The published resources of the National Library are catalogued using the following standards, which we apply at various levels.

Encoding formats

General information about MARC

Descriptive cataloguing

  • RDA (Resource Description & Access) – standard used since April 2013
  • Anglo-American cataloguing rules. 2nd ed., 2002 revision. 2005 update – standard used prior to the implementation of RDA
  • Descriptive cataloging of rare materials (books). Washington, D.C.: Cataloging Distribution Service, Library of Congress, 2007 – used for pre-1800 materials only

Name authorities

  • LC/NACO Authority File – available from the Library of Congress. The National Library contributes authority records for New Zealand names to this file
  • Iwi-Hapū Names List – a list of iwi and hapū names developed to assist cataloguers, archivists and indexers to describe material about Māori

Subject vocabularies

Genre and form vocabularies

We use several different genre, form or format vocabularies when describing some publications.


  • Dewey Decimal Classification. Edition 23
  • Boggs & Lewis – this classification scheme is used for the Library’s cartographic collections
  • McColvin – this classification scheme is used for the Library’s lending collection of music scores

Get in touch

For any queries about cataloguing or authority control issues, email