Hello Karen, everyone

 

That’s interesting! Describing bindings, annotations, decoration and provenance were all I was concerned with last year when I was enhancing the existing basic catalogue records for the incunabula in the Brotherton Library at the University of Leeds. Some of you may have read my small contribution in the recent Historic Libraries Forum Newsletter.

 

My route into the world of rare books has a little convoluted. I studied medieval languages / history, worked for the International Medieval Bibliography, and then for another academic information service, the British Education Index. So I have come to rare books as an information professional with an academic background in history.

 

I’d be interested to hear more about the modules run by Aberystwyth, and see that Katrina has mentioned them in her email.

 

Best wishes

 

Rhiannon

 

 

From: CIG E-Forum [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Karen Pierce
Sent: 15 April 2015 10:18
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [CIG-E-FORUM] Routes into rare book cataloguing

 

Hi everyone,

 

I’ll introduce myself a bit more here.  First off I should put my hand up and admit I am not actually a full time rare book cataloguer – although I do get chance to catalogue rare books.

 

I’m a cataloguer at Cardiff University, and once a fortnight (once a week when I am less busy) I spend a day working on our rare books collection (as do my colleagues).  A few years ago we acquired a large collection of about 15,000 items from the Cardiff Public Library.  As most of us in the cataloguing department had little experience of working on rare books, and as the collection was far too large for us to complete alongside our regular work anyway, a full time rare books cataloguer was appointed – but the rest of us were given the opportunity to work on the collection too.

 

We had  a day’s training on rare books standards (several months before we actually started on the books)

 

Once the rare books cataloguer was appointed they were able to provide practical guidance notes, and help introduce us to actual cataloguing – which was quite different in some aspects to the ‘normal’ cataloguing we do.  This person then checked our records and highlighted errors etc.

 

So we have learned ‘on the job’ – and it is very helpful to have an ‘expert’ around to ask questions.   I find one of the problems I have is knowing how to describe things – such as bindings, or marginalia/provenance etc.  I think that comes with experience.

We have also found that only working on the books once a fortnight – does mean that it is easy to forget things (especially if one misses a few sessions), but having guidance notes helps.

 

As I have really enjoyed doing rare book cataloguing I have subsequently taken the two stand alone distance learning modules in Rare book librarianship that Aberystwyth University run – and I have found these very useful for giving me a lot more background knowledge.

 

Have other people fallen into rare book cataloguing by accident?

 

Karen

 

 

 

Dr Karen Pierce

Cataloguing Librarian

Cataloguing Department

University Library Service

Cardiff University

PO BOX 430

1st Floor

30-36 Newport Road

Cardiff

CF24 0DE

 

Tel: (029) 20875680

Email: [log in to unmask]

 

 

Dr Karen Pierce

Llyfrgellydd Catalogio

Adran Catalogio

Gwasanaeth Llyfrgell y Brifysgol

Prifysgol Cymru

PO BOX 430

Llawr 1af

30-36 Heol Casnewydd

Caerdydd

CF24 0DE

 

Ffn: (029) 20875680

E-bost: [log in to unmask]


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