LRTS v 29, no. 3, July 1985

Professional Literature on Cataloging - Then and Now

John J. Boll

By 1905 many of the conflicting philosophies and crosscurrents that had agitated the library world, and especially cataloging, in the nineteenth century had been largely settled. Movable rather than fixed location for books, the Dewey Decimal Classification for organization, the dictionary catalog in card form, and Cutter's subject headings had been accepted by most general libraries, and the American Library Association in 1902 had reconciled the differences among the existing national descriptive cataloging codes. However, there were no serials dedicated to cataloging and very few cataloging aids. Today's literature is, in general, far broader in scope, greater in quantity, and shows more emphasis on research than the literature of eighty years ago. Topical themes reflect the profession's changing interests, with automation and networking being today's new themes.

"A Most Necessary Discipline" The Education of Technical Services Librarians

Margaret F. Maxwell

Today's information professional with an M.L.S. from an ALA accredited school of library and information science may find difficulty in relating to the education for technical services available to the prospective librarian of 1905. Yet stripped of outward trappings, the curricular patterns and practices of that day still serve in many ways as faint mirror images that reappear in modern guise in our curriculum of 1985.

Processing Services 1905: Putting the Library's House in Order and the Country's Cataloging in Gear

David A. Smith

In 1905 what is now Processing Services consisted of about one hundred employees, deployed in two divisions of the Library of Congress: Catalog and Order. Herbert Putnam, Librarian of Congress since 1899, his cataloging chief, James Hanson, and his chief classifier, Charles Martel, were engaged in the monumental task of restoring a degree of order to the library's collections. During Ainsworth Rand Spofford's tenure as librarian during the latter third of the nineteenth century, the collections, while growing tremendously, had become very difficult to use for lack of an ongoing, systematic scheme of bibliographic display and retrieval. Putnam's resolve to get his house in order was accompanied by his equally compelling determination to centralize cataloging activity for the entire country at the library, a possibility now that standard size cards were being printed for its copyright accessions. By 1905 the twin strands of bringing order internally and cooperating externally were being pursued vigorously, as the era of the printed catalog card took form.

Processing Services 1985: Technical Services in the Age of Electronic Information

Laurie E. Smith

In 1985 the technical services staff at the Library of Congress number approximately fifteen hundred. Still engaged in cataloging library materials for the collections of the Library of Congress and in producing centralized cooperative cataloging for the benefit of the library community, LC 's Processing Services staff also work to develop standards and_farmats for machine-readable bibliographic data that can be used in libraries and information centers worldwide. Printed curd technology is being supplanted largely by products generated from machine-readable data, such as bibliographies in computer-output microform and compact disks. Processing Services attempts to demystify cataloging practices and technological developments with outreach programs. Computer-to-computer links for the exchange of bibliographic data are emerging in the Linked Systems Project.

The Frequency of Personal Name Headings in the Indiana University Music Library Card Catalogs

Arsen R. Papakhian

Previous studies of general library catalogs have, found that about two-thirds of the personal name headings occur only once. The card catalogs of the Indiana University Music Library were sampled to see if this observation applied in the case of a special materials catalog. For printed music materials, the proportion of single-incidence names was found to be about 61 percent and for sound recordings about 48 percent. These findings suggest that the structure and configuration of library catalogs may be altered by the integration of nonbook formats.

Compacting a Large Card Catalog

Marilyn Kramer

Since card catalogs generally occupy prime public service space, when a catalog ceases to grow, it may be desirable to compact the catalog into the smallest usable space. This article presents a procedure for compacting a large card catalog quickly and with minimal impact on catalog users.

Vietnamese-Chinese Romanization

James E. Ross

Chinese words and names as written in Vietnamese are compared with the Wade-Giles and pinyin romanization systems for Chinese. Examples show some of the patterns of change that occur in converting Wade-Giles romanizations to Vietnamese or Vietnamese to Wade-Giles. For libraries that wish to maintain name authority control for Chinese authors translated into Vietnamese, these examples can illustrate the relationships between the different systems.