Catalogers Discussion Group. December 19th, 2005, 3-5 pm
Frick Art Reference Library of The Frick Collection

Organizer: Mark Bresnan, Head of Bibliographic Records, Frick Art Reference Library

Place: The Walnut Room of The Frick Collection

Participants: a group of approximately 24 librarians from NYC, including two Library School students, Jacqueline Rogers and Andrea Young.



After the introductions, Mark Bresnan had the floor and presented documentation on cataloging, posted online by a good number of universities, both on national standard procedures, and local practice and policies, stressing their forte(s) and / or weaknesses.

Columbia University, NYC, has a Bibliographic Control Division page at (page already changed address!). He found the site useful for having field-by-field documentation, instructions on preliminary bibliographic records for monographs, and on variant editions. Bresnan thought a limitation of the site is the OPAC’s (CLIO) Manual password-protected. There was no colleague from Columbia to comment.

New York University’s Technical Services Department page is at:

Original and helpful on this site is the tag help in the upper right-hand corner. Areas of interest: rare book cataloging, unanalyzed multi-volume sets, and a very practical TSD New Staff Orientation. The limitation again is the password-protected of certain areas and the extremely small font used for examples.

Sherman Clarke (Head of Original Cataloging, NYU) commented that although some areas are password-protected, most NYU documentation is free on the Internet. Deborah Kempe asked if staff is allowed to make changes in the documentation. Clarke indicated that updating is not done directly by cataloging staff but must go through a tech services web liaison and a central web update process. It takes an unpredictable amount of time. The small type of examples results from the style sheet for all of the library webpages. Clarke usually bysteps the process for art cataloging documentation by using his own site at

Yale University’s main cataloging page is at Bresnan recommends the site for cataloging online monographs (original and copy), standards for creation of “permanent” preliminary bibliographic records for selected art exhibition catalogs, auction catalogs, and the Beinecke Cataloging Manual.

Princeton Cataloging Page at: provides good support on collection-level, serial reprints, Slavic languages, and web page printouts cataloging.

MIT’s Cataloging Oasis at has one general and one specific area with monograph editing guidelines, and cataloging preservation photocopies.

One thing of particular interest at the University of Maryland, whose main cataloging page is at: is the Glossary of terms used in the TS Division. Unfortunately, their site too has some areas off-limits to surfers

The University of Chicago, is most valued for serials documentation, as well as for the digital resources cataloging policies, which could be of use for everyone.

Bresnan found the cataloging manual of the University of Virginia, “very well organized and thorough.”

At the end of his presentation, Bresnan talked about documentation at The Frick Art Reference Library (FARL). The institution’s Intranet houses a HTML version of the local classification, and Word documents with policies and procedures for cataloging exhibitions, web sites, for creation of item records and labels, lists of form subdivisions, AAT terms, etc. Greta Earnest (Assistant Director / Associate Professor, Fashion Institute of Technology) was interested in knowing if there are links to images. Deborah Kempe (Chief of Collection Management and Access, FARL) answered that at this point there aren’t. Policies have to be established first. Eric Wolf (Director of the Library, New School of Interior Design) pointed out that he redesigned his library’s web site to include images. He made an appeal to all to forward him local image sites.

Daniel Starr took the floor. At Watson, documentation is also housed on the Intranet. A complete list in alphabetical order, although not indexed, facilitates the retrieval of the desired document. At the present time, the editing/updating of these documents is pretty much available to all professional staff. Policies are separated from Procedures. The editing/updating of the Manual is restricted, but the revision is open to all.

Local documentation has links to RLIN21, OCLC and NACO procedures.

Watson Classification is still on the Intranet; next year it might be placed on the Internet.


Bresnan presented an overview of last year’s “trials and tribulations” of Casalini to market their catalog records. Both this firm and LC have invested money, time and effort into training Casalini employees to catalog according to AACR2 and LCSH. Nine large North American libraries have agreed to buy catalog records from them. RLIN participating libraries responded negatively to paying for these records. As a result, Casalini agreed that they will not bar the nine subscribing libraries from putting their records on the utilities, from where, all the other participating libraries can derive from Casalini records for free.


Daniel Starr indicated that it is at through Jan 28, 2006 to be considered in formulating the official ARLIS/NA response. Comments should be sent to him. [draft of part 1 no longer available; the RDA prospectus is at and other links are possible from there to JSC information]


Rodica Tanjala Krauss (Head of Cataloging Projects, FARL) initiated a discussion on how other institutions, aside from large universities and large museums, collected and maintained their documentation.

At Morgan Library (V. Heidi Hass, Head of the Reference Collection) documentation and maintenance are done for internal use only.

At the School of Interior Design (Eric Wolf), documentation is placed on the web; maintenance is done directly on the Web. Wolf stated his belief that this approach is much more efficient, as the editing and updating are available immediately, and in only one version. So do John Maier at Pratt, Greta Earnest at the Fashion Institute of Technology and Zimra Panitz at the School of Visual Arts.

Cynthia Wolff (Librarian, Collection Management, MoMA) added that they have the documentation in Word, for internal use only, and not updated for a long time.

At the end of the discussion, many participants expressed the desire to have Bresnan’s presentation posted online, either on the ARLIS list or Sherman’s Geocities. It can be found at

The meeting was adjourned at 5.

Next meeting was scheduled for Feb. 6, 2006 at MoMA.

Minutes prepared by Rodica Tanjala Krauss, Frick Art Reference Library, NYC.

Rodica Tanjala Krauss, Head Cataloging Projects
Frick Art Reference Library of The Frick Collection
10 East 70th Street
New York, NY 10021
Fax: 212/547-0680

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