While it has been many years since records were newly created according to earlier rules, serial catalogers are frequently faced with the problem of adapting or converting existing pre-AACR2 cataloging records, whether online or in card form.  This module discusses the rules that governed the creation of these earlier records.  It is intended to help catalogers interpret what they see.  Instructions for converting a pre-AACR2 record are included in Module 21 and in Section C9. Converting Pre-AACR2 Records to AACR2 of the CONSER Editing Guide (CEG).

This module will discuss

Cataloging codes used to catalog serials prior to AACR2

How these codes differ from AACR2

How earlier codes dealt with choice of entry and changes to entry

Rules for description

Rules for corporate name headings

Changes that occurred with the advent of online cataloging


The following codes were used by the Library of Congress.  They are cited throughout the module in the abbreviated form given parenthetically at the end of the citation.

Cataloging Rules, Author and Title Entries.  American ed.  Chicago, American Library Association, 1908  (ALA 1908)

A.L.A. Catalog Rules, Author and Title Entries.  Preliminary American 2nd ed.  Chicago, American Library Association, 1941  (ALA 1941)

A.L.A. Catalog Rules for Author and Title Entries.  2nd ed.  Chicago, American Library Association, 1949  (ALA 1949; "red book")

Rules for Descriptive Cataloging in the Library of Congress.  Washington, Library of Congress, Descriptive Cataloging Division, 1949  (ALA 1949; "green book")

Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules.  North American text.  Chicago, American Library Association, 1967 (AACR)

Additional Resources

American Library Association. Committee on Library Terminology.  A.L.A. Glossary of Library Terms.  Chicago : ALA, 1943. (ALA glossary)

Cataloging service bulletin.  No. 1 (summer 1978)-  Washington, D.C. : Library of Congress, Processing Services, 1978-  (CSB)

Library of Congress. Processing Dept.  Cataloging service.  Bulletin 1-125; June 1945-spring 1978.  Washington, D.C. : Processing Dept., 1945-1978.  (CSB)

United States Government Printing Office Style Manual.  Washington, D.C. : GPO.

Definitions of terms used in this module

Collation:  That part of the catalog entry which describes the work as a material object, enumerating its volumes, pages, size, etc., and the type and character of its illustrations.  (ALA Glossary)

Earliest entry cataloging:  The practice of describing a serial from the earliest issue and recording subsequent changes to the title or heading in notes.  Earliest entry cataloging was practiced during the early years of the 20th century.  (CCM)

Generic title:  A title made up of words that indicate no more than the type and/or periodicity of the serial.  (CCM)

Holdings statement:  The portion of the catalog entry, following the title and edition statement, that indicated the library's holdings.  (CCM)

Imprint:  1.  The place and date of publication, and the name of the publisher or the printer (or sometimes both); ordinarily printed at the foot  of the title page.  2.  The statement giving such information in a bibliographical description of a printed work.  (ALA Glossary)

Latest entry cataloging:  The practice of describing a serial from the most recent issue and recording earlier changes of title or heading in notes.  All of the ALA rules called for latest entry cataloging.  (CCM)

Short title:  An abbreviated title used in pre-AACR2 records for titles that were apt to vary.  Examples of short titles are "Transactions," "Proceedings," etc.  (CCM)

Successive entry cataloging:  The practice of creating a new record for a serial each time the entry changes in accordance with AACR2 21.2C1 and 23.3B1.  (CCM)

Superimposition:  The Library of Congress' practice of retaining ALA forms of headings in records described according to AACR.  Superimposition was practiced from 1967, when AACR was adopted, until 1981, when the Library began cataloging according to AACR2.  (CCM)

Title of short duration:  A title proper that appears only on one or several issues of a serial.  (CCM)

Truncated title:  A title created according to ALA rules from which the frequency and/or the name of the issuing body was omitted.  (CCM)

See also:

Module 22.  Interpreting Pre-AACR2 Serial Cataloging Records