September 27, 2010 – IFLA (the International Federation of Library Associations) has not historically been thought of as a source for standards, but in the last few years they have been actively working in both support of and development of standards and guidelines. Their latest offering is the Multilingual dictionary of cataloguing terms and concepts, which is a guide to provide the multinational community a standard set of definitions for many terms and concepts used by the library cataloguing community. Terms and definitions are available in English and a variety of other languages.

This one was a long time in coming and is the result of work that Monika Muennich started in 1998 for IFLA’s Cataloguing Section. It was stored in a proprietary database developed by Bernard Eversberg in 2003. It has now re-emerged in part as a Word table, soon to be a SKOS file on the IFLA Namespace. 

The site tells us “It is intended to be used for authoritative translations of IFLA cataloguing standards and related documents.  The terms reflect international agreements on terms to use for these cataloguing and classification concepts — in particular, the agreements reached during the IME ICC (IFLA Meetings of Experts on an International Cataloguing Code) that reviewed FRBR, FRAD, and ISBD terminology while developing the International Cataloguing Principles (ICP).  As additional official translations of ICP are added to IFLANET, MulDiCat has been updated to include terms in these additional languages.

Other terms will be added as IFLA reaches international agreement for them through the work of the Cataloguing Section and the Classification & Indexing Sections, as well as other units throughout IFLA interested and involved in bibliographic standards. Questions about this dictionary of terms can be sent to Barbara Tillett.

The work can be found here

More information is available at

Margie Hlava
President, Access Innovations