Abstracts Vol. 46, No. 3

Panning for Gold: Utility of the World Wide Web for Metadata and Authority Control in Special Collections

Nadine P. Ellero

This article describes the use of the World Wide Web as a valuable name authority resource and tool for special collections analytic-level cataloging and the specific goal of “fully discovering” the names of people who lived in the past as well as those from the present. Current tools and initiatives such as the Name Authority Component of the Program for Cooperative Cataloging (NACO) and the Library of Congress Name Authority File have a specific mission and are partially helpful. Web resources encompassing special collections are often intricate and require global and enhanced resources to continue what have been the guiding principles, tradition, and value of cataloging: to discover works via many points of entry; to find works by or about the same person, topic, or title; and to continue the great cataloging legacies of standards and cooperation.

“Garbage” In, “Refuse and Refuse Disposal” Out: Making the Most of the Subject Authority File in the OPAC

Marguerite E. Horn

Subject access in the OPAC, as discussed in this article, is predicated on two different kinds of searching: subject (authority, alphabetic, or controlled vocabulary searching) or keyword (uncontrolled, free text, natural language vocabulary). The literature has focused on demonstrating that both approaches are needed, but very few authors address the need to integrate keyword into authority searching. The article discusses this difference and compares, with a query on the term “garbage,” search results in two online catalogs, one that performs keyword searches through the authority file and one where only bibliographic records are included in keyword searches.

Cooperative Cataloging, Vendor Records, and European Language Monographs

Charlene Kellsey

The appearance in OCLC and RLIN of minimal level catalog records from European book vendors for European language monographs and their effect on cataloging department workflows and cooperative cataloging efforts have been matters of concern expressed recently at ALA meetings and in the library literature. A study of 8,778 catalog records was undertaken to discover how many current European language monographs were being cataloged by the Library of Congress, by member libraries, and by vendors. It was found that vendor records accounted for 16.7% of Spanish books, 18% of French books, 33.6% of German books, and 52.5% of those in Italian. The number of libraries enhancing vendor records in OCLC was found to be only approximately one-third the number of libraries contributing original records for European language books. Ongoing increases in European book publishing and the increasing globalization of cataloging databases mean that the results of this study have implications not only for local cataloging practice but for cooperative cataloging as a whole.