All, below is an announcement that some of you saw soon after it was
sent to LC staff yesterday afternoon. Sorry for the delay in getting it to
you, but we needed to confirm some things first before we sent it more
The new practice applies to anything in a series, serials, monographs,
integrating resources. LC's serials catalogers will not make the changes
to 4XX and 8XX fields in existing CONSER records. When LC serials
catalogers create new records on OCLC they will follow the practices in
the document, but CONSER members will be free to make changes to the bib
records in OCLC if they create a series authority record.
The message has been sent to the PCC steering committee and to the PCC
Policy Committee. CPSO is working on documentation that will be available
Carolyn Sturtevant BIBCO Coordinator and I plan to set aside time for
discussion of the topic at the operations meeting next week. Judy Kuhagen
will not be available because she will be at the JSC meeting. Maureen
Landry will be available Friday and I understand some other CPSO staff
will be on hand for some discussion of the topic.
Note, the original was in a wp file attachment from Beacher Wiggins,
some of the LC email lists don't accept attachments, so I've pasted in the
text from the original intended for non-LC audiences. LC staff received a
message with some local instructions.
The Director for Acquisitions and Bibliographic Access Announces the
Library of Congress's Decision to Cease Creating Series Authority Records
as Part of Library of Congress Cataloging
April 20, 2006
The Library of Congress has determined that it will cease to
provide controlled series access in the bibliographic records that its
catalogers produce. Its catalogers will cease creating series authority
records (SARs). The Library considered taking this step over a decade
ago, but decided against it at that time because of some of the concerns
raised about the impact this would have. The environment has changed
considerably since then--indexing and key word access are more powerful
and can provide adequate access via series statements provided only in the
490 field of the bibliographic record. We recognize that there are still
some adverse impacts, but they are mitigated when the gains in processing
time are considered.
As the Library was considering introducing this change, it was heavily
swayed by the number of records that included series statements. Using
statistics for the most recent year with full output of records appearing
in the LC Database (fiscal year 2004) gives a sense of the impact on the
Total monograph records created: 344,362
Total with series statements: 82,447
Total SARs created: 8,770 (by LC catalogers); 9,453 (by Program for
Cooperative Cataloging participants)
As a result of the Library's decision, the following explains what
catalogers will and will not do, related to series.
What LC catalogers will do:
* Create a separate bibliographic record for all resources with
distinctive titles published as parts of series (monographic series and
* Give series statements in 490 0 fields.
* Classify separately each volume (i.e., assign call number and subject
headings appropriate to the specific topic of the volume). (Imported copy
cataloging records will have series access points removed and series
statements changed to 490 0.)
What LC catalogers will not do:
* Create new SARs
* Modify existing SARs to update data elements or LC's treatment
* Consult and follow treatment in existing SARs
* Update existing collected set records
* Change 4XX/8XX fields in completed bibliographic records when
updating those records for other reasons
The Library's rationale includes:
(1)Eliminates cost of constructing unique headings; searching to
determine the existence of an SAR; creating SARs; and adjusting 8XX on
existing bibliographic records.
(2) Maintains current level of subject access.
(3) In some instances, increases access because more titles will be
(4) Maintains current level of descriptive access other than series.
Uncontrolled series access will remain available through keyword searches.
The Library will be working with affected stakeholder organizations--OCLC,
RLG, the Program for Cooperative Cataloging, and the larger library
community to mitigate as much as possible the impact of this change.
The Library will implement this change on May 1, 2006. The Cataloging
Policy and Support Office is revising affected documentation to be
reissued to reflect these decisions.