Cataloging–ch. 3

For anyone who loves organization, Chowdhury’s chapter about cataloging is a satisfying read.  I enjoyed this chapter because of its depiction of the origin of cataloging, describing how library catalogs have been around for thousands of years and always serve the same purpose–to record, describe, and index the contents and resources of a library.  It seems like the biggest job of any library is to create the initial catalog that not only records every item of the collection, but produces easily searchable results for items within the collection.

Before reading chapter 3, I have never given much thought to the organization behind cataloging a collection.  By identifying each point of important information (e.g. author, title, edition, publisher) a card can be created containing all the points of reference so that the document may be found again when needed.  I definitely appreciate the time and effort, as well as caution it takes to appropriately describe each item within a collection catalog, and am glad to see the system is still hard at work thousands of years after its first use.  Even today with computerized catalog systems and OPACs within a library, it reaches back to the original information of card catalogs to identify documents.


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