Practical Cataloguing (London: Facet, 2012)

Practical Cataloguing: AACR, RDA and MARC21. London: Facet, 2012. ISBN 9781876046954 (paperback); 9781856049283 (ebook).

The first book to deal with new international cataloguing standard Resource Description and Access (RDA), Practical Cataloguing has sold tens of thousands of copies across Europe and beyond. A set text on iSchool courses for Cataloguing and Knowledge Organization. 

Paperback and ebook available from the publisher.

Key Topics:

  • introduction to catalogues and cataloguing standards
  • the FRBRization of the catalogue
  • bibliographic elements
  • access points and headings
  • RDA: the new standard, its development, structure and features
  • AACR and RDA: the similarities and differences between the two standards
  • the MARC21 record
  • bringing it all together
  • the birth of RDA and the death of MARC.  

The final chapter includes ten records displayed in AACR2 level 1, AACR2 level 2, RDA and MARC 21, making it easy to see the differences at a glance. There is also a fully explained worked example based on RDA Appendix M.

The publisher for the North American edition, Neal Schuman, provide a pdf of the contents, including a list of the example records in chapter 10.


“Happily they have succeeded in putting the practicality into Practical Cataloguing. It clearly sets out its aims and its place in the cataloguing canon from the word go.” – Louise Anderson, Rare Books Newsletter 94, 2013.

“A very encouraging book, clearly setting out the background to cataloguing standards that have led up to RDA, and putting these in context. There is a clear explanation of FRBR, and how this builds on what went before. All of this is explained in a chatty, friendly style, making the subject much easier to understand.” – Katie Flanagan, Catalogue and Index 167, 2012.

“The section on cataloguing formats provided clear step-by-step examples of AACR and MARC 21, which I shall definitely use when training new staff in my department. The chapter covering RDA offers invaluable practical advice to librarians on whether they should adopt new practice.” – Clare Foster, SCONUL Focus 56, 2012.


Google Books provides a sample. Restrictions may exist according to the country from which you are accessing it. The publisher of the American edition has made a pdf sample of Chapter 1 available to download.


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