ALA Cataloging Rules

November 25th, 2013
by Richard

Lubetzky, Commissioner to revise the rules of description used by the library of the Congress of the United States, and later the ALA Cataloging Rules for author and Title Entries, performed a rigorous and systematic analysis of both codes. For descriptive rules, its approach based on the necessity of establishing, before the description of a resource, what are the objectives that should serve as that description. Only in this way can establish what to include and what to leave out of a record. Your review of the ALA code, in the light of the question is this rule necessary?, consisted in a thorough analysis of each rule to set, basically, if it in fact contributed to the goals of the catalog (Svenonius, 2000). The exceptional Lubetzky task, not only in instrumental but in the formulation of the principles that should guide the cataloguing, earned him the designation as editor of a new code of cataloging.

Although this never came to be published, the schemes of Lubetzky had a great influence on subsequent developments in cataloguing codes and in the conception of the goals of the catalog. Lubetzky (2001b: 264) says the catalog cannot be a mere compilation of records that represent individual entities that must be an instrument designed in a systematic way in which records should be integrated, as component parts of the whole. The fundamental to ask question is if the catalog must be a register of materials from the library, the works they represent, or both (Lubetzky, 2001c: 200). Its draft Code lays down that the catalog must comply with the following objectives: 1. facilitate the location of a particular publication and 2. Relate and meet editions of a work and the works of an author (Lubetzky, 2001c: 200). The recognition of the book/work dichotomy and the need to pay attention to both aspects is one of the fundamental Lubetzky schemes with respect to the objectives of the catalog.

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