Advice and Guidance

This page contains advice and guidance for those cataloguing rare books and special collections.

Key differences between AACR2 and DCRM(B)

If you are used to cataloguing in AACR2, you will probably find it quite easy to make the transfer to Descriptive Cataloging of Rare Materials (Books), commonly known as DCRM(B). DCRM(B) is based on AACR2, but emphasises transcription where AACR2 allows interpretations, requires fuller description or transcription of certain elements, and provides more detailed guidelines for supplying copy-specific detail than AACR2. The attached table is intended as a basic overview for those whose experience is with machine-press books. It is therefore based on the main section of AACR2 and disregards AACR2's section on 'Early Printed Monographs' (2.12-2.18F), which approximates more closely with DCRM(B). Please see document at the bottom of this page.

Guidelines for the Cataloguing of Rare Books

The 2007 revision of the RBSCG's Guidelines for the Cataloguing of Rare Books, first published in 1997, can be found at the bottom of this page.

Key Differences Between DCRB and DCRM(B)

Descriptive Cataloging of Rare Materials (Books) (DCRM(B)) provides guidelines for cataloguing printed monographs of any age or type of production receiving special treatment within a repository (introduction, 1.2); in this it differs from its predecessor, Descriptive Cataloging of Rare Books (DCRB), which was intended to apply exclusively to pre-1801 imprints. The main changes between DCRB and DCRM(B) are summarised succinctly in the preface of DCRM(B), pp. 7-8: many of these either promote greater fidelity of transcription, or make provision for machine-press books. The list that can be found in the document at the bottom of this page, compiled by the UK Bibliographical Standards Committee (BSC) of the Rare Books and Special Collections Group, lists the major changes.