"An archive without a catalogue is like a room without a door": inaccessible, unusable, and the cause of much frustration. Still we and our users struggle with uncatalogued archives, our hidden collections. Why don't archive services catalogue these collections? Cataloguing archives takes time, expertise, and space. The scale of hidden collections in the UK is … Continue reading Revealed! How to catalogue your hidden archives
Meet the Trilemma I was thinking about the oft-cited software designer's "trilemma": fast, cheap, good. The trilemma for the designer's customer is that it is only possible for a project to be: fast and cheap - can't be good good and cheap - can't be fast good and fast - can't be cheap The qualities contradict each other: … Continue reading Beware the Trilemma!
Making Archival and Special Collections More Accessible is a new publication whose name says it all. The good folk at OCLC Research have pulled together seven years of research and summarised it in this handy document. Some of the content will already be familiar to readers of this blog and the Handbook - but it … Continue reading The ILLiad, and other stories
Cataloguers rejoice! DCRM(B) and DCRM(S) are now freely available online. Here: Descriptive Cataloging of Rare Materials (Books) http://rbms.info/dcrm/dcrmb/index.html Descriptive Cataloging of Rare Materials (Serials) http://rbms.info/dcrm/dcrms/index.html Print copies of these standards have been tricky to get hold of in recent years. This welcome initiative from the Library of Congress will save money, time and effort for … Continue reading Cataloguing Made Simpler: key rare book standards freely available online
This post from the Special Collections librarian at the Jerwood Library, Trinity Laban, is inspiring. It tells a story of hidden, neglected special collections which were a burden and a concern for library staff. The writer shows how making the collections visible and making the case for their support changed everything. It's particularly interesting that … Continue reading Making the Case is Key for Music
"My vision then of a future manuscript catalogue would be of something that links together a wide range of resources ... anchored by the record of the physical manuscript itself ..." This vision is outlined by Andrew Prescott, Professor of Digital Humanities at Kings College London, in The Function, Structure and Future of Catalogues, now … Continue reading Manuscripts Online! And in the Public Domain …
Cataloguing methods and standards are in an exciting and uncertain state. RDA is coming! What does this mean? Like many librarians, I'm waiting to see what will happen. However, we shouldn't worry about the hybrid future in which RDA and AACR2 records will co-exist. It was ever thus, as this piece by Anne Welsh explains. … Continue reading What’s new (and not so new) in cataloguing