Preliminary cataloging

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If there isn't time for full cataloging before an item is exhibited or put up for adoption at Acq Night, catalogers make sure that the following information is present and correct in the record:

  • Fixed field data
  • Title (verify transcription)
  • GMD, if applicable (usually "[graphic]" or "[manuscript]")
  • Statement of responsibility, if applicable (verify transcription)
  • Place of creation, if applicable (verify transcription)
  • Publisher, if applicable (verify transcription)
  • Date (verify transcription)
  • MARC 752
  • Relationship designators, if present
  • Information from the dealer's description, if present, has the introductory phrase "Dealer's description:"
  • For manuscripts: add genre term for Manuscripts, and any other readily-ascertainable genre terms (don't add subfields for location or century, but don't delete if already there). Commonly-used genres:
    • Blank forms. ‡2 aat
    • Cookbooks. ‡2 aat
    • Financial records. ‡2 aat
    • Formularies. ‡2 aat Medical formularies. ‡2 rbgenr
    • Genealogies (histories) ‡2 aat
    • Indentures. ‡2 aat
    • Letters (correspondence) ‡2 aat
    • Manuscripts (documents) ‡2 aat
    • Receipts (financial records) ‡2 aat
    • Sermons. ‡2 aat
    • Treaties. ‡2 aat


In addition:

  • If the record has an authorized access point for a creator or for the work, verify that it's in the preferred form.
  • Delete or correct any obviously incorrect access points.
  • Keep the HBCN "This record represents material that has not yet been cataloged. It may contain incorrect or incomplete information. Please consult Curator for assistance," unless adding a copy to a cataloged record. In that case, delete the HBCN from the bibliographic record and add to the holding record 852‡z: "This copy has not yet been cataloged. The description may contain incorrect or incomplete information. Please consult Curator for assistance."
  • Add a 583 note to indicate preliminary cataloging
  • If the item's call number is derived from its accession number, change it to its final form with a hyphen and a size designation. This is the number that we want to use for tracking, referencing, and requesting purposes (Aeon, photo requests, etc.).

After exhibition, return to the item and catalog it fully. For Acq Night items, full cataloging is only a priority if the item was adopted.