When we prepare a catalogue for a library collection, we follow a set of principles and rules to prepare the entries and to arrange and file them. Sets of rules that prescribe the various types of entries, their format and contents are known as catalogue codes.
The rules prescribed and followed for cataloguing documents in the library of the Popes (known as Papal Library) in the Vatican City of Italy is called "Bibiiotheca Apostelica Vatican". It is popularly known as Vatican Code. Rules prepared by Panizzi for cataloguing books of the British Museum (now called the British Library) and published in 1841 under the title "Rules for Compiling the Catalogues in the Department of Printed Books" are known as British Museum Code.
Cutter's Rules for a Dictionary Catalogue, which was in its fourth edition at the time of his death in 1903, was the first complete code for a Dictionary Catalogue. The Library of Congress was publishing its LC Rules on Printed Cards from 1903 to 1930s.
The Library Association of United Kingdom and the American Library Association in their joint efforts were publishing Rules for cataloguing from time to time, leaving scope for some minor deviations in the two countries. The Anglo-American Code (1908) is also known as Joint-Code. The American Library Association Rules (1949) abbreviated as ALA Rules, 1949; the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules, 1967 known as AACR-1; and the present AACR-2 are the results of such joint efforts.
Revision of AACR-l was taken up in 1974 by a joint committee of representatives of the national libraries and national library associations of Canada, United Kingdom and United States of America. They wanted to standardize and reconcile the practices of those countries. Further, they wanted a wider international base for AACR so that other countries may also follow the Code. The revised Code known now as AACR-2 was published in 1978. But major national libraries had not followed it till January 1981. Revised edition of AACR-2 was published in 1988. In our country libraries were adopting either the British or the American practices. With the advent of AACR-2 many libraries preferred switching over to that Code. Ranganathan published his Classified Catalogue Code (CCC) in 1934. The Code went through five editions during his lifetime. Some libraries in the country adopted this code for their library cataloguing practice. Hence, both AACR-2R and the CCC are discussed in this course and its units.