non-roman character cataloging

This document summarizes the process for cataloging materials, regardless of format, that are in non-Roman characters.


Catalog items published in non-Roman characters using those characters.  Do not create original cataloging using transliterations. Accept records that use transliteration only for copy cataloging if they are the only matching record.

Identify language expertise

If there is no transliteration or translation available on the piece and you are not able to transliterate the characters, seek an expert in the language among the CIP or CUL staff.  Experts can also be found among student employees and if necessary SMU staff can be consulted. Ask the expert to provide a transliteration of key elements of the bibliographic description (author/s, title, publisher, etc.) and a summary of the content of the title.

Other resources

There are on-line and print resources that may help. Some examples include:

· (ALA-LC Romanization tables)

·Online catalogs of collections specializing in publications in those languages

·Publisher’s web sites and web sites for specific formats (Ex. IMdb Internet Movie Database (


Search OCLC

Search titles in OCLC.  Use the experts as needed to identify the correct record in OCLC.

Export the record into Voyager.


Copy Cataloging

Follow the cataloging standards for the level of cataloging. Accept the fields in the record and add only local data.  If there is no call number or if there are no subject headings, utilize the content information provided by the expert to create those fields.

Original Cataloging

Create original cataloging using the character set of the publication for as much of the description as possible. Provide transliterated parallel fields if available. Descriptive fields such as 300, 5xx may be in English.  Code the cataloging as Level K. Provide subject headings in English.


cil 3/23/2006


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Last updated 04/05/2006