The chief source of information in cataloging is the item itself, also known as the “chief source of information.” Catalogers use the item as the primary source of information to create a catalog record, which is a detailed description of the item that includes information such as the title, author, publication date, and subject matter.
When creating a catalog record, catalogers follow established cataloging rules and guidelines, such as the International Standard Bibliographic Description (ISBD), the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules (AACR2) or the Resource Description and Access (RDA) to ensure consistency and accuracy. Catalogers examine the item to identify and record the title, author, edition, publication information, physical description and other bibliographic details. They also examine the item’s contents, such as the table of contents and any prefaces or notes, to provide additional information about the item.
In cases where the chief source of information is not complete, catalogers may consult other sources of information such as reference sources, other library catalogs, and online databases to supplement and verify the information found on the item.
In summary, the chief source of information in cataloging is the item itself. Catalogers use the item as the primary source of information and follow established cataloging rules and guidelines to create a catalog record that accurately describes the item and makes it easy for users to find and access it.