International recommendations – 2010 – Evolving concepts
The evolving concept of a national bibliography
In 1950 the emphasis was on a detailed description of what kinds of documents should be registered in the national bibliography, but there was little direction on:
- Levels of cataloguing
- Publishing the national bibliography
- Legal deposit
- Relationship to holdings of the publications at the relevant national library.
- It has been assumed that the national bibliography is a complete registration of all publications in a country regardless of format and at the same level of cataloguing. This was often interpreted to mean the highest existing level.
- Agency managers with budgetary responsibilities consequently view cataloguing as very expensive with some managers prematurely concluding there is no need for a national bibliography to cover Web documents at all.
The 1998 recommendations specified general principles, but:
- Did not offer guidance on how the ‘current national output’ should be defined.
Omitted instructions on the inclusion of electronic information resources in the national bibliography.