IST616: Information Resources: Organization and
Professor Barbara H. Kwasnik
Assignment 3: Providing Access to “Nonprint”
November 23, 2010
Cartographic materials include all materials that
represent the whole or part of the earth or any celestial
body. Some examples include: maps, globes, atlas’, and
electronic resources. For this presentation, I have
chosen to focus only on the problems involved with
Chapter 3 of the Anglo-American Cataloging Resource
(AACR2R) has the standard information on how to
catalog Cartographic Materials, but I have also used
“Maps and Related Cartographic Materials,” by Andrew
and Larsgaard which gives a more in-depth view of
cataloging challenges involving these materials and how
to solve them.
Why catalog maps?
maps are important sources of information
cataloging provides more access points than a
geographic index, especially for maps covering more
than one area
users are more likely to request (and use resources) that
reduces wear (from browsing)
Catalogers must be able to make numerous decisions
when cataloging maps and they must understand
the needs of the users. Access is one of the key
factors to keep in mind when cataloging these
Maps can present many
problems for Catalogers
These may include:
Dating the map and/or determining what countries and
boundaries would be on the map at different time periods
Lack of publishing details or obscure data
Who are the authors, or involved parties?
Accuracy of spatial data and/or drawn data (cartography)
Scale or scales
Country or area names may have changed over time
Where does information
come from when
cataloging a map?
May be taken from any part of the map, not just
from the title page or it’s verso as in a book
Information may be taken from the maps container
or other accompanying materials
The Average library user
Looks for maps by location or subject, not by author
Chief Source of Information
Where might the Chief Source of Information be found on a map? Many places…
Problem: Maps quite often provide more than one title
from which to choose, a.k.a. Parallel titles
245 – Maps may have several titles. Take 245 title from actual map.
When map is folded there might be an alternate title. This is called a panel title.
246; 1;i Panel title: $a
Choice of title
Problem: Sometimes it is difficult to decide what the
main title of a map is, since it can be located anywhere
on the “chief source”, and at times is printed more than
once, in more than one location, and with different
2. Main Entry Problems
May be a personal name (e.g. the cartographer)
May be a corporate name – but only if the corporate
body is responsible for more than just publication or
distribution of the map (see AACR2 21.1B2, category f)
May be title (no primary responsible author/entity)
Author added entries (both personal and corporate
names) are common
“Areas of difference between books and maps are many:
primary identification of maps is with area rather than
with authority, and maps are frequently published by a
corporate (often a governmental) body. Determination of
author, especially for foreign maps, is not always easy;
even with U.S.-produced maps, authorship tends to be
Who is the Author or cartographer, or group, or corporation that produced the map?
Problems: Statements of
Responsibility & Applying
Maps may be the work of one person
Maps may be the work of a group of people working
for a publishing agency or commercial company
Individuals may not be named
Examples of maps with corporate authors:
4. Date of Publication
Problem: How should a Map with no date be cataloged?
5. Publisher and Place of
Publisher is not mentioned anywhere on the map
Distributor but not publisher is given
6. Date of Publication
No date of publication
Different dates on cover
7. Physical Description
Margins are not
included in the
dimensions of the
Neat lines, or the line
that encloses the
detail of the map may
not be linear: may
have irregular shapes
300 – The physical description consists of the number of items, color (if any),
material (if other than paper), mounting (if any), and size.
The main components of the mathematical data portion
of the catalog record contain:
Scale is given on maps in 3 basic formats:
034 – Coded cartographic material data – Data must also be entered in textual form in fie
255. Scale is always given in a representational fraction. If only the verbal scale is given,
it should be translated.
• Representative fraction
• Verbal scale
– 108 English Miles to 1 Inch
There is no scale on the map
The scale of a map changes across the face of the
map (for instance, the scale is larger in the middle
than along the edges)
More than one scale given
Problem: Scale changes
The map scale changes with different projections, as seen in this map.
Problem: Should they be cataloged separately or as a set?
Maps always have a geographic component to the
Sometimes the geographic area is the only subject
Sometimes the geographic area is a subdivision of
a topical subject
Problem: What if the country or geographic has
changed since the map was created?
Example: MARC Fields
used in Map Cataloging
http://www.acsu.buffalo.edu/~dbertuca/maps/cat/sample_record.html Map Cataloger’s Toolbox
Problems cataloging Rare
and Early Maps Cataloging early maps to create standard, consistent records for library
catalogs...involves, like all library cataloging, not simply following a set of
rules but also making a series of decisions.
Competing, and at times conflicting, factors that affect those decisions:
The amount of information content vs. the level of physical detail of the
The unique features of the individual map vs. matching it with the appropriate
and specific cartobibliographic citation.
Application of the general rules for cartographic cataloging vs. special rules
and considerations for early material.
Reconciling cataloging rules for early maps with those for rare books.
Reconciling the desire for meticulous and detailed citation records with the
desire to get a larger number of existing items into the catalog.
Enhancing and clarifying the map cataloging rules, so as to ease and speed
the work of the cataloger vs. allowing adequate flexibility and judgment where
Kovarsky, J. and Barber, M. (2006) Rare Map Cataloging: A Case of Special Considerations.
The Portolan. http://www.theprimemeridian.com/RareMapCatPDF.pdf
Troublesome units of
measurement on old maps
Heures de marche
Miles (that aren’t statute)
Milliaria Germanica, Hispanica, etc
(Scale on Old Maps Powerpt)
Maps are an important part of human history and
heritage. It is crucial that they are preserved and
maintained for others to utilize through the ages.
Librarians help preserve our culture through cataloging
and preserving maps and other cartographic materials
for all to utilize.
Cataloging maps is a challenging job that makes these
resources available and accessible to users. Because
they are so different from traditional books, maps need
special considerations and because of this, different
fields in their MARC records that allow searching on
such elements as: scale, geographical areas, types of
The Map Room at the NY Public Library (Photo: Peter Aaron/Esto)
Map Cataloging Manual (from Library of Congress):
Overview of Map Cataloging, from classification to special handling.
Map Librarian's Toolbox, Cataloging & Processing section. From the
Western Association of Map Libraries (WAML).
Amazing webliography of resources organized by keyword.
Map Cataloging: Learning the Basics:
Helpful handouts from a workshop on Map Cataloging
Map Cataloger’s Toolbox:
Excellent annotated list of resources of anything and everything
pertaining to maps and map cataloging created by David Bartuca.
Kovarsky, J. and Barber, M. (2006) Rare Map Cataloging: A Case of
Special Considerations. The
Guide for how to catalog rare maps
Cartographic Materials: a manual of interpretation for AACR2.
2nd ed. (edited by Elizabeth U. Mangan.) American Library
Association, 2003. (Available also via Cataloger’s Desktop)
Cartographic Materials continues to be the essential
companion to AACR2 for map catalogers. This classic,
authoritative guide to cataloging cartographic materials has
now been revised and expanded to reflect current AACR2
terminology and additional forms of cartographic materials.
Larsgaard, Mary Lynette. Map Librarianship: an introduction.
Libraries Unlimited, 1998. (3rd ed.)
Essential for managing any spatial data collection. An
extensive bibliography leads you to many other great
resources. This new edition takes us into the digital age,
addressing the acquisition, storage, and use of digital data.
Andrew, Paige G. Cataloging Sheet Maps: the basics.
Haworth Information Press, 2003.
Provides the reader with step-by-step guidelines in applying
cataloging rules and rule interpretations, while creating full-
level and accurate bibliographic descriptions for sheet maps.
Scale on Old Maps Powerpt.Yale University Library
Cataloging and Metadata Services. Accessed at:
Heiser, N., Wright, L. Introduction to Map Cataloging
Powerpoint. The Accidental Map Librarian
Workshop. University of Colorado, Boulder Map
Library. Accessed at: