22.2.1.  ALA

There were three editions of rules that came to be known as the "ALA rules."  Although the extent of the editions and specificity of the rules varied, the basic structure and premise of the rules were the same.  The codes consisted of specific rules; the rules for headings were specific to types of bodies and many of the rules for entry were specific to types of publications.  For serials, there were special rules for periodicals, almanacs, yearbooks, and directories.  The primary problem, of course, was what to do with the bodies or publications that did not fit into one of the categories.  For these there was no alternative but to apply the closest possible rule.

For serials, the ALA rules called for entry appropriate to the latest piece with earlier bodies and/or titles given in notes--"latest entry cataloging."  Corporate bodies used on serial and monograph records were to be entered under the latest form of the name.  Description was based on the most recent issue as well.

Perhaps the salient feature of the ALA rules and the resulting cataloging was the attempt to achieve conformity in catalog records.  While the intention was to create a logical approach to the catalog that would benefit the user, it has been observed that "the involved maze of rules and exceptions to rules that was the 1949 code was a strong contributing factor towards the public image of catalogers as over-meticulous individuals, pre-occupied with forcing library materials into the format of a given rule, irrespective of appropriateness, relevance, or ultimate utility to the reader." (FN 2)

22.2.2.  AACR

The first edition of the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules (AACR) was published in 1967.  Unlike the earlier codes, AACR was based chiefly on a set of principles set forth at the International Conference on Cataloging Principles, held in Paris in 1961, known as the "Paris principles".  In remarking on the newly issued AACR rules, editor Sumner Spaulding noted that "the new rules are primarily addressed to the essential characteristics of the problems that must be solved; the old rules are primarily addressed to particular cases that pose problems" (FN 3).  A primary goal of the new code was to simplify the rules of entry and heading and, indeed, in this area the new code took a totally different approach.  The rules for headings were now general enough that they could be applied to anybody through a logical step-by-step approach.

For serials, there were two major differences in the new rules.  First, the new code stated that a new or "successive" entry record was to be made for each title change.  A new heading was to be established, as well, for each change in a body’s name.  However, description was still based on the latest issue.  Secondly, there was a separate rule, rule 6, for the entry of serials.

Overall, the rules for description of serials changed very little from the ALA codes.  When changes were subsequently made, brought about in part by the introduction of the MARC (machine-readable) record, they were announced by the Library of Congress in the Cataloging Service Bulletin (CSB), chiefly in the form of rule interpretations.  In 1974, a revised chapter 6 was issued for the description of separately published monographs that incorporated ISBD (international standard bibliographic description) punctuation and other changes.  No corresponding revised chapter 7 was issued for serials, however, and while the Library of Congress decided to apply some of the bibliographic conventions in the revised chapter 6 to serials, it did not apply ISBD punctuation to serials until the adoption of AACR2 in 1981.

See also:

Module 22.  Interpreting Pre-AACR2 Serial Cataloging Records