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Research Guides

Cataloguing Resources

A guide to resources on cataloguing and classification for the University of Toronto Libraries system.


How do I access RDA Toolkit from U of T Libraries?

  • Through Cataloguer's Desktop. Contact Alastair Boyd for login information if you are not already able to login to Cataloguer's Desktop.

Should I be cataloguing using RDA as a University of Toronto Library system member?

  • During this transitional phase beginning in Spring 2013, member libraries in the U of T libraries system should ensure that headings and access points are RDA compliant, but continue to use AACR2 for descriptive standards until further notice.

Should I import RDA records?

  • Yes, but if the record has a 264 field instead of a 260, edit that field manually. Other elements of the RDA record will be converted by automated script back to AACR2 on a monthly basis.

Authorities and RDA

When should a new authority record be created?

For personal names, if you search the LC/NACO Authority file and can identify a name that matches the one on the item being catalogued, then it should be imported.

If a personal name is not in our Catalogue and it is not in the LC Authority file, a new heading for a personal name should only be established under certain circumstances:

  1.      a) if name of the author is identical to an existing name in the Catalogue, or

           b) is identical to an established form in the LC authority file, and needs to be distinguished by adding a date or a qualifier.

 2.       If cross-references are required (e.g., 400 needed for compound names)

 3.       For literary authors, in cases where UTL might use a different Cutter number that better fits in our shelf list. 

 4.       Justify birth/death dates in 670 field

If a personal name occurs in our authority file, but it does not appear to be the same person as on the resource being catalogued, should it be left as undifferentiated?

No. If a name already occurs in our Authority file or you find an authority in LC that matches the name, but it is evident that it is not for the same person, you have to establish a different form of name for access point by adding a date or a qualifier. Undifferentiated headings are a last resort.

What changes in LC/NACO Authority file have been made in light of the decision of Library of Congress to implement RDA?

As of April 1st 2013, every record that Library of Congress creates is an RDA record in its descriptive aspects and in its headings. In preparation for RDA implementation, work to update the LC Authority file was completed in 2 phases:

In Phase 1, records whose 1XX fields are incompatible with RDA were identified. A 667 field was added stating that the 1XX field cannot be used under RDA until the record has been reviewed and/or updated.

 In Phase 2, the authority records with 1XX fields that could be modified automatically were updated.  The changes include spelling out of abbreviations such as Dept., Latin terms (ca.) and modification of Bible and Koran headings. This phase was completed in March 2013.

These changes mean a considerable number of LC authorities had to be updated in our local Authority file. The UTL Authorities file was updated in 2014; bibliographic records linked to updated authorities were updated as a result.

When creating a new authority record, should cataloguers use AACR2 or RDA practices?

Cataloguers should follow RDA guidelines for authority work (please see the video tutorial) while following AACR2 for bibliographic description.

How are new RDA headings currently handled in our Catalogue?

Since we are not a NACO participant, UofT Libraries do not contribute authority records to the LC/NACO Authority File.


In the interim, should cataloguers use the authorized AACR2 heading or overlay it with an RDA authority? 

Cataloguers doing copy or original cataloguing might come across RDA headings that do not validate against our authority file.

All bib record headings should be linked in Sirsi to their corresponding LC authority records whenever these authorities exist. This can be accomplished either by:

 (a) using SmartPORT to overlay the old LC authority in Sirsi with the updated one from LCAUTH; or

 (b) using the "Get from List" button during the bib record validation to flip the heading back to the old form. 

Option (a) has the great advantage that all bib records linked to the old authority record will be updated too, so the catalogue will be more consistent. 

Option (b) is generally quicker, and by establishing a link to the old authority, at least enables the heading in the newly-added bib record to be updated along with all other records previously linked to the old authority, at the the point when automated batch updates are completed in the authority file.

For headings that have a note that says that this record cannot be used under RDA, should it still be imported?

Yes, you should always import a corresponding authority record from the LC/NACO Authorities file. You might come across authorities marked with a 667 field to indicate that a record needs review or changing by a NACO cataloguer. These authorities should be imported; linking it to the bib record will allow automatic updates to take place in our authority file at a later date.

What does “hybrid” mean in terms of bibliographic records?

Hybrid record: "A non-RDA bibliographic record (i.e. a bibliographic record created according to cataloging codes that existed prior to RDA (e.g. AACR2) or a bibliographic record not coded as cataloged according to RDA) to which RDA cataloging elements have been added, either manually or via machine manipulation."¹

Will our records be hybrid?

Yes, new records will be hybrid in a sense that they blend elements of previous practice (AACR2 description) with the current RDA practices for the authorized access points. You also might come across records in OCLC that reflect RDA practices (i.e. spelled out abbreviations, 33X fields) yet are coded as AACR2 records. These have been modified via machine manipulation. There is no need to re-catalogue these as these records they will be updated automatically on a monthly basis.


1. Library of Congress. "Report of the PCC Post-Implementation Hybrid Bibliographic Records Guidelines Task Group"

Electronic Resources

E-resource submission

Please note: for those of you familiar with the old way to submit e-resources to EIR (form located in the U of T Libraries staff intranet), this process replaces that one.

Process is for e-resources available to the entire U of T community, and not locally mounted resources.

  1. Send request to:
  2. E-Resource team will:
    1. Determine which system is best able to track resource
    2. Source a MARC record for the resource (Serials Solutions MARC service or other suitable copy)
    3. Attach contact to the resource
    4. Load resource into ILS/Endeca

E-resource cataloguing

Should e-book ISBNs/ISSNs be retained in bibliographic records for print versions?

  • Yes, e-book ISBNs/ISSNs should be retained in bibliographic records for print versions.

Should print ISBNs/ISSNs be left in e-book bibliographic records?

  • Yes, as above.

When should one create a duplicate record for an e-resource when there’s already a print version in the catalogue?

  • Always. Print and electronic versions need separate records.

When would I delete an 856 field from a record?

  • Whenever a print record contains an 856 that does not point to the LC table of contents web server, delete it. If you wish to provide access to an electronic version of the resource, you will need to create a separate record and have the URL reported to and ERM system so that it can be managed. Aside from the LC table of contents links, all URLs should be maintained through an Electronic Resource Management System, such as EIR or Serials Solutions

Serials Solutions

Is Serials Solutions only applicable to e-books in packages or does it now apply to those purchased as individual titles from Coutts?

  • Serials Solutions can accommodate both e-resource packages and individual e-resource title purchases. For e-resources that have been purchased for use by ALL University of Toronto faculty and students, these are all candidates for inclusion in Serials Solutions for management purposes

What is the process for libraries that are not in the Central Libraries system to order e-books and or journals?

  • This an acquisitions question and is determined by the individual libraries. Serials Solutions is an e-resource management tool, it is not connected to the acquisition of electronic resources.

Creating, editing, modifying records

Editing another library’s records in the UTL system

What upgrades or modifications am I permitted to make to another library’s record without consulting that library first?

  • TBD

What should I do if I accidentally delete records or holdings that belong to another library?

  • Contact Alastair Boyd as soon as possible. It is easier to restore information if addressed promptly.

Is it ever acceptable to overlay an acquisitions record that belongs to COLL_DEV?

  • TBD


How do I create a bound-with item?

  • Endeca does not display child items that have been linked to the parent using Sirsi’s bound-with function. Do this instead: Example: 6 Kleine Klavierstucke : op 19 Call number for parent record is M25 .S36 OP. 19
  • Add a 501 Publicly viewable note: With note.
  • Call number for the child record: preface the call number of the child record with the word “with” and use the call number from the parent record. The “with” call numbers will sort all together but out of the regular sequence.

See UTL's Bound-with policy.

Editing specific fields

852 fields: what is the UTL practice? Do title control numbers need to be included in this field?

  • For non-circulating multi-volume sets, create MARC holdings and indicate a valid Shelving Location in subfield|c. Add the call number in 852 subfield |h and |i (this practice does not apply for Science libraries due to their shelving arrangements). For LC call numbers, use |h for the classification and |i for the cutter. For the non-LC numbers, use subfield |j.
  • Use subfield |z for a note about the location.
  • At present, we are not adding a subfield |t for copy number if there is one copy only.
  • Examples:

852 0 |cSTACKS|hNA1277 .S44|iH37
852 0 |cREFERENCE|hQH301|i.B37143|zLatest issues in Earth Sciences
852 4 |cRAREBOOKS|jWalsh 0101  a
dd shelving designation in subfield|h

Sirsi related questions

How long does it take for an item catalogued in Sirsi to appear in the OPAC?

  • Items should now appear in the OPAC within 15 minutes of cataloguing. If you are working on a complicated record and do not want it to appear to the public before you have completed it, use the shadow feature in Sirsi, but make sure to note the item ID to help find it later.

Cataloguing specific resource types


What is the practice for cataloguing an item that is a serial as a monograph?

Rare and special collections cataloguing

Pre-1920s publications and rare items: how much detail should go into the record? [i.e. level of record]?

  • TBD

What is the UTL’s practice regarding quoting and citing other sources, outside of the item being described?

  • MARC tag 510: used to refer to published resources that describe the item. For more information on when to use 510 consult LC's MARC Standards 510 - Citation/References Note.

Cataloguing video resources

Should I include a standard identifier number in catalogue records for video material?

  • Yes if possible: MARC tag 024 = other standard identifier; First indicator 1=UPC codes for films.

Call numbers

Is it okay to shorten/choose a different cutter than has already been selected by another UTL location?