Skip to Search

diagonal spacer


The Cataloging of Microforms: Training Guidelines

The cataloging of microforms follows the same basic pattern as the cataloging of more "standard" formats, but with the addition of specialized variable fields and fixed field values that uniquely identify the resulting records as records for microforms.


  1. A micro-reproduction of a bibliographic entity that has been published at an earlier time in a different format (for example, as a book)
  1. A micro-reproduction of a bibliographic entity that has never appeared before (been published) in any form.

A.   Microreproductions of theses published by University Microfilms International (UMI) are good examples of the first kind. Originally issued by the universities from which where their author-students graduated, UMI has prepared a microfilm copy of the thesis for wider distribution. The record below, ALEPH 1900639, is an example of this type of micro-reproduction:

CAT    L $$aNCRD$$b20$$c19990104
CAT    L $$aNUPD$$b20$$c19990222
CAT    L $$aCONV$$b20$$c20040404$$lUFU01$$h
DB      L UFU01
SYSID L 1900639
LDR    L 01025ntm^^2200289Ia^4500
007     L hd|afu|||buca
008     L 970812m19911992xx^a^^^^ab^^^^000|0^eng^d
035     L $$a(OCoLC)40837238
0359   L $$aAJX5980$$bUF
040     L $$aFUG$$cFUG
043     L $$af-ke---
090     L $$aQE741.2$$b.P581 1991
1001   L $$aPlummer, Thomas William.
24510  L $$aSite formation and paleoecology at the Early to Middle Pleistocene locality of Kanjera, Kenya$$h<microform> /$$cby Thomas William Plummer.
260     L $$c1991, c1992.
300     L $$axxii, 537 p :$$bill. ;$$c29 cm.
502     L $$aThesis (Ph.D.) -- Yale University, 1991.
504     L $$aIncludes bibliographical references (p. 516-537)
533     L $$aMicrofilm.$$bAnn Arbor, Mich. :$$cUniversity Microfilms International,$$d1992$$e1 microfilm reel ; 35 mm.
650 0  L $$aPaleontology$$yPleistocene.
650 0  L $$aPaleoecology$$zKenya.
650 0  L $$aExcavations (Archaeology)$$zKenya.
651 0  L $$aKenya$$xAntiquities.
952     L $$ajag
OWN  L $$aUF

B. An example of this kind could be a microfilm reel created through microphotography of a collected set of archival documents, all on a single subject, where none of the individual documents have been published before. The record below, ALEPH 2775241, is an example of this type of micro-reproduction:

CAT     L $$aNCRD$$b20$$c20011212
CAT     L $$aNUPD$$b20$$c20011218
CAT     L $$aCONV$$b20$$c20040404$$lUFU01$$h
DB       L UFU01
SYSID  L 2775241
FMT     L BK
LDR     L 03462ctm^^2200565Ia^4500
006      L m|||^f^^^d|^|^^^^^
007      L hb|afb017baua
008      L 011024r19701964dcu^^^^^a^^^^f000|0^spa^d
035      L $$a(OCoLC)48584278
0359    L $$aANQ3332$$bUF
040      L $$aFUG$$cFUG
0410    L $$aspaeng
043      L $$an-us-fl$$an-us---$$ae-sp---
1300    L $$aEast Florida papers.
24514  L $$aThe East Florida papers, 1737-1858 (approximately 65,000 items, the majority ranging 1783-1821)$$h<microform>.
260     L $$a<Washington> :$$bU.S. Library of Congress, Manuscript Division,$$c1964-1965.
300     L $$a175 microfilm reels ;$$c35 mm.
500     L $$a"Microfilmed by the Library of Congress Photoduplication Service."
500     L $$a"The East Florida papers consist of records of Spanish administration during the period of that nation's 'Second Occupation' of East Florida, 1783-1821"--p. <1>, reel 1.
500     L $$a"Provenance and organization <of the East Florida papers>": p. 2, reel 1.
500     L $$a"Scope and content <of the East Florida papers>": p. 3, reel 1.
500     L $$a"The material in this collection touches on most aspects of Florida history during the last generation of Spanish control"--p. 3, reel 1.
500     L $$aIncludes inventory list of reel contents. For information regarding scope and indexes consult prefatory material in accompanying Inventory list.
500     L $$aFilmed in 1970 by the Library of Congress for the Historic St. Augustine Preservation Board.
520     L $$aDiplomatic, military, economic, judicial, legal and administrative records and archives of the Spanish colonial government of East Florida for the period of its second occupation, 1783-1821. Includes royal orders and decrees, census and other vital records, and papers relating to such matters as trade and shipping, surveys, hospitals, Indians, slaves, and Louisiana. Also includes correspondence and letters of the Captain-General of Havana, the Viceroy of Mexico, and the Council of the Indies, in addition to letters of the Count de Gálvez and Governor White and correspondence with the U.S. relating in part to the eventual cession of Florida through the Adams-Onis Treaty.
500      L $$aAccess is provided by a calendar available both on microfilm in the Florida History Library and on the World Wide Web. The URL for the on-line calendar is given below.
599 9   L $$aselected by tgb to test 856 link to archival calendar
60010  L $$aGálvez, Bernardo de,$$d1746-1786.
61010  L $$aSpain.$$tTreaties, etc.$$gUnited States,$$d1819 Feb 22.
61020  L $$aConsejo de Indias (Spain)
650 0   L $$aIndians of North America$$zFlorida.
650 0   L $$aSlavery$$zFlorida.
650 0   L $$aShipping$$zFlorida.
651 0   L $$aFlorida$$xHistory$$ySpanish colony, 1784-1821.
651 0   L $$aSpain$$xColonies$$zAmerica.
651 0   L $$aLouisiana$$xHistory.
651 0   L $$aFlorida$$xSurveys.
651 0   L $$aFlorida$$xCommerce.
651 0   L $$aNew Spain$$xForeign relations$$zUnited States.
651 0   L $$aUnited States$$xForeign relations$$zNew Spain.
651 0   L $$aSpain$$xForeign relations$$zUnited States.
651 0   L $$aUnited States$$xForeign relations$$zSpain.
7102    L $$aLibrary of Congress.$$bManuscript Division.
7102    L $$aHistoric St. Augustine Preservation Board.
85642  L $$3Archival calendar$$u
952      L $$asff
OWN   L $$aUF
TKR     L $$a(FU)smpb 856 link

The first step, therefore, is which of these two possible categories is the microform you have.


Once the category has been identified, microforms usually fall into one of these kinds:

                        (1) microfilm

                (2) microfiche

                        (3) microopaque (also known as microprint) (far less common)


The next step is to determine if

(1) the item is new to ALEPH (that is, there is not already in ALEPH a record either for the original item or a record for another microform version


(2) the item is an add to an ALEPH record for the original appearance of the item, or is an add to a record for a microform appearance of the item


Once this status has been determined, cataloging of microforms proceeds through use of shared cataloging copy, or through creating an original cataloging record.



If shared copy is used, much of the cataloging work has already been done. What we need to do is verify that the data already on the copy does match what we have.Then we add any other fields we need before entering the copy into ALEPH.

If no shared copy is available, we will need to prepare an original cataloging record, applying formal cataloging rules and local practices.

In either case, we will follow Guidelines for Cataloging Microforms: Only Copy

The principles applied in cataloging microforms are fundamentally the same as those used in the cataloging of non-microform formats. The specific features of microform cataloging appear in the fixed field values and specialized variable fields that are specific to a microform record. These are:

Fixed field elements: Repro (called Form in OCLC)


Variable fields:           007 = h
                                     245 = h
                                     300 (description of original item, if item has appeared earlier) or (description of microform, if item is an original issue)

                                     533 (if item is micro-reproduction of an item that has appeared earlier)

Thus, a catalog record for a microform will have the above fields, in addition to the "regular" fields (for authors, titles, subjects, etc.) that appear in all records.


A. No record in ALEPH. Item does not already appear in ALEPH in some format (for example: there is no record in ALEPH for the original book, for another microform version, etc.)

Main steps (see Guidelines for Cataloging Microforms: Only Copy for detailed approach):

                           Attach holdings to OCLC record
                                  Load record into ALEPH
                                  Complete holdings screen

                                  Create item(s)
                                  Label item(s)


B. Record in ALEPH for other format. Shared Copy on OCLC:

Main steps (see Guidelines for Cataloging Microforms: Added Microform Copy for detailed approach):

                        Locate matching record in OCLC
                        Verify match (including match on: Repro, 007, 245=h, and 300 or 533)
                        Attach holdings to OCLC record, but do not derive OCLC record into ALEPH
                        Call up ALEPH record for item in the other format (such as the record for the original book version)
                        Create new holdings screen
                        Create item(s)
                        Label item(s)

C.  Record in ALEPH for other format. No Shared Copy on OCLC:

Main steps (see Guidelines for Cataloging Microforms: Only Copy for detailed approach):

We will create and enter into OCLC an original record for the microform in hand:

Remove OCLC no. from the ALEPH record for the item in another format (such as the originally issued book)
Send this altered ALEPH record to the OCLC Save file
Replace OCLC no. on ALEPH record used for other format
Use the record put into the OCLC Save file to create an original record for OCLC
Add this new record to OCLC
Go to ALEPH record used for other format and create new holdings screen

Create item
Label item(s)


NOTE: The processing steps described below are the steps that the cataloger will perform for the microforms in hand, before sending them to the Processing Section for the more detailed physical processing of these items.

For the Processing Section procedures, see Guidelines for Cataloging Microforms: Processing

Update the appropriate ALEPH records, including holdings and items.

Print the holdings screen, showing the correct position of the call number, for the processing students.

Run the statistics macro, recording the microforms as original, shared, or added copies.

Sometimes, more complex cataloging situations arise. One example is the creation of a microfilm containing multiple bibliographic titles.  This situation is covered by the ALEPHPRO Guidelines for Cataloging Microforms: Multiple Titles on Reel

If other situations arise that do not seem to be covered by procedures in ALEPHPRO, refer these to your supervisor for determination of appropriate action. This may possibly include the creation of and entry into ALEPHPRO of a new procedure for microforms to cover the situation.

Training in the cataloging of microforms will be conducted under the guidance of a supervisor, to whom the cataloger can direct questions about microform cataloging, as they arise, during the training process. Following successful completion of the training process, the cataloger should then be prepared to perform microform cataloging at a level of success comparable to that achieved in any other format.


Indexed: Cataloging of Microforms: Training Guidelines
               Cataloging of Microforms: Training Guidelines

Prepared by: Steve Fuquay

Updated by: Nancy Poehlmann, April 7, 2009

University of Florida Home Page