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Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules

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n. (AACR, AACR2, AACR2R, abbr.) ~ A standard for creating catalogs of collections, especially library collections, including the consistent description of those materials and the formation and assignment of access points under which those descriptions are arranged.


The first edition of AACR, published in 1967, was based on Rules for Descriptive Cataloging in the Library of Congress, published in 1949. The second edition, AACR2, was published in 1978, and the third edition, AACR2R, in 1988. A revision of the third edition incorporating amendments approved since 1988 was released in 2002. Archives, Personal Papers, and Manuscripts is an amplification and interpretation of Chapter 4 of AACR that is designed to ensure that descriptions of archival materials can be integrated into bibliographic catalogs based on AACR.

Although used principally for describing published works, the rules can also be used to describe any materials, including maps, manuscripts, music, sound recordings, still and moving images, three-dimensional artifacts, and natural specimens. AACR provides rules for the title and statement of responsibility, edition, material (or type of publication) specific details, publication and distribution, physical description, series, notes, and standard numbers and terms of availability. It also includes rules for establishing the main entry and added entries, as well as the forms of those entries. AACR does not include rules for creating or assigning subject headings, which are covered by the Subject Cataloging Manual.

AACR is maintained by the Joint Steering Committee for Revision of Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules (see The constituent organizations represented on the Joint Steering Committee include the American Library Association, the Australian Committee on Cataloguing, the British Library, the Canadian Committee on Cataloguing, CILIP (Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals), and the Library of Congress.

(AACR2, 0.1) These rules are designed for use in the construction of catalogues and other lists in general libraries of all sizes. They are not specifically intended for specialist and archival libraries, but such libraries are recommended to use the rules as the basis of their cataloguing and to augment their provisions as necessary. The rules cover the description of, and the provision of access points for, all library materials commonly collected at the present time.