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Much of the power of library cataloging relies on the use of shared standards. There are several different categories of standards, all of which play a role in local technical services decisions and workflows. 

Cataloging Standards

  • Cataloging Content Standards
    Includes links to Minitex and other RDA resources, as well as information about the ISBD (International Standard Bibliographic Description) standard, another commonly used content standard in the cataloging community.
  • Cataloging Encoding Standards
    Learn more about the MARC and BIBFRAME formats for bibliographic records, and browse lists of commonly used resources.
  • Subject Headings
    See resources for learning more about and using Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) and Faceted Application of Subject Terminology (FAST).
  • Classification
    Browse online and print resources for both Library of Congress and Dewey Decimal Classification.
  • Cataloging Models
    Visit this page to learn more about data models such as BIBFRAME, the successor to the MARC format, and the Library Reference Model created by IFLA.
  • Best Practices & Cataloging Guides
    Catalogers use a variety of guides and services to enable them to work more efficiently. View examples here.
  • Linked Data
    Linked Data is a set of best practices for publishing and connecting structured data on the web. Learn more about communities, datasets, and current implementations and find introductory resources.

Metadata Standards

  • Data Structure Standards 
    Data structure standards are sometimes referred to as metadata schemes or schema. Metadata schema define the structure and the meaning (semantics) of elements. Find out more information about commonly used standards like the Dublin Core Metadata Element Set on this webpage.
  • Data Content Standards 
    Data content standards provide guidelines for creating metadata. Cataloging Cultural Objects (CCO) and Describing Archives: A Content Standard (DACS) and are defined here.
  • Data Value Standards 
    Data value standards are established lists of terms used as data elements to ensure consistency and quality. Examples of data value standards include thesauri, controlled vocabularies, and authority files. The Art and Architecture Thesaurus (AAT), Library of Congress Thesaurus of Graphic Materials (LCTGM), Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH), LC Name Authority File, and more are included on this page.
  • Data Format/Exchange Standards 
    Data format or data exchange standards are markup languages that provide a standardized way to structure and express metadata schemes for machine processing. This webpage includes information about the Metadata Encoding and Transmission Standard (METS), Metadata Object Description Schema (MODS), MARCXML, and more.