GPO’s Cataloging Data in the Cataloging Record Distribution Program

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:

  • Electronic Resources
  • Streaming videos
  • E-books
  • Books
  • Serials
  • Maps
  • Microfiche
  • 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 2,200 titles per month.

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 may be used depending on the availability of cataloging copy, the use of surrogates, etc.

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. Records from the Historic Shelflist and those of digital reproductions, however, are not in RDA.

The majority of records include a corresponding OCLC record number. Records from specific GPO projects (for example, 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.

Note: When GPO catalogs digital reproductions of publications, item numbers are not added in bibliographic records in some circumstances, particularly when the publications are older than 1940 or were fugitives.  These records will appear with 500 field notes within the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications, but they will not be made available through the CRDP since the records do not have item numbers.

For much more information about GPO cataloging, see GPO’s Cataloging Guidelines.

Changed or Updated Bibliographic Records

GPO catalogers sometimes revise or replace a record after the original was cataloged. This record, a changed or updated record, is a cataloging record that required a change in bibliographic data for various reasons.

Changed monograph records may include:

  • Revision/change to an item number or SuDocs classification number
  • Updated title information
  • Updated PURLs
  • Changed authorized access points
  • Addition of a linking record (for example, a title in a different format, such as print or electronic) that was not available at the time the title was originally cataloged

Changed/updated serials records may include:

  • Revision/change of an item number and/or SuDocs classification number
  • Title cessation or title change
  • Addition of new PURLs
  • Addition of or changes to linking fields, in fields such as 776 for different formats (print, electronic, etc.), 775 other edition (different language), 780/785 Preceding/Succeeding titles, 787 Other Relationship, etc.

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.