(Approved for use January 22, 2010)

General Policies | Select MARC Fields | Select Rules | Notes | Access Points | Genre/form Headings | Example

General Policies

Early printed atlases (usually pre-1800) in the Beinecke Library which receive original cataloging are cataloged according to the latest full national standards for descriptive cataloging. The national standards are the latest revision of Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules, 2nd ed., commonly known as AACR2, as interpreted by the Library of Congress rule interpretations (LCRI), and Cartographic Materials: A Manual of Interpretation for AACR2, 2002 Revision (2003). The latest editions of AACR2, the Library of Congress rule interpretations, and Cartographic Materials are all available through Cataloger's Desktop. A print copy of Cartographic Materials is also available in the Rare Book Team area.

When appropriate, catalogers should also consult Rare, Antiquarian, or Just Plain Old: Cataloging Pre-twentieth Century Cartographic Resouces (2007), located in both the team area and Technical Services in the Beinecke.

Another useful source is "Cataloging the Contemporary Printed Atlas," by Paige G. Andrew in Maps and Related Cartographic Materials (1999), p. 147-164. This monograph is located in both the Rare Book Team and Technical Services areas.

A good on-line resource for cataloging cartographic material is the Map Cataloger's Toolbox.

For cataloging an atlas factice (composite atlas), see the Atlas Factices cataloging instructions.

For cataloging single-sheet maps, see Map Cataloging instructions.

For cataloging maps in books, see the documentation Maps in Books.



Fixed Fields

In the Header, "Type of Record" should be e: Printed cartographic material. This applies both for maps and for atlases.

Variable Data Fields

In the 007, Physical Description Field (listed as a Fixed Field but appears in the record with variables), the "Map" selection should be applied, with the "Specific Material Designation" coded d: atlas. The remainder of the fields are usually coded as follows:

Color = | : No attempt to code (for pre-1850 material, if maps are hand-colored, it will be noted in a 590 note; for post-1850 material, note in 300 field)

Physical Meduim = usually coded a: Paper

Type of Reproduction = code n: Not applicable

Production/Reproduction Detail = code z: Other

Positive/Negative Aspect = code n: Not applicable

034 - Coded Cartographic Mathematical Data

This field contains cartographic mathematical data, including scale, projection, and/or coordinates in coded form.

If the scales of the maps in the atlas are all the same, give the scale of the maps in the 034. If they differ, do not enter a number in the b of the 034. Always include the scale in the 034 and 255 fields if all the scales of the maps are the same.

Atlas in which all the maps have scale 1:250,000:

034 1   ‡a a ‡b 250000

Atlas in which maps have varying scales:

034 0   ‡a a

043 - Geographic Area Code

If a geographic area code is found in copy, keep in record. Otherwise, do not supply a geographic area code.

255 - Cartographic Mathematical Data

This field contains mathematical data associated with cartographic material, including a statement of scale and/or statement of projection.

For atlases with maps of varying scales, give Scales differ.

If all of the maps within an atlas are the same scale, give the scale in the 255.

255     ‡a Scale 1:250,000.

For further details in determining scale, see the following documentation.


SELECT RULES (from Cartographic Materials except where indicated)

Chief Source of Information | Statement of Responsibility | Physical Description

Early letter forms and transcription

Transcribe early letter forms according to section 0G. Transcription and Appendix G. Early Letter Forms and Symbols in DCRM(B).

0C5. Chief source of information for an atlas  (see also DCRM(B) section 0C)

The chief source of information for printed atlases is the title page or, if there is no title page, the source from within the publication that is used as a substitute for it. For printed atlases published without a title page, or without a title page applying to the whole work (as in the case of some bilingual works), use the part of the item supplying the most complete information, whether this be the cover (excluding a separate book jacket), caption, colophon, running title, or other part. Specify the part used as a title page substitute in a note (see 7B3). If no part of the item supplies data that can be used as the basis of the description, take the necessary information from any available source. If the information traditionally given on the title page is given on facing pages or on pages on successive leaves, with or without repetition, treat those pages as the title page.

0C6. Chief source of information for early printed atlases

If the early atlas has a title page, use it as the chief source of information. If it has no title page, use the following sources (in this order of preference):

running title
incipit or explicit
privilege or imprimatur
other source


This rule applies when the atlas was issued without a title page and when an atlas was issued with a title page but the title page is missing and no reliable description of it is available.

For publications issued without a title page (and for publications issued with a title page when the title page is missing and no reliable description of it is available), if a single title proper is available in a single source within the publication, use this source as the title page substitute. If the same title proper is available in more than one source within the publication, choose as the title page substitute the source that supplies the most additional title page information. If different titles, or differing forms of the same title, appear within the publication, select one as the title proper and use its source as the title page substitute. If for any reason this last mentioned provision does not settle the issue, choose as the title page substitute one of the following, according to the order given.

a source within the preliminaries or the colophon
a source elsewhere within the publication
a source anywhere

Indicate in a note the source chosen as the title page substitute.

If the item has both an engraved and letterpress title page, the letterpress title page is preferred. The engraved title page, if different, is given in 246 note.

If an item has only an engraved title page, the title is taken from the preliminaries or the colophon (see DCRM(B) 03C). Make a note indicating the title page is engraved.

If the item has no title page, make a note indicating the source used (see DCRM(B) 7B3).

1B7. If the item lacks a title, supply a title proper from the rest of the item, or a reference source, or elsewhere. If no title can be found in any source, devise a brief descriptive title. Enclose such a supplied or devised title in square brackets. Always include in the supplied title the name of the area covered.

[Atlas of the West Indies]

[Nautical charts of the Pacific Coast]

Statement of responsibility

The statement of responsibility for an atlas may appear on the title page, in other preliminaries, or in the colophon. If it is not taken from the chief source of information, enclose it in square brackets. Indicate the source of the bracketed information (e.g., engraved title page) in a note.

Generally transcribe all the names mentioned. If the number of responsible persons or bodies named in a single statement is very great, all after the third may be omitted. Indicate the omission by the mark of omission and add et al. in square brackets.

If no statement of responsibility appears in the item and facts relative to authorship are available (e.g. from a bibliography), give this information in a note. Include the authority for the attribution whenever possible and useful.

Attributed to: ...

Physical description

5B1. Give the extent of a cartographic item. In the case of atlases and globes, give the number of physical units.

1 atlas

5B5. Add, to the statement of extent for an atlas, the pagination or number of volumes as instructed in 5B6-5B29 of Cartographic Materials. NOTE: for early atlases, pay attention to the Early Atlases APPLICATIONS sections of the rules. Specifically:

Give the number of leaves or pages of plates at the end of the sequence(s) of pagination or foliation, whether the plates are found together or distributed throughout publication.

Count a double plate (a plate folded at the inner margin) as two leaves. Count unnumbered leaves or pages of plates without regard for the terms used to describe the rest of the publication (accordingly, leaves of plates may follow sequences of pages and pages of plates may follow sequences of leaves).

Treat tables printed on leaves that are not an integral part of any gathering as leaves or pages of plates.

Do not treat any illustrated title page (including an engraved title page) as a plate.


Example (with 27 separate map titles in atlas)

300     ‡a 1 atlas ([35] leaves of plates) : ‡b 27 maps

Example (with 21 separate map titles in atlas)

300     ‡a 1 atlas ([44] leaves of plates (some folded)) : ‡b 21 maps


5D2. Dimensions

Early atlases: When a publication is unbound or inserted in a container subsequent to publication, measure the height of the publication itself.

For publications issued before 1801, add the bibliographic format of the publication in parentheses following the size statement, when it can be determined. If desired, give the format also for later publications. Give the format in abbreviated form (fol., 4to, 8vo, 12mo, etc.; use lº for volumes made up of unfolded sheets).

500 - NOTES

Copy Specific Notes | Order of Notes | General Notes

Copy Specific Notes

Copy specific notes are made to record important information pertaining to individual copies but not to all copies. This information is often noted on the accompanying accessions slip. Information about provenance evidence, imperfections, and bindings (including bound-with information) pertaining to the copy in hand but not to all copies is recorded in copy specific notes.

Restriction on access notes (506) precede copy specific notes (590). All other notes follow. Restriction on access notes (506) and copy specific notes (590) always begin with BEIN [call no.]: Line-breaks in call numbers are indicated by spaces.

If the copy specific information is not extensive, a single 590 note per copy suffices. For clarity's sake, several copy specific notes for the same copy may be made, each beginning with BEIN [call no.]. This is the case with long runs of serials with issues which have come from numerous sources with various provenance. In general note the copy specific information in the order given below.


590     ‡a BEIN 1982 Folio 10: Maps hand-colored.

Order of notes

Restriction on access
Copy Specific Notes
Bibliographical variants (590 in combination with 500)
Imperfections (590)
Copy number of limited edition (590)
Uncut [i.e. untrimmed; not to be confused with unopened] (590)
Provenance (590)
Binding information (590)
Bound-with notes(590)
In case with notes (590)
Manuscript material in printed works (590)
Material shelved separately (590)
General Notes
Bibliographical variants (500 sometimes in combination with 590)
Limited edition notes (500 sometimes in combination with 590)
Signatures (500) (Rarely used)
Issued in case (500)
Added engraved title page (500) (Rarely used)
Illustrated title page (500)
Citations of standard bibliographies (510)
Advertising matter (500 or 590)
Contents note (500)

7B1. Nature and scope of the item. Make notes on the nature or scope of a cartographic item unless it is apparent from the rest of the description. Also make a note on unusual or unexpected features of the item.

(Title proper: Germany)

500     ‡a Shows all of western Europe and some of eastern Europe.

7B3. For atlases, make notes on the source of the title proper if the chief source of information is a title page substitute.

500     ‡a Caption title.

500     ‡a Title supplied by cataloger.

500     ‡a Title from Phillips.

7B15. Bibliographic references. Cite a list or bibliography when it would serve to distinguish an edition (or variant) from similar editions (or variants), when it would substantiate information provided by the cataloger, or when it would provide a more detailed description of the publication being cataloged.

See Cartographic Materials Bibliographies for those bibliographies most often cited.


Phillips 622

7B18. Contents [for pre-1801 atlases and occasionally for post-1800 atlases]. Transcribe contents from the title page of atlases if they are presented there formally and have not been transcribed as part of the title and statement of responsibility area. In such cases, follow the word Contents with the parenthetical phrase (from t.p.). If a formal statement of contents is not present on the title page, take contents from the individual map titles, or, if this is not feasible, from any contents list, etc., that is present. For publications in two or more volumes, generally transcribe the volume or part designations as found.


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Access Points

Name and Title Access Points (1xx, 246, 7xx)
All name and title access points required by the latest national standards are made. Generous name access points are made to bring out contributors such as editors, engravers, printers, cartographers, surveyors, publishers and issuing bodies.
Library of Congress Subject Headings (6xx)
For items receiving full-level cataloging, subject headings are assigned according to the latest edition of LC Subject Headings and the LC Subject Cataloging Manual.

In particular, determine the nature of the atlas: general vs. topical.

Example of a general work on France

651   0 ‡a France ‡v Maps.

Examples of topical works

650   0 ‡a Pilot guides ‡z France.

650   0 ‡a Geology ‡z France ‡v Maps.


NOTE: The subject subdivision "Atlases" can only be used for scientific or technical works consisting of comprehensive, often systematically arranged, collections of illustrative plates, charts, etc., usually with explanatory captions.

650   0 ‡a Human anatomy ‡v Atlases.

Genre/form Tracings

Always add the following genre tracings, when appropriate. Use multiple tracings, when appropriate (e.g., an atlas of nautical charts). Subdivide geographically, not by place of publication, but by place described, and then by date. Use the broadest geographical subdivision possible; e.g., for an atlas of the Pacific Northwest, do not make separate 655s for Washington, Oregon, Idaho, etc., but rather use: Northwest, Pacific. All headings are followed at end by ‡2 local

655   7 ‡a Atlases ‡z [Geographic name] ‡y [date]. ‡2 local

655   7 ‡a Fire insurance maps ‡z [Geographic name] ‡y [date]. ‡2 local

655   7 ‡a Nautical charts ‡z [Geographic name] ‡y [date]. ‡2 local

655   7 ‡a Plat maps ‡z [Geographic name] ‡y [date]. ‡2 local

655   7 ‡a Portolan charts ‡z [Geographic name] ‡y [date]. ‡2 local

655   7 ‡a Topographic maps ‡z [Geographic name] ‡y [date]. ‡2 local

For further genre/form headings, see the Genre/form term list on the Map Cataloging page.



(Click on the link below to view full Orbis record)

Speer, Joseph Smith. The West-India pilot ... London : Printed for the author and sold by S. Hooper ..., MDCCLXXI [1771]

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