Cataloging Discussion Group (New York)
30 April 2001
Whitney Museum of American Art

Approximately 25 NYC art catalogers gathered at the Whitney Museum library to further discuss the revised subject headings implemented by LC on 1 February 2001. People are fairly certain about many new-style subject headings though a number of specific examples were discussed. Some of the salient characteristics: chronology and national styles are not mixed; MODERN is still a viable stylistic adjective but is not combined with geographical terms; ART will follow the pattern in H 1148 but it is uncertain if some other forms like DRAWING and PRINTS must be established heading by heading; chronology is added to ARCHITECTURE headings parallel to other major art forms but national style adjectives are not used for architecture in its own country.

Some maintenance of existing headings is being done, mostly as encountered in cataloging new items and mostly on individual bib records. Some systems do allow some global changing but the revisions are not conducive to global change since it is not usually a one-to-one change. Geac ADVANCE will easily allow a cataloger to change ART, MODERN -- 20TH CENTURY -- UNITED STATES to ART, AMERICAN -- 20TH CENTURY but this would leave an incomplete and redundant ART, AMERICAN behind in most cases. Voyager users saw a similar global change enhancement at the users group meeting earlier in April. Users of Innovative Interfaces were not certain if III had similar capabilities.

Redundancy from global change will have an effect on copy cataloging if copy is sent to RLIN. Nonetheless, it is seen as inevitable as a means to change large clusters of headings. In an art catalog of any size, headings like ART, MODERN -- 20TH CENTURY -- UNITED STATES will have a large enough number of hits that one cannot imagine doing bib-by-bib record maintenance.

Zimra Panitz distributed a survey for a course at Pratt Library School. The survey addressed cataloging courses, quality of copy cataloging, and the selection of libraries as sources for cataloging, hit rates for particular sorts of copy. Following the completion of the survey, people listed common problems with cataloging copy, e.g. incomplete upgrade from CIP, vendor records and incomplete upgrade, wrong indirect geographic subdivision (e.g. Madrid through Brazil, Vienna through Germany). Other issues: obsolete geography though LC is fairly consistent in using current geographic names. The cataloging course at Pratt emphasizes Dewey classification and Sears subject headings, neither being particularly helpful for most art research libraries. A session on internships, etc. at the ARLIS/NA national conference in March discussed cataloging education, with input from a UCLA cataloging professor who does teach cataloging but the school generally only steers those interested in cataloging to the courses.

RLIN is no longer printing shelflist cards. What are people doing? FIT is getting cards from MARCLink (recommended by RLIN) and is happy with them (they are still cataloging on RLIN and do not have online shelflisting capability). MoMA, NYU and Columbia are not filing cards in the shelflist. Morgan and Whitney are preparing temporary cards. Relevant issues: does the shelflist include info not put in online record like number of copies, missing status? better reports can be written if more item data is in the catalog; does the system allow reliable and reasonable searching of call numbers? is the bulk of the collection converted to machine-readable form? how will you deal with duplicate call numbers if you do not shelflist?

Maria Oldal reported from VUGM that the LC authority file should be searchable again in late 2001 or early 2002. The authority records will not be linked to bib records and will be done via the cataloging module. Danny Fermon reminded people that the name authority file is available at but he is not certain how often the file is updated.

Mark Bresnan announced the Frick is seeking a part-time cataloger to review the work of a vendor who is producing AACR2 name authority records from their artist file listing. The job is ca. 12 hours a week (approximately $18/hour); contact Debbie Kempe for more info.

Rodica Preda said the Cataloging Section is working on session proposals for the 2002 ARLIS/NA conference. The CPDG proposal is joint with the section business meeting. A session is being proposed by Sherman Clarke on "Special formats and specialized manuals." Since there is never enough time to prepare the proposals, it was suggested that the CDG (and perhaps the other art cataloging discussion groups across the U.S.) might start some discussion two or three months before the annual conference.

It was announced that the NYTSL dinner and program would be Friday evening, 4 May 2001, with a talk by Sherry Vellucci on authority control in the new millennium.

Next meeting (June 11th? at the Morgan): the Morgan Library has suggested a discussion on the future of RLG and OCLC, following up on a discussion of the RLG Art and Architecture Group in conjunction with ARLIS/NA in L.A. OCLC has been discussing "extending the OCLC cooperative" and more info can be found at Discussion questions: what is the future of the bibliographic utilities? how do you work with them? what is the influence of users? It was also suggested by Daniel Starr (via Vicky Bohm) that we discuss setting up and training for Catalogers Desktop; Heidi Hass will try to arrange for demonstrations of Desktop at the meeting.

Notes by Sherman Clarke