Resource Description Programs

Catalog Management (CM)

CM staff search the OCLC WorldCat database (a bibliographic utility) for appropriate bibliographic records, and they perform all levels of copy cataloging, accounting for 70% of all materials cataloged within the Discovery Services. Shelf-ready materials received through the WorldCat Cataloging Partners service are processed in CM. The section is responsible for database maintenance within the Smithsonian Institution Libraries catalog (a component of SIRIS, the Smithsonian Institution Information System), work that includes editing catalog records to reflect added copies, transfers of holdings between branches, deaccessions, and adding summary holdings statements for serials. CM staff also provide SIL with quality control review of contracted cataloging work.

Original Cataloging (OC)

Members of Original Cataloging create original catalog records for materials that are not represented in our bibliographic utility, OCLC, a global library cooperative with a database now exceeding two hundred million records. All of SIL's original records are contributed to the OCLC WorldCat database so that they will be available for use by other libraries and to the public through OCLC'sWorldCat website. The section also prepares original authority records which are contributed to the LC/NACO Authority File as well as the SIL catalog. Some OCLC copy cataloging that requires extensive editing or special expertise, such as rare books, audiovisual material, and electronic resources, is also done by OC staff.

Serials & Electronic Journals

Resource Description staff work closely with the Electronic and Continuing Resources unit (a part of Resource Acquisions) to coordinate and manage access and cataloging of electronic journals as well as the cataloging of hard copy serials. Electronic and Continuing Resources staff routinely handle the check-in of print journals that are received through subscriptions, exchange partners, or through continuing gifts. Maintenance activities that section staff perform for serials involve transfers, withdrawals, binding, and holdings information.

Special Projects and Contracts

Discovery Services staff manage contracts for cataloging and cataloging support services which expedite and augment the activities of the division. Contracts generally provide for cataloging or cataloging support for large, on-going projects or special projects. Examples of on-going cataloging projects are the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Exhibition Catalog Project, cataloging special collections located in the Cullman Library and theSerials Holdings Project. Examples of special projects (generally limited in nature) are the cataloging of large gift collections, adding provisional records in the SIL online catalog or other databases for certain materials that are not under bibliographic control, and retrospective conversion projects. These services are available to branches and departments library wide in support of special needs and requirements that arise from time to time. Proposals for special projects are submitted through the Cataloging Projects Manager, Lowell Ashley (202-633-1642;, and are reviewed for approval by the SIL Executive Committee. Funding is provided for this program by SIL and special grants.