Bibliographic Control [ELIS Classic]

Authored by: Robert L. Maxwell

Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science, Fourth Edition

Print publication date:  November  2017
Online publication date:  November  2017

Print ISBN: 9781466552593
eBook ISBN: 9781315116143
Adobe ISBN:


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Bibliographic control is the process of creation, exchange, preservation, and use of data about information resources. Formal bibliographic control has been practiced for millennia, but modern techniques began to be developed and implemented in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. A series of cataloging codes characterized this period. These codes governed the creation of library catalogs, first in book form, then on cards, and finally in electronic formats, including MAchine-Readable Cataloging (MARC). The period was also characterized by the rise of shared cataloging programs, allowing the development of resource-saving copy cataloging procedures. Such programs were assisted by the development of cataloging networks such as OCLC and RLG. The twentieth century saw progress in the theory of bibliographic control, including the 1961 Paris Principles, culminating with the early twenty-first century Statement of International Cataloguing Principles and IFLA’s Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR). Toward the end of the period bibliographic control began to be applied to newly invented electronic media, as “metadata.” Trends point toward continued development of collaborative and international approaches to bibliographic control.

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