Copy Cataloging Expectations

a. Wrong number. The copy cataloger should be reasonably alert to possible misassigned, mistranscribed, or non-standard modifications of LC class call numbers, in particular:

  • classification that appears to be inconsistent with other titles in the immediate area of the file, e.g. book in hand is about crime in New York with call number HD6535.N42 S27 1991 and other titles with HD6535 are about labor unions in Mexico (call number should have been HV6535.N42 S27 1991)
  • class number that is completely new to the file

Copy catalogers should check with their supervisor or a staff member with ClassWeb access if the number appears to be (a) suspect or is (b) completely new.

b. Keeping editions and translations together. Copy catalogers should be able to apply the principle of collocation if appropriate information is on the bibliographic record, e.g. :

  • if the item in hand is a 2nd ed., check for a 1st ed.
  • if the item in hand is a Rev. ed., check for the original ed.
  • if the item in hand is a 1st American ed., check for a British ed.
  • if the item in hand is a translation (240 or 130 with $l subfield for the language of translation), check for the original .

Note that in general copy catalogers should not add translation numbers to the call numbers of source copy. See Shelflisting Order. Section 9. above. But if the source copy call number has a base number with translation numbers, the base number cutter should be adjusted to match the cutter of the original if Yale has the original.

c. Variations in cuttering practice. Copy catalogers are also expected to be broadly aware of the different types of LC cuttering practice described in Library of Congress Classification Call Numbers Overview and to adjust cutter numbers appropriately or, if in doubt, check with their supervisor or other staff member with access to ClassWeb or SCM: Shelflisting on Cataloger's Desktop. For example:

  1. Generally call numbers with more than 2 cutters should not be accepted; consult with a catalog librarian to determine the appropriate cutter
  2. Do not automatically revise a cutter to align with the main entry (e.g., when the second cutter is intended to subarrange the first cutter, as is sometimes done for localities)
  3. Do not automatically add "missing" translation numbers
  4. The call number date should match the conference date & not the date of publication if the conference date is given in the main entry (111 or 110). See Shelflisting Order. 4. Dates.

Generally, obsolete LC class numbers should not be used, but it is recognized that there may be no efficient way to identify these on member copy; some numbers for newly cataloged books, usually for older materials, may be accepted unintentionally if other obsolete numbers in the same class are already in Orbis because of recon. However, if it is known that the number is obsolete, it should not be used; the current class number should be assigned; consult with a catalog librarian.

The section on Shelflisting Order and Arrangement documents a number of standard practices and procedures we will try to follow when assigning new numbers, especially when records are coded as PCC. It is recognized that call numbers already assigned by member libraries will not always adhere to the standards any more than we have over the years. It is not an expectation that these numbers be painstakingly checked against S.O.A. 1-17. However, if it is known that the notation is not following current practice, we recommend that the number be adjusted accordingly, on the assumption that by doing so it will be easier to integrate new numbers into the file in the future. From a larger perspective, deviations from S.O.A. standards on member records should be considered of secondary importance relative to the situations described in a.-c. above.