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Cataloging Unit Procedures and Policy

Rare Books and Special Collections

  1. Rare Books

All rare books added to Special Collections are collected for their physical form as well as their content. Therefore, they are not marked, labeled or stamped.  No rare books have barcodes.  Truly rare books should be cataloged using the manual, Descriptive Cataloging of Rare Materials (Books) (Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, 2007), which is itself the authorized Library of Congress interpretation of AACR2 2.12-2.18 (section on "Early printed monographs").

  • Create item record
  • Skip barcode number field
  • Location – spe (Special Collections)
  • Status code – o (Library use only)
  • IMESSAGE – g (Fragile)
  • Insert variable field note (x) :  RARE BOOK 
  • Print or pencil the call number at the top of an acid-free bookmark and insert the bookmark on the top of the front flyleaf. 
  1. Special Collections – not rare books
  • Location – spe (Special Collections)
  • End process as a regular title
  • Retain dust jacket with penciled spine label

 Autographed Books

  •  Ordinary law books or general titles signed by their authors are treated as regular titles: cataloged and processed for the Main Collection and labeled with their appropriate locations
  •   Books autographed by notables (autographs which are or will be valuable and make the book more liable to pilferage) are treated as rare books.
  •  A 590 note should be entered giving the information about an autograph.


590__Copy inscribed to Roy M. Mersky by the author.

590__Copy 2 autographed by author.