Evolution of Catalogue

In his Rules for the Compilation of the Catalog, Sir Anthony Panizzi of British Museum said a catalogue should not be just functioning as a finding tool, which was a simple list designed to help one find a particular bok in the library and nothing else.  His ideology of cataloguing was based on this perceptions: “that the book sought by a person is really, most frequently, not the object of his/her interest, but the work contained in it is; that that work may be found also in other editions, translations, or versions, published under different names of the author and/or different titles, some or all of which may be of equal of greater interest to that person; and that, consequently, to serve well the user of the library, the catalog must be designed not merely to tell him/her whether or not a particular book is in the library, but also to reveal to him/her at the same time what other editions, translations, or versions of the work, as well as other genetically related works, the library has.” …. (see also this )

Panizzi’s had to defend his points of separation of ‘Work’ and ‘Book’, and his cataloguing ideology, in many hearings before Royal Commission during 1847 to 1849.  Now we have the FRBR report fully reflecting his ideology.  Panizzi argued a perfect catalogue should be a “system” that reflected the related entities of the books (in FRBR term: work, expression, manifestation) and their authors supported by a “cross-reference” mechanism taking care of various forms of titles and author names. “this catalog would then present, not a list of separate books, but a bibliographically integrated picture of the resources of the library — one much more revealing, helpful, and responsive to the actual needs of the libary user than the finding catalog.

[Source: Lubetzky, Semour (1979) Ideology of Bibliographic Cataloging: Progress and Retrogression. In The Nature of Future of the Catalog: Proceedings of the ALA’s Information Science and Automation Divsion’s 1975 and 1977 Institutes on Cataloging,]