The Name Authority Cooperative Project (NACO) was established in 1977 as a result of an agreement between the Library of Congress (LC) and the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) to use and maintain a common authority file.  With the success of this initial project, LC entered into additional cooperative cataloging projects with many other institutions.  The partners in cooperative cataloging efforts eventually developed the Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC) to administer these projects, including the Subject Authority Cooperative Program (SACO), the Bibliographic Cooperative Program (BIBCO), and the Cooperative Online Serials Program (CONSER).

One of the missions of the LC Regional and Cooperative Cataloging Division (RCCD) is to support bibliographic cooperation among cataloging institutions.  The Cooperative Cataloging Team assists the division by carrying out the team’s mission "to develop cooperative cataloging programs among the Library of Congress and libraries and related institutions in the national and international library communities; to provide direct service and clerical and technical support to those cooperative partners; and to coordinate cooperative cataloging activities of the Library of Congress."

Currently, over 400 institutions throughout the world representing national, state, university, public, and special libraries, and vendors participate in one or more of these cooperative cataloging projects.  NACO participants have contributed over 2.7 million name and series authority records alone since the inception of the program to the Library of Congress/NACO Authority File (LC/NAF).  Both BIBCO and CONSER participants are also NACO members by virtue of the fact BIBCO and CONSER bibliographic records are subject to authority control.

The NACO Participants’ Manual addresses NACO procedures for name authority records only and is to be used in conjunction with the appropriate authoritative documentation that is relevant to each section of the manual, including relevant documentation from the bibliographic utilities, OCLC and RLG.  The manual has been extensively revised and updated to reflect current practice.  Examples used in the manual are not prescriptive of practice.  Examples of past practice can still be found in MARC 21 Format for Authority Data, in the event that a cataloger needs to refer to such examples.

July 31, 2005

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