NACO-Music Project

About the NACO-Music Project

The NACO-Music Project (NMP) is a funnel configuration comprising a group of librarians at various institutions who cooperatively contribute name and name/preferred title authority records to the LC/NACO Authority File. It is administered by a coordinator who plans member training and oversees administrative matters. The NMP Coordinator is Mark Scharff.

New participants are selected on an ongoing basis via an application process overseen by the NMP Advisory Committee. The committee includes the NMP Coordinator, representatives from the Library of Congress and the Music Library Association’s Cataloging and Metadata Committee, and three at-large members. Current committee members are listed in the Directory of NACO Music Project Participants. Newly admitted NMP participants are trained and reviewed via e-mail by an NMP reviewer, who is assigned by the Coordinator. Training and reviewing procedures vary; specific routines are determined by the reviewer in consultation with the participant. Participants remain under review until they achieve independent status, which confers the authority to contribute name and/or name-preferred title authority records without review.

Generally, a participant may achieve independent status by submitting at least 60 records for name authorized access points (personal, corporate body, and/or family in any combination), and at least 80 records for name-preferred title authorized access points, with at least 90% accuracy for content and at least 95% accuracy for coding. These categories (name authorized access points and name preferred title authorized access points) are separate and distinct from each other (i.e., a record for a name-title authorized access point will be counted only in the name-title category). A participant may work towards independence in stages (name authorized access points first, then name preferred title authorized access points), or simultaneously. There is no mandatory timetable for achieving independence. (Note: The requirements for achieving independence for name authorized access points via the NMP may be waived when the participant has achieved independence in that category through another training and review process and provides evidence of such.) The participant determines which records to submit in fulfillment of the requirements; these records will have been created independently, without input from the reviewer. The participant may also request review of problematic records not submitted in fulfillment of the requirements.

Participation in NMP is granted to the combination of individual and institution. In the event that an individual leaves an insitution and moves to a new one, that individual’s future NMP participation may be reviewed by the NMP Advisory Committee. The Advisory Committee may also review participation by the individual’s former institution.

The NACO-Music Project has an electronic mail list, NMP-L, which is used for various purposes:

  • to ask questions about establishing an authorized access point or citing information in the authority record
  • to make announcements of interest to all NMP participants
  • to announce new developments or revised documentation.

Newly accepted participants are added to the list by the NMP Coordinator.

The NACO-Music Project is sponsored by the Music Library Association (MLA). Membership in MLA is encouraged, but not required, for participants in NMP. Click the preceding link for more information about MLA. An online membership form is available.

Questions regarding the NACO-Music Project or the application procedure may be directed to any member of the NMP Advisory Committee.

Required Documentation

All NMP participants are expected to have access to the following documents:

  • Resource Description and Access (RDA) (via subscription to the RDA Toolkit; a print
    version is also available for purchase)
  • Library of Congress-Program for Cooperative Cataloging Policy Statements (LC-PCC PS)*
  • Best Practices for Music Cataloging Using RDA and MARC21*
  • Descriptive Cataloging Manual, Chapter Z1
  • A Handbook of Examples For Use in Authority Records Created By the NACO-Music Project
  • LC Guidelines Supplement to the MARC21 Format for Authority Data†
  • MARC21 Format for Authority Data, 1999 Edition†
  • NACO Participants’ Manual, 4th ed.†
  • OCLC Authorities: Format and Indexes (if you are an OCLC participant)
  • Thematic Indexes Used in the Library of Congress/NACO Authority File
  • Types of Compositions for Use in Authorized Access Points for Music: A Manual for Use with RDA

* Available via subscription to the RDA Toolkit
† Also available via Cataloger’s Desktop


Advisory committee

Mark Scharff, Coordinator

  • Jacob Schaub, NMPAC Chair
  • Michi Hoban, NMPAC Member (LC)
  • Janice Bunker, NMPAC Member
  • Cate Gerhart, NMPAC Member
  • Chelsea Hoover, NMPAC Member (CMC)