Last edited: March 2, 1995


The following is a short description of the process of copy cataloging.

Strictly speaking, copy cataloging is the cataloging of material using existing OCLC records (preferably records cataloged by Library of Congress), making only minor changes to account for the CLSI holding codes, barcode information, and removal of the period in the call number. Material that is held in a location other than the main collection is given the appropriate holding code "CCH_," Notes are added according to instructions. The record is checked for invalid MARC tagging and typos. Descriptive cataloging (pagination, size, illustrations, bibliography, or indexes) is done for LC records cataloged from publisher info sheets (CIP). Copy cataloging is used primarily for cataloging monograph books, although some nonprint can be cataloged this way.

I am assuming that contract cataloging would involve the above activities only. Except for book locations determined by size (folio and X-folio), I don't think the cataloging provider could supply the appropriate holding code or any of the notes.

Additionally, copy cataloging can include the assigning of cutter numbers, and for some materials the assigning of complete call numbers. It can mean cataloging any record that can be cataloged without referring it to a librarian.


  1. Using information found on order slip and on actual item, search bibliographic database of bibliographic utility to locate suitable catalog record(s) for both monographs and serials.

  2. Apply Bibliographic Services Dept. guidelines in evaluating search results; select best catalog record using guidelines or determine that no suitable record is available.

  3. Complete process at terminal using the following categories of materials: monographs. For monographs only, complete processing at terminal using the following type of available cataloging copy: complete, exact-match records originating from the Library of Congress or a contributor to the database of the bibliographic utility.--Using knowledge of basic cataloging standards and requirements for machine coding, identify basic errors and omissions. Correct typographical, spelling, and tagging errors.--Supply correct location code and barcode information for monographs and serials.

  4. Transmit completed record to local database of automated library system and to bibliographic utility for monographs only..

  5. Check error reporting device of automated library system and evaluate information presented. Make corrections, if indicated.

Perform off-line processing functions in preparation for on-line processing.

  1. Identify categories of bibliographic materials and records other than those mentioned above. Sort and route problem materials.

  2. Using guidelines derived from the official cataloging code, provide information omitted from certain types of otherwise complete monograph records: paging and other physical description and bibliographic notes.


  3. Using guidelines derived from the official cataloging code, create basic descriptive catalog records for certain monograph items if no record has been located in the database of the bibliographic utility (paperbacks, theses, etc.)

  4. Complete classification for certain monograph materials by providing book numbers (cuttering)