Category Archives: Media cataloguing

Sewing NOT Dressmaking


Just cataloged an instructional DVD titled “Sewing beyond the basics: kitchen accessories”.  The DVD includes a bonus CD-ROM with patterns.

I wanted to add the subject heading: 150 — |aSewing|vPatterns  but this is invalid.

Instead it is a reference for 150 — |aDressmaking|vPatterns  or

sewing-machine-close-up150 — |aTailoring|vPatterns

the DVD’s accompanying patterns are NOT about dressmaking – they are about sewing kitchen accessories.


ISBNs for ebooks

I’ve been cataloging a LOT of ebooks lately and I wonder….

Why is the ISBN the same for epub and pdf versions of some titles – while other titles have two separate and distinct ISBNs for the two formats?  If anyone knows the answer I’d love a reply.

New genre coding

The Library of Congress has finally decided to separate the genre form terms from the subject headings.  Since 2007 the Library of Congress’ Policy and Standards Division has been developing genre/form terms, and in June 2010 determined that the new thesaurus, Library of Congress Genre/Form Terms for Library and Archival Materials (LCGFT), should be formally separated from Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH). 

As of May 24, 2011, new coding should be used when assigning LCGFT terms in bibliographic records.  That coding is as follows.

655 #7 $a [Term]. $2 lcgft  (Library of Congress genre form term)

We will no longer use $2lcsh (Library of Congress subject heading)

CAUTION :  The change in coding applies only to headings that have an LCGFT authority record (tag 155), and not to headings that are being used in a 655 field but are from LCSH (tagged 150).  Therefore, the headings would look like this:

655 #7 $a Horror films. $2 lcgft                  (there is a 155 authority record)   OR

655 #7 $a Political fiction. $2 lcsh]    (there is not a 155 authority record, but there is a 150 tag.

For further information and the rationale for these revisions, please see the January 3, 2011 announcement, “Library of Congress to Reissue Genre/Form Authority Records.”

A related document from OLAC  (OnLine Audiovisual Catalogers electronic discussion list)

DVDs of opera productions

As the cataloguer of many filmed operas on DVD I notice that very few libraries use the same Dewey number as I do for these items.   The number I see most often is 782.1 (Vocal music – Dramatic vocal forms – Operas)  However, I believe that these items should be classified under 792.542 (Stage presentations – Opera productions – Single operas)  I would be interested in hearing arguments either way.

Also, I notice that most libraries use the SH 650 Operas for these when surely the correct heading would be 655 Filmed operas???


Canada is metric!

I know, I know, this is OLD news.  In fact, the metric system began to be  implemented in Canada in 1970.

However, I ask myself…

Why is it that Canadian Marc records for books use metric in the 300 subfield c (eg. 24 cm.)

BUT… for DVDs and compact discs they still use the Imperial or American system of measurement!  I have to amend EVERY DVD or CD that I download for copy cataloguing to the  metric 12 cm. from the Imperial 4 3/4 in.

A quote from “Maxwell’s Handbook for AACR2R” found on page 215.  “As allowed under AACR2R 0.28, the National Library of Canada will use only metric measurements throughout the record. Canadian libraries will not use inches in area 7.5″ (the physical description area)

I realize that most libraries like to follow AACR2r to the letter, but…. in this cataloguers opinion, it makes sense to have all formats of materials measured in the measurement system used by the country in which the item is catalogued.  I know cataloguers hate change, but….  it has been 41 years!

More changes coming for the 041 marc tag!

041  Language Code (R)

OLAC (Online Audiovisual Catalogers) suggests revising the application of 008/35-37 and 041 $a and $j for moving image materials to create a spoken/sung/signed versus written language distinction.  In addition it suggests distinguishing between original language and language of intermediate translations that are both currently coded in subfield $h.

In 2007, a new 041 $j was added as a separate subfield for video subtitles and captions, which up until then were included along with summaries/abstracts in subfield $b. The Online Audiovisual Catalogers (OLAC) now request that several adjustments be made for language coding of moving image materials to allow for more useful presentations of language information to users and enable more useful search limits and search options.  The proposed changes are to:

–  Revise the usage guidelines of 008/35-37 and 041 $a and $j for moving image materials to clearly create a spoken/sung/signed versus written language distinction. The current guidelines do not work well for DVDs, which often have subsidiary spoken languages.

–  Separate the original language and the intermediate   translations of the main works into separate subfields in 041. This would also be particularly useful for film and literature, and possibly for other materials.  For more information on this topic see:

WGBH Boston?

Since I catalogue a LOT of PBS DVDs, I encounter this problem quite often.  Many (understandably) assume that the address of WGBH Boston is Boston, Massachusetts.   THIS IS INCORRECT.

The address is actually South Burlington, Vermont (as their Library of Congress name authority states).

Their full address from their website:

WGBH Boston Video
PO Box 2284
South Burlington, VT 05407-2284
Call 1-800-949-8670
Fax 1-802-864-9846