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Cataloging and Metadata Services

    The Cataloging and Metadata Services (CAMS) department provides enhanced and original cataloging of library resources for all three University campuses, as well as Cascadia College, in all formats and subjects and in numerous languages, adhering to national cataloging standards. CAMS provides subject analysis and authority work for the Libraries’ digital collections and for electronic theses and dissertations in ResearchWorks. CAMS also provides metadata support to the UW community via the Open Scholarship Commons.

    Cataloging within the UW Libraries is somewhat decentralized. While CAMS is responsible for the majority of enhanced and original cataloging of Libraries’ resources, most initial rapid copy cataloging is done in Acquisitions and Rapid Cataloging Services and International Studies Technical Processing. The Gallagher Law Library and Elisabeth C. Miller Library are separate administrative units from the Libraries and perform their own cataloging.

    CAMS is one of four technical services departments in the Libraries Collections & Content portfolio along with Acquisitions and Rapid Cataloging Services (ARCS), Collection Analysis and Strategy (CAS), and Preservation Services.

    Standards and Systems

    The department catalogs according to Resource Description & Access (RDA) and LC-PCC Policy Statements. Other descriptive standards used for special materials include Descriptive Cataloging of Rare Materials (DCRM) and Describing Archives: A Content Standard (DACS). Library of Congress Classification (LCC) and Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) are used for everything except medical materials in the Health Sciences Library, which receive National Library of Medicine Classification and Medical Subject Headings (MeSH). Other controlled vocabularies used are Library of Congress Genre/Form Terms (LCGFT), Library of Congress Demographic Group Terms (LCDGT), and the Library of Congress Medium of Performance Thesaurus for Music (LCMPT). UW is a member of the Orbis Cascade Alliance, and CAMS follows Alliance Technical Services policies and best practices.

    The Libraries uses OCLC’s cataloging and metadata services, a consortial implementation of the Alma library management system through the Orbis Cascade Alliance, and the Primo discovery service. Cataloging and Metadata Services has OCLC Enhance authority for Books, Computer Files, Scores, and Visual Materials formats, and CONSER authentication for Serials. Significant changes to copy cataloging records are made in OCLC WorldCat (network level cataloging). The department participates in all four programs of the Program for Cooperative Cataloging by contributing serial records (CONSER) at the level of the CONSER standard record, bibliographic records (BIBCO) at the level of the BIBCO Standard Record, name authority records (NACO), and subject, genre/form, music medium of performance, and demographic group term authority records and new and revised LC classification (SACO). The UW Libraries is consistently one of the largest annual contributors of new controlled vocabulary through the SACO program. Cataloging for digital collections in ResearchWorks (DSpace) and Digital Collections (CONTENTdm) is done using Dublin Core.

    Critical Cataloging and Archival Description

    UW Libraries statement on harmful language in catalog records and archival finding aids

    If you encounter language in UW Libraries catalog records, archival finding aids, or digital collections that you find offensive or harmful, or if you have questions about the statement or our work, we welcome your feedback via this form or We are committed to reviewing and updating harmful language in catalog records and archival finding aids as appropriate and feasible.

    UW Libraries Semantic Web Blog

    Check out the UW Libraries Semantic Web Blog.