In this topic:

C8.1.  Background


C8.2.  Record consolidation


C8.3.  Record separation

C8.1.  Background

Differences in title change and main entry conventions between pre-AACR2, AACR2, and RDA cataloging instructions in some instances, reduced or expanded the number of bibliographic records currently needed to describe a serial.  The procedures in C8. describe how to effect the needed record consolidation and separation.  While revisions of cataloging instructions for creating new records have in some cases reduced the number of records needed; existing authenticated records and series authority records generally should not be consolidated because of these changes (see CEG B4.3).  Do, however, consolidate authenticated AACR2 and RDA records when separate records were created in error.

C8.1.1.  General guidelines

Modify the selected record to conform to RDA, remembering that this can be done only with a piece or surrogate in hand.  If already RDA, modify to reflect the application of the appropriate instruction or policy statement.

Record consolidation must not result in the loss of cataloging information.  CONSER catalogers should evaluate data elements appearing in the superseded record but not appearing in the selected record and, if necessary, add or suggest that those data elements be added to the selected record.  The amount of editing to be done on the retained record is determined by the available information in hand and/or issue consulted.

C8.1.2.  Restrictions on processing

CONSER members may consolidate or separate any sets of records regardless of whether the records are authenticated or unauthenticated (unless one or more has been authenticated by LAC or ISDS/C).  Members do not delete records that are not selected to be retained, however.  If all of the records are unauthenticated, the CONSER cataloger notifies OCLC to delete the record(s).  If one or more of the records to be deleted is authenticated, the cataloger follows the record de-authentication procedure in C7.5.  LC must be notified of consolidations involving records that show LC holdings.  See number 4 LC cataloged records below.

1.   LAC or ISSN Canada authenticated records

CONSER members may not consolidate records authenticated by LAC or ISSN Canada.  LAC will not consolidate records in order to apply current rules and rule interpretations which were not in effect at the time of the original cataloging.  For more information, see C12.4.2.

2.   Records authenticated by the U.S. ISSN Center for which there is more than one ISSN

Because of the importance of the ISSN, which is printed on serials and used for control in many files, LC generally will not consolidate records that have more than one U.S. ISSN Center validated ISSN.  CONSER members must consult first with the U.S. ISSN Center before consolidating records with valid ISSNs, to know if the U.S. ISSN Center is willing to cancel one or more ISSN and to find out which ISSN to keep.  To expedite processing, notify the U.S. ISSN Center via fax (202-707-6333).

3.   CONSER authenticated records

All work to amend the records may be done by the CONSER member following the steps in C8.2.4 (see also C7.5).  Generally do not consolidate authenticated CONSER records only because of changes in cataloging instructions or LC-PCC Policy Statements regarding instances that require a new record.

4.   LC cataloged records

Records that have been given full or minimal level cataloging by LC catalogers may also be consolidated by CONSER members; however, LC requires additional information so that the cataloging can be verified and internal files maintained.  LC must cancel the superseded records.  See C8.2.5.

5.   Unauthenticated OCLC records

CONSER libraries may for various reasons consolidate unauthenticated records.  See CEG B3.2 for further information.

C8.2.  Record consolidation

C8.2.1.  Definition

Record consolidation is the merging of information from multiple serial records into fewer records, and the deletion of records no longer needed to describe a serial.  The records to be deleted are called superseded records.  Record consolidation involves selecting a record to retain, modifying that record, and reporting superseded records for deletion.

C8.2.2.  Selection

Record consolidation requires the selection for modification of one among several existing records and the consequent identification of the superseded records for deletion.  A new record is not input to circumvent record sets in need of consolidation.

1.   Select the record with the highest level of authentication:

a.   pcc $a nsdp or nlc $a isds/c

b.   pcc or nlc

c.   nsdp or isds/c

d.   msc or nst

e.   lccopycat

2.   In all other cases, and if ties result in applying item 1. (e.g., 2 records with pcc in field 042), select the record with the earliest date of coverage given in the fixed field.

C8.2.3.  All candidate records unauthenticated

CONSER cataloger:

1.   Make all necessary changes to the bibliographic fields of the selected record, transferring all pertinent data that might be found in the duplicate (non-selected) record(s).  Do not add or delete local fields for which OCLC is responsible (C8.2.7).

If questions arise concerning the transfer of data elements, contact the participant that is responsible for the field.  Contact the U.S. ISSN Center for questions concerning the 510 field.

2.   Authenticate the record to be retained and replace the master record.

3.   Report superseded records to OCLC using the WorldCat and Authority Record Quality Control Request:  Add in field 936 on the superseded records:


C8.2.4.  One or more candidate records to be deleted is authenticated (none cataloged by LC)

Attributes:  042 = pcc, msc, nsdp; 010 = sc or sn prefix, if the records were created before 2000.  After 2000, the only CONSER institutions that use an sn prefix are US Newspaper Program participants and LC newspaper catalogers.

CONSER cataloger:

1.   Make all corrections online to the record selected to be retained, except for fields that are maintained by OCLC (C8.2.7) or by LC or LAC (C8.2.8).

2.   Add a note in field 936 in the superseded record(s):


3.   Update and replace the records.

4.   Transfer necessary data elements from the list below (C8.2.8).

5.   Take the necessary steps to delete the superseded records from the database LC/CDS following the steps in C7.5.

6.   Report the record for deletion to OCLC.

C8.2.5.  One or more records cataloged and authenticated by LC (LC has holdings on the CONSER OCLC record)

Attributes:  042 = pcc, msc; 010 = unprefixed or non-CONSER prefixed, or sf prefixed;  050 = call no., WMLC shelf no., IN PROCESS, etc.; second indicator = value "0".

CONSER cataloger:

1.   Select the record to be retained.

2.   Send an email to with a complete description of the desired changes to the LC record to be retained and/or LC records to be consolidated.

3.   Once consultation with appropriate LC stakeholders has been completed and the changes and deletions are approved by LC, proceed with making the necessary changes:

a.   Transfer appropriate information.

b.   Convert pre-AACR2 records to RDA, etc.

c.   Do not change field 010 or field 042.

4.   Add in field 936 on superseded record(s):


5.   Send an email to to let LC know that the changes have been made.

LC cataloger:

1.   Review the modified record on OCLC.

2.   Transfer necessary data elements from the list in C8.2.6 below and take the necessary steps to delete the superseded records from the LC and OCLC databases, as well as from LC internal files and LC's OPAC.

C8.2.6.  Fields that are transferred by CONSER catalogers

CONSER catalogers transfer all fields that would be appropriate to the retained record, with the exception of proprietary fields listed below.

Several CONSER members input data elements that are considered optional by the CONSER Standard Record but that are unique to the records of these participants.  These elements should be added, by the CONSER cataloger performing the consolidation editing, to the selected record if they appear in the superseded records but not in the selected record.  These data elements include the following:



GPO Item No.


GPO Class No.



NAL Call No.


NAL Subject Category Code

6XX  X3

NAL Subject Heading



NLM Call No.


NLM CATLINE No. and Serials Control No.

6XX  X2

NLM Subject Heading

C8.2.7.  Fields that are transferred by OCLC


OCLC Control Number Cross Reference


Local System Number


Locally Assigned LC Number


Locally Assigned DDC Number


Locally Assigned NLM Call Number

C8.2.8.  Fields that are transferred by LC (records with LC holdings) or LAC


Original Alphabet of Title


ISDS Center Code




Terminal Display


LAC bibliographic record control number




Postal Registration No.


Authentication Agency Code

050  X0

LC Call Number


LC Copy, Issue, Offprint Statement


Call/class numbers assigned by LAC

082  X0

DDC Number

086  1X

Government document number


Abbreviated Title


Key Title


LAC English subject headings


LAC French subject headings




LC Visible File Entry


Numbered Copy Information


LC X-copy Information

C8.3.  Record separation

C8.3.1.  Definition

In a few instances, differences between RDA and earlier cataloging rules may require breaking up one record into more records.  Most often, this would result in retaining and modifying the initial successive record and creating an additional record, with some information from the initial record being transferred to the new record.  This process is called record separation, or simply "breaking-up" a record.

C8.3.2.  Selection

For record separation, there is usually only one record from which to select.  Use this record to reflect the earliest chronological cataloging for the set of records, entering new records for the later portions of the publication.

If there is more than one record already online, apply the selection criteria given in C8.2.2., combined with the guidance in the paragraph above as appropriate.

C8.3.3.  Record is unauthenticated or CONSER authenticated (not cataloged by LC)

Attributes:  042 = pcc, msc, nsdp, nst; 010 = sc, sn

CONSER cataloger:

1.   Edit, authenticate, and replace record.

2.   Input, authenticate, and update additional records.  Add CONSER-specific fields to new record as appropriate.

3.   Submit a request to OCLC to transfer holdings and other fields as necessary using the WorldCat and Authority Record Quality Control Request:

C8.3.4.  Record is cataloged and authenticated by LC

Attributes:  010 = unprefixed or non-CONSER prefix, or sf-prefixed; 042 = pcc, msc

CONSER cataloger:

1.   Send an email to with a complete description of the desired changes to the LC record to be separated.

2.   After approval from LC, edit and update record.  Input and authenticate additional record(s) as above.

3.   Notify that the separation has been completed.

LC cataloger:

1.   Review modifications.

2.   Take steps necessary to correct internal files (OPAC, holdings, etc.).

3.   Submit a request to OCLC to transfer holdings and other fields as necessary using the WorldCat and Authority Record Quality Control Request:

See also:

Section C.  Procedures and Instructions

CONSER Editing Guide:  Contents