Cataloging News – July 2017


Highlights from the ALA Annual Conference, June 2017, Chicago, IL.
by Louise Ratliff
Social Sciences and Map Cataloger, UCLA,
and Chair of MAGIRT

From the Library of Congress we received an update by the new chief of the Geography and Maps Division, Dr. Paulette Hasier. Some tidbits:

New or updated collection policy statements:

Marc McGee of Harvard gave an update on the Linked Data for Libraries Production – Cartographic Materials (LD4P-CM). “Harvard continues to coordinate a subproject of the LD4L project to explore how to natively create Linked Open Data (LOD) descriptions for library cartographic resources, including maps, atlases and geospatial datasets.” This update is available here:

I attended two meetings about RDA. The first was a “pop-up” meeting organized by Gordon Dunsire, Chair of the RDA Steering Committee. The RSC invited members from four specialized cataloging communities to gain insight into our needs for additions and changes to the RDA Toolkit: audio-visual, cartographic, music, and rare materials. From the map cataloging community there were myself, Paige Andrew (our spokesperson), Tammy Wong, Min Zhang, Iris Taylor and Susan Moore. We presented a preliminary paper describing needs for the description of relief, coordinates, projection, and prime meridian. Further work will be done by a MAGIRT task force this fall and submitted to Kathy Glennan, our North American representative to the RSC. The latest status update for the RDA Toolkit is here:

The second RDA meeting was about RDA and linked data, vocabularies, data management, and use workflow. Gordon Dunsire gave a description of how data is input into RDA and the RDA metadata registry and how it is massaged and made available. While the registry is updated in real time, the RDA Vocabularies are released periodically and made available to developers. Next Diane Hillmann gave an overview of linked data and RDA. RDA is a full package, with the Toolkit and the registry becoming more integrated over time. Important point: versioning and stability are critical for us to move forward.

Links to several other RDA presentations at ALA are listed here:

John Phipps discussed RDF and pointed out the need to know which links are highly valuable (e.g., Wikipedia and dbpedia); knowing the provenance of the data is a real challenge. His big question was how do you maintain versioning of URIs across time in a public space. There needs to be something embedded in the Vocabularies and the data itself that indicates the version. This is a well-known problem.

MAGIRT hosted two public programs, both of which were attended by about 85 people and had excellent speakers. Information about the program and some handouts are available on the program page here:   The slides will be available by the time you receive this issue of the IB or soon thereafter. These were really good programs, if I do say so myself (I was the program planner and coordinator). Ryan Mattke did a real-time demonstration of how to georeference an image onto Google Earth or ArcGIS Online using a free “map warper” web tool. His step-by-step handout is included here. Super cool!

Lastly, about 17 catalogers attended a pre-conference on Applying Descriptive Cataloging of Rare Materials (Cartographic). Presenters Todd Fell, Nancy Kandoian and Manon Theroux covered the main differences between “Cartographic Materials” and DCRM(C), and in four hours we learned a huge amount. Thanks to our presenters! The DCRM(C) manual is available through Catalogers’ Desktop and as a free .pdf from RBMS.

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