In early 2013, the Library of Congress announced that it is transitioning to online-only publication of its cataloging documentation. The printing of documentation for purchase has now ceased, and all new editions and updates will be freely available as PDF files on LC’s Acquisitions and Bibliographic Access website (http://www.loc.gov/aba). Below is a summary of the Policy and Standards Division’s plans for updating subject cataloging and classification documentation.
Free Access to Current Documentation
Library of Congress Subject Headings. The final printed edition of LCSH was the 35th, published in 2013. The 36th edition will be issued in June 2014 as PDF files that may be freely downloaded from http://www.loc.gov/aba/cataloging/subject/. PSD plans to issue new PDF editions annually; the 37th edition will be issued in January 2015.
Library of Congress Classification schedules. The most current edition of each of the classification schedules is available as a PDF file that may be freely downloaded from http://www.loc.gov/aba/publications/FreeLCC/freelcc.html. Beginning in January 2015, PSD will issue new editions of each of the schedules annually.
Subject Headings Manual. The most current version of each of the instruction sheets comprising the SHM is available as a PDF file that may be freely downloaded from http://www.loc.gov/aba/publications/FreeSHM/freeshm.html. The files will be updated on an as-needed basis, as policies and guidelines are updated.
Classification and Shelflisting Manual. By the end of June 2014, PDFs of each of the instruction sheets comprising the 2013 edition of the CSM will be posted on ABA’s website at http://www.loc.gov/aba/publications/FreeCSM/freecsm.html and may be freely downloaded. Like the SHM, the files will be updated as needed.
Free Access to Superseded Documentation
The PDF files for superseded editions of LCSH and LCC will be archived and maintained on separate web pages for those wishing to access them for research purposes. The superseded files should not be used for cataloging.
As SHM and CSM instruction sheets are updated the superseded versions will be overwritten. Superseded versions will not be retained on the ABA website at this time.
Subscription Access to Current Documentation
LCSH and LCC will remain available through Classification Web, LC’s subscription-based service. Classification Web is a fully searchable and browsable interface for accessing the most up-to-date headings and classification numbers in LCSH, LCC, Library of Congress Genre/Form Terms for Library and Archival Materials (LCGFT), the Library of Congress Medium of Performance Thesaurus for Music (LCMPT), Children’s Subject Headings, and the LC/NACO Name Authority File. It is updated daily. For details visit http://www.loc.gov/cds/classweb.
The SHM and CSM will continue to be available through Cataloger’s Desktop, LC’s subscription-based online documentation service. Cataloger’s Desktop provides browsing and keyword searching of over 300 cataloging and metadata resources. It is updated quarterly. For details visit http://www.loc.gov/cds/desktop.