Cataloging Problems Discussion Group
2010 April 25, Boston

Twenty-six catalogers met for an informal discussion, open to any topic of interest. But first an update on RDA. Elizabeth Lilker (ARLIS/NA rep to CC:DA) reported that RDA is to be released in June and that June-August will be a free experimentation period. That will be followed by the official test period; three institutions with active ARLIS catalogers, as well as LC and a couple dozen other institutions, are involved in the testing, i.e., Clark Art Institute, Morgan Library, and Minnesota Historical Society. Subscription prices will depend on the number of simultaneous users. RDA will not be included in a Catalogers Desktop subscription but use will be integrated; non-subscribers will get some kind of message. LC is preparing training materials for the test period and they are available at

Open discussion:

Several libraries have cut back on cuttering and assume that duplicate call numbers will be brought to someone's attention for maintenance. Amazingly, it was reported that curators at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston have tried to arrange books in their office by call number and asked the library about discrepancies in alphabetical order or artist cuttering. It should be noted that the MFA library is not in the museum building during a major renovation. There was general consensus that great attention to cuttering was not the most productive use of cataloger time.

OCLC Institution Records (IR)
The three member libraries of NYARC vary in their use of IRs: Frick doesn't make them anymore, MoMA always makes them, Brooklyn makes them selectively. We hope we can get guidelines from Brooklyn. Many questioned the value of IRs for trade and mainstream publications where the institution record doesn't vary much from the OCLC master record. Related issues: maintenance of IRs, master catalog, local information.

CIP for museum publications
Some university libraries do the CIP for their university presses. Julia Wisniewski, LC cataloger, wondered if there were any major museum publishers who could establish a similar relationship with their museum catalogers to get CIP ready faster.

It was noted that there is a separate list for art catalogers (with some regret that we don't make more noise on the general list). Subscription information will be sent to ARLIS-L occasionally, as a reminder. [To subscribe, go to]

Notes by Sherman Clarke

... go to other ARLIS/NA-related information, mostly art cataloging ...