Skip to Main Content

Brown University Scholarly Resources

Cataloging Sound Recordings

The first thing you need to do is to ascertain what kind of cataloging is required for each item. 


  • the record is adequate and up to the standards maintained by Brown (see XXX)

  • only minor additions to the record are needed

  • an updated record can be found in OCLC and overlaid on the vendor record or Brief bib in Alma


then it can be catalogued by an SLS. If a record needs significant updating or completely original cataloging, it should be given to the SLE. 


General procedure

Set the Alma search to Physical Items-Barcode, put the cursor in the search box, and scan in the barcode:



Click on the title to view the record:



Review the record. If it lacks LCSH subject headings (field 650), copy the OCLC number from the 035 field:



(If there is no OCLC number, copy the publisher number from the 028 field (in this case CDA68301), and paste it into the Standard Number (sn:) search box in OCLC.)


In OCLC Connexion, click on the Search icon:



Paste the 10-digit OCLC number, preceded by the # character, into the command line:



Once the record comes up, check the ELvl (Encoding Level) field for code I or blank (or for the code of a reliable institution, in this case OBE = Oberlin), and check for added 650s, 700s etc:



LCSH subject headings (650, 655 fields) have been added:



As have links to authority records (700, 710 fields):



So, we like the quality of this Full Level record, and we want to overlay this onto the record in Alma. 

In Alma, leave Record View.


In OCLC, click on the Export icon



The export function searches Alma for the record with the OCLC number in the 035 field (which is where we started), and overlays the record. OCLC displays the new Alma MMS ID number:



Go back to the Physical Titles screen, and click on Edit Record:



Remove any unwanted fields (such as the 260, which has been superseded by the 264 fields) by putting the cursor in the field, and choosing Remove Field from the Editing Actions menu:



Music cataloging at Brown more often than not requires adding a new call number in order to conform to our shelflisting. This call number goes in an 050_4 field, but is edited in the 852 field in the Holdings Record. To access the Holdings Record, select View Inventory from the View Related Data menu:



Open the Holdings Record by clicking on Edit:



Enter the new call number (see the document Call Numbers and Shelflisting):



Select Save and Release Record from the Save menu:



Open the record again using Edit Record (see above), then select View Inventory from the View Related Data menu:



Click on Edit, then select Update from Bibliographic from the Record Actions menu. This will update the call number:



Once the call number has been updated, click on Save and Release.



Open the record again using Edit Record (see above), then select View Inventory from the View Related Data menu:



To access the Item Record, click on the three ellipses, and then select View Items:



Click on the three ellipses, and then select Edit



If necessary, fill in the Material type by selecting from the drop-down menu. In this case, select Compact Disc:



Click on the Notes tab, then enter the appropriate note in the Fulfilment note box (this note alerts Circulation staff as to the constituent parts of an item):



Click Save. Return to the List of items.

All that is left now is to use the Normalization Rule (macro) to add a 995 field which contains the date, the cataloger’s initials, and the kind of work done (Cataloging or Original).

Expand the Records List on the left, then select Rules, click the split screen icon, then select the 995 rule (in that order):



Click Preview, check the new field, than select Apply Changes:



This returns you to the updated bib record.

Select Save and Release Record from the Save menu:



Almost done!

Now you need to route the item to Preservation, where they will attach a call number label.

To do this, click on the abacus Acquisitions icon:



Select Scan In Items:



Select Send to physical processing from the Set Status To menu, scan in the barcode, and click OK. You’re done!



Okay, you’re done with Alma, but not with the CD.

Take your black Ultra-fine-point Sharpie, and write BROWN UNIV. on the centre of the CD. Try not to get fingerprints all over it. This is the last visible vestige of human interaction left in the library, so make it count!

If the CD is issued in a paper sleeve, substitute a Tyvek envelope, and replace that in the cardboard container.




In this next example , the vendor record in Alma and the record in OCLC are identical: it has not been updated. In this case, set this CD (or score) aside for original cataloging by the SLE.


Physical titles:



Record view:



Enter OCLC# to search:



Record is identical to that in Alma:



You can also check for a better record using the publisher number from the 028 field, pasting it into the Standard Number (sn:) search box. There are other searching techniques as well. If there is no Full Record available in OCLC, set the item aside for original cataloging by the SLE.