marill (National Library of Medicine), and Beacher Wiggins (Library of Congress). Other members from LC are Judith Kuhagen, Susan Morris, Regina Reynolds, and Barbara Tillett. Documentation for the US National Libraries RDA Test and handout materials and PowerPoint slides from training sessions are posted at <http://www.loc.gov/catdir/cpso/RDAtest/rdatest.html>. The full announcement by LC, NAL, and NLM, an executive summary of the U.S. RDA Test Coordinating Committee report, and the full report of the Coordinating Committee are available on the Testing Resource Description and Access (RDA) Website at URL http://www.loc.gov/bibliographic-future/rda/

Bibliographic Framework Transition Initiative

On May 23, 2011, Associate Librarian of Congress for Library Services Deanna Marcum announced an initiative at the Library to analyze the present and future environment for bibliographic data, identify the components of the bibliographic framework to support library users, and plan for the evolution from the present framework to the future—not just for the Library of Congress, but for all institutions that depend on bibliographic data shared by the Library and its partners. The Library of Congress has invested considerable resources in the development of broadly implemented encoding standards such as MARC21, as well as cataloging standards and vocabularies such as the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules, 2nd Edition (AACR2), RDA, and the Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH). Spontaneous comments from participants in the recently concluded US RDA Test show that a broad cross-section of the community feels budgetary pressures but nevertheless considers it necessary to replace MARC 21 in order to reap the full benefit of new and emerging content standards. The Library now seeks to evaluate how its resources for the creation and exchange of metadata are currently being used and how they should be directed in an era of diminishing budgets and heightened expectations in the broader library community. The Library of Congress’ process will be fully collaborative with partners and customers in the metadata community, standards experts in and out of libraries, and designers and builders of systems that make use of library metadata. The Library intends to host meetings during conferences of the American Library Association, specialized library associations, and international organizations, as well as special town hall meetings open to the metadata community, to gather input from all interested parties. A series of invitational meetings of experts and stakeholders is envisioned for 2012 and 2013.
The Library has established a Website at URL <www.loc.gov/marc/transition> that will be the central place for plans, news, and progress of the MARC Transition Initiative. It will indicate formal channels established for working with the community, receiving feedback and input from various sources and stakeholders, and proceeding in this major undertaking. The Library has also established BIBFRAME, an electronic discussion group for constant communication during the effort of reshaping our bibliographic framework. Interested colleagues may subscribe to BIBFRAME from the Website at URL www.loc.gov/marc/transition>.

Changes to Specific Geographic Entities to Effect Subject Access

Netherlands Antilles. The Netherlands Antilles, an autonomous country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, was dissolved on October 10, 2010. The islands of Bonaire, Saba, and Sint Eustatius are now special municipalities of the Netherlands proper. Curaçao and Sint Maarten are constituent countries within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The dissolution affects jurisdictional qualifiers, broader terms, and scope notes in LCSH. The subject heading revisions will appear on Tentative Subject List 22, dated July 18, 2011. Revisions to authorized name headings were completed in December 2010.

Tibet. Late in 2010, PSD was asked to consider reevaluating subject cataloging practice as it relates to Tibet. After consulting with experts in Tibetan studies, the cataloging policy specialists in PSD agreed to revise the name authority headings for the jurisdiction of Tibet and also to establish a new subject heading. The headings and their assignment now conform to international descriptive cataloging rules as set forth in the Anglo-American Cataloging Rules, 2nd Edition, and to policies governing the assignment of Library of Congress Subject Headings as described in the Subject Headings Manual.

Tibet (LCCN n2011015804): This name heading refers to the governmental jurisdiction of Tibet before September 1, 1965. It may be applied as a descriptive access point to works emanating from or published by the government of independent Tibet. It may not be assigned as a subject heading or geographic subdivision, because in the case of linear jurisdictional name changes the most current place name is used in subject analysis (see SHM H708 for more information about linear jurisdictional name changes in subject cataloging practice).

Tibet Autonomous Region (China) (LCCN n 79100917): This name heading refers to the current province-level governmental jurisdiction within the People’s Republic of China that was formalized on September 1, 1965. It may be applied as a descriptive access point to works emanating from or published by the government of Tibet after that date. It may also be assigned as a subject heading for works about Tibet as an independent country and as a jurisdiction within China.

Tibet Region (LCCN sh2011001106): This subject heading refers to the geographic region of Tibet, sometimes referred to as ―Greater Tibet.‖ The geographic extent of this region is much larger than the governmental jurisdiction of Tibet. It corresponds to the traditional regions of Ü-Tsang, Ngari, Amdo, and Kham, which are chiefly within the borders of China and also extend into India, Nepal, Bhutan, and Burma. The heading should be applied to works about that region instead of about the jurisdiction of Tibet.

Tibet, Plateau of (LCCN sh 86005180): This subject heading refers to a geographic feature. The qualifier (China) has been removed from the existing heading to reflect the extent of the plateau, which is not only in China but also extends into Nepal and India. Geographically, the Plateau of Tibet is similar to, but not coextensive with, the Tibet Region. The heading Tibet, Plateau of should chiefly be applied to scientific works that discuss the Plateau of Tibet from a geological or natural history standpoint.

Harvard University News

The Geospatial Resources Cataloger, along with other members of the Harvard Geospatial Library team, has recently begun to work with librarians, GIS professionals, and application developers at Tufts, MIT, Princeton and other peer institutions to develop OpenGeoportal, an open source, geospatial data repository and search and delivery system.

Yale University News

The Map Series Cataloging Project is a collaboration between Cataloging and Metadata Services and the Map Department. In this project we are cataloging roughly 200 map series (topographic, aviation charts, nautical charts, etc., located in off-site storage) at both the series-level and as individual sheets (about 35,000 sheets) by reusing metadata created in the library’s ArcGIS software. The project has three parts: 1) the entering of specific data for each individual map (sheet title, dates of publication/reprinting, elevation) into the ArcGIS software based on a digital geographic footprint created using the coordinates of the map series; 2) combining this data with constant data (series title, place of publication, publisher, subject and genre headings) into an Excel spreadsheet with separate columns based on MARC fields and subfields; 3) converting the data in the Excel spreadsheet into MARC records for each sheet using the MARCEdit program. As of June 17, 2011, 1,596 individual bibliographic records have been created for one series. For series whose sheets have been digitized an additional step exports the images to Yale’s digital library and generates MODS format metadata from the MARC records. [way to go Abraham!]

University of Virginia News

Geospatial Humanities Initiatives
The Library’s Scholar’s Lab is involved in two major geospatial humanities initiatives (see links below), both of which began with grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The second, Neatline, is continuing with two years of funding from the Library of Congress:

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