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60th IFLA General Conference - Conference Proceedings - August 21-27, 1994

Section on Cataloguing
Review of the work 1993/1994

Suzanne Jouguelet
Secretary of the section Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris, France


The work of the IFLA section on cataloguing over the past year is described.



First, some news of the standing committee of the section: it consists of 16 members from either North America or Europe. In addition we have four corresponding members representing Australia, China and Fiji.

The section's officers have changed during Barcelona conference: Olivia Madison (Iowa-US) became chair; Suzanne Jouguelet (Paris, France), became secretary for the next two years. Many thanks are due to the previous chair (Nancy John) and secretary (IC Spangen) for their action in the section.

The section is a rather large one, which proves the interest for its themes and actions: 160 members from 47 countries. We always tend to increase membership.

Purpose of the section

It provides a focus and forum for the identification of issues in international cataloguing and strives to further universal bibliographic control and the international exchange of bibliographic information through the development of standards and guidelines. It also promotes the dissemination of information about the accepted principles of cataloguing through its publications and conference pro grammes and seminars. The following is a list of the ongoing section activities, according to the major goals of the MTP 92/97.


The worldwide review for Concise ISBD's took place in 1993. The comments have expressed a need for a simplification of the text and a need for guidelines on minimum level cataloguing. It has been decided by the standing committee in Barcelona to wait for the results of the "Functional requirements for bibliographic records" study group (see point 4) because the evolution of the ISBD's depends upon the future conception of bibliographic records.

While a revision of ISBD (CF) is necessary, the review was postponed. National bodies involved in similar work are requested to inform the SC about their work as we need to have the benefit of the work done on computer files in USA and elsewhere.

In Barcelona an ISBD maintenance group was established. Thegroup will receive and review any suggestions for revising the ISBD (CF), will not initiate any major review. ISBD's questions and comments can be referred to its chair: John Byrum (Library of Congress). 2. Assist the UBCIM Office in the development of programmes about Universal bibliographic control. The section has participated in the seminars sponsored by our Division about UBC: in Rio (Brazil: March 1993), in Bucharest (Romania; August1993). TheUBCIM programme and the Division have held a UBC Unimarc workshop in Dakar (Senegal) on November1993 and one in Vilnius (Lithuania) in June1994. These seminars contribute to information and exchanges all around the world about international formats and standardization in bibliographic control.

3. Multilingual and multiscript catalogues

The integration of multiscript records in various types of bibliographic files is a complex question. A satellite meeting on automated systems for access to multilingual and multiscript library materials was held in Madrid (August 1993), in cooperation with the section on Information technology. This seminar led to several recommendations of interest to the Section, and that the section will se riously review them at this conference. We are all invited to think about concrete projects concerned with multilingual and multiscript issues.

4. The bibliographic records and users needs

This fundamental question has led to the creation of the "Functional requirements for bibliographic records study group" by the Division under the leadership of the SC for the Section on Cataloguing with representation from the Section on Classification and indexing (Moscow 1991-following the seminar on bibliographic records-Stockolm) 1990. This is one major project of the Division. Three consultants have worked on this project since 1992 under the chair ship of Olivia Madison. In New Delhi, the section approved the terms of reference prepared by this group. The study group was enlarged, especially with commentators. In Barcelona, Olivia Madison resigned as chair (but continued to serve as a member of the group) and was replaced by Nancy John. In November 1993, the consultants and the study group met for a working meeting of two days in Chicago.

The quality and functions of bibliographic records have to be examined according to the cataloguing world change. This examination need to cover the full range of functions for the bibliographic record in its widest sense (including access points) with respect to various media and various user needs. The report of the group will examine the entities, attributes, relationships and functions which exist in the bibliographic universe. It proposes terminology and concepts to build a framework for the development of next generation bibliographic standards. There will be a first issue of the document in English late this summer, and a French translation some months after. Following the formal release of the report, the section will continue its work on concise ISBD's.

A look at future activities

Besides the major project about the bibliographic universe and its impact on the cataloguing tools, the section's plans include:

Through discussions in its meetings and at the divisional forum, the section identifies the key issues relevant to its program and, more generally, to the UBCIM Programme. The section invites all librarians to assist us in addressing those areas identified in our work plan over the next years: we need to adapt ourselves to our changing environment with maintaining our goals.