Cataloging and managing film & video collections using RDA and MARC21

For Immediate Release
Tue, 03/03/2015


Rob Christopher

Marketing Coordinator

ALA Publishing

American Library Association


CHICAGO — We now catalog in a post-AACR2 world.  RDA: Resource Description and Access is designed to cover all types of content and media, but communities of practice are still evolving for motion picture and video materials.  “Cataloging and Managing Film & Video Collections: A Guide to using RDA and MARC21,” published by ALA Editions, clarifies the protocol for DVDs and Blu-ray discs, expanding upon established guidelines for AACR2 and integrating them into the new standard. Along the way, author Colin Higgins also introduces the fundamentals of filmmaking, including its history and technical vocabulary, providing context that will help catalogers quickly find the information relevant to their bibliographic records. Organized by familiar MARC 21 fields, this comprehensive reference walks readers through such topics as:

  • unraveling the complexity of film and the ways it is packaged and presented on optical disc, to help quickly determine the title statement and statement of responsibility;
  • explaining the roles of the individuals and organizations involved in the creation and publication of film, and where to record them in catalog records;
  • deciphering the technical terms and abbreviations used on DVDs and Blu-ray discs;
  • using subject and genre headings;
  • cataloging television and streaming media;
  • dealing with unusual formats, such as videotape and reels of photochemical film;
  • outlining the MARC 21 fields where AACR2 practices differed from RDA.

Higgins is librarian of St Catharine’s College, University of Cambridge. He writes and reviews on libraries for a wide variety of publications. His main research interests are in cataloging and classification, particularly their historical and philosophical aspects. He serves on a number of professional committees and has been chair of the Cambridge College Libraries Forum. He maintains two blogs—Libraries at the Movies explores the representation of libraries in film, and Cutter’s Last Stand addresses contemporary issues in cataloging and classification.

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