Auburn University Libraries Cataloging Department Auburn University Libraries Auburn University Libraries Auburn University Libraries Cataloging Department
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What is Cataloging?

Cataloging is the process by which AUBIE records are created for library materials. In the cataloging process information on the author, title, and publisher of an item are entered into the online catalog. Subject headings and call numbers are also assigned.

The process of cataloging is much like creating a very detailed bibliography including every item in the library. However, instead of using a style manual such as the Chicago Style Handbook or Turabian, librarians use the Anglo-American Cataloging Rules, 2nd edition (AACR2) to create these descriptions. AACR2 is very detailed, and is used by almost every library in the English-speaking world (and some non-English libraries) so that the descriptions of library materials are standard from one library to the next.

Call numbers are assigned using the Library of Congress Classification Schedule. As you might guess from the name, the Library of Congress created this system of classification and continues to update it. The schedule separates books by general subject areas, and by more specific subjects within those broader areas. For example, literature is classed under the letter P. English literature, written by writers from Great Britain, is classed under the letters PR. American literature written in English is under PS.

Subject headings are assigned to library materials according to the Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH), also known as "the red books" because they are published in large red volumes. Currently there are four volumes of subject headings which may be used to describe the contents of books, and more headings are being added all the time. Copies of these books may be found at the reference desks. These headings are what makes the "s=" search key work in AUBIE.