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NUCMC, (National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections) Library of Congress
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Frequently Asked Questions

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  1. Who controls the descriptive content of the cataloging records?
  2. How does my repository work with the Library of Congress NUCMC program?
  3. How do I send information about my collections to NUCMC?
  4. What type of descriptive information should I send to the Library about my collection?
  5. Does NUCMC help arrange, describe, and catalog my collections?
  6. What are my responsibilities as a cooperating repository?
  7. Do I need to know anything about computers or cataloging to use your services?
  8. What types of materials are acceptable for the NUCMC Program?
  9. What types of materials are not acceptable for the NUCMC Program?
  10. Do you create a record for each separate archival or manuscript item, collection, or repository?
  11. If my repository contributed to NUCMC between 1960 and 1985 -- prior to the online catalog -- can those entries be input into OCLC WorldCat?
  12. Does NUCMC provide assistance or recommendations in the implementation of local automated catalogs?
  13. How do I obtain copies of the NUCMC printed volumes, 1959-1993?
  14. Is NUCMC the same as NUC?
  15. Can I order NUC or MARC Organization Codes from NUCMC?

  1. Who controls the descriptive content of the catalog records?

    The descriptive content of the catalog records comes from information provided by the repository which holds the archival or manuscript collection. NUCMC catalogers enter the data into OCLC WorldCat, following RDA (Resource Description and Access), DACS (Describing Archives: a content standard), and MARC (Machine-Readable Cataloging) rules. After catalog records are created, copies are sent to you for review and correction, if necessary. With the exception of RDA and MARC requirements, changes will be made according to the wishes of the repository. The repository will also have the opportunity to add information to the record it feels should be included.

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  2. How does my repository work with the Library of Congress NUCMC program?

    Once you have been accepted into the program, a NUCMC cataloger will be assigned to you -- we have a two-member team of manuscript catalogers with expertise, or access to expertise, in most subject areas, languages, geographic areas, religions, and other speciality areas of archives and manuscript collections. You will receive the cataloger's direct phone number and email address and will be able to contact them whenever you need.

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  3. How do I send information about my collections to NUCMC?

    Descriptive information for each collection can be sent to NUCMC in a variety of ways:

    • NUCMC cataloging data sheet
      - Web fill-in form - fill this out and send to the Library of Congress
      - Microsoft WORD - fill this out and fax/email to the Library of Congress
      - WordPerfect - fill this out and fax/email to the Library of Congress
    • Finding aids or collection descriptions
      - Finding aids or descriptions available via your Web site can be used.
      - Paper finding aids can be faxed/mailed to us and we can prepare the catalog records from them.

    If you have suggestions for other types of information, please contact NUCMC to make arrangements for us to receive the data.

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  4. What type of descriptive information should I send to the Library about my collection?
    • name of the collection
    • principal name around which the collection is formed
      -- person (full name, birth and death dates, occupation, etc. if it is available), family, business, society, governmental agency, or some other corporate body
    • dates of the papers or records
    • size of the collection in items, folders, boxes, or linear or cubic feet
    • subjects of the papers or records
    • important persons or corporate bodies in the papers or records

    Other information that can be included is listed on the data sheet and includes donor and date of donation, if there is a finding aid, and information on copies or photocopies.

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  5. Does NUCMC help arrange, describe, and catalog my collections?

    No, NUCMC cannot help with the arrangement and description of your archival and manuscript collections. We can refer you to sources of information that will help you arrange and describe your collections and, when you are ready, will prepare a cataloging record for you.

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  6. What are my responsibilities as a cooperating repository?

    Cooperating repositories must send a description of each indivdual collection to the NUCMC Team. In some cases the NUCMC cataloger will need to contact you with questions concerning subjects, persons, or institutions mentioned in the collection. Printouts of the cataloging records are then sent to you for review, revision, and correction and these corrections are then returned to us so that the corrections can be made.

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  7. Do I need to know anything about computers or cataloging to use your services?

    Participation in the NUCMC program does not require any knowledge of computers, cataloging rules, subject headings, or the MARC cataloging format. Cooperating repositories only need to be able to supply data concerning the contents of the collections to the Library of Congress.

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  8. What types of materials are acceptable for the NUCMC Program?

    NUCMC will catalog:

    • collections of original manuscript materials such as family papers, personal papers, and collections about a person or subject (this can include printed material, maps, and photographs if it is part of a larger manuscript or archival collection)
    • single item manuscripts such as diaries, logbooks, account books, or letters
    • archive collections for private company or government archives, provided that they are regularly available to the public
    • collections consisting entirely of handwritten, typewritten, or photoreproduced copies of manuscripts or archives are eligible, provided the originals are in private hands, or are located in more than one public repository, in a repository outside the United States, in the archives of an institution ineligible for the NUCMC program, or in more than one collection within a single U.S. repository
    • oral history records consisting of tapes and/or transcripts of interviewsa
    • additions to collections already cataloged by NUCMC -- such additions could include a URL (uniform resource locator) linking the catalog record to a finding aid on the World Wide Web.

    For non-textual collections and materials, please contact the NUCMC Team.

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  9. What types of materials are not acceptable for the NUCMC program?

    NUCMC will not catalog collections:

    • held by repositories capable of cataloging in OCLC WorldCat
    • held by repositories outside the United States and its territories
    • located in repositories which are not open to researchers
    • made up entirely of medieval manuscripts that were predecessors of books

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  10. Do you create a record for each separate archival or manuscript item, collection, or repository?

    NUCMC prepares a catalog record for each archival or manuscript collection housed in your repository. If the record group or manuscript collection consists of a single item, we will prepare a record for the single item. If you do not have large collections of manuscripts or do not have individual descriptions of collections, we can prepare what is called a repository catalog record covering all materials housed in your repository. Please contact NUCMC for more information.

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  11. If my repository contributed to NUCMC between 1960 and 1985 -- prior to the online catalog -- can those entries be input into OCLC WorldCat?

    Normally NUCMC does not recatalog collections from the printed volumes (1960-1985). There are occasionally instances when it may be possible. Please contact NUCMC for more information.

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  12. Does NUCMC provide assistance or recommendations in the implementation of local automated catalogs?

    NUCMC does not provide assistance or make recommendations concerning local automated catalogs. However, we can provide machine-readable catalog records for your use in loading to a local automated catalog.

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  13. How do I obtain copies of the NUCMC printed volumes, 1959-1993?

    NUCMC printed volumes 1-29 (1959-1993) include descriptions of approximately 72,300 collections located in 1406 different repositories with approximately 1,085,000 index references to topical subjects and personal, family, corporate, and geographic names. All NUCMC printed volumes are currently out of print. Microfilm copies of these volumes may be available at a charge of $35.00 per reel and should be ordered from:

    The Library of Congress
    Duplication Services
    101 Independence Ave. S.E., Stop 5230
    Washington, D.C. 20540-5230
    Telephone: (202) 707-5640
    FAX: 202) 707-1771
    Email: duplicationservices@loc.gov

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  14. Is NUCMC the same as NUC?

    NUCMC is the National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections. We catalog archival and manuscript collections for archives, libraries, historical societies, and repositories in the United States and its territories. It has no connection with the former NUC or National Union Catalog which contained cataloging information on published material.

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  15. Can I order NUC or MARC Organization Codes from NUCMC?

    The MARC code for organizations formerly known as NUC codes which are included in the 040 field of a bibliographic record can be found or requested on the Library of Congress Network Development and MARC Standards Office Web site.

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   September 23, 2014
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