April 15, 2009
I don’t know if any of you have run into the same situation with authorities that I have…
The archives was originally setup with item cataloging. All folders are items in the card catalog. I estimate at best 20% of the card catalog has be converted to MARC and in our Voyager catalog. Since I came I’ve been item cataloging the digitized photographs.
Once Archivist’s Toolkit showed up on the scene, I’ve been trying to do incoming materials as collections. Also, pulling some of the existing “items” together into subject collections for ease of use.
Now the names and subjects headings that are in the Voyager catalog are not in the AT names and subjects and visa versa. I want to be as precise with our local names and subjects as p0ssible. Here is my plan:
- I have Pauline, a super precise cataloger in our Tech Services, working with me.
- Pauline is checking the names and subjects I have already put in AT for correctness. (I’m not a cataloger by training.)
- She is then going through Voyager and checking that the headings conform to AT.
- I’m using AT as THE authority file. As I’m cataloging more photos or adding collections, I check the AT headings. If a heading isn’t there, I add one.
- I’m keeping track of my additions to send to Pauline, so she can check for correctness. I’m hoping this way new things won’t slip through the cracks, as she moves alphabetically down the list.
I hope I’m not making both Pauline’s and my life too complicated. It just seems there are so many possibilities for forms of all those faculty and alum names that without an authority file we might loose someone.