Collection Services: Cataloging

Cataloging Policies

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Collection Services staff follow Anglo-American Cataloging Rules (AACR2) 2002rev and Library of Congress practice in cataloging and classifying materials in the LSU Libraries. This practice includes establishing local series.  Decisions for exceptions should be referred to the appropriate department head or the Associate Dean for Collection Services.  

1. Priorities

Priorities for processing uncataloged materials are based on:

  1. Rush, Reserve, patron waiting; **
  2. Reference, current periodical reading area;
  3. Materials requiring bibliographic control prior to/concurrent with payment of invoices;
  4. Consistent workflow without build-up of backlogs;
  5. Collecting strengths;
  6. As determined by selector, or by Associate Dean for Collection Services, usually prior to receipt in the cataloging units of Collection Services.

 ** RUSH – Materials flagged RUSH are cataloged and processed within 3 working days of receipt of the material. RUSH for staff will be processed only for staff research needs. For leisure reading staff may flag an item to be notified when the book is ready for circulation.

**RESERVE – Materials flagged for RESERVE will be treated as RUSH.

**PATRON WAITING – Materials are not fully cataloged immediately for patron access to a title. If immediate access is needed, Collection Services staff will make it available to Public Services staff, who must monitor its use by the patron and return it to point of origin once the patron has looked at it. If further examination of the item is needed, cataloging staff will process it RUSH, with notification information, and send it to Circulation.  In rare instances, if an item is urgently needed and the item can not be processed quickly, a Collection Services department head may authorize its circulation with only basic bibliographic control and notify Circulation that check-out is permissible. On return to Circulation, the item should be forwarded to Collection Services for completion of cataloging.  

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2. Distribution

Materials requiring original or copy cataloging at LSU are distributed between Collection Services and Special Collections. Those materials cataloged by staff in Collection Services are:

  1. All stacks and collections within Middleton Library except U.S. Government Documents;
  2. Collections outside Middleton: Chemistry Library, Design Resources, Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections' Louisiana Collection;
  3. Other LSU Libraries' collections by request of the selector/curator with the approval of the Associate Dean for Special Collections (e.g., Laughlin Collection).
  4. LSU departmental collections, with approval of Dean of Libraries (e.g., Audio-Visual collection in Himes Hall, Francophone collection in the French Department, selected materials for Cartographic Information Center).

Not all materials acquired by the Libraries are cataloged. One category is found in LPM 2, Office Reference Books. Resources available in Collection Services departments include approved exceptions to the list provided in the LPM: Additionally, some materials have a control record but are not cataloged.

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3. Outsourcing

LSU Libraries outsource portions of its cataloging activities. Factors that contribute toward a decision to outsource are:

  1. Quality of the work produced by the vendor;
  2. Availability of sets of cataloging records for purchase;
  3. Experience of other libraries of similar size and collections;
  4. Impact on internal workflows, staffing patterns, and Libraries' priorities; and,
  5. Cost effectiveness.


TechPro – LSU Libraries has two projects with OCLC's TechPro.

1) Standard formats.

Full and minimal level cataloging of print and non-print serials and monographs. Although the project is primarily for original cataloging, TechPro will identify and mark LSU holdings on OCLC catalog copy when found.  TechPro also creates name authority records for English language headings needed for Louisiana-related titles, using LSU's NUC symbol LU.

Materials sent to TechPro include:

Most collections and most formats, encompassing serials, books, direct access computer files, videocassettes, sound cassettes, microforms and music*, located in Middleton Library, Chemistry Library, Design Library, Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collection' Louisiana Collection. Additionally the Special Collections curator may designate TechPro as acceptable alternative to in-house original cataloging for materials other than Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collection's Louisiana Collection, such as Laughlin. Atlases, in any format, and maps on computer file may be included in consultation with TechPro cataloger.

Full level cataloging of Music materials: scores, and music sound cassettes, videocassettes compact discs, and DVDs.
Music monographs and serials that cannot be processed through the standard TechPro project are channeled to Music TechPro after receipt at OCLC.


Materials not sent to TechPro include:

Middleton Reference collection, U.S. Government Documents collection, Rare, Manuscripts, print maps, LSU theses and dissertations, realia, kits with game pieces and similar non-print items, materials requiring tubes (e.g., posters, pictures), items needing local control only (e.g., analytics for some serials), Rush, Reserve, materials requiring access to existing collections for problem resolution, materials designated by selector/curator for in-house cataloging, materials needed for training/workflow continuity.      

 Promptcat – LSU Libraries uses OCLC's PromptCat service in conjunction with its YBP approval plan to receive shelf-ready materials.

 MARCIVE – LSU Libraries contracts with MARCIVE for authority file processing.


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4. Formats -

Collection Services catalogs all formats, print and non-print, for monographs and serials. The appropriate chapter for each format of AACR2 2002rev, with Amendments, and Library of Congress Rule Interpretations are followed.   LPM 7 provides policies on acquisition and control of electronic resources:

Instructions for processing direct access computer files are found on Collection Services Web pages:

 LPM 16 provides policies on acquisition and control of non-standard and/or mixed format materials in the general collection:

Additional guidelines for mixed format are found on Collection Services Web pages:

 Brief policies and processing guidelines for the following types of materials are also available:

Bound-withs -

Kits –

Sound cassettes –

Videocassettes –                   


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1.Cataloging Level

General policy on cataloging levels  is found in LPM 19: 

Full level records generally follow the second level of description in AACR2 2002rev, Rule 1.0D2. Minimal level cataloging standards generally follow the first level of description in the same source, Rule 1.0D1.

Collection Services closely follows OCLC documentation for input of full and minimal level records to the OCLC system. Description of cataloging levels is found in OCLC's Bibliographic Formats and Standards :

Records input to OCLC are at full level for monographs and serials. The exception is LSU Dissertations, which are input at minimal level. Other exceptions are made on case-by-case basis (e.g., audio-visual materials, analytics). Core level has not been implemented.  

Records input to OCLC Connexion's Resource Catalog are minimal level. Full level records may be input if all information is readily available.

2. Original Cataloging

Collection Services follows national standards in creating original catalog records. Those standards include Anglo-American Cataloging Rules, 2nd ed. (AACR2) 2002rev. and Amendments, Library of Congress Rule Interpretations, Library of Congress Subject Headings, nationally accepted ancillary manuals (e.g., CONSER Cataloging Manual, Library of Congress Map Cataloging Manual, Olson's Cataloging Internet Resources), and OCLC input standards as described in  Bibliographic Formats and Standards and  Cataloging Service User Guide.

3. Copy Cataloging

Bibliographic records found in OCLC are in all encoding levels. The record must match the item in hand for bibliographic description. Catalog records generally accepted as found are DLC (Library of Congress), lccopycat (member copy modified by Library of Congress), and copy created/ modified by CONSER or a Program for Cooperative Cataloging participant.  A Cataloging-in-Publication (CIP) or other catalog record  found in OCLC,  input or modified by OCLC members, is acceptable if it matches the item in hand, but it may require some modification (e.g., adding call numbers, pagination, deleting unused subject heading fields).

OCLC guidelines for modifying existing copy or identifying matching records can be found in OCLC Bibliographic Formats and Standards:

Guidelines for local modifications can be found under instructions for processing specific types of records (e.g., Faculty Collection). For a list of subject heading fields to be deleted from records found in OCLC see Collection Services Web pages:

Bibliographic level (serial or monograph) and descriptive elements of all OCLC copy must be reviewed against LSU Libraries' existing files and/or policies for treatment of related titles. All series should be verified in authority file and local files for national/local practice. Access points other than series (1xx, 6xx, 7xx) should be verified in the authority file if there is a problem in shelflisting, indexing, or if the heading is obviously wrong.Catalog records received from TechPro, PromptCat, or other batch load are treated as copy cataloging.

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4. LSU Publications

Theses and Dissertations – LSU theses and dissertations are cataloged by AACR2 2002rev, Chapter 4 for manuscripts. Cataloging practice has varied since the Libraries began cataloging this material. Until 1995 theses and dissertations were cataloged at full level, with records created in OCLC. Since 1995 cataloging has been minimal level. Thesis records are only in UNICORN; dissertation records are also in OCLC.

 Exceptions to the minimal level policy are:

    1. at least one LC subject heading will be provided if the title is not descriptive of the content;
    2. a 710 field for the name of the department issuing the thesis/dissertation is included in the record;
    3. a locally devised series indicating thesis or dissertation is included in the record.

 The paper version located in Special Collections is considered the archival copy and is not available for patron use. A microfiche copy is made of LSU dissertations by University Microfilms Inc. Acquisition, binding, and processing policies have varied.  If an electronic version is also available, it is added to the print record. 

In 2001, LSU began receiving submissions for thesis/dissertations in electronic format. These are cataloged by AACR2 1998rev, Chapter 9 for Electronic Resources.  We supply keyword access in MARC tag 653 that is given by the author. Special Collections archives creates a paper copy for archival purposes that is added to the electronic version record.  

Analytics – LC policy is generally followed.  Variations from LC's policy are recorded in the series authority record.  Reprints are not cataloged.  Level of cataloging varies. For LSU Ag publications not found in OCLC, standard practice is minimal level cataloging in local system. 

Faculty Collection – Materials designated “Faculty Collection” by Special Collections staff has full level cataloging and is classed in Library of Congress classification, with a local note indicating Faculty Collection. Specific instructions may be found at :

 LSU Press Collection – These titles have full level cataloging, and are classed in Library of Congress classification. Specific instructions may be found at :

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5. Subject Headings

Collection Services applies Library of Congress Subject Headings, as established in the national authority file. The exception is Young People's Collection, which uses subject headings for children: Library of Congress Annotated Card Program Subject Headings, also found in the national authority file. As needed, these children's subject headings are added to the records for the Michael Lehman Williamson Collection of Civil War Books for Young People.

Collections Services does not create topical subject headings locally (i.e., 690). Non-jurisdictional place name subject headings (i.e., 651) not already established are created according to instructions given in the Library of Congress Subject Cataloging Manual: Subject Headings. This manual is also followed in assigning and subdividing subject headings in catalog records.   

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6. Classification

Library of Congress Classification
The Library of Congress classification scheme is used for most print material. Collection Services follows guidelines for application found in the Library of Congress Subject Cataloging Manual: Classification.  The guidelines and the LC classification scheme are available on Cataloger's Desktop and Classification Web.  The complete schedules are located in Government Documents/Microforms.

PZ  Fiction and Juvenile Belles Lettres
With the exception of Education Resources, no new titles are added to the Libraries' collections with a PZ classification number.  A new number must be assigned based on the subject matter (e.g., B for mythology, paranormal experiences; G for folklore, fairy tales, ghost stories; P-PT for literature by country/language). Copies and volumes can be added to existing titles already classed in PZ.

 Z5051-7999  Subject Bibliography
Subject bibliographies are classed in the appropriate subject area, A-V. In most cases, Library of Congress catalog records supply an alternative classification that can be used.

 Z8000-8999  Personal Bibliography
Personal bibliographies are classed in the biography number for the individual. In most cases, Library of Congress catalog records supply an alternative classification that can be used.

Alternative Classification Numbers
When the Library of Congress provides more than one classification number in the 050 field, the classification should be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. For analytic classification numbers in particular, the classification must be checked against local bibliographic and authority files to determine national and/or local practice or the need for local review of the series. If a Library of Congress catalog record with a first call number of PZ or Z also contains an alternative number, the Libraries will generally use the alternative number. Alternative numbers are not complete and must be shelflisted according to the Library of Congress guidelines and local practice.

Revisions to LC Classification
Library of Congress classification scheme is dynamic. LSU Libraries does not routinely reclassify materials already in LC classification whenever LC revises a section or creates a new number. Incoming materials are classified in the new number.  On a case-by-case basis, some earlier editions may be reclassified so that they will be shelved/display in call number searches with newer editions but only if Public Services or Collection Development has encountered problems. Exceptions may also be made for revised belles lettres numbers in an attempt to keep a single author's works together, or to accommodate shelflisting and access to a serial title.

Dewey Decimal Classification

The Libraries' collections were originally classified in Dewey. Some titles in the collections are still in Dewey. Except as noted below, most of these titles are housed in Compact Shelving in the basement of Middleton Library or in the closed stacks areas of Special Collections in Hill Memorial Library.

In 2008, the Libraries began a systematic evaluation of all the books classified in Dewey stored in Middleton Compact that will result in either a) withdrawal of the work in question, or b) reclassification of the work and its transfer out of Compact to regular shelving in Middleton. This project is ongoing as of 2012.

Reclassification is also triggered by patron use. When patrons check out materials from Compact Shelving in Middleton that are classified in Dewey, those materials are flagged and sent to Collection Management for reclassification to LC when they are returned.

Due to shelving constraints, Special Collections materials classified in Dewey are not reclassified unless a curator makes a specific request.

The Young People's Collection in Education Resources is classified in Dewey because most school and public libraries use the Dewey Decimal classification scheme. Specific instructions for classifying and shelflisting YP materials may be found at

LSU theses (paper copies only) are classed in 378.76.L930 <date> <surname>. LSU dissertations (paper copies only) are classed in 378.76.L930d <date><surname>. LSU research reports (paper copies only) are classed in 378.76.L930r or 378.76.L930rs. These are shelved on the second floor of Middleton Library.

Due to shelving limitations, the Journal Officiel de la Republique Francaise for the years 1871-1947 is classed as 328.44.F84 and shelved adjacent to the LSU theses, dissertations, and research reports.

 Accession Type Classification
For many non-print titles and titles in certain collections, accession type numbers are assigned. The Libraries has used the following accession type numbers.

Type of Material 

computer file

grade K-3 book

Isidore Cohn Collection





sound cassette

sound disc (CD)

sound disc (phonorecord)

sound tape reel 



Call number














Textual Type Classification




FAC COLL                                               See







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7. Shelf listing

Collection Services follows guidelines for shelflisting found in Library of Congress Subject Cataloging Manual: Shelflisting.  Shelflisting of incoming materials is completed after reviewing the Libraries' online shelflist. In most instances, current practice found within the existing shelflist will be followed.

Library of Congress assigned author (Cutter) numbers 
  In most instances, no attempt is made to alphabetize within the Libraries' shelflist. Catalogers  adjust incoming  LC assigned author cutter numbers or locally assigned cutters as needed to avoid conflict.

Exception:  Belles lettres – Literary author numbers are assigned as a unique identifier within LC and provide an opportunity for browsing most authors. If splitting an author's works/biographical data within a single language or country could cause some difficulty in retrieval, reclassifying/recuttering older materials to a newer number will be considered.

 Louisiana DOTD environmental impact documents
A specific cuttering system has been developed for this large body of material. It may be accessed at: 

For oversize policy in Middleton stacks see: 
For oversize policy in Design and Music see:

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National file - LSU Libraries accesses the official forms of name and subject headings through the authority files found in OCLC database.

NACO - LSU Libraries participates in the name authority program (NACO) of the Program for Cooperative Cataloging based at Library of Congress. The Libraries, through its designated liaison, is authorized to create and modify authority records for English language names (personal, corporate, conference, and jurisdictional place names) in all formats except Music. The program began at LSU in 1987. Contributions to the national authority file are made through OCLC by original catalogers. Since July 2001 the Libraries has also contributed new and revised headings for Louisiana names through its contract with TechPro. The current liaison is Head, Cataloging Department.

Local Files - Maintenance of LSU Libraries' authority file and bibliographic records is based in Database Management Department. Basic maintenance is outsourced to MARCIVE, with updating as needed by local staff. Authority records not in the national file or within NACO guidelines for contribution/modification are created/modified on a case-by-case basis by the Cataloging Department. Such authority records are usually created or modified to support cataloging and processing of series, or to provide additional control of locally significant personal/corporate/place names

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MARC Holdings data - LSU Libraries follows the current standard for holdings data ANSI/NISO Z39.71-1999. Holdings Statements for Bibliographic Items.

Local policies and practices are mounted on the LSU Collection Services Web pages at:

Copy Holdings - More than one copy of a title will be cataloged and classified as requested by selector. Exception: A single issue of a serial or reprint of a single issue of a serial already in LSU Libraries' collections will not be added to the collections as a separately cataloged and classified monograph. Copy numbering policy for monographs is on LSU Libraries Web page at:
Multiple copies of serials are not given copy numbers if they are in different locations (e.g., Middleton and Hill). Multiple copies of serials in a single location (e.g., Middleton only) will include a copy number.

Item ID - As of Jan. 2002, all materials have an item id with the exceptions of unbound journals and Special Collections.

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Statistics are maintained by all cataloging units to record the amounts and types of materials that are added or withdrawn from the Libraries' collections, as well as to track types of bibliographic work done without changing the numbers of physical pieces (e.g., remote access titles, authority records, recon). Units report relevant ARL statistics annually. Some statistics are available through computer reports.