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ARSCLIST  March 2005

ARSCLIST March 2005

Subject:

Re: Training in Sound Recordings Cataloging

From:

Peter Hirsch <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 14 Mar 2005 13:10:32 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (86 lines)

The response so far to my request last Friday has primarily consisted of
requests to share whatever I found out, a few interesting accounts of
ongoing audio cataloging projects and a link from Christine
Crawford-Oppenheimer (of the ARCHIVES list) to a pair of NYLINK
workshops at <http://www.nylink.suny.edu/training/sound_vis.htm> that
have already taken place, but they presumably are likely to be repeated
in the future. Since I started writing this earlier today, I received
notice from Lance Watsky (ARSC list) that SOLINET is offering
"Cataloging Sound Recordings and Scores" this June 14-15 UNC-Charlotte
<http://www.solinet.net/workshops/ws_details.cfm?doc_id=2862&WKSHPID=05CSRS>.
In addition, Candace Feldt notified me that next February's MLA
conference in Memphis will have some Sound Recording cataloging content
during its MOUG pre-conference, though not a comprehensive course of
instruction. Tim Hawkins, the archivist at the Naropa Insitute has given
me a very interesting account of the cataloging process including the
organization and instruction of manpower that he oversees there. The
Naropa Institute is heavily committed to digitizing and cataloging its
audiotape(mostly spoken word)archives and would be worth looking into if
you are involved in a similar endeavor. Since some of his communications
contained information not meant for public dissemination, I am not
pasting them into this message, but he can be contacted at
<[log in to unmask]> if you are seriously interested in knowing more.

I am still looking for somewhere that offers the specific package of
instruction (thorough, limited to sound recordings and including a long
look at archival material) that I laid out in the message below. I am
wondering why this is such a scarce commodity. It seems that a majority
of the seasoned catalogers I have spoken to here (NYPL) and elsewhere
say that they learned most of what they know on the job and that they
generally had neither formal course instruction or a written manual
(aside from guides like AACR, APPM, DACS) for the specialized areas they
work in. This probably works fine in departments that have experienced
senior catalogers who can pass along their knowledge to those entering
the area, but I have heard a number of sad stories involving lone
catalogers having to more or less start from scratch since their
predecessor did not leave much in the way of documentation and, in my
case, I am the first and only overseer of cataloging for a division of
the library that has a total history of not quite three years.

Self help via following various links on the web is possible now and may
be the most practical option I have, other than pestering catalogers
outside of my own home turf. I use all sorts of online resources and
print materials for reference to get through the day, but they are
really not a substitute for being able to get the nuances by studying
with and asking questions of someone who has "been there and done that".
If you are reading this posted to MLA-L, you are probably someone who
has studied an instrument or voice and know the difference between just
buying the method book and reading it and taking the book with you to
your lesson. In any case, I'm sure this analogy can be grasped even if
you have no musical experience in your background.

I am musing somewhat at length on this in hopes that there are reading
this will stimulate response from those that have had to get over this
same hump themselves or anyone who just wants to publicly brainstorm a
bit more.

Thanks for reading, and thanks to all that have pitched in so far,

Peter Hirsch
Head of Cataloging
Wilson Processing Project
The New York Public Library



 > Dear list colleagues,
 >
 > For a number of reasons, I have been looking for a workshop/course
 > specifically targeted at cataloging of sound recordings that is not
just a
 > unit  of a larger general music cataloging course, but I have not had any
 > success in this. A concentration on the area of unpublished archival
 > recordings would be a considerable plus. I know of a number of sites that
 > are helpful in providing cataloging information and links to other
 > resources, but I am looking for instruction from an actual live person,
 > though an online course could be an acceptable facsimile.
 >
 > I am cross-posting this to the MLA, ARSC and ARCHIVES lists, so please
 > forgive the potential duplications in advance.
 >
 > Thanks all,
 >
 > Peter Hirsch
 >
 > The New York Public Library

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