Cataloging Manual

This manual outlines local decisions of the Beinecke Manuscript Unit for cataloging manuscript collections and individual manuscripts coded as record type p in Yale’s online catalog. This manual conforms to and is used in conjunction with Yale University Library’s Manuscript Cataloging Guidelines. Consult the Yale-wide Guidelines first, and refer to this manual for Beinecke Manuscript Unit decisions about local practice and additional descriptive options. For guidance about cataloging visual materials (record types k and r), see the Manuscript Unit’s Visual Materials Cataloging Manual. For guidance about cataloging cartographic materials (record type f), see the Manuscript Unit’s Cartographic Materials Cataloging Manual.  For guidance about cataloging manuscript notated music (record type d), see the Manuscript Unit’s Manuscript Music Cataloging Manual.

A longer version of this manual, Orbis Cataloging Manual: Mixed Materials Format, served as a basis for creation of Yale’s Manuscript Cataloging Guidelines in 2006. A revision of Manuscript Unit cataloging documentation in 2011 eliminated information duplicated in the Yale-wide Guidelines, integrated new local cataloging decisions, and simplified the format to support use as a supplement to the Yale-wide Guidelines. Instructions for single items were revised in compliance with Descriptive Cataloging of Rare Materials (Manuscripts) (DCRM(MSS)) in 2017.  In 2021, the manual was migrated from Sharepoint to the Yale Sites platform.  After the migration, unit cataloging coordinator Stephanie Bredbenner revised and streamlined the manuals and added appendices for the visual materials, music, and cartographic cataloging manuals, which were previously maintained on the Manuscript Unit Sharepoint site.