"Folger Shakespeare Library Cataloging Office staff are providing detailed descriptive cataloging records for the post-1700 Shakespeare Collection, a collection of editions of the Works of William Shakespeare and of separate editions of the plays and poems (ca. 18,000 vol. total). Interns will review LC/NACO name records and provide appropriate artist, bookseller, illustrator, printer, printmaker, and publisher added entries to MARC bibliographic records for these works using the Voyager Cataloging system."
The above is the written description of my project as it is listed on the UM-SI ASB website, but it doesn't really give a clear idea of what exactly I am doing.
Within the Folger this project is refereed to as Shcol, short for Shakespeare Collection, and it is a project within the cataloging department. The simple explanation of why this project is important is that by properly cataloging this collection and creating search fields for the names of publishers, printmakers, illustrators and booksellers of the individual books in question the Folger can provide better access to their users. So the work I am doing will directly impact usability of the collection, as well as providing a full and complete record for each individual book.
Before my work begins, professional catalogers did book in hand cataloging adding just the basic information, but not doing the individual listings that allow for name searches. So what I am doing in going back through and doing to research to find the names and add them in, adding a trace, so that they can be searched.
So now I am going to walk you through the steps I take in completing one of these records. I should point out that I had zero experience with cataloging before this, and had never used Voyager before. I am somewhat familiar with Marc from working in Special Collections at UM, but this was all very new to me and I had to be taught the system when I arrived.
We use a cataloging system called Voyager, but the results of my work can be searched on Hamnet by users anywhere in the world. I will be using pictures to illustrate the steps, click on the pictures to enlarge them.
I begin by pulling up a record in Voyager using its bibliographic ID, or Bib ID, for a single book. You can see the Bib ID along the blue bar at the top of the image below. The numbers along the left hand side indicate very specific information fields about the individual book. For example 245 is Title, 500 is notes, 260 is publication date and other publication information such as location and publisher.
I am specifically looking at the 500 field, or notes field, for the names of people, places, and institutions. When a search is done for John Bell (a publisher) nothing will be returned if his name is just in the notes section. For each individual printmaker, illustrator etc. there must be a separate 700 or "personal name added entry." A 710 entry is for publishing houses, and the 785 entry is for location and there is a specific format that needs to be followed for each entry.
Now I cannot just go down to the 700 section and type in their names, a format needs to be followed and I need to make sure there is an that there is an authority record already in the system for the name I am looking for. Authority records are in the 100 field, which means that I have to do a search for the name that I am looking for. Essentially what this means is I am looking for a verified source in which a given name appears, I also need to make sure that the name matched the correct dates for the time the book I am working on was published and that the individual is listed as a printmaker if I am looking for a printmaker, because if I know from the notes section that an individual is a printmaker, but all I can find is a artist record, then it is not necessarily the same individual and not an appropriate authority record. If I am fairly certain based on the name and dates that it is the correct person I can make the needed changes in the document I am working on, but you have to be really careful. So below is what a search looks like.
You will notice that there are no "authorized" records, but there are a lot of records with the correct last name and first initial that fall within the correct dates for him to have worked on the book in question, and he is listed as a "printmaker" all of this information agrees with what I know about him from the notes, so it is safe to assume this is the right person. So I click on the field that says it has 54 records, and I pick a record, preferably a Shakespeare record that he is listed as a printmaker for.
I click continue, it saves and I start all over again with the next Bib ID on my list.
I know it probably sounds tedious, but it really is an interesting process doing the research to track down the names. It is also very important because as stated above this information is necessary in order for people to be able to search for this material.
Want to test it out? Go to Hamnet http://shakespeare.folger.edu/cgi-bin/Pwebrecon.cgi?DB=local&PAGE=First and do an author/creator search for Thornthwaite and see the results in action!
*I should note that I was given permission to take screen shots of my project.