IFLA Universal Bibliographic Control and International MARC Core Programme (UBCIM)

International and National Cataloguing Rules: Current Situation and Future Trends

20-24 April 1999

This international conference was organized and hosted by the Russian State Library in cooperation with the Russian Library Association as well as with the IFLA Section on Cataloguing and the IFLA UBCIM Programme. The main sponsor was the Open Society Institute (Soros), whose grant enabled participation from countries of Eastern Europe and former republics of the USSR, and contributed to the expenses of the international speakers. The aims of the conference were to bring together experts involved in national and international projects related to revision and further development of cataloguing rules, to survey current trends and issue recommendations for national cataloguing agencies and international organizations.

About 60 participants came from the main institutions in Moscow and St. Petersburg as well as from 13 countries: Belarus, Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Mongolia, Tajikistan and the USA. IFLA representatives were Ms. Ingrid Parent, Chair of the IFLA Division of Bibliographic Control and Ms. Marie-France Plassard, IFLA UBCIM Programme, but the IFLA Sections on Bibliography, Cataloguing and Classification and Indexing were also represented. The generous hospitality of the hosts and the sponsors was very much appreciated by all participants who also enjoyed visits to the Russian State Library and the All Russia State Library for Foreign Literature.

The conference was chaired by Ms. Nina Khakhaleva, Deputy Director of the Russian State Library. After opening speeches by Mr. Victor Fedorov, Director of the Russian State Library, Mr. Vladimir Zaitsev, President of the Russian Library Association, Ms. Ekaterina Genieva, Director of the All Russia State Library for Foreign Literature and First Vice President of IFLA, as well as IFLA representatives, the first day was devoted to international issues and activities. During the first session, international principles of cataloguing today and IFLA international projects related to authority control and metadata were presented. The afternoon session dealt with recent developments in the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules and cataloguing electronic resources.

The next day, speakers from libraries in Moscow and St. Petersburg reported on developments and issues related to multilingual catalogues (choice of languages) and to international terminology used in cataloguing, as well as new trends in Russian cataloguing rules, bibliographic links and formats. A lively discussion ensued and many suggestions for projects were addressed to the IFLA Section on Cataloguing. In the afternoon, national cataloguing developments in Belarus, Finland, France, Germany, Italy and Kazakhstan and their impact on international exchange of records were presented. The last day was devoted to discussion of two key issues: cataloguing electronic resources and international authority control. During the closing session, Ms. Parent summarized results of the discussion and recommendations were issued.

Conclusions and recommendations

It was recognized during the conference that the distribution of information knows no boundaries, and cataloguers must work together, and with other related communities, to describe information in a standardized way to facilitate access and retrieval of that information.

Cataloguing has had a long history of development, and cataloguers must be leaders in information management, including access to electronic publications. Cataloguers have worked very hard to achieve national and international standardization of bibliographic description, access points and communication formats. Progress has been made, but much more needs to be done to address both current and future information management issues.

Conference participants therefore formulated the following recommendations:

For the IFLA Section on Cataloguing

    1. Develop a multilingual dictionary of terminology covering the most commonly used cataloguing terms.

    2. Compile a list of certain key cataloguing rules from several major cataloguing codes.

    3. Hold a programme session at a future IFLA annual conference on the problems and solutions encountered in the development of national cataloguing rules.

    4. Review with ISO the appropriate standards for transliteration with the objective of consistent application.

    5. Develop guidelines to assist libraries to decide when to provide metadata information for a publication and when to provide a catalogue record.

For the IFLA Working Group on Authorities

    6. Include Author/Title entries in authority records.

    7. Develop guidelines on the creation of multilingual authority records.

    8. Develop a mechanism to attach all forms of a name together within one authority file.

    9. Establish a listserv on authority files issues.

For metadata developers and providers

    10. Add an element to the Dublin Core record: date the publication is retrieved on the Internet.

    11. Encourage metadata providers to adhere to metadata standards, preferably the Dublin Core elements.

    12. Continue to work together towards compatibility of library cataloguing standards and metadata standards, and the development of a permanent identifier for electronic publications.

For the UBCIM Programme

    13. Continue to work towards compatibility of the UNIMARC and the MARC 21 communication formats.


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