Cataloging Policy and Original Cataloging Team

Submitted by Cynthia Watters

Cynthia Watters returned at the end of August from a summer travelling the western U.S. in a small camper/van. She had a wonderful time and now is readjusting to the normal working environment.

Japanese Collection
A major project for this year is the cataloging and processing of two Japanese gifts, one from the estate of Prof. Hiroshi Miyaji, and together comprising about 1200 volumes. To assist with this project, we have hired a college senior, Pamela Yeo, who studied Japanese at Middlebury. Cynthia Watters and Pamela are working together, calling on Pamela’s knowledge of Japanese and Cynthia’s of cataloging. Together they are making progress.

These materials are headed for the Japanese Collection and will increase it by about 50%. The Japanese Collection is currently classed according to an old system devised by a Harvard librarian in 1943. It is both outdated (try classing something on computers…), complex, indexless, and non-standard, but it’s what the original collection came with when we acquired it from the Japanese summer school.

Now seems the time to bite the bullet and reclass the collection in the LC classification used in the rest of the library. It’s a big project, but the new books can be classed in LC in much less time than in the current system. As Cynthia began the project, she realized that it was an opportunity to add Japanese characters to our older records. New records routinely include Japanese characters, but, until a few years ago, they were not imported into MIDCAT from the OCLC database. Since one way of determining LC call numbers is to search the record on OCLC, we can overlay our record with the OCLC record with Japanese characters.

In this way a project continues to grow in scope, but it should provide a great addition to our Japanese collection and its use.

Theater Orchestra scores
The Music Library completed cataloging and processing a gift of 215 theater orchestra scores acquired in Oct. 2007. A student assistant created the basic brief bib records for these, which were then reviewed by a staff cataloger. You can see the list of records by searching the local call no.: “Theater Orchestra Coll” or see an example at

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