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Cutter’s Cataloging Rules is a system developed by Charles Ammi Cutter in 1876 that is still used today. The first edition of the book Rules for a Printed Dictionary Catalogue, by Cutter, had 369 rules for descriptive cataloging, subject headings and filing.

The objectives of Cutter’s cataloging rules are threefold. The first goal is to enable a person to find a book when they know any one of the following: author, title, or subject. Second is to show what the library has by any given author, on any given subject, and in any given kind of literature. The third objective is to assist users in choosing the right book for them.

These goals are met in several ways. Author entries in the catalog record help enable the person to find the books by that author and show which books the library has by that person. The title entry lets the person find the book by title by looking it up in the catalog. When the person knows the subject the subject field in the catalog record helps them find what books the library carries on that particular matter. The form entry and the language entry fields of the catalog lets users find specific kinds of literature such as poetry or autobiographies. The choice of book is assisted by the editions and imprint information given in the notes section of the catalog entries.

Introduction to Cataloging class notes
Learn Descriptive Cataloging by Mary Mortimer

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