Table of Contents
Full level cataloguing treatment
No restriction on the number of access points; authority records are created for all name access points; standardized subject access using Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH); LC and Dewey Decimal classification numbers.
Is given to:
All publications for LAC's Reference, Staff Resource Centre, and Genealogy and Family History collections, current Canadian children's literature, aboriginal and multicultural publications, publications of significant topical interest or special heritage value (see Annex 2) in the areas of Canadian music, literature, and the historical development of Canadian society
Core level cataloguing treatment
Access points for primary names and titles only; authority records for name headings; a maximum of two Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH); LC and Dewey Decimal classification numbers.
Is given to:
Most current music sound recordings and federal government publications
Minimal level cataloguing treatment
Access points for primary names and titles only; LC classification (for most types of publications)2 ; abridged Dewey Decimal classification; authority records are created for name access points. No subject headings are assigned.
Is given to:
Current provincial government publications, aging Canadian music publications, scores and recordings, current foreign music publications and recordings, publications for the Rare Books and Lowy collections, conference proceedings, research reports, and educational materials.
Abbreviated level cataloguing treatment
A maximum of two access points (usually the title and one name heading); LC classification only if it is needed for shelving purposes. No authorities are created for name access points; no LC subject headings are assigned.
Is given to:
Older publications of all types (mostly those older than the current year minus 3 years), pamphlets, municipal government publications, foreign and international official publications, non-music sound recordings, mass market genre fiction, newsletters, publications of interest to a limited audience.
A system of four priority levels is used to determine the order in which incoming materials are processed.
Top priority is given to pre-publication material in the Cataloguing in Publication (CIP) program, current material in the federal Depository Services Program, public opinion research (POR) reports prepared for the Government of Canada, and acquisitions for LAC's Reference and Staff Resource Centre collections, all of which are to be catalogued within 10 days of receipt.
Next in priority are post-publication updates for material in the CIP program, current publications for LAC's special collections and in areas of special emphasis for LAC (i.e., aboriginal, multicultural, Canadian music, literature, and historical development), which are to be catalogued within 3 months of receipt.
Current publications are processed before older imprints.
Digital publications are processed before print and other analogue publications.
The bibliographic records created within the Resource Description area of Library and Archives Canada (LAC) serve a variety of purposes, including:
The policy on levels of cataloguing treatment was first introduced by the former National Library of Canada in 1996 and was revised in 2003. The present version (2009) was created to reflect the strategic directions and acquisitions orientation of Library and Archives Canada, including the focus on digital publications. It provides for an overall reduction in the number of publications that are fully catalogued, and a corresponding increase in the number of items done at lower levels of detail in order to adjust cataloging resources to handle an increased number of digital and legal deposit publications with reasonable timeliness.
Levels of treatment
There are five levels of cataloguing treatment for published heritage materials acquired by LAC: full, core, minimal, and abbreviated, plus the access level record for web sites. The data elements within each level conform to national cataloguing standards and the cataloguing level is encoded in each record for easy recognition by libraries and other organizations that use LAC catalogue records.
The full and core levels of cataloguing treatment include standardized subject headings (LCSH, CSH and RVM) and classification (Dewey Decimal and/or LC classification). The full, core and minimal levels include the creation of authority records for name access points and series titles.
Full level treatment is given to publications in the Cataloguing in Publication (CIP) program, items selected for LAC's special collections, publications of aboriginal and multicultural interest, and current publications in the areas of Canadian music, Canadian literature and the historical approach to the development of Canadian society.
All works by foreign authors published in Canada are catalogued at the abbreviated level unless a significant portion (usually more than 30%) of the content is about the Canadian experience.
All materials (with the exception of CIP, aboriginal and multicultural publications and items for certain special collections) drop to lower levels of cataloguing treatment as their dates of imprint age - on the assumption that there is less demand over time for LAC's record as a source of cataloguing copy for other libraries and in order to keep older publications out of processing backlogs.
Most trade publications will drop from full to abbreviated level cataloguing treatment when their dates of publication are older than the "current year minus 3 [years]". Details on the application of the currency factor are given in Annex 1.
The priority system is used to designate a turnaround time for processing incoming materials from the point of acquisition to the point at which a catalogue record is made available to LAC's users. Priorities are assigned as part of the acquisitions function and determine the order in which materials are catalogued. This revised policy reduces the number of priority levels used in Published Heritage from seven to four, as follows.
By virtue of LAC's unique position in relation to Canada's published heritage, most of its cataloguing for current Canadian publications is original cataloguing. However, LAC uses cataloguing data derived from other sources as the basis for its own catalogue records whenever possible, particularly for older materials and foreign imprints of Canadian interest.
Additional access points and notes are not removed from derived records. For example, subject headings may be retained on a minimal or abbreviated level record if they appear on the source record from which the LAC record is derived. Data in the derived record is not modified unless obviously incorrect (e.g., a typographic mistake in the transcription of a title).
The bibliographic data elements included in each level of cataloguing are shown in Annex 5 (available as a separate document).
1 Effective 1 September 2009 (approved 25 May 2009 by the Documentary Heritage Collection Sector of Library and Archives Canada).
2 Except serial publications and provincial government publications catalogued at the minimal level.
3 In the context of this policy, digital publications are those that will be accessible remotely to users of LAC's collection through a communications network such as the Internet. Electronic publications issued on physical carriers (e.g. DVDs, CD-ROMs, CDs, Blu-ray discs, etc.) are not included in this category.