DCRM(B): Descriptive Cataloging of Rare Materials (Books)


Current status

The print version of DCRM(B) is sold out.
The third printing, with corrections (November 2011), is available online as a free PDF and on LC Cataloger’s Desktop.

PDF formatted for printing double-sided on 8 1/2 x 11 in. paper:
PDF of front cover (color):

A second printing, with corrections, was done in June 2008. The revised pages are available online as a free PDF:

A complete list of errata is available on the DCRM Editorial Guidelines wiki:


History of the revision process

The ACRL/RBMS Bibliographic Standards Committee (BSC) is engaged in a revision of Descriptive Cataloging of Rare Books. The new edition will be called Descriptive Cataloging of Rare Materials (Books), or DCRM(B). Related manuals for other formats under the DCRM umbrella are in process: DCRM(S), for rare serials and DCRM(M) for rare music. Descriptive Cataloging of Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance, and Early Modern Manuscripts (AMREMM) is now available from ACRL. Component rules for other formats of rare materials will be added as needed.

To facilitate the revision process, an online discussion list called DCRM-L has been created. Those interested in reviewing or participating in the discussion are invited to contact the BSC chair.

This section includes a rule by rule analysis of DCRB compared with AACR2. Each section contains a comparison, a discussion, and recommendations for revision. Below, the comparison and discussion are linked to the rule number. For reference, the recommendations are given below with each rule number. The recommendations for DCRB 0 were discussed at the 1999 ALA Annual meeting for approval or revision. Approved changes are noted in their respective sections.

DCRB 1 (Title and Statement of Responsibility Area) (Robert Maxwell)

DCRB 2 (Edition Area) (Jennifer O’Brien Roper)

DCRB 5 (Physical Description Area) (Gregory Pass)

DCRB 7 (Note Area) (Jain Fletcher)

Information Sheet (PDF)

Working Group Assignments (PDF)

Report to the RBMS Executive Committee 20030409 (PDF)

Notes from the plenary sessions (PDF)

Working Group 1 (Joe Springer, author; Jackie Dooley, moderator):
WG1 final draft on general principles 20030313 (PDF)
General Principles pre-conference position position (PDF)

Working Group 2 (Deborah J. Leslie & Benjamin Griffin, authors; Brian Hillyard, moderator):
IJUV Survey Worksheet (PDF)
Transcription Issues 1 (PDF) (Leslie & Griffin)
Transcription issues 2 (PDF) (Hillyard)

Working Group 3 (Manon Théroux author; Beth Russell, moderator):
Machine-press (PDF)

Working Group 4 (Jain Fletcher, author; Barbara Jones, moderator):
Draft of Appendix on Collection-level Cataloging 20030407 (PDF)
Collection-level Cataloging (PDF)

Working Group 5 (Deborah J. Leslie, author; Laurence Creider, moderator):
WG5 summary of decisions (PDF)
Problems and Lacunae (PDF)

Working Group 6 (John Attig and Ann Copeland, authors; Robert Maxwell, moderator):
Draft of new 0B1 section on when to create a new record 20030324 (PDF)
Editions, Issues, and States, or, When to Create a New Record; pre-conference position paper (PDF)

Additional historical documentation

Background on treatment of copyright dates in DCRM(B) 200901 (PDF)
Archive of pre-2002 discussion and decisions (not all information current)
DCRM-L Archives
Targeted revision of DCRB

DCRM(B) editorial team

  • John C. Attig, Monograph Cataloging Librarian, Cataloging & Metadata Services, Pennsylvania State University
  • Deborah J. Leslie, Head of Cataloging, Folger Shakespeare Library
  • Robert L. Maxwell, Head, Special Collections & Metadata Catalog Dept., Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University
  • Joe A. Springer, Curator, Mennonite Historical Library, Goshen College
  • Manon Théroux (chair), U.S. Senate Library