ALA-LC ( American Library Association - Library of Congress) is a set of standards for romanization, the representation of text in other
writing system A writing system is a method of visually representing verbal communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share") is the act of developing Semantics, meaning among Subject (philosophy), entities or Organization, grou ...
s using the
Latin script Latin script, also known as Roman script, is a set of graphic signs (Writing system#General properties, script) based on the letters of the classical Latin alphabet. This is derived from a form of the Cumae alphabet, Cumaean Greek version of the ...


The system is used to represent bibliographic information by North American libraries and the British Library (for acquisitions since 1975)Searching for Cyrillic items in the catalogues of the British Library: guidelines and transliteration tables
and in publications throughout the English-speaking world. The Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules require catalogers to romanize access points from their non-Roman originals. However, as the MARC standards have been expanded to allow records containing
Unicode Unicode is an information technology Technical standard, standard for the consistent character encoding, encoding, representation, and handling of Character (computing), text expressed in most of the world's writing systems. The standard is mai ...
characters, many cataloguers now include bibliographic data in both Roman and original scripts. The emerging Resource Description and Access continues many of AACR's recommendations but refers to the process as "transliteration" rather than "Romanization."


The ALA-LC Romanization includes over 70 romanization tables. Here are some examples of tables: * A Cherokee Romanization table was created by the LC and ALA in 2012 and subsequently approved by the Cherokee Tri-Council meeting in Cherokee, North Carolina. It was the first ALA-LC Romanization table for a Native American syllabary. * The Chinese Romanization table used the
Wade–Giles Wade–Giles () is a Romanization of Chinese, romanization system for Standard Chinese, Mandarin Chinese. It developed from a system produced by Thomas Francis Wade, during the mid-19th century, and was given completed form with Herbert Giles, ...
transliteration system until 1997, when the Library of Congress (LC) announced a decision to switch to the
Pinyin ''Hanyu Pinyin'' (), often abbreviated to pinyin, is the official romanization system for Standard Chinese, Standard Mandarin Chinese in mainland China, Taiwan (ROC), and Singapore. It is often used to teach Standard Chinese, Standard Mandari ...

See also

ALA-LC romanization for RussianThe American Library Association and Library of Congress Romanization Tables for Russian, or the Library of Congress system, are a set of rules for the romanization Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics, is the conversion of writing from a ...
* Devanagari transliteration *
Romanization of Arabic Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. The traditional areas ...
* Romanization of Armenian * Romanization of Belarusian * Romanization of Bulgarian * Romanization of Khmer * Romanization of Georgian * Romanization of Persian * Romanization of Ukrainian * Romanization of Urdu


External links

ALA-LC Romanization Tables
{{Romanization ALA-LC romanization, Library cataloging and classification