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University at Buffalo Libraries

Charles B. Sears Law Library SUNY Buffalo Law School

Cataloging Basics


  1. During training, edit bibliographic record on paper first.
  2. Overlaying records
    1. For shared and original, always re-search OCLC for a better record.
    2. If better record is found in OCLC, overlay Aleph record with it.
    3. See Brief Records Section II. Aleph Overlay , for instructions on overlaying.
  3. OCLC number macro: It is easy to forget to run the OCLC number macro that allows our holdings to be added to OCLC in a batch process. Pick a specific time in the cataloging process when you always do it, so it will become habit. Macro must be run while on the first screen of bibliographic record, where the OCLC number appears in 035 field.
  4. Other editions
    1. Search by title to see if other editions of title exist to help with cataloging.
    2. Check for other editions in terms of location. If previous edition is in a special location, new edition should go there too.
    3. If we receive a new edition of title and we have previous one or more editions with old call number, retrieve and re-catalog with new. All editions of a title should be cuttered together. This may require re-cuttering previous editions or changing new to match previous.
  5. Subject headings
    1. Be sure subject headings are correct, since they are then used to classify.
    2. Evaluate whether legal aspects are present or not when assigning subject headings and LC call number. Consider issuing body, read prefatory material, and browse table of contents to help determine.
  6. Classification
    1. When 090 is present in shared record, use as a starting point, but do not depend on it entirely.
    2. Use subject headings searches on Aleph to assist in classification. If that does not help, search for other works by author or significant keywords on Aleph and/or OCLC (larger database).
Content last updated: 4/10