Folgerpedia:Manual of Style/Cataloging

In general, follow the Folgerpedia:Manual of Style when writing articles about cataloging topics.

Article titles, headings, and sections

  • Name articles without particular reference to cataloging. For example: Things in books. This allows an article to bring together all information about a topic, of which cataloging policy is one. If an article becomes too lengthy, cataloging policy can be separated into a subpage.
  • Formulate article names about MARC fields in this way:
MARC [tag] [Name of Field from the MARC Format]
Note: follow the MARC format's capitalization of field names
  • Begin lead section with these or similar words:
 MARC field XXX in the bibliographic format contains <...> 
MARC field 856 in the bibliographic and holdings format contains information needed to locate and access an electronic resource in a Hamnet record. The field may be used in a bibliographic record for a resource when that resource or a subset of it is available electronically. In addition, it may be used to locate and access an electronic version of a non-electronic resource described in the bibliographic record or a related electronic resource. 


  • Prefer imperative language when giving instructions. For example, "Make a note" instead of "A note should be made."
  • Avoid unnecessary catalogerese. Pretend these articles will be read by a non-specialist interested in cataloging.
  • Refer to people by title, not name.
  • Spell out abbreviations, especially the Latin abbreviations e.g. and i.e.
  • Use preformatted text for examples.


  • Use call number instead of shelfmark.


  • Resist the temptation to arrange the instructions in full syndetic structure. Aim for only two or three levels of hierarchy. Even if the lead section is not specific to cataloging, do not create a level for "Cataloging instructions."

Articles on MARC fields

  • These articles integrate policy and instructions on content and mark-up; we are using the MARC field as a shortcut for the corresponding AACR2 and RDA elements.
  • Elements of articles on MARC fields usually include:
    • a section on "Policy and formulation," or as two separate sections if content is extensive
    • a section on "Common tagging" containing the most commonly used indicators and subfields
    • Folger policy statements, style, and interpretations of cataloging instructions, not cataloging training itself

Advisory statements

  • Advisory statements come first on a page, preceding the lead section.
  • Use {{Draft}} while a new article from scratch or one combining information from several sources is in process. Remove it when the article is substantially usable, even if not complete.
  • Use {{Legacy}} when copying and pasting from Bard pages or other sources and there's uncertainty about whether the instructions are current and authoritative.
  • Use {{Outdated}} when copying and pasting from Bard pages or other sources and it's known that some of the content is obsolete.


  • Add newly-migrated articles to List of cataloging pages migrated from Bard
  • Cataloging information is spread among several sources. Search these
    • Bard
    • pbworks
    • [file://\\nerissa\CentralLibrary\Cataloging\Cataloging%20website.html Old cataloging website]. Most of the pertinent information had been migrated to Bard, but there may be small oases of hidden information.
  • Refrain from doing any editing except for what is necessary to create and format the article. Add Advisory statements as appropriate
  • Once a page has been migrated, add a statement to the effect and a link to the Folgerpedia article.
    • If only a portion of a Bard or pbworks page is migrated, strike through the text.
Migrated to
  • If none of the content of an existing Bard page is relevant (for example, pages made specifically for projects that have ended), do not migrate.

External links

  • Add "External links" as the final section of an article.
  • Add a link to the [| MARC field] for all MARC-based articles.
  • Other external links may be added if particularly helpful, such as LC or OCLC.


  • Add these categories to all articles on cataloging:
  • Add categories for material types only when an article is specific to one or two material types. Otherwise, the Description category will suffice.
  • Categories are a controlled vocabulary in Folgerpedia; other categories may be proposed, but not used before approval.

Discussion page

  • Create a discussion page for every article populated by migrated material.
  • Name the first section "Origin of page" and give links to original pages.
  • Create a new section for every distinct issue or query; new sections go at the bottom.
  • Add discussion text within migrated pages to the discussion page with a "needs discussion" link on the main page.
  • Once the issue is resolved, strike through the text.