1950 – UNESCO Conference on the Improvement of Bibliographical Services

The 1950 recommendations became central to the development of national bibliographies by defining that the national bibliography is not solely a list of books but a system of bibliographies that formed the core of the “national bibliographic service”.

Key recommendations:

Recommendations derived from the Conference:

  • Emphasized that the national bibliography should not be a single listing, but a coherent system of bibliographies that act together to document and register publications in a particular country. (Conference on the Improvement of Bibliographic Services, 1950)
  • National bibliographies should include lists of books and pamphlets published and sold in each country together with audiovisual materials
  • Only important articles should be registered in periodical indexes
  • Directories of institutions and firms selling documents in the country in question should be established
  • instructions concerning the publication of printed national bibliographies

In addition, detailed recommendations of what kinds of documents should be registered, the 1950 recommendations include short directions on:

  • Potential demands caused by the levels of cataloguing required
  • Publishing the national bibliography
  • Legal deposit and the national bibliography
  • Holdings of the publications at the national library.