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Subject cataloguing

The German National Library carries out subject cataloguing using a tiered model and various methods (classificatory cataloguing and subject indexing) and different processes (manual cataloguing by expert staff and automatic cataloguing). Subject cataloguing at the German National Library includes the re-use of data form other providers. The process is continually being developed in a wide range of different projects.

Classificatory cataloguing includes the issuing of subject categories from the Deutsche Nationalbibliografie and of Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) notations. Subject indexing ist the issuing of subject headings based on the Headword Cataloguing Rules for Subject Cataloguing (RSWK), and genre terms. The subject headings are held and maintained in the Integrated Authority File (GND) which is based on the Resource Description and Access (RDA) rules.

Subject cataloguing is based on the assignment of the publications to the Series of the Deutsche Nationalbibliografie. Each publication in the Deutsche Nationalbibliografie is given a DDC Subject Category. Most publications of Series A also contain full DDC numbers. Not included here are school textbooks, fiction and poetry, children's and juvenile literature and medical dissertations. Genre terms are issued for fiction and poetry and children's and young people's literature. Publications in Series B and H are catalogued using automated procedures based on scanned tables of contents. DDC Subject Categories are issued automatically, or, in some cases, intellectually. Series A and C publications are also catalogued using subject headings from the Integrated Authority File (GND).

Automatic cataloguing was used initially only for online publications (Series O of the Deutsche Nationalbibliografie), but its application will be extended to Series B and H from 1 September 2017.

Useful information on content-based retrieval can be found in the help texts of the portal catalogue (available only in German).

Last update: 12.04.2019


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