Cataloguing & Metadata

The Cataloguing and Metadata Unit creates, updates and maintains descriptive records and classification for most of the Library’s physical collection (including books, audio-visual materials, etc.) as well as some of its virtual collections (including ebooks and eprints).

The Unit also physically prepares newly acquired monographic materials for the shelves. This includes applying barcodes, stamping pages with one of the official library stamps, and affixing call number labels to the items.

In addition, the Unit provides advice, guidance and training for online record creation by library branch staff who wish to provide public access to titles on order, gift materials, titles on reserve for courses, and ephemeral or pamphlet materials.

UBC Cataloguing & Metadata is also in charge of assigning ISBNs (International Standard Book Numbers) for a number of University of British Columbia departments. To find out more or submit a request, please read and fill out this form.

For information on obtaining an ISSN (International Standard Serial Number) for periodicals and journals, please visit the ISSN Canada homepage.

Until 2003, UBC Library provided CIP (Cataloguing in Publication) data to publishers in Western and Northern Canada. Now CIP is provided by Library and Archives Canada.

For information about Legal Deposit at Library and Archives Canada, please visit the Legal Deposit homepage.

Monographs and ebooks

Cataloguing policies and procedures Susan Andrews  (604) 822-4995  (email Susan)
In Process material, rush cataloguing & marking Judy Lee  (604) 822-3713  (email Judy)
Thesis & microform queries
Rudi Traichel  (604) 822-3083  (email Rudi)

Cataloguing liaison responsibilities

David Lam/Robson, Education, Law, UBC Okanagan Danielle Bugeaud  (604) 822-3271  (email Danielle)
Fine Arts, Koerner (HSS/GP), RBSC, Xwi7xwa
Susan Andrews  (604) 822-4995  (email Susan)
ASRS, Maps, Science & Engineering, Woodward & Hospital Libraries
Rudi Traichel  (604) 822-3083  (email Rudi)

Cataloguing Email Lists

Cataloguing Staff
Ebook Cataloguing Team
Monograph Cataloguing Troubleshooting (report a bib problem)

Basic Cataloguing Policy

Basic Cataloguing Manuals

The UBC Library Cataloguing and Metadata Unit uses as its core manuals the following:

Additional Policy Documents

Voyager Basics Procedures
Branch Procedures
Central Cataloguing Procedures
Better World Books

Voyager Basics Procedures

Branch Procedures

Central Cataloguing Procedures

Searching for Cataloguing Copy

Call numbers


Cataloguing Services

The department provides a number of library-wide services in the interests of providing and maintaining optimum access to our collections, in the most timely way possible. These services include the following:

  • Cataloguing of current receipts
      • Approvals
      • Firm Orders
  • Cataloguing of gifts and “take ins”
  • Rush cataloguing (upon request of patrons and staff)
  • Cataloguing pdfs and other printouts from the Web
  • Cataloguing of ebooks: individual and sets
  • Catalogue maintenance
      • Branch revision requests
      • “Report a problem” follow-up from the OPAC
      • URL additions to the catalogue for open access electronic surrogates
      • Projects:
          • Inventory cleanup
          • Retrospective conversion
          • Broken link (url) resolution

Metadata Services

The department provides a number of metadata services in support of the Library digitial initiatives, and are willing to take on more projects as need arises.  These services include the following:

  • cIRcle
  • Electronic Theses & Dissertations (ongoing)
  • Projects
      • Retrospective Theses and Dissertations
      • Mine Reclamation symposia papers
      • 2011 Tailings and Mine Waste conference papers
      • Chinese-Canadian Historical Recognition Project

cIRcle Projects

  • ETD work
  • Mining

Book Prep

The department also engages in a number of activities to support the identification, housing, circulation, preservation and security of our physical collections. These activities include the following:

  • Receiving materials to be catalogued from Library branches
  • Barcoding
  • Tattletaping
  • Top-stamping
  • Spine labeling
  • Shipping catalogued materials to Library branches

Gifts handling

The department assists selectors in the dispersal of gift materials, both to the cataloguing department for processing for UBC Library branches and to an external organization for distribution to other libraries. To read an overview of the gifts process, please click here.

Better World Books

UBC Point Grey, UBCO, and the UBC Bookstore have developed partnerships with Better World Books, an award winning online bookstore “with a soul” based in Atlanta, GA. This company is considered a trail blazer among newly emerging socially and environmentally responsible businesses that makes every effort to resell materials sent to it from libraries and institutions around the world. To read more about UBC’s involvement with Better World Books, please click here.

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