Bibliographic Cataloging: Cartographic Materials

Background and Sources Consulted

Cartographic materials include maps, atlases, globes, and remote sensing images such as satellite photos.

Maps are cataloged following RDA Instructions. Use the following resources to supplement RDA:

  • Cartographic materials: a manual of Interpretation for AACR2, 2nd edition, 2002 revision, 2005 update [available through Cataloger’s Desktop]
  • RDA and cartographic resources, by Paige G. Andrew, Susan M. Moore, Mary Lynette Larsgaard. ALA Editions, 2015
  • GPO Classification Manual, 1993. (Currently being revised, as of September 2016) Pages 74-85 contain information on classification of maps, some of which is of a broader, more useful nature to catalogers.

Each map or map serial is cataloged as a separate record, except for maps that are intended to be part of another record, such as a planning document (e.g., an environmental impact statement or a land and resource management plan). Shipments of maps from the USGS Denver Office are classified and cataloged by a map librarian in GPO’s Library Technical Services.

Brochures and Visitor Guides Treated as Maps

Several agencies, such as the National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, and Forest Service, issue single-sheet folded brochures and visitor guides to provide information about their parks, reserves, etc. These documents frequently include maps.

Catalog as a map any sheet primarily designed to aid in navigation of a location, regardless of the size or placement of the map image on the sheet.

Catalog a document of this type using an OCLC Maps workform, even if previous editions of the document were cataloged using the Books workform. In the past, GPO cataloged visitor guides and brochures as either books or maps, according to the relative size and predominance of any map(s) contained within the document.

Exception: A sheet which bears only a location map indicating the general whereabouts of a site within a region cannot be used for navigation within that site, and should therefore be cataloged using the OCLC Books workform. (See: Bibliographic Cataloging: General Policies: Brochures and Visitor Guides Treated as Books or Continuing Resources.)


BLM Surface/Mineral Management Maps

Surface management maps from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) bypass GPO, and go directly from the USGS Denver Office to those depository libraries on BLM’s/USGS’s mailing list. Records for these maps include a GPO item number, but not a shipping list number.

Prior to cessation of the series United States. Bureau of Land Management. Surface-minerals management status, GPO had a longstanding practice for treatment of these BLM mineral and surface management maps. These maps were classed in either I 53.11/4: or I 53.11/4-2:. GPO created separate records for the surface management maps (I 53.11/4:) and surface-minerals management maps (I 53.11/4-2:), even though these may have the same title and belong to the same series. To distinguish two such maps, a 240 field was added to the bibliographic record which contained the preferred title from the 245 field plus the addition: (Surface) for surface management maps, and (Minerals) for surface-minerals management maps. (Year of the edition also once was added, but later dropped.) For examples of records prior to 2015, see OCLC numbers 849921291 and 849921268.

Since 2015, only the Surface Management Status series (I 53.11/4:) is published, and thus renders the cataloging treatment described above unnecessary.

Serial Treatment

To qualify for serial treatment, editions of a map must meet the following three criteria:

  • issued less than five years apart
  • same size
  • same [approximate] scale
    • If all the editions lack an explicit scale statement, compare the “Scale approximately” statements that appear (or would appear) in the 255 field. A difference of up to 10,000 in the number following 1: is considered the same scale.

Do not authenticate these serial records as PCC.

Encoding Level

Map serials for the NOAA nautical charts and USGS 7.5 quadrangles are cataloged at I level. All other maps should be cataloged as PCC records if all access points can be controlled in OCLC.

086 - SuDoc Number

For more information, see: Superintendent of Documents Classification Guidelines: Cartographic Resources.

1XX - Principal Creator

Maps are usually entered under a corporate body creator (main entry), according to RDA Therefore, the issuing or originating corporate body that is considered a creator is usually entered in the 110 field. In such cases, persons who appear in a statement of responsibility are traced in the 700 field, according to the first exception in (Collaborative Works): “Corporate bodies as creators.” Cartographic materials: a manual of interpretation for AACR2 provides additional clarification in Appendix A.4B, especially in the last paragraph.1 If no corporate body can be considered the creator, then a person who appears in a statement of responsibility may be entered in the 100 field. Generally, use “cartographer” as the relationship designator for the creators of the work, including those recorded in the 100 (if no corporate body is considered the creator), 110, 700, and 710 fields. If the statement of responsibility reads “compiled by …,” use “compiler” as the relationship designator.

OCLC *922702791
110 2 Geological Survey (U.S.), ǂe cartographer.
245 10 Map showing limits of Tahoe glaciation in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, California / ǂc James G. Moore and Gregory S. Mack ; in cooperation with the National Park Service.
700 1 Moore, James Gregory, ǂd 1930- ǂe cartographer.
700 1 Mack, Gregory S., ǂe cartographer.

130/240 - Unique Title for Work

For more information, see: Bibliographic Cataloging: General Policies: Distinguishing Works and Expressions with Identical Authorized Access Points.

To break a conflict with an existing access point for a different work, use the following qualifier in 130/240:

  • (Map)

To break a conflict between documents cataloged as maps, add a term such as one of the following as a second element to the (Map) qualifier:

  • [Map type – Tourist, Topographic, etc.]
  • [Projection type]
  • [Scale]
  • Visitor guide
  • Trails
  • History
  • Off-road vehicles
  • Camping
  • Boating
  • Wildlife
  • Winter
  • Summer

Map in database (OCLC): # 63351473
110 10 United States. ǂb Forest Service. ǂb Southern Region.
245 10 Conecuh National Forest, Alabama / ǂc compiled in the Regional Office, Atlanta, Ga., in 1964.
255 Scale 1:126,720 ; ǂb polyconic projection ǂc (W 86°52ʹ30ʺ--W 86°22ʹ30ʺ/N 31°15ʹ--N 31°).

Map being cataloged: CGP 1047969
110 10 United States. ǂb Forest Service. ǂb Southern Region, ǂe cartographer.
240 10 Conecuh National Forest, Alabama (Map : Albers projection)
245 10 Conecuh National Forest, Alabama / ǂc constructed in 2016 by digital methods at the Geospatial Service and Technology Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, using Forest Service Primary Base data and USGS quadrangles ; 2017 field review and additional edits were provided by the Southern Region.
255 Scale 1:126,720 ; ǂb Albers projection, central meridian at 86°37ʹ00ʺ ǂc (W 86°52ʹ30ʺ--W 86°22ʹ30ʺ/N 31°22ʹ30ʺ--N 30°52ʹ30ʺ).

245 - Title Statement

For brochures and visitor guides treated as maps, use the panel title from the front of the folded sheet, rather than a title which may appear within the neat line of the map or near the map image. Make a note on the source of title:

500 Title from panel.

255 - Cartographic Mathematical Data

For online maps that lack a scale statement, use “Scale not given.” However, if the print version has a scale statement, use that for the online version.

300 - Physical Description

For online resources, use atlas(es) or map(s) in the parentheses following 1 online resource. Maps include remote sensing images, views, sections, and other types of cartographic materials.

500 - Notes

If a GPO jacket number is printed on the map, record the number in a quoted note. This number especially helps the cataloger of a Braille transcription match it to the standard map record.

Original map: CGP 1089264
110 10 United States. ǂb National Park Service, ǂe cartographer.
245 10 Waco Mammoth : ǂb Waco Mammoth National Monument, Texas / ǂc National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.
500 "403-332/82219."

Braille transcription of the map, treated as a book because it does not contain an actual map: CGP 1089555
110 10 United States. ǂb National Park Service, ǂe author.
240 10 Waco Mammoth (Braille)
245 10 Waco Mammoth National Monument, Texas / ǂc National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.
500 "A 2019 braille transcription of the Unigrid brochure WACO 2018 403-332/82219 edition."

655 - Genre/Form Term

Multiple genre/form terms may be entered, as needed, in a single bibliographic record. Common genre/form terms for cartographic materials include:

Aeronautical charts: Use for helicopter route charts, airport charts and others navigational aids for aircraft.

Bathymetric maps: Use for nautical charts and other maps that show water depths.

Nautical charts: Use for maps that show water depths, buoys, and other features on bodies of water.

Quadrangle maps: Use for USGS and Forest Service quadrangles.

Road maps: Use for Motor vehicle maps.

Thematic maps: Use for maps about specific topics not covered in other genre headings, such as Christmas tree cutting maps.

Topographic maps: Use for maps that show topography such as USGS quadrangle maps.

Tourist maps: Use for maps from the National Park Service, National Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and other agencies that show trails, recreation sites, and other features of interest to visitors.

1 Cartographic materials: a manual of interpretation for AACR2, Appendix A.4B. The last two sentences are: “If the corporate body is known to be a map-making organization that normally originates and issues cartographic materials, enter under the corporate body. If the principal responsibility for the production of the cartographic item is clearly attributed to a personal author, enter under the personal author with added entries for the associated corporate bodies.”

In the final sentence, the meaning of “clearly attributed to a personal author” is open to interpretation, therefore GPO interprets this phrase to apply only when no corporate body may be considered a creator of the cartographic resource according to RDA

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GPO Cataloging Guidelines

Cataloging/Metadata Policy-making Process
Cataloging Policy and Documentation Committee (CPDC)
GPO Cataloging Guidelines Review and Revision
GPO Cataloging Guidelines: Organization and Structure
List of Standards
Other Metadata Schemes
Cooperative Associations
Bibliographic Cataloging
Authoritative Status of the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications
GPO Records in OCLC and Record Maintenance
What LSCM Catalogs
Cataloging/Metadata Encoding Levels Policies
1.0 Purpose
2.0 Background and Related Documents
3.0 Guidelines and Standards Consulted
4.0 Coordination with Collection Development Procedures
5.0 General Principles
5.1 General Cataloging/Metadata Workflows - Individual Records
5.2 Project and Retrospective Cataloging
5.3 Batch Processing of Record Sets
5.4 Categories of Federal Information Products
5.5 922 Codes
6.0 Cataloging Levels Chart
Treatment Decisions for Collections and Analytics
Factors to Consider for the Treatment Decision
Separate Record Policy
Original Cataloging
Copy Cataloging
Adapting PCC Pre-RDA Records
Adapting Non-PCC Pre-RDA Records
Authenticating Non-PCC Pre-RDA Records as PCC
Replacing and Exporting Records
Cataloging Non-distributed Formats (for C&I)
GPO Sales Program Information
Authority Records
General MARC Field Policies
Formats, Modes of Issuance, Etc.
Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC) Policy on ISBD Punctuation
Fixed Fields
ELvl - Encoding Level
Variable Fields
037 - Source of Acquisition
040 - Cataloging Source
050 - LC Call Number
060 - NLM Call Number
070 - NAL Call Number
082 - Dewey Decimal Classification Number
100/700 – Personal Name Access Points
100 - Principal Creator – Personal Name
110/111 - Principal Creator - Corporate/Meeting Name
130/240 - Unique Title for Work or Expression
130 - Unique Title for Work or Expression - No Principal Creator Present
240 - Unique Title for Work or Expression - Principal Creator Present
245 - Title Statement and 246 - Varying Form of Title
245 $c - SOR
246 - Varying Form of Title
250 - Edition Statement
264 - Production, Publication
GPO Sales Statement
300 - Physical Description
336 - Content, 337 - , 338 -
490 - Series Statement Field
500, 588 - Title Source, Source of Description Notes
500 - General Note
536 - Funding Info Note
546 - Language Note
6XX - Subject Access Fields
600 - Personal Name Subject
700 - Personal Name Associated with a Work
710/711 - Corporate/Meeting Name Associated with a Work
76X to 78X - Linking Entries
776 - Additional Physical Form Entry
856 – Electronic Location and Access – Historic URLs
074 GPO Item Number
Item Number Corrections
086 SuDoc Number
Sources to Consult
Background and General Instructions
Serials and Integrating Resources
Related Chapters/Sections
Fixed Fields
DtSt: Type of Date/Publication Status
Variable Fields
020 – ISBN
037 – Source of Acquisition
088 - Report Numbers
Types of Numbers NOT Recorded in the 088 Field
Mail Stop and Routing Codes
245 ǂc - Statement of Responsibility
250 - Edition Statement
300 - Physical Description
ǂa – Extent, Complicated or Irregular Paging
ǂa – Multipart Monographs
ǂa – Sheets
500 - General Note
500 – Title Source Note
Report Numbers
Sales Information Notes
Shipping List Notes
Multipart Monographs
505 - Formatted Contents Note
520 - Summary, etc.
536 - Funding Information Note
588 - Source of Description Note
Single-part Online Monographs Examples
Multipart Monographs Examples
Related Works and Expressions
Related Chapters/Sections
Related Resources
Related Works and Expressions - Overview
Frequently Revised Monographs
Language Editions and Translations
Language editions
Parallel text edition
Analytical Access Point(s)
NEPA Documents
Revised Editions
Definition / Context
Precataloging Decision-making
Logistical Note for Bibliographic File Maintenance for Multiple Editions
Detailed Instructions and Examples for Revised Editions
New Expression – Revision and earlier edition share all common authorized access point elements
New Expression – Revision with different title proper
New Expression – Revision’s authorized access point constructed according to a different descriptive convention
New Work – Revised edition with a new primary author
New Work – Revised editions with the same title proper and primary author (or editor) and new content
Ambiguous Status – Appearance of additional authors
Summary included within resource being cataloged
Summary separate from resource being cataloged
Unspecified Relationships and MARC 787
Current RDA Policies and MARC Fields (February 2015- )
MARC Fields
Overview of Previous Microfiche Policies
Re-Cataloging Microfiche
Congressional Publications
Mode of Issuance - Hearings
Encoding Level and PCC Authentication
050 - Library of Congress Call Number
086 - Superintendent of Docs Classification Number
088 - Report Number (House Hearings)
Serial Numbers with Committee Designations
Serial Numbers without Committee Designations
Serial Numbers without Any Designations
1XX - Principal Creator
Presidential Materials
Other Agencies
Senate Treaty Documents
Joint Hearings
Committees or Subcommittees
Individual Authors
No Committees, Subcommittees, or Individual Authors
Other Types of Publications
Joint Committee on Taxation
130/240 - Unique Title for Work
245 - Title Statement
245 ǂa – Title Statement
245 ǂb – Remainder of Title
246 - Varying Form of Title
264 - Production, Publication, Distribution, Manufacture, and Copyright Notice
300 ǂb – Other Physical Details
500 - Serial Number Note
500 Shipping List Note
504 - Bibliography, etc. Note
505 - Formatted Contents Note
Star Prints
050 - Library of Congress Call Number
086 - SuDoc Number
250 - Edition Statement
500 - General Note
086 - SuDoc Number
300 - Accompanying Material
500 - General Note
856 - PURL
086 - SuDoc Number
300 ǂe – Accompanying Material
500 - General Note
856 - PURL
Technical Reports
Identification of Technical Reports
Monograph or Serial
Sources of Information
Cataloging Instructions
Fixed Fields
Public and Private Laws
Public Laws
Private Laws
074 - Item Number
086 - SuDoc Number
490 and 830 - Series
546 and 041- Language
Senate Treaty Document Series (Y 1.1/4:)
Cartographic Materials
Background and Sources Consulted
Brochures and Visitor Guides Treated as Maps
BLM Surface/Mineral Management Maps
Serial Treatment
Encoding Level
086 - SuDoc Number
1XX - Principal Creator
130/240 - Unique Title for Work
245 - Title Statement
255 - Cartographic Math Data
300 - Physical Description
500 - Notes
655 - Genre Term
Audiovisual Resources
Scope of the Format Visual Resources
Definitions of Types of Visual Resources
Bibliographic Treatment in the CGP
Analytics of Videos
Collections of Videos
Analytics of Still Images
Collections of Still Images
MARC Fields for Visual Resources
300 - Physical Description
655 - Genre/Form Terms
Continuing Resources
Selective Registration for ISSN Assignments
GPO’s automated submission of continuing resources for ISSN assignments
GPO’s selective registration of continuing resources for ISSN assignments
Inclusion criteria
Exclusion criteria
Sources to Consult
Policies, Procedures, Practices
Definition of Serial
Monograph vs. Serial and Frequency of Issuance
When Mode of Issuance Is Ambiguous
Replacement of Monograph Records with a Serial Record
Ceased Serials Cataloged for the First Time GPO
Numbering–Exceptions to RDA Principle of Transcription
Notification of Cataloging Updates via WebTech Notes
Notification of OAM for Serials Harvesting
Updating Collections of Serials
MARC Fields
Leader /17 (Encoding Lvl) & 042
010 - LC Control Number
022 - ISSN
050 – LC Call Number
060 – NLM Call Number
070 – NAL Call Number
074 - Item Number
082 - Dewey Decimal Classification Number
086 - SuDoc Number
246- Varying Form of Title
264 - Production, Publication
300 - Physical Description (300|a )
362, 588, and Any Field Where Designation Is Represented
500 - Distribution Note
515 - Numbering Peculiarities
538 - System Details Note
588 - DBO/Source of Title Proper Note
Language for “Description Based on” Note
Print Version Record Used As Basis of Description for Online Version
76X--78X– Linking Entry Fields
776 – Additional Physical Form
Cessation of print version, continuation online version
Cessation of serial due to format and title change
Microform serials and GPO practices for linkages
Former, discontinued practice for linking microform serials to other manifestations
Current practice for linking microform serials to other manifestations
Other Considerations for Linking Entry Fields
Parallel formats
Works linked but not described in bibliographic records
856 – Electronic Location & Access
Single- vs. Separate-Record Approach and PURLs
Appendix A: Bibliographic File Maintenance: Deletion of Records from the CONSER Database
Appendix B: Where to Find Certain CONSER Procedures
Integrating Resources
General MARC Field Policies
086 - SuDoc Number
130 - Authorized Access Point for Work
245 - Title
Other Title Information ($b)
Statement of Responsibility ($c)
300 - Physical Description
5XX - Notes
Order of 5xx Notes
588 - DBO/Source of title proper note
580/760-787 - Linking Relationships
FDLP Web Archive Resources
Computer Files
Procedures to Convert Type "M" to Type "A" Records
Disposition of eBooks on CD-ROM
MARC Fields
020 – International Standard Book Number
347 – Digital file characteristics
856 – Electronic location and access
New records, or non-GPO adapted records
Existing GPO records
955 – Local GPO notes
New record, acquired directly by cataloger
New record, acquired by acquisitions team
Existing GPO record, updated to include eBook
Non-Distributed eBooks
074 – Item number
500 – General note on distribution
588 – Description Based on Note
856 – Electronic location and access
OCLC Holdings
Export to Aleph
Resources to Consult
Name Authorities
Instructions to Consult
Policy Overview
Personal Names
Congressional Publications
Other Publications
Corporate/Conference Names
Variant Names
Conference Authority Records
Programs and Projects
Corporate Names for Parks, Forests, Preserves, etc.
Works and Expressions
Multipart (Collective) Titles
Series-Like Phrases
Places (Jurisdictional Geographic Names)
General Procedures
Optional Fields
Research in OCLC
How Much Research Should Be Performed . . . ?
When to Consult Additional Sources
Tips for Contacting Agencies
General Field Specific Guidelines
043 - Geographic Area Code
1xx and 4xx
4XX - See from Tracing
5XX - See Also from Tracing
670 - Source Data Found
678 - Biographical or Historical Data
781 - Subdivision Linking Entry - Geographic Subdivision
General Policies
Hybrid Records in RDA Name Authority Records
When to Recode an Existing NAR to RDA
How to Recode an Existing NAR from AACR2 to RDA
Field Specific Guidelines
$u and $v in the 046 and 3XX Optional Fields
Source of Information: 670 vs. $v in the 046 and 3XX Optional Fields
046 – Special Coded Dates
$2 – Source of Term
$s (start date or period) $t (end date or period)
336 - Content Type
368 - Other Attributes of Person or Corporate Body
370 - Associated Place
371 – Address
372 – Field of Activity
373 – Association Group
377 – Associated Language
4XX – See from Tracing
5XX – See Also from Tracings
670 – Source Data Found
678 – Biographical or Historical Data
Personal Names
Procedure for ECIP
Procedure for CRS Reports
General Instructions
046 – Special Coded Dates (RDA 9.3)
$s and $t in the 046 and 3XX Optional Fields
100 – Authorized Access Point
$q – Fuller Form of Name
$d – Birth and/or Death Date
$c – Titles and Other Words (Professions) Associated with a Name
368 - Other Attributes of Person or Corporate Body
370 - Associated Place (RDA 9.8-9.11)
371 - Address (RDA 9.12)
372 – Field of Activity (RDA 9.15)
373 – Associated Group (RDA 9.13: Affiliation)
374 – Profession or Occupation (RDA 9.16)
375 - Gender (RDA 9.7)
377 - Language (RDA 9.14)
378 – Fuller Form of Name (RDA 9.5)
400 - See from Tracing-Personal Name
510 - Related Corporate Body
678 - Biographical or Historical Data (RDA 9.17)
Corporate Names
Sources to Consult
Before You Begin
MARC Fields
110 - Corporate Name
Places Associated with the Corporate Body
Associated Institution
Names Containing the Word "Services"
678 - Biographical or Historical Data (11.11)
111- Meeting Names
368 - Other Attributes of Corporate Body, $a Type of Corporate Body
370 - Associated Place
372 - Field of Activity
373 - Associated Group (11.5)
410/411 - See from Tracing
Initialism or Acronyms in Capital Letters
Variants for Names Containing Ampersands
410 - See from Tracing - Corporate Name
Variant Names Entered Subordinately
Place Names As Jurisdictions vs. Locations
Variant Names Entered Directly
Variants for Names Containing the Term “Inc.” or “Incorporated”
411 - See from Tracing - Meeting Name
Additional Identifying Element(s) for Initialisms/Acronyms in Variants for Meeting Names
510/511 – See Also from Tracing
Relationships and Relationship Designators
510 - See Also from Tracing - Corporate Name
Hierarchical Superior Relationship
667 - Nonpublic Gen Note
Works and Expressions
046 – Special Coded Dates (RDA 6.4 and 6.10)
130 – Authorized Access Point
336 – Content Type (RDA 6.9)
370 – Associated Place (RDA 6.5)
377 – Associated Language (RDA 6.11)
380 – Form of Work (RDA 6.3)
410/430 – Variant Authorized Access Points
667 – Nonpublic General Note
670 – Source Data Found
043 - Geographic Area Code
451 - See From Tracing
670 - Source Data Found
781 - Subdivision Linking Entry-Geographic Subdivision
General Policies
Hybrid Records in RDA NARs
When to Recode an Existing NAR to RDA
How to Recode an Existing NAR from AACR2 to RDA
Field Specific Guidelines
5XX - See Also from Tracings
Personal Names
100 – Authorized Access Point
$q - Fuller Form of Name
400 – See from Tracing-Personal Name
678 – Biographical or Historical Data (RDA 9.17)
Corporate Bodies
Auth Status - 008/33
110 - Corporate Name
111 – Meeting Name
410/411 – Variant Name
5XX – See Also from Tracings
670 - Source Data Found
043 - Geographic Area Code
451 - See from Tracing
670 – Source Data Found
781 - Subdivision Linking Entry-Geographic Subdivision
Subject Cataloging
General Policies
LC Subject Headings
NASA Thesaurus Terms As Subject Headings
MESH, NAL, and Other Non-LC Subject Headings
LC Genre/Form Terms for Library and Archival Materials
Adding General LCGFT to Bibliographic Records
Background Resources for LCGFT
Adding LCGFT to Cartographic Records
Adding LCGFT to Audiovisual Records
Subject Heading Proposals, Background, and Tips
Tips and Instructions
Internet Research
Subject Headings Manual
Searching Minaret
Add'l Minaret (Class Web) Tips
Scope Notes
Use of the Dictionary
Use of Wikipedia
Use of LSCH As a Thesaurus
Class Web or Minaret
SACO Resources
Subject Headings Manual
Print Resources
Resources for Geographic Proposals
Geographic Print Resources
Examples of GPO Subject Proposals
Subject Heading Proposals, Workflow
Submitting SACO Proposals for Internal Review
Producing Associated Bib Records; Exporting Subject Authority Records
Submitting SACO Proposals to the Library of Congress
Updating Aleph Authority File
Name vs Subject Authority File
Name Headings As Subjects
Special Topics, Materials, Subdivisions, Etc.
Environmental Impact Statements
Legal Topics
Other Metadata Schemes
Dublin Core
Initialisms and Acronyms
List of Major Changes to the Cataloging Guidelines

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Please submit your questions about the GPO Cataloging Guidelines via askGPO by choosing the “Federal Depository Library Program” tile and selecting the category “Cataloging/Metadata (Policy and Records).