DCRM(C): Descriptive Cataloging of Rare Materials (Cartographic)

Current status

DCRM(C) is available online as a free PDF and on LC Cataloger’s Desktop.

PDF formatted for 8 1/2 x 11 in. paper:

The cover of DCRM(C) is still in process. To view a draft cover, click here.

History and background

Descriptive Cataloging of Rare Materials (Cartographic) provides instructions for cataloging rare cartographic materials, that is, cartographic materials of any age or type of production receiving special treatment within a repository.

Descriptive cataloging of early and rare cartographic materials in libraries and other institutions previously relied on chapter 3 of Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules, Second Edition (AACR2) and Cartographic Materials: A Manual of Interpretation for AACR2, Second Edition (CM), prepared by the Anglo-American Cataloguing Committee for Cartographic Materials and edited by Elizabeth U. Mangan. CM is a comprehensive, general work that includes suggestions for the treatment of early and rare materials, much of it drawn from Descriptive Cataloging of Rare Books (DCRB), which has now been superseded by DCRM(B).

At the 2008 ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, California, the Bibliographic Standards Committee accepted a proposal to develop a manual for the treatment of early and rare cartographic materials as part of the Descriptive Cataloging of Rare Materials (DCRM) suite. This project was supported by the Library of Congress Policy and Standards Division (formerly the Cataloging Policy and Support Office), the ALA Map and Geospatial Information Round Table (MAGIRT) (formerly Map and Geography Roundtable), and members of the cartographic and rare materials communities. The initial plan of action for developing DCRM(C) called for a review of Descriptive Cataloging of Rare Materials (Books) (DCRM(B)) and Cartographic Materials: A Manual of Interpretation for AACR2, Second Edition (CM) to identify 1) areas of conflict between the two standards, 2) lacunae in CM, whether or not they are addressed in DCRM(B), and 3) areas where existing guidance from practices and other sources (such as LC’s Map Cataloging Manual) usefully addressed conflicts and lacunae.

With an increased focus on the security of rare cartographic materials, DCRM(C) addresses the need for a stand-alone set of rules that covers the treatment of atlases, maps, and globes, both printed and manuscript, including the analysis of cartographic works in books or other resources, and can be used by any institution that houses these materials. The creation of a standard eliminates the need for each institution to develop extensive local practices for the treatment of rare cartographic works, and makes it possible for institutions with smaller collections to benefit from both the sophisticated tradition of rare materials cataloging and the awareness of the cartographic community of the particular qualities of our materials.

DCRM(C) editorial team

  • Randal S. Brandt, Principal Cataloger, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley
  • Laurence S. Creider, Head, Archives and Special Collections Department, New Mexico State University
  • Todd Fell, Head of Rare Book Cataloging Unit, Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Yale University
  • Nancy Kandoian, Map Cataloger, New York Public Library
  • Manon Théroux, Head of Technical Services, U.S. Senate Library