4 Pages

Cataloging Serial Computer Files

WithColleen Thorburn, Rebecca Ringler, Margaret Mering

The purpose of this workshop was to examine problems specifically related to the cataloging of serial computer files and to discuss methods of providing catalog access to the newer types of computer files. Several examples of catalog records for various types of computer files were examined throughout the workshop. Colleen Thorburn, Assistant Librarian in the Cataloging Department at the University of Florida, began the workshop by giving an overview of the complexities of cataloging these “new tech serials.” They can be cataloged using either the serials or computer files format. The environment of computer files is ever changing. Terminology is anything but set and can often be confusing. What to base the description on varies from file to file. Frequently, they lack a “title page.” Sometimes, the cataloger does not have the physical item in hand to base the description of the item on and is totally reliant on its documentation. Thorburn expressed concern that practices set locally and seen as important may conflict with standards set nationally and by other libraries, which in turn may effect bibliographic access to these serials.