Difference Between Bibliography and Catalogue (With Table)

Information is essential for the development of civilization. The collective information of mankind has shaped the modern world. It has played a vital role in the development of science, technology, art, and commerce.

For this reason, collecting and indexing information in the right order can help further development in society. Bibliography and Catalogue plays a crucial role in information management. Both of these systems have helped scholars in their work.

Even though on the surface they look the same, but they are a completely different way of an information management system.

Bibliography vs Catalogue

The difference between Bibliography and Catalogue is that the bibliography gives the source information of the idea from where any inscription has originated, while the catalogue is an indexing system where bibliographic records organized in an orderly manner.


Comparison Table Between Bibliography and Catalogue (in Tabular Form)

Parameter of ComparisonBibliographyCatalogue
Originated fromThe Greek word “bibliographia”.The Greek word “Katalogos”.
MeaningOffer guidance from where the inscription has originated.A list of bibliographic records organized in an orderly manner.
PurposeAllow readers to contact the source of the inspiration behind the inscription.Give users a short description of the object or information for easy findings.
TypesThere are four types of bibliography. These are descriptive, analytical, enumerative, and textual.There are three types of catalogue. These are alphabetical, classified, and alphabetico-classed.
Used inGenerally used for academic writing.Generally used in libraries.
ISO standardISO 609ISO 690


What is Bibliography?

The bibliography is a writing method, where the author needs to mention the source of the writing. Mentioning the source gives the original content creator their due credits. It also helps the reader an opportunity to contact the original author if needed.

The word “Bibliography” derived from the Greek word “bibliographia”. In the ancient Greek “Babylonian language” the meaning of this word is book writing. According to various historic documents, the word refers to the process of book writing.

In the current time bibliography is used in academic writing, where the author mentions the source of inspiration. Like every type of writing is inspired by some ideas; therefore, writing an academic journal without a bibliography is considered as plagiarism.

The international standard for the bibliography is ISO 609. Current there are four types of bibliography is in use. These are descriptive, analytical, enumerative, and textual.

Descriptive bibliography is used to describe the detailed description of the book like publication, distribution, illustrations, binding, etc. Analytical bibliography focuses more on the bookmaking process and the practices of the scriptorium.

With the enumerative bibliographic writing, the author needs to write the source in some order. On the other hand, for a textual bibliography, the author needs to mention the author, editor, compositor, and printer as a source. Non-book materials can also be included when necessary. These are known as discography (recorded music), filmography (films), and webography (websites).


What is Catalogue?

A catalogue is a list of bibliographic records organized in an orderly manner. It is made up of a short description of the object, or information.

The word “catalogue” originated from the Greek phrase “Katalogos”. Ancient Greek historic documents refer to “kata” as “according to” and the word “Logos” refers to “the order”. By enjoining these two words becomes the word “Katalogos”, which means “according to the order”.

There are three inner forms of the catalogue. These are alphabetical, classified, and alphabetico-classed. The most common form of catalogues can be found in the library system. Here it is used to index books and publications in alphabetic order.

These catalogues contain information about the Author, Title, Subject, etc. In the library system, the catalogue helps the user find books, publications, and journals easily. It also showcases the number of books the library has.

The international standard for catalogue is ISO 690. Besides the library, the catalogues are also used for indexing various products and maintain inventory systems in businesses.

Main Differences Between Bibliography and Catalogue

  1. Even though bibliography and catalogue both words originated in Greek, but their initial name was different. According to the ancient historic document, the bibliography was called “bibliographia” and catalogue was called “Katalogos”.
  2. The bibliography is a writing process where the author provides a source of the writing inspiration. While the catalogue provides a bibliographic record organized in an orderly manner.
  3. The purpose of the bibliography is to provide an opportunity to the reader, so they can investigate and find the source of the idea behind the inscription. The purpose of the catalogue is to provide an index to the user, so they can easily find the object or information.
  4. Generally, four types of the bibliography can be found, which are descriptive, analytical, enumerative, and textual. However, there are three types of the catalogue are used. These are alphabetical, classified, and alphabetico-classed.
  5. Normally the bibliography is used for academic writing. While most of the time the catalogue is used in the library to organize information about books, journals, and publications.
  6. The international standard for the bibliography is ISO 609. On the other hand, the international standard for catalogue is ISO 690.



The contribution of information in the development of mankind is irrefutable. In this process, both bibliography and catalogue played a significant role. Bibliography helped various scholars improve their inscription and develop a new stream of information for society. The bibliographic way of writing helped readers connect with the source of the inspiration, which helped the further development of knowledge.

The catalogue system successfully indexed and managed various streams of information in an orderly manner. It helped readers find a specific stream of knowledge from the library. The catalogue system is a successful model of information indexing. For this reason, various business entities are now using this system for their inventory management.

However, good discipline is required to maintain both of these information management systems. The International standard organization has created different standards for these systems. The writer needs to follow ISO 609 at the time of bibliography writing, where the procedure of ISO 690 is required to follow at the time of catalogue creation.


  1. https://www.cabdirect.org/cabdirect/abstract/20033104366
  2. https://aas.aanda.org/articles/aas/pdf/1999/18/ds1600.pdf?access=ok
  3. https://ntnuopen.ntnu.no/ntnu-xmlui/bitstream/handle/11250/273046/331918_FULLTEXT01.pdf?sequence=1
2D vs 3D