A newspaper is a particular type of serial that requires a different approach to its bibliographic description and access.  CONSER cataloging practice for newspapers has developed along with the evolution of the U.S. Newspaper Program which began in the early 1980's (see CCM 33.19).  This module describes CONSER policies and practices for newspapers, both foreign and domestic, and explains practices specific to the USNP ( FN 1).  Newspapers are commonly understood to be primary sources of general news on current events but there are many different kinds (e.g., community, topical, ethnic).  This module establishes policies for all kinds of newspapers and presents a definition for distinguishing them from periodical publications.  A section on electronic newspapers is also included (CCM 33.18), to be used in conjunction with Module 31, "Remote Access Electronic Serials."

This module will discuss

What is a newspaper

Areas where the cataloging differs from other serials cataloging

United States Newspaper Program

Areas where CONSER and USNP practice differs

Cataloging of electronic newspapers

This module supersedes the following publications

Butler, Todd.  Newspaper Cataloging and Union Listing Manual.  Washington, D.C. : Cataloging Distribution Service, Library of Congress, 1990.

Harriman, Robert.  Newspaper Cataloging Manual, CONSER/USNP Edition. Washington, D.C.:  Serial Record Division, Library of Congress, 1984.

Additional resource

Union List: User Manual.  Dublin, Ohio : OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc.,  1989.



Chapters 1, 12, 23, 24, 25


Section B6.4.2. Core record for newspapers

Appendix L. Special types of cataloging

Subject Heading Manual

H690-H1055; H1920

Definitions of terms used in this module

Chronological edition:  A chronological edition of a newspaper is one of possibly several distributions of the same issue of a newspaper in one day.  Chronological editions are not considered to be bibliographic editions unless they carry different titles.  (CCM)

Electronic newspaper ( FN 2):  A serial publication containing news on current events of special or general interest, issued as a group of inter-related computer files, and accessed through a remote electronic connection.  E-newspapers are distributed most often over the Internet.  (CCM)

Geographical edition:  A geographical edition is one of multiple publications issued at the same time by the same publisher and usually having the same title.  The contents of the editions generally vary to include news from different cities, towns, or regions.  (CCM)

Master bibliographic record convention:  Master bibliographic record convention, also called "master record" or "master record convention," is the practice of cataloging or describing a newspaper as if in its original format no matter what formats are held.  The different formats are identified in the "Copy" field of the OCLC holdings records that are attached to the bibliographic record.  This practice was developed by the U.S. Newspaper Program for cataloging domestic titles.  (CCM)

Masthead:  The masthead (sometimes called flag, banner, or nameplate) contains the title statement and is found on the first, or front page.  It may also include the place of publication, designation, edition statement, the newspaper’s motto or philosophy, or the price.  (CCM)

Newspapers:  A serial publication that contains news on current events of special or general interest.  The individual parts are listed chronologically or numerically and appear usually at least once a week.  Newspapers usually appear without a cover, with a masthead, and are normally larger than 297mm x 420 mm [approximately 12 x 17 inches] in size (CCM 33.1).  (ISO)

Publisher's statement:  The publisher’s statement can be found anywhere in the newspaper, and may consist of one or two areas enclosed in lined boxes.  It may include the title, edition, place of publication, publisher, editor, designation, frequency, price, or address.  (CCM)

United States Newspaper Program (USNP):  The U. S. Newspaper Program is a cooperative national effort to locate, catalog, preserve on microfilm, and make available to researchers, newspapers published in the United States.  The Program is supported by funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities, with technical support provided by the Library of Congress.  Projects in each of the fifty states and the U.S. Trust Territories survey newspaper collections, catalog the newspapers on OCLC, and select appropriate files for preservation on microfilm.  USNP is an associate member in CONSER and all USNP records are included in the CONSER database.  (CCM)

See also:

Module 33.  Newspapers