Rare Book School

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Rare Book School
Preliminary Reading List

L-30. Rare Book Cataloging

Deborah J. Leslie


Information for participants

Read Before Coming and Bring With You to Class

Descriptive Cataloging of Rare Materials (Books). Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress Cataloging Distribution Service, any printing (ISBN:970-0-8444-1162-0), or consult the free PDF. Please note that the front cover is available as a separate PDF file. Before coming to class, paying special attention to the preface and introductory sections, area 4, and Appendix G. Make sure you have this title and not Descriptive Cataloging of Rare Books.

Belanger, Terry. "Descriptive Bibliography," in Book Collecting: a Modern Guide, ed. Jean Peters (New York: R.R. Bowker, 1977), 97-115. This is a mandatory text, but out of print. Students are encouraged to hunt down a copy, read several times, and bring with them to Charlottesville for additional review during the week.

Bring to Class (in addition to DCRM(B))

Twelve copies of your institution’s rare book cataloging policy, if you have one.

Read Before Coming to Class

Gaskell, Philip. A New Introduction to Bibliography. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1972, rev 1974, &c. 1995 pb version currently in print ( Winchester: St Paul's Bibliographies/ New Castle, DE: Oak Knoll Books). Familiarize yourself with the scope and contents of Gaskell before coming to class, read pages 313-320 (“Identification”), pages 328-335 (“Formula”), and as much else as you have time for.

Leslie, Deborah J. and Benjamin Griffin. Transcription of Early Letter Forms in Rare Materials Cataloging. You may find this slow-going, but starting on understanding the concepts before coming class will give you a head start when we get to advanced transcription.

Optional Pre-Course Reading

Bibliographical issues

Tanselle, G. Thomas. “Descriptive Bibliography and Library Cataloguing,” in Studies in Bibliography 30 (1977), 1-56.

Tanselle, G. Thomas. “The Bibliographical Concepts of Issue and State,” in Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America 69:1 (1975), 17-66.

Post-Course Titles of Potential Interest

Library systems & records

Raine, Henry, and Laura Stalker, “Rare Book Records in Online Systems,” in Rare Books and Manuscripts Librarianship 11:2 (1996), 103-118.

Guide to Rare Book Records in Online Systems, available online. A bit dated, but still useful in identifying aspects and features of online library systems necessary for appropriate indexing, searching, and display of rare materials and special collections.

Overmier, Judith A. and Elaine M. Doak. “Provenance Records in Rare Book and Special Collections,” in Rare Books and Manuscripts Librarianship 11:1 (1996), 91-99.

Management issues

Bradshaw, Elaine Beckley and Stephen C. Wagner. “A Common Ground: Communication and Allegiance Between Cataloger and Curator for Improved Access to Rare Books and Special Collections,” in College & Research Libraries 61:6 (Nov. 2000): 525-534. Although leaving something to be desired in academic rigor, this article provides an overview of some of the issues involved in setting policy.

Taraba, Suzy. “Administering the cataloging of special collections materials,” in Rare Books and Manuscripts Librarianship 7:2 (1992), 87-90.

Special collections cataloging

Lundy, M. Winslow. “Evidence of Application of the DCRB Core Standard in WorldCat and RLIN,” Library Resources & Technical Services, v.50:1 (2006: Jan ), p. 42-57

Russell, Beth M. “Looking for Someone Special : Special Collections Cataloging, 1980-2000,” in Library Resources and Technical Services 47:4 (Oct 2003), 149-159.