Special Collections cataloging & metadata meetings: notes

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Cataloging update
New questions for cataloging
Plan Connextion refresher for sometime soon (or today, if possible)
Other questions/business?


Attendees: Richard Jenkins, Danielle Rougeau, Andy Wentink

Agenda: To discuss progress with cataloging Aber Misc, some cataloging oddities, and summer cataloging plans

Richard's MS cataloging questions & Andy's answers:

  • Call numbers for individual folders from Aber Miscellany that are to be cataloged separately: generally, give them same call number as coll level records (e,g, ABER MS N-R)
  • 300 field: extent: use format $a 1 folder (5 items) ; or $a 1 box (10 folders). Do not include transcripts in count. (Mention in notes field)

Oddities: Richard will begin these after Brook Farms correspondence

  • Frank O'Hara volume: handwritten poems
  • Snodgrass/Untermeyer correspondence tipped in book
  • Robert Frost volume of poetry with correspondence btwn B. Meredith and Dakin [former Vt. Bookstore owner -- I forgot his name already . .. Dakin Smith?
  • Saul Bellow volume with letters

Finding aids:

  • All present dissatisfied with finding aids as CONTENTdm collection. Prefer original plan (many years ago!) of creating/saving finding aids on server with link to bib record. Double the work currently. Andy will inquire further with Terry/Mike Lynch
  • Still interested in pursuing Archon as way to create EAD finding aids


  • Mentioned Jess's suggestion to create GoogleDoc with Spec Coll cataloging projects -- priorities, problems, progress. Sounds good to everyone
  • Jess & Danielle to begin finding aids for other collections this summer
  • Discussion of Hemingway collection


Finding Aids

  • Danielle and Andy will check current completed finding aids and Andy will make titles (etc.) consistent with DACS guidelines
  • Danielle will add these finding aids (ca. 20 items) to Middfiles folder (?)
  • Richard will:
  • Create records for each in the CONTENTdm Finding Aids collection (he has already added 2)
  • Migrate these to Worldcat via OCLC Digital Gateway (converts Dublin Core to MARC)
  • Download from OCLC via Connexion into Midcat
  • Eventually, students can be trained to upload finding aids to CONTENTdm, with basic metadata. Richard or other cataloging staff can then vet and add subject headings via Project Client
  • Timeline: End of March
  • Andy and Richard will view the Archon webinar on March 30 to see about feasibility of creating future finding aids via Archon (instead of current practice of using Word)

CONTENTdm: Field consistencies for Spec Coll collections

  • Richard, Danielle, and Jess have cleaned up controlled vocabularies in existing collections
  • Richard will review all collections for consistent field labels (Subjects vs Subject, for example)
  • Richard will recommend changes to Danielle
  • Timeline: End of March

Abernethy: Collection-level records

  • Agreed once again to create collection-level records for the Abernethy Miscellaneous Manuscripts Collection (a student is currently working on describing these). The Miscellaneous Manuscripts will be broken down into approximately five sub-collections arranged alphabetically by authors, Andy will approve and send info to Richard to create catalog records
  • This is an area we agreed on awhile ago (with Cynthia); just have never succeeded in going forward
  • Timeline: try adding at least one by end of March

Reminder: some documentation has already been created on the LISwiki for Spec Coll cataloging procedures, tho' it may need revision: https://mediawiki.middlebury.edu/wiki/LIS/Archival_Materials_%26_Special_Collections

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