Catalogers: the invisible librarians

You see their work, but when you go to the library you don’t see them. Or if you do, you can’t distinguish them from patrons like you unless you know them personally. Catalogers. I have been haunting libraries for as long as I can remember. Especially after I got to graduate school, I became very sophisticated in my ability to use the card catalog. (That should date me.) I was ABD (all but dissertation in completing a doctorate) when I got my first job working in a library. It was there that I learned to catalog. Until that moment, it … Continue reading

National Union Catalog Pre-1956 Imprints, repurposed for Christmas!

[ad name=”Google Adsense 468×60″] Once upon a time, there was no National Union Catalog, that is, a catalog showing the holdings of several libraries. If people using one library wanted to know what another library held, they had to find a catalog for that library, which usually meant going there or contacting a librarian by mail or telephone. Some libraries (the New York Public Library comes to mind) actually did issue books of photographic reproductions of their card catalogs from time to time, which other libraries held in their reference collections. Most libraries did not. In 1901, the Library of … Continue reading