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    Making your collection come alive
    Metadata Management
    Metadata means access, information, and power!

Welcome Backstage

Metadata Services

Creating and enhancing metadata records has been the heart of our business for more than 25 years.

The challenges that librarians now face in managing bibliographic data are different from those of the 1980s. But we have continued to develop the tools and processes that we began engineering back then to serve the needs of today's librarian. At Backstage, we understand the challenges that come with describing your collections in the way that best serves your patrons. And we know the value of good records, solid metadata.

Our teams of professional and paraprofessional catalogers can help with your bibliographic projects, whether you're converting that last lingering bit of card catalog, reclassifying your holdings, processing a donated collection, or just trying to get ahead of the curve on your current backlog. We can create records for almost any language on the planet. And we will work with all sorts of media: new books, rare antique volumes, vinyls records, sheet music, electronic titles. Whatever your project, our teams can handle it.

Creating and enhancing metadata has been at the core of our business for over 25 years. Backstage not only produces the highest quality MARC records, but also Dublin Core, MODS, MADS, TEI, METS/ALTO and other library related schemas.

Our highly experienced Project Managers will walk you through every step of the project. From initial profiling, available pre-production samples, to on-going weekly project updates, to post production wrap-ups.

We feel it's important to be involved and active in the library community. That's why we are full members of BIBCO and NACO. Our staff participate and serve in leadership positions on many committees. We feel it's important to be a part of the solution.


Collection Management

Our skilled Backstage catalogers create original MARC records that meet accepted standards and are adapted to fit your specifications. We can build as simple or as rich a collection of metadata as you'd like, working from original materials or from digital surrogates of title pages and other key descriptive elements.

Backstage catalogers are experienced in many different languages and we can help you catalog your materials in almost every language on Earth. Backstage catalogers are also fully trained on RDA and is prepared to provide records in either AACR2 or RDA.

Copy Cataloging

If your materials are likely to match existing records, copy cataloging may be an option to explore. Copy cataloging is handled to your specifications, whether accepting records as-is or with full verification of all access points and descriptions. Databases available include LC, RLUK, and OCLC — either with your account or ours. And we can set your holdings on WorldCat as we go.

When no matching copy can be found, items are cataloged as original and can be uploaded on your behalf to the database or consortium of your choice. While we follow international rules and standards, we can always adapt our processing to your specifications. Full, minimal, or modified. AACR2 or RDA. Our policy is to first follow your policies.

Copy Cataloging
Original Cataloging

Original Cataloging

Skilled Backstage catalogers can create original MARC records to your specifications for materials in any format and almost any language, including many non-Roman scripts.

Backstage partnered with the Library of Congress as an original test partner during the 2009 Library of Congress RDA pilot project. Backstage is trained and ready to provide records in either AACR2 or RDA format, depending upon your needs.

Non-English Cataloging

For your growing collections in languages that match your diverse community of users, Backstage has a multi-lingual cataloging staff and contract catalogers around the world. The language base we currently source includes:

• African languages • Arabic • Armenian • Belarusian • Bengali • Bosnian • Breton • Bulgarian • Catalan • Caucasian • Chinese (Mandarin) • Croatian • Czech • Danish • Dutch • English • Faroese • Finnish • French • Gaelic/Irish • Galician • German • Greek • Gujarati • Hawaiian • Hebrew • Hindi • Hungarian • Icelandic • Indonesian • Italian • Japanese • Korean • Latin • Macedonian • Malayam • Malaysian • Marathi • Mongolian • Nepalese • Norwegian • Oriya • Ottoman Turkish • Persian • Polish • Portuguese • Provençal • Punjabi • Romanian • Russian • Sanskrit • Scots • Serbo-Croatian • Slavic • Spanish (and Bilindex headings) • Swedish • Tamil • Telugu • Thai • Turkic • Turkish • Ukrainian • Urdu • Welsh •

If you have languange needs not on this list, contact us and we'll let you know how we can help.

Tibetan Materials


Resource Description and Access


As the library community gears up for a transition to the new cataloging standards, you can count on Backstage for RDA records. Whether you're ready to transition or just starting to dip your toes into experimenting with RDA we'll work with you to make your new records fit into your RDA adoption plan.

And if you need retrospective changes to your existing records in your catalog, let us know. We have tools that can help clean up your data and enhance it with RDA elements while processing changes across your catalog.

Our current RDA offerings include:

  • Full-service cataloging
  • RDA-ready authority control
  • RDA enrichment for AACR2 records (Browse the planning guide.)
  • Validation and enrichment for existing RDA records
  • Rich GMD to CMC mapping
  • Custom programming and data processing


Collection Update

Just like how one book might not be right for everyone, one classification scheme might not be right for every library. Perhaps the day has come where you’ve realized that it’s time to reclassify your collection under a different scheme. This undertaking can be broken down into a two-step process. Step 1) Data reclassification and Step 2) Physical reclassification.

Data Reclassification

The data portion of reclassifying your collection involves methodically applying the correct classmark to each item within your database. Thanks to the brainiacs behind Backtage’s automation department, we’re able to feed all of your bibliographic record data into a computer that will automatically search for matching titles with the desired classmark. If any matches are not found, we have technicians on standby waiting to manually search for matches and if need be, assign classmarks. Once your entire catalog has been processed with brand new classmarks, we do a final quality check to make sure there are no duplicates or missed records. Then we send them back to you for uploading into your database.

Data reclassification
Technician applies and confirms labels

Physical Reclassification

Now that you have your newly classified catalog, its time to make sure patrons can access the physical material by updating your collection’s classification labels. This is where things get a bit tricky. The most important part executing a physical reclassification is planning. There are many things to be considered, what material will go where, where to start, what swing space do we have to temporarily hold material before it’s new home is opened up, how will we make sure nothing is missed, how can we verify we’re applying the correct label? Let the Backstage crew worry about this. Our experienced project managers will take care of all of the planning and verification for you. And, with our triple-verification method of processing your material (we verify the items barcode, title and old classmark against the items bibliographic record), you can be sure we won’t miss a thing.

Retrospective Conversion

Analog to Digital

Card Catalog

If it's not in your electronic catalog, for all practical purposes, it's not in your library.

Whether you need complete conversion, or you just have small pockets of unconverted materials lingering in your library, Backstage Library Works can provide high-quality bibliographic records for your catalog.

We have worked for libraries all over the world, loading records onto all major automation systems. We've converted collections for academic, public, special, and school libraries, from nearly every type of source document, in over 100 languages, including non-Roman scripts.

We also provide on-site card scanning for catalogs too valuable to leave your premises, and can process basic conversion from title/verso pages if no cards are available.

Backstage has access to high-quality records from a huge variety of sources including the Library of Congress records, millions of records converted from various academic and government sources — predating the LC database — and over a million original records created by Backstage Library Works during various conversion projects.

Additionally, we can provide records from the Research Libraries UK (RLUK) database and from OCLC WorldCat. If you'd like us to use your own database, or that of a consortium to which you belong, no problem. We can do that, too.

You may even have brief record information in spreadsheet or other electronic form. We can work with you to convert these non-MARC data sources into MARC records that you can use in your ILS.

Shelf-Ready Processing

Acquisitions Processing

Shelfready Processing

Do holes in your acquisitions process keep you from getting materials into the hands of waiting patron as quickly as you'd like?

Acquisitions can be a major pain point for libraries. Some publishers or supplies provide little or no metadata (or even worse, bad metadata). Some materials arrive without any sort of processing, requiring time and resources to label and prepare for the shelf. Sometimes you're acquiring publications so new that there are no good copy records. Or sometimes you receive books in languages or scripts that you simply lack the linguistic expertise to handle.

Backstage shelf-ready services can help bridge the gaps in your acquisitions workflow.

  • Full-service cataloging. From copy and original cataloging to automated solutions for enriching brief records, we have an efficient solution to connect your new item to a MARC record, playing by your rules — AACR2 or RDA — and in nearly any language or script.
  • Physical processing. From jacket covers and labels, to security strips, property stamps, and anything else you need to make an item ready to circulate, we can match your local guidelines to prepare books and media to go straight from the box to the shelf.
  • Drop-shipped workflows. We'll work with you to coordinate shipping from your suppliers to our shop for cataloging and physical processing, then on to you, cutting steps and saving time.
  • Support for backlogs, donated materials, and ongoing acquisitions.

Non-MARC Metadata

Library Metadata is More than MARC

EAD Sample

Metadata is all about access. Our teams are experienced with providing metadata in forms in addition to MARC. It may be that your archival collections need EAD or you have systems that rely on TEI, MODS, MADS, Dublin Core, METS/ALTO, or some other flavor of metadata. We can convert what you have into your needed schema, or create it based on your materials. Ensuring that your institutional systems can leverage that metadata and you can help your patrons discover your incredible collections.

Publisher Services

Empowering Publishers

A newly published book

In our experience most publishers want to provide libraries with the metadata that they need, but they don't necessarily have the expertise in library and related institutions metadata to know what data is valuable and how to go about providing that. Many publishers then end up relying on Cataloging in Publication (CIP) or automated ONIX conversions to create and provide records.

These incomplete brief records are often only marginally useful to librarians who are trying to help their patrons find books just like yours. But with this incomplete data both readers and librarians can find it difficult to discover your books.

Backstage can perform a variety of services for publishers to ensure that the records you provide your libraries will have important access points, relevant terms for keyword searching, and cross-references to synonyms and pseudonyms. More search hits wil help more readers find your book, check it out, read it, fall in love with your author, and tell all their friends about it.

Lifetime Guarantee

At Backstage, we stand behind our work with a guarantee that has no expiration date. Quality is the foundation of our success, and we're confident enough in our ability to do things right the first time that we're willing to stand behind our work forever. Our promise here is very simple:

We will correct to the client’s satisfaction, and at our expense, any problem with our services, no matter when such a problem comes to light.

Contact Backstage

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