Cataloging News – July 2016

by Louise Ratliff
Social Sciences and Map Cataloger, UCLA,
and Vice-Chair of MAGIRT

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Cartographic Materials Cataloging – Current Topics

At the 2016 ALA Annual Conference in Orlando, some cartographic cataloging topics were discussed at various MAGIRT meetings.

  1. The MAGIRT document “Best Practices for Cataloging Cartographic Resources Using RDA” dated May 2014 has not yet been published, pending an addition about the use of field 045.
  2. Discussion of MARC field 045 and “date of situation.” Library of Congress map catalogers encode the date of situation here when it differs from the date of publication, because then it can be easily used as a linked data element.
  3. Library of Congress Demographic Group Terms (LCDGT) were published last spring. This vocabulary is used to describe the creators and contributors of resources, and the intended audience of the resources. LC will finish its policy review this month, then the catalogers in Geography & Map division and at other institutions will discuss it. Maps can be intended for the visually impaired, for children, or for tourists, for example, so there may be a recommendation about using the LCDGT terms in cartographic resource cataloging.
  4. Nancy Kandoian reported that DCRM(C) has been formally published as an online document. It is based on AACR2, but conforms to the BIBCO Standard Record.

LD4P-Cartographic Materials Working Group

The LD4P-CM working group was established in March 2016 and has met 6 times. It is being chaired by Marc McGee of Harvard. Consisting of 11 members (including myself), the group will deliver:

a BIBFRAME profile for cartographic resources; a set of published BIBFRAME descriptions for a variety of cartographic resource types; a written evaluation of the project and set of recommendations for future research and development; and presentation of project findings to appropriate library cartographic materials and linked data communities. [description from the group’s wiki]

Currently we are creating use cases to help us figure out how to use current bibliographic data or BIBFRAME linked data elements to find resources to answer questions posed by students, researchers and librarians. The focus is on the cartographic and geospatial characteristics of the description, and not the geospatial data itself. We are also gathering Linked Data projects that may inform or complement our work. Our next (virtual) meeting is scheduled for July 28th.


Phase One of the Library of Congress BIBFRAME (BF) pilot took place from October 2015 through March 2016. Focusing on data input, the pilot used BF version 1.0 and created approximately 2,000 bibliographic records, some of which are records for cartographic resources. LC Geography & Map Division catalogers used the BF editor for cartographic materials, resulting in many changes and improvements to the editor, as well as many questions. In April 2016 the BIBFRAME 2.0 model and vocabulary were released and will form the basis of the next phase of the BIBFRAME pilot, to take place no sooner than October 2016 at LC. Stay tuned!

RDA updates of interest to cartographic catalogers

At ALA Annual in June 2016, Gordon Dunsire (Chair of the RDA Steering Committee) gave a presentation in which he stated that the RDA Toolkit is being reviewed. The Toolkit platform will be updated over the next 2 years, and the content will be reorganized with an eye to internationalization and consistency with the FRBR Library Reference Model and other international standards.

In July 2016 the RDA Steering Committee (RSC) considered two cartographic “fast track plus” proposals for inclusion in the August 2016 update to the RDA Toolkit. The concept behind this type of proposal is that it can be more involved than a “regular” RSC fast track proposal, but less formal than a full-blown proposal — and thus can be implemented more quickly than the once-a-year RDA major update schedule. Kathy Glennan, RSC member and ALA representative, sought feedback from several map catalogers from the Library of Congress and MAGIRT.

  1. Section 3.19.8         Digital Representation of Cartographic Content

Basically this section is being revised to add a new element, with its own controlled vocabulary. This will separate out “data type” as its own sub-element with a vocabulary created for it. Each of the three terms listed below will have its own glossary entry, but the definitions have not yet been chosen. Look for the final revisions in August.   Recording Cartographic Data Types
For digitally encoded cartographic content, record the data type if it can be readily ascertained and is considered important for identification or selection:. Use an appropriate term from the following list:


  1. Section 7.25 Scale

RDA 7.25, Scale, is being reassessed, and a new instruction for Scale Designation (new RDA 7.25.6) is being created. This is part of a larger review of the ratio elements.

This section was originally written to describe scale as it relates to cartographic resources. The section is being expanded to apply also to images or 3D objects which also have a scale component, such as anatomical models. There was much email discussion about how to organize the section to clearly apply its rules to cartographic and non-cartographic resources, which have significantly different core requirements. Again, look for final “fast track plus” revisions in the August version of the RDA Toolkit. Depending on the outcome, catalogers from the LC Geography and Map Division and from MAGIRT may propose revisions for the August 2017 update.

A Map to Make You Ask Questions

From the Daivd Rumsey Map Collection

The World Divided, Richard Edes Harrison, July 1941

“The political alignments of the world are here shown, centering geographically around the North Pole but ideologically and economically around the U.S. The classification keyed below is necessarily simplified and does not of course meet all the subtleties of politics and diplomacy – for instance, the peculiar position of Vichy and its colonies. The special case of the U.S.S.R. is acknowledged by a special color. The situation is as of July 7, 1941, and is subject to change without notice.”


Download the map from this link:–Richard-Edes-Har?sort=Pub_List_No_InitialSort%2CPub_Date%2CPub_List_No%2CSeries_No&qvq=q:politics;sort:Pub_List_No_InitialSort%2CPub_Date%2CPub_List_No%2CSeries_No;lc:RUMSEY~8~1&mi=4&trs=5#

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