Use of a Single Bibliographic Record

Cataloging Principles

  • Decisions on how to catalog an item should always be done with the patron’s interests in mind
  • We strive to have the fewest number of bibliographic records to make searching and requesting easier for patrons and circulation staff
  • For questions about cataloging please email a member of the Cataloging Committee

What Constitutes of Near Match?

Books with the exact same content and in the same format should be on the same bibliographic record, even if features such as binding, publisher, size, and pagination are different.

The intention is for the Balsam Libraries’ catalog to be as patron friendly as possible to simplify searching, even in cases where official cataloging rules might recommend creating multiple separate records.

Do use a single bibliographic record for books when content is exactly the same such as:

  • Hardcovers, trade paperbacks, and mass market paperbacks
  • Different publishers and publication dates
    • Add a note field: =500 \\$aPublisher, dates, and paging may vary.
  • Different size and pagination
  • Autographed books (add a copy note on the item record)

Do NOT use a single bibliographic record for books when the items differ from one another in the following ways:

  • Editions with different content such as special editions, revised editions, illustrated editions.
  • Different print sizes such as large print versus regular print
    • Large print books are to always have a separate bibliographic record
  • Classics that include a special foreword or analysis
  • Different illustrators or translators
  • Different formats such as e-books and audiobooks.

This text was borrowed in large part from NC Cardinal cataloging documentation: