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In general, the rules set forth in DCRM:B (Descriptive Cataloging of Rare Materials: Books) are used in cataloging rare books, pamphlets, and single-sheet publications printed before 1821. Alternatively, a hybrid RDA/DCRM:B approach may be used, following the instructions laid out in the PCC RDA BIBCO Standard Record (BSR), June 13, 2016 revision. As of June 2008, if access is not impaired by not upgrading, upgrading existing records for post-1820 material to full RDA form is optional. This is true for both material already in HOLLIS and material being cataloged in OCLC and exported. If deciding to leave a record in AACR2 form, refer to this manual for certain local practices.

Post-1820 rare publications are cataloged according to RDA as modified by LC-PPC-PSs, though DCRM:B or a hybrid RDA/DCRM approach may be employed at the cataloger's discretion for those later materials judged to have been created following techniques of the hand-press period, or requiring more detail for other reasons. Standards and level of detail will vary depending on the material and the level of cataloging chosen for it, as not all rare materials will receive the fullest treatment. Non-rare printed materials are cataloged according to RDA.

DCRM:B (Descriptive Cataloging of Rare Materials: Books) or a hybrid RDA/DCRM approach is to be used for music printed before 1830, or for oblong scores printed into the 1840s, or other later scores judged to require more detail. Non-rare printed scores are cataloged according to RDA.

Graphic materials are cataloged according to DCRM:G (Descriptive Cataloging of Rare Materials: Graphics(See Graphic Materials Guidelines for local practices)

All original cataloging - for both reference and special collections material (with certain exceptions, including Poetry material and New Directions, Marguerite Yourcenar, and John Updike archive material) - will either be done by the RBT or reviewed by the RBT.