The Collation

Research and Exploration at the Folger

Posts Categorized: Cataloging

Out with the old? The A.L.A. Portrait Index of 1906

To create more work space, we’re starting to sort through the hundreds of “ready reference” books that fill the shelves in the shared staff areas on Deck A, pulling out volumes that really don’t need to be kept that handy. For example,  it’s a safe bet that Art Information and the Internet (How to Find It, How to Use It), written in 1998, won’t be of much help in 2015.… Continue Reading

Ohel or Dod? Ideal copies and messy print

When is a repair to a title page more like a clue to a bibliographical puzzle? This question has intrigued me since, some years ago, I first consulted a Folger copy of John Rogers’s 1653 Ohel or Beth-shemesh. A Tabernacle for the Sun: Or Irenicum Evangelicum. An Idea of Church-Discipline, in the Theorick and Practick Parts (135- 312q). The Folger Institute’s recent faculty weekend seminar, “Narratives of Conversion in Reformation Europe, ca.… Continue Reading

Finding women in the printing shop

Today is Ada Lovelace Day, a day that celebrates not only the achievements of Ada Lovelace—the 19th-century mathematician and computing pioneer—but the achievements of all women in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and maths. It’s a chance not only to encourage women to enter STEM fields, but to acknowledge the sometimes forgotten of women’s past achievements in these fields. For a few years now, those of us interested in the hand-press period have used Ada Lovelace Day as an opportunity to celebrate early women printers.… Continue Reading

Folger Tooltips: Getting raw Hamnet data

Non-librarians out there, have you ever clicked the “MARC View” or “Staff view” link in an online catalog record? In Hamnet, the Folger’s online catalog, it’s the third choice at the top of each record. I vividly remember the first time I did. It was back when I was building a relational database to manage my dissertation research (and back when I thought I wanted to be an Art History professor).… Continue Reading

In memoriam: Nadia Seiler

“It’s satisfying to put the pieces of a puzzle together when we can, but it’s just as exciting to think of the undiscovered treasures that might be hiding in this collection.”—Nadia Seiler To be a great cataloger is to love a puzzle, to obsess over details, and to delight in sharing discoveries. Nadia Seiler was one such cataloger, someone whose work contributed to the scholarly record and whose joy in revealing collection materials helped shape what we do.… Continue Reading

So how do you find symbols in signature marks?

Sarah: In my last post, I showed some examples of books that use symbols in signature marks. But how did I find these books and how might you find more examples? It’s one thing to search for books printed in the year 1542, since “publication year” is a standard search box and “1542” is written in standard typography. But you can’t really type “¶” into a search box and get useful results.… Continue Reading

Fun in cataloging, or, the mysterious 12mo

On occasion, interesting and unusual aspects of books, manuscripts, and prints catch the attention of the cataloger at work on them.  The office of the Cataloging and Metadata Department (located on Deck A right below the Paster Reading Room) is an open area with a large table in the center, which makes it really easy to show each other the cool stuff we come across.… Continue Reading

Hidden notes, “bibliographic nightmares,” and STC call numbers

Sometimes when keyword searching Hamnet, the results include mystery matches: when you Ctrl-V to find the word you’re looking for on the page, it’s not there. That’s because some fields only display on the “MARC view” tab. Usually the information isn’t worth making public. For example, what displays as: is served up by this underlying Machine Readable Cataloging, or MARC:  The only hidden piece of information is “CMS 20101102” – the initials of the cataloger who created the record and the date the record was finished.… Continue Reading

Cataloging questions: How should we display variant titles?

Do you use Hamnet, the Folger’s online catalog? Do you want to help make it better? Of course you do! This is the first in what I hope will be an ongoing series of conversations designed to keep me from playing around with the display settings in whatever way strikes my fancy just because I happen to know the master password.… Continue Reading

V, u/v, and library transcription rules

You know the saying, “the great thing about standards is that there are so many to choose from?” You know Sarah’s post about the transcription practices used in The Collation, and Goran’s posts about V and U in titles and imprints of 17th-century Flemish books in the STCV? Welcome to the Anglo-American cataloging rules for transcription in early modern texts, which differ from both.… Continue Reading