The CONSER Editing Guide (CEG) sets forth the policies, procedures, and technical guidelines to be followed within the CONSER Program.  Since it was first published in 1987, the CEG has become a widely used tool by serial catalogers–CONSER and non-CONSER alike.  It is a companion publication to the CONSER Cataloging Manual.

The 1994 edition consolidates all updates to the previous edition.  While the text has been reviewed and updated, the overall format remains the same.  Part I, now issued in a separate binder, contains general information on the Program and the policies and procedures adhered to by its participants.  Part II is a technical users’ guide to the fields and data elements within the MARC 21 format that are applicable to CONSER records.  The 1994 edition incorporates changes and new fields resulting from the implementation of format integration for variable data fields.  Additional fixed-length data fields will be added in Update 2 (Fall 1995) in anticipation of the implementation of these fields in 1996.  Special appendices are also included in Part II.

Intended use:

The CEG is to be used when creating original records based on the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules, Second Edition Revised, when adapting existing AACR2 or pre-AACR2 records, or when converting existing pre-AACR2 online records to AACR2.  While the CEG is not a retrospective conversion manual, it contains policy decisions and general guidelines relating to retrospective conversion, as well as fields that may be needed in such records (247 and 547).

The CEG is written for use by CONSER catalogers who have the authorization to change both unauthenticated and authenticated records on OCLC.  Therefore, some instructions in the guide are not relevant to non-CONSER institutions or those working on other databases.  The field-by-field guidelines contained in Part II, however, are generally applicable to any institution creating machine readable cataloging records for serials.

Maintenance method:

The CEG is updated twice a year.  Updates are available on a subscription basis from the Cataloging Distribution Service, Library of Congress, Washington, DC 20541-5017.


The 1994 edition was prepared by Jean Hirons and Bill Anderson in the Library of Congress’ Serial Record Division, with assistance from many others within CONSER.  Much of the advance planning for the new edition was carried out by the CONSER Format Integration Task Force, whose members are:  Ruth Haas (Harvard), chair, Linda Bartley (LC), Cecilia Botero (University of Florida), Sue Fuller (University of Texas at Austin), Ed Glazier (RLG), Rich Green (OCLC), and Jean Hirons.  David Van Hoy (MIT) also participated to lend advice on computer file elements.  A special thanks is extended to Ruth and the Task Force for their support and advice over the many years in which it has taken to implement format integration.

Many staff members at the Library of Congress and in CONSER institutions have participated in reviewing the text.  Those at LC included Les Hawkins, Bill Hinkley, John Levy, Simone Jones, Jeffrey Myers-Hayer, Koit Ojaama, Regina Reynolds, Lois Rose, Janet Szarmach, and Herbert Weinryb in the Serial Record Division; and Judy Kuhagen and Kay Guiles in the Policy and Standards Division.  Those in CONSER institutions included Sue Fuller, Ruth Haas, David Van Hoy, Kristin Lindlan (University of Washington), Ron Watson (UCLA), Robert Bremer (OCLC), Bob Harriman (LC/USNP), Kevin McShane (NLM), Lee Morey (GPO), and Christina Yuen (NLC) also provided assistance with the fields and instructions relating to their institutions.  A special thanks is extended to Jeffrey Myers-Hayer for providing a thorough review of the examples and text of Part II.


Kimberley W. Dobbs, Chief

Serial Record Division

September 22, 1994

See also:

CONSER Editing Guide:  Contents