Cataloging Record Distribution Program records are those created through GPO’s Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) and Cataloging and Indexing Program (C&I).
About GPO Cataloging
GPO cataloging data consists of MARC records for U.S. Government publications published by all three branches of the Federal Government, including:
- Books (print and online versions)
- Audiovisual materials
These materials are cataloged by GPO staff. The catalog records are viewable in the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications (CGP). On average, GPO catalogs approximately 2,000 titles per month. The records describe new Federal agency publications as well as older material being cataloged for the first time in the FDLP or C&I.
GPO is a member of PCC, CONSER, BIBCO, NACO and SACO and catalogs according to national and international bibliographic standards. The majority of records are encoded as full-level. Other encoding levels are used in various situations.
GPO currently uses the separate record approach to cataloging, which means that there will be an individual cataloging record created for each format of a publication, with a 776 MARC field link to all other formats.
RDA is the current standard used by GPO. There are some exceptions, including Historic Shelflist records.
The majority of records include a corresponding OCLC record number. Records from specific GPO projects, such as the Iowa Poster Project, may not have OCLC numbers.
PURLs in records contain stable URLs. Links direct to electronic content on GPO’s GovInfo, GPO servers, agency websites, or official FDLP partner sites or servers.
The majority of records are for English-language materials, but GPO catalogs publications in the language used by the publishing agency.
GPO catalog records do not contain item numbers in these situations:
- Digital reproductions of previously distributed publications
- Distributed prior to 1940 and no item number assigned at that time
- Note included in records:
- Distributed to Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) libraries prior to 1940. No FDLP item number available.
- Digital reproductions of unreported publications
- Publications predate item number system
- Note included in records:
- Publication pre-dates Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) item numbers. No FDLP item number has been assigned.
- Inactive or defunct issuing agencies
- No new item number is created
- Note included in records:
- Agency is no longer active. No FDLP item number has been assigned.
- Some project records, such as those in the U.S. Congressional Serial Set project
For more information about GPO cataloging, see GPO’s Cataloging Guidelines and Exploring Cataloging of Federal Government Documents at GPO webcasts (April 6, 2022).
WebTech Notes may also provide additional information about updates to Superintendent of Documents classification numbers and to List of Classes information.
If you have questions about cataloging in general (and not specific to the CRDP), submit an askGPO inquiry. Select the tile "Federal Depository Library Program" and Category "Cataloging/Metadata (Policy and Records)".
GPO catalogs publications as part of projects, which may result in high volumes of records for similar publications in short periods of time.
Catalog records in some of these projects includes FDLP item numbers, which are shared below. If a project involves cataloging of publications from many agencies, however, the item numbers are numerous and not identified until cataloging.
Several projects do not include item numbers or inactive item numbers. Examples are the new digitization project records from Pilot Project 1 and the U.S. Congressional Serial Set Project. If your library is interested in acquiring these records through the CRDP, contact MARCIVE directly to update your CRDP Profile (see 2.3 “Profiled Cataloging Records – alternate selection choices” in the CRDP Profile Guide). More information about updating profiles is available in the Current CRDP participants section of the main web page. Please note that a change to your CRDP Profile may result in additional records being made available for your library, beyond these project records, as other records could match the updated profile.
Current projects include:
Status in the CRDP
Colorado School of Mines Cataloging and Metadata Contributor Partnership
Remaining to be cataloged in this partnership are some publications with this title:
The records in this project described electronic versions of publications from these USGS series:
To locate the records in the CGP, search for the keywords “CATPART; CSM”.
Congressional bills and resolutions in GovInfo
Records describing bills and resolutions in GovInfo from the 118th Congress are being created now. A news alert with more information is forthcoming, but the first group is expected to be available through the CRDP as early as July.
The records will not have item numbers. They will be enhanced from metadata included in GovInfo and not be minimal-level records. See eight sample records in the CGP.
The records will be available to libraries which profile to receive them. See 2.3 Profiled Cataloging Records – alternate selection choices in the CRDP Profile Guide.
Records for individual titles in four monographic series are available to libraries selecting the associated item numbers:
To locate the records in the CGP, conduct an expert search of WLTS= CRSREP.
The Federal Reserve Archival System for Economic Research (FRASER)
The majority of records have item numbers in this partnership collection of publications from numerous Federal authors. These records are available to libraries selecting the associated item numbers.
For the records without item numbers in this project, they are available to libraries which profile to receive them. See 2.3 Profiled Cataloging Records – alternate selection choices in the CRDP Profile Guide.
To locate the records in the CGP, conduct an expert search of WCAT=FRASER.
The project 4 records are available to libraries which profile to receive them. See 2.3 Profiled Cataloging Records – alternate selection choices in the CRDP Profile Guide.
To locate the records in the CGP, conduct an expert search of WCAT=historic shelflist.
For more information, see Show & Tell – Cards of the Historic Shelflist webcast.
The records are available to libraries selecting item number 0818-J-06 (EL) – Legal Research Reports (LC 42.20). Please note there isn’t a collection level record for these reports.
To locate the records in the CGP, conduct an expert search of WLTS=LCLAWLIB. The scope of the project is 5,000 records.
The majority of the approximately 1,000 records do not have item numbers. Records describing the print version of the 667 titles related to FDR-era Civil Defense (PR 32:) have been added to the CGP.
The project publications are currently being digitized and will be ingested into GovInfo. At that time, records for the EL versions will be added to the CGP as well, tentatively beginning in June. That means the records may be available to CRDP participating libraries starting in July.
See 2.3 Profiled Cataloging Records – alternate selection choices in the CRDP Profile Guide.
To locate the records in the CGP, conduct an expert search of WLTS=PILOTPROJECT1USU.
The records describing the individual documents and reports in the Serial Set do not have item numbers and are available to libraries which profile to receive them. See 2.3 Profiled Cataloging Records – alternate selection choices in the CRDP Profile Guide.
FDLP news alert (First Batch)
A second batch of catalog records is being made available now. The first records from this batch will be available to libraries selecting these Serial Set records in July. More information will be made available in a news alert, but the batch includes over 16,000 monograph records and approximately 100 serial or multipart monograph records.
In the expert search mode, you can use a local field search to retrieve all of the Serial Set records and combine that search with other elements: WLTS=SERIALSET?
University of Minnesota Libraries Cataloging and Metadata Contributor Partnership
These records describe older print publications in the I 16:, N, and W SuDocs ranges.
See 2.3 Profiled Cataloging Records – alternate selection choices in the CRDP Profile Guide. Some of the records include inactive item numbers. When the item numbers were in the records used for cataloging and could be verified in the Historic Shelflist or Monthly Catalog, they were retained.
See the LSCM Library Technical Services Information Portal: Cataloging/Metadata Initiatives for more information about the current projects. Note the Scope for each project, which can give a sense of the expected length of the project. If you don’t wish to acquire individual records from a resource noted above, there may be a collection-level catalog record.
Changed or Updated Bibliographic Records
GPO strives to maintain the accuracy and currency of the CGP. Database maintenance involves changes and updates to records for multiple reasons, including but not limited to:
- Revisions to item numbers and SuDocs classification numbers
- Updating or addition of PURLs
- Changed authorized access points
- Cessation of serial titles
- Serial title changes
- Addition of linking entry fields for:
- Other formats (print, online, microfiche)
- Different editions (language versions)
- Preceding, succeeding, and related serials
Libraries in the CRDP have the option to acquire changed records, which MARCIVE, Inc. staff identify through comparison of monthly GPO cataloging records with records that had been previously cataloged. As with newly cataloged records, libraries selecting this option receive records that match their current item number selection profile.
The changed or updated records can overlay on an existing catalog record, if one exists. This process is facilitated by a match on an OCLC number. When the changed record is loaded, it will match to any existing record by the OCLC number and overlay it with the new or updated information. If a library doesn’t have the earlier record in the system to overlay, the newer, updated record may be added to the catalog.
Libraries adding changed records to their catalogs will want to identify any measures or parameters in place on their catalog systems for the protection of various MARC fields. For example, a workflow may prohibit the overlay or a record when a call number changes, to ensure that the call number on the depository publication itself matches the call number in the catalog.
Other Sources of GPO Cataloging
Please note that GPO catalog records are available through other sources. Like CRDP records, some of these are also free of charge to Federal depository libraries.