Cataloging Service Levels Offered by Imaging Services for Print and Visual Material for Library Digitization Projects

  • Requesting Library (RL) specifies which cataloging level they request for their print or visual materials sent to our department for digitization. There could be two options for cataloging these materials, suggested below.

  • RL determines project name, if applicable, to be used in bibliographic holdings records. Project name will act as a unique identifier in Alma for materials processed for the project and can be used for generating reports, tracking orders, and financial transactions, etc. Alternatively, Imaging Services (IS) can construct a project name for RL to approve.

    • Example: Harvard Graduate School of Design -- Frances Loeb Library digitization project.

  • RL provides a local contact or liaison for decisions on cataloging questions that arise throughout the project

    • Print Material (includes monographs and serials):

Recommended Option: Cataloging Assessment/Revision: materials receive a consistent level of cataloging processing, established by IS for print materials and visional materials for the purpose of enhanced discoverability with current and future ILS systems.

Alternative Option: Add Project Name in MARC 830 and NET Holdings: materials searched in Alma; HMM/830 (if applicable) and NET holdings only added. No bibliographic update or upgrade and or RL will perform this service locally.

  • Recommended Option: (Note: IS will provide some or all of the following services as applicable)

    • Search in Alma to match items-in-hand (by title, call number or item record)

    • Search online databases for acceptable digital match for items-in-hand (e.g. OCLC, Google Books, Hathi Trust, Internet Archive)

      • If an acceptable match is found bibliographic record remains as found, add 583 “not digitizing” to paper holding and add link in HOLLIS to external resource.

    • Upgrade cataloging including, but not limited to:

      • Provide original cataloging of both print and visual materials, if necessary

      • Re-catalog materials according to RDA guidelines, if not already RDA compliant

      • Correct bibliographic inaccuracies, if any, that impact discoverability of item (i.e. typos, errors in physical description, incorrect bibliographic record for item-in-hand, etc.)

      • Add MARC fields to bibliographic record when appropriate for access and discovery (eg. 490/830, 5xx, 6xx, 7xx fields)

      • Authority control (includes creation of original authority records in the National Authority File)

      • Update and/or create holdings for multi-part and serial materials

      • Add HMM/830 (if applicable) and NET holding (would include a RDA NET holding)

      • Include printout of bibliographic record and any other paperwork with each item

        • Example monograph in Alma: 001795767

        • Example serial in Alma: 003667069

    • Alternative Option:

      • Search in Alma to match items-in-hand (title, call number or item record)

      • Bibliographic record remains as found

      • Add HMM/830 (if applicable) and NET holding

      • Include printout of bibliographic record and any other paperwork with each item

        • Example monograph in Alma: 005382855

        • Example serial in Alma: 014138036

    • Visual Material (VM):

      • Edit existing or create original records for VM in Alma and/or create, verify or augment metadata in external applications (e.g. Shared Shelf) and databases (e.g. ACCESS, Excel, etc.)

      • VM can be processed either at RL site or materials can be sent to Widener

      • QC of materials in repository after completion of digitization process


  • In consultation with RL, edit existing or create collection level records in Alma for collections where item level description is not considered appropriate or necessary.

  • In consultation with RL, edit existing or create finding aid for collections when appropriate for description and access