A 1978 study of OCLC’s online union catalog preparatory to converting to AACR 2 form of name headings and uniform titles, involving a1% test file (41,212 records) and a thorough review of AACR 2 rules, showed thatAACR 2 contained 454 “significant” rule changes or new rules, of which 56% would benefit neither librarian nor patron, 23% of which would benefit librarians, and 21% of which would benefit patrons.                    (Source)

        Ibid…. showed that39% of the total records in the online union catalog were ultimately converted to AACR 2 form.               (Source)

A survey reported in 1982 of Canadian libraries selected from the CLA Directory and its supplement (sample size: 203; responding: 85; usable: 69 or 34.0%) concerning implementation of AACR 2 showed that, of the 53 libraries who adopted AACR 2, 77% reported they would interfile the AACR 2 entries in their old catalogs, 7 [%] reported they would freeze their catalogs, and 9% reported they would close their catalogs.                    (Source)


A study reported in 1980 of 2 card catalogs (University of Wisconsin, Whitewater, 170,000 titles; University of Illinois, Urbana, 3,000,000 titles) investigating the number of personal authors for which there was only 1 title in the collection (sample size: Whitewater, 2,762 authors; Urbana, 2,345 authors) showed thata sample of 1,366 personal authors selected from 6 months of recent cataloging revealed that 52.12% had established headings. Based on Library of Congress estimates that 11% of the headings would have to be revised under AACR 2, 5.7% of all headings for new titles would have to be revised initially so that different works by the same author would file together.                (Source)

A study reported in 1982 concerning the impact of AACR 2 on the card catalog in a medium-sized (740,000 volumes) academic library, based on a random sample of 909 catalog records (1,714 headings) taken from a year’s pre-AACR 2 OCLC archival tapes and searched in the post-AACR 2 OCLC LC name authority file, showed that217 (12.7%) different headings required changes under AACR 2 rules. 43% of these “unique” headings were verified in the online name authority file as of January 1981.                         (Source)

        Ibid…. showed thatthe distribution of changes to be made by type of heading was as follows:

                personal (1,246 headings)                 98 (7.9%) changes

                corporate (125 headings)                  53 (42.4%) changes

                geographical (153 headings)              20 (13.1%) changes

                uniform title (34 headings)                    1 (2.9%) changes

                series (156 headings)                         45 (28.8%) changes

However, since not every heading that required a change under AACR 2 was already represented in the catalog the number of conflicts was less than the number of changes. The number of conflicts by type of heading was as follows:

                personal (1,246 headings)                 85 (6.8%) conflicts

                corporate (125 headings)                  27 (21.6%) conflicts

                geographical (153 headings)              15 (9.8%) conflicts

                uniform title (34 headings)                    1 (2.9%) conflicts

                series (156 headings)                         42 (26.9%) conflicts                 (Source)

        Ibid…. showed thatnot all conflicts needed to be changed in order to be interfiled with pre-AACR 2 entries in the card catalog. Specifically, assuming that 5 kinds of differences could be ignored (punctuation, abbreviation, spelling, qualifier, and forname), 31.8% of the conflicts could be interfiled.                   (Source)

        Ibid…. showed thata summary review of the literature came up with the following rates of difference (“headings which would be constructed differently under AACR 2”) and rates of conflict (“AACR 2 headings for names already entered in the catalog under a different form”):

                of 295 records and 541 headings studied at Johns Hopkins University, the rate of difference was 17.3% and the rate of conflict was 11%;

                of 484 records studied at Duke University the rate of conflict was 15.5%;

                of 330 titles and 577 headings at Emory University the rate of difference was 15%;

                of 300 titles and 447 headings at the University of Minnesota the rate of difference was 3%;

                of 258 headings at the University of Washington the rate of difference was 30%;                     (Source)

Dr. David Kohl

 "Libraries in the digital age are experiencing the most profound transformation since ancient Mesopotamian scribes first began gathering and organizing cuneiform tablets."

Go to top