chapter  6
7 Pages

Cataloging

Oral histories present a number of special problems for catalogers, and as a result recordings and transcripts all too often sit on the cataloger's problem shelf, forgotten or neglected. Some of these problems, such as multiple recording formats, are inherent to the nature of oral histories. For a catalog to function, there must be an agreement or standard about what information is recorded, and form in which that information is entered. Librarians have been cataloging for many hundreds of years, perfecting protocols to connect books with interested users. Organizing the vast and ever-changing information network on Internet is a leap, many orders of magnitude, from the contained and easily defined library or archives catalogs. Catalogers apply two principles regarding terminology, in order to help users find information quickly and consistently. Sharing catalog records among institutions, digital archives, and library consortia is the best and least expensive way to provide access to a collection, and is the wave of the future.