Seymour Lubetsky, Dean of Catalogers, Dies at 104

Seymour Lubetzky, a leading theorist in the field of descriptive cataloging who was instrumental in changing the way bibliographic information is organized, has died. He was 104. Lubetzky was admitted to UCLA Medical Center on March 29 with pneumonia and died there of heart failure on April 5. His library career began and concluded at the University of California, Los Angeles, but also included a number of years at the Library of Congress.

The International Conference on Cataloging Principles, convened in Paris in 1961, brought together representatives from 53 countries to discuss cataloging principles. Its high point came when Lubetzky read a paper that presented views that he had developed in the course of revising the catalog code while at LC. Many of his views prevailed at the conference and became the adopted standard in international cataloging.

"He was the greatest cataloging theorist of the 20th century," said Maurice J. Freeman, president of the American Library Assn. "He represents the culmination of the development of the Anglo-American cataloging ideology that began with [scholars] in the 19th century." Aimee Dorr, dean of the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at UCLA, agreed: "His work was seminal and transformed both theory and practice, and it is as useful today as it was 50 years ago."

back to alcts newsletter online home