Beginning Cataloguing Rare Books: Ten Free Resources

It’s the last Friday of the month, so time for our Beginnings article.

With new course Beginning Cataloguing Rare Books launching on Monday, I thought it would be useful to highlight some free resources for cataloguing rare books.

1. Descriptive Cataloging of Rare Materials (Books) (DCRM(B)). The main standard for rare books cataloguing is maintained by the Rare Books and Materials Section (RBMS) of the Association of College & Research Libraries and is available to download in pdf form for free.

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Beginning Cataloguing Rare Books

Open for Booking

Available from Monday 28 September 2020, 20-25 hours of online learning you can complete in your own timescale: reading, watching presentations, and undertaking some cataloguing practice.

There’s an introductory video here, and an outline of the curriculum here.

Descriptive Cataloging of Rare Materials (Books) (DCRM(B)) is the international standard for rare books cataloguing, created and maintained by the Rare Books and Manuscripts Section (RBMS) of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL). It is freely available on their website.

In the days of Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules DCRM(B) was more detailed than AACR2, and so many libraries used AACR2 for their general collection and DCRM(B) for rare books. With the introduction of Resource Description and Access (RDA), general cataloguing has become more detailed and now, with the new version of RDA’s needing application profiles to be created before implementation, small libraries already using DCRM(B) are beginning simply to extend its use to their general collections. There is a helpful Statement on DCRM and RDA from the Bibliographic Standards Committee responsible for DCRM here, and an update on the DCRM RDA Revision here.

The Beginning Cataloguing course Beginning Cataloguing Rare Books: An Introduction to DCRM(B) is entirely independent of RBMS. It’s based on their publicly available materials at https://rbms.info/dcrm/dcrmb/ and our own teaching examples. We set it up to meet the needs of our existing clients and are opening it up to anyone new to rare books cataloguing.

Thanks to our existing clients and newsletter subscribers, whom we told about it yesterday, places are already flying off the shelf, and it looks like it will be our most popular course so far.

Note: Beginning Bibliography students should check their email for a discount coupon code.