Related product Digital Collections (CONTENTdm)

Collection-Level Bibliographic Records for CARLI Digital Collections


The Created Content Committee strongly recommends that all CARLI member libraries, especially those participating in CARLI Digital Collections, add a collection-level bibliographic record for each of their own digital collections to their local catalog that includes a URL link in a MARC 856 field to the digital collection. For member libraries participating in I-Share, the digital collection will also be discoverable via the consortium union catalog.

For CARLI I-Share libraries, in addition to following the Standards for Bibliographic Records in I-Share, it is strongly recommended that the electronic aspects of the collection-level bibliographic record be cataloged in accordance with the recommendations in Cataloging Electronic Resources/Electronic Resources Display in the OPAC Task Force Final Report.


The library catalog has traditionally been the record of a library's monographic and other collections. Digital materials can also be described here and have the added benefit of reaching users not intentionally looking for such a format but for any library materials in a subject area. Libraries have long included records of special collections and archival materials in library catalogs. The types of collections that libraries contribute to CARLI Digital Collections often complement monographic and audiovisual materials in library collections on the same subjects.

Furthermore, library catalogs are among the most long-lasting of library tools and the bibliographic records describing collections can be used for the foreseeable future with periodic updating of links. With the advent of open WorldCat and other attempts to open library catalogs to Internet search engines, OPAC bibliographic records provide another potential access and discovery point for Web users in general.

Finally, CARLI has long encouraged the cataloging of electronic resources whether held by member libraries locally or at the consortial level. CARLI Digital Collections should be no different in that regard.

Approved by the CARLI Board 5/18/2007. Revised 11/10/2017.