This paper seeks to explain the brief history of Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules 2 (AACR2) and to discuss in details its general Rules.
The paper will start by explaining the meaning of the major concepts of the topic and its brief history. It will then explain in details the Anglo-American general rules and, finally the discussion will conclude by outlining the importance of the points derived from the main body.
Arlene (2006:6) defines a catalogue as an organised set of bibliographic records that represents the holdings of a particular collection accessible in a particular location. In other words, a library catalogue is a registry of the collection that a particular library possesses or shares with a group of libraries. Therefore, it can be said in short that a catalogue is a complete list for information resources that are available in a library.
From the above definition we can deduce therefore, that the Anglo -American Cataloguing Rules are simply a set of DOs and DONT’s that guide Librarians and any information professionals when describing and creating access points for information resources.
The idea of coming up with standards or rules on how to describe information resources started way back in the 19th century with Americans and British Librarians taking a lead in the codification of these rules. For example, According to Encarta (2008), in 1841, Anthony Panizzi, a British Librarian came up with some rules on how to describe information resources at British Library. While serving as a Librarian at British Museum, Panizzi undertook the creation of a new catalogue, based on the Ninety-One Cataloguing Rules which he devised with his assistants. These rules have been determined. as the genesis of modern day cataloguing rules that include the AACR 2 and the digital cataloguing elements such as the Dublin Core.
Encarta (2008) further explains that in 1903, another librarian in the name of Charles Cutter came up with rules for dictionary catalogs...