Cheat Sheets

Resources For Distance Cataloguing


August 21, 2015

For guidance on SLC cataloguing practices see: http://special-cataloguing.com/cheats

Things you will need:

  • Microsoft Excel for viewing metadata spreadsheets, or other spreadsheet client capable of reading Excel (.xlsx) files such as Open Office Calc:


  • A MARC editor. Most SLC cataloguers use TLC's ITS for Windows, or Bibliofile, both available on a thirty-day trial, and for which we have a reduced rate:


    Click on "First Time Using ITS MARC?". This will give you the spiel for the demo and a temporary userid and password.

    ITS is normally $500 per year for a license. SLC has a special price of $175 per year for its part time distance cataloguers. You may have to get an earlier, simpler, version if you don't have a fairly recent Windows OS.

    MARCEdit by Terry Reese is an open source (and free) suite of MARC tools, including an editor, a Z39.50 client, and a MARC validator:


  • An FTP client such as WS-FTP, SmartFTP or Filezilla. Freeware FTP clients are widely available:


  • Adobe Acrobat Reader for viewing PDF files. Freeware:


  • Keyboard Express or other program for making keyboard macros

    Keyboard Express is available at: http://www.keyboardexpress.com/ (Costs about $30.00).

    It is a macro program which runs behind any program that you are using. With it, you can set up and use different files of macros customized to the particular job that you are working on. There is no limit to the number of separate files of macros that you can create.

    It is useful for fields that repeat in many records, those oft repeated phrases that are difficult or time consuming to type.

    One can use an amazing number of key combinations as programmed keys: function keys; Shift + function keys: Ctrl + function keys; Ctrl + other keys; Ctrl + shift + other keys; Alt + other keys; Alt + shift + other keys; Ctrl + Alt + ... ; etc.

    One detail to remember is to reserve (don't program) certain key combinations that have a function in the program that you are using (e.g. ITS) especially if you are used to using keyboard shortcuts for functions in that program. If you do program them the Keyboard Express function will be active, rather than the shortcut that is relevant for the current program. Some of the key combinations that I routinely avoid are: Ctrl + C (copy) Ctrl + D (delete field in ITS) Ctrl + V (paste) Ctrl + X (cut) and quite a few Alt + keys, since they are often used for calling up drop-down menus.

    AutoHotkey is open source macro program, free for personal and commercial use:


  • Access to LC Classification and DDC schedules.
  • Canadian history, literature, and law:

    The FC classification and updates are available in PDF format here:


    PS8000 is here:


    For each of these you will be taken to an intermediate page, but transferred after a few moments.

    For 055 KF modified (used in Canada for common law jurisdictions), use KF (U.S. law) via ClassWeb for all common law countries (no KE or KD in 055).

    See also: http://rc.lsuc.on.ca/library/collections_kfmodified.htm

    and: http://www.law-lib.utoronto.ca/call2003/kfmodified1.pdf

    KF modified uses geographic divisions after class before Cutter.

Authority checking tools

For checking main, added, subject, and genre headings:


For LAC French MARC:


LCSH subject guidance if you don't have access to SCM:


Health materials with 060 NLMC and 650 2 MeSH; they are free online at:

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/mesh/MBrowser.html for MeSH, and

http://wwwcf.nlm.nih.gov/class/ for NLMC

MeSH English/French site:


Notice that when you click on "La recherche", the site takes you to a slightly different search screen. Each of the lines is selectable through a drop-down menu, and you can select "Descripteur americain" to enter the English term.

For nonprint materials OLAC provides a wealth of information and training materials:


For Canadian resource in Canadian collections:

LAC's AMICUS is available free (you have to register):


LAC (formerly NLC) uses French forms of 710 for French language materials. These are transferred to 910, and LC forms used in 710. When that is done, 040 $bfre is changed to 040 $beng.

Library and Archives Canada's rule interpretations include a section on descriptive cataloguing notes that gives French equivalents of notes. Once you have found the note in English on this page:


You can click on "French" and get the French equivalent.

This section of LAC's rule interpretations gives a very good idea of where French cataloguing differs from English as far as access points are concerned:


For French Subject Headings (Répertoire des vedettes matière or RVM)

Searchable source of Canadian subject headings. Each record also lists the RVM equivalent, so that might be of some use. For some uses, it might be a bit more direct than searching AMICUS. Here is the URL for the search screen:


Other cataloguing resources:

Cataloguing Calculator, with many helpful resources:


TLC's Cataloger's Reference Shelf is available online. This has several useful LC manuals, including MARC21, but not including LCSH, and LCC is available only in outline:


Searching beyond LC and LAC

For a Z39.50 client, the following pages will point you toward some potential servers:



Please note that there is quite a bit of outdated information on these pages. If you try a server and it doesn't work, ask Richard Violette <rich@slc.bc.ca>; he has a list of about 20 that he's used with varying degrees of success. For Canadian titles, in addition to AMICUS, he recommends the University of Toronto, McGill, the University of Alberta, and UBC.

Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BNQ), Université de Montréal, and Université Laval are good for French. If anyone finds any others that are particularly good, please let us know.

Host: catalogue.banq.qc.ca
Database: IRIS
Port: 210

LC provides a Z39.50 Gateway to many libraries.


Host: lx2.loc.gov
Database: LCDB_MARC8
Port: 210

For assigning DDC


By searching (using "browse") the LCC and/or LCSH on SLC OPAC (information below), you will be shown the associated DDC.

Checking MARC record resources

MARC Report is a program which may be downloaded for free trial for 30 days, and then purchased. It identifies errors in MARC coding, including wrong or missing subfield codes, items coded for illustrations or bibliography but lacking 300$b or 504, differences between the 008 date and the 260$c date, missing filing indicators (but watch for French "À" which it mistakenly thinks needs one).


Other free MARC Tools

You can often find the 043 code for places in the corresponding LC authority records. Another good source for 043 codes is the already mentioned Cataloging Calculator (search geog. area codes):


Major Resources Summarized

LCC is available by subscription as a web product called ClassWeb:


For Cuttering, and country codes see Cataloging Calculator:


For nonprint materials OLAC provides a wealth of information and training materials:


MARC21 format information is available at OCLC Bibliographic Formats and Standards:


and MARC21:


SLC's cataloging cheatsheets provide a wealth of information on cataloging various formats:


Searchable source of Canadian subject headings. Each record also lists the RVM equivalent, so that might be of some use. For some uses, it might be a bit more direct than searching Amicus. Here is the URL for the search screen:



To access the SLC Online Public Access Catalog, please contact SLC for an account.