Cataloging the Periodicals Collection
As much as 30-35% of the library’s collection has never been cataloged.
The recently retired InMagic DB/Textworks database (1992-2014) had thousands of article analytic records to journals and periodicals held in the collection, but it did not for the most part have cataloging records advising researchers what periodicals per title are held in the LOA Library collections.
Approximately 70% of the LOA Library collections are serial in nature. Many are the usual magazine or periodical. There are a significant number of periodical titles held where each issue of that particular serial publication has an individual title. Many are issued as both a magazine issue and as a book.
Many of the periodicals held and many of these monographic serial titles haven’t been cataloged!
As startling as that may seem, let me elucidate about the LOA Library’s past so it makes sense.
LOA Librarians in the past functioned like curators of their collections. The Librarian just kept in her/his head what was in the collection, where it was held and where to retrieve it from. Patrons ‘always’ came into the LOA Library, so it didn’t matter if the periodical was cataloged. The Patron just asked the Librarian and she/he then retrieved it.
LOA Library Koha Catalog
With the advent of the new Internet-based catalog in July 2014, patrons expect ‘everything’ in the LOA Library’s holdings to be cataloged. Not — but I am working on that!
While volunteers are rehousing (putting loose issues held in boxes that are in some cases over 20 years old in new boxes) and reorganizing (relabeling, moving, etc.0 the periodicals collection, the Librarian has started cataloging the entire periodicals collection – this includes each monographic title within the series.
Just yesterday, the Librarian completed cataloging each and every issue of the American Museum of Natural History Guide Leaflet series. So, now, each book that is held in this series being cataloged and searchable in the collection. Many are ‘classic’ works on Indian pottery, beadwork, etc.
This project will obviously take a long time, but is well underway.