International recommendations - 2010 - Evolving concepts

The evolving concept of a national bibliography

  • In 1950 the emphasis was on a detailed description of what kinds of documents should be registered in the national bibliography, but there was little direction on:
    • Levels of cataloguing
    • Publishing the national bibliography
    • Legal deposit
    • Relationship to holdings of the publications at the relevant national library.
  • Since 1977:
    • It has been assumed that the national bibliography is a complete registration of all publications in a country regardless of format and at the same level of cataloguing. This was often interpreted to mean the highest existing level.
    • Agency managers with budgetary responsibilities consequently view cataloguing as very expensive with some managers prematurely concluding there is no need for a national bibliography to cover Web documents at all.
  • The 1998 recommendations specified general principles, but:
    • Did not offer guidance on how the ‘current national output’ should be defined.

Omitted instructions on the inclusion of electronic information resources in the national bibliography.

Bibliography, Best practice

Last update: 5 December 2017