This blog post covers the happenings over spring break. I was back in the swing of retrospective cataloging. Most of these materials are chapbooks or unbound printings of didactic, religious materials. Cataloging this type of ephemera is intriguing because it affords the cataloger an opportunity to see what types of printed materials were circulating. I also think it is important to understand what was preserved out of all the ephemera that was available.
On Saint Patrick’s Day, I accosted bound-with publications. I searched for a definition for bound-withs online; and to my surprise, I found a useful resource. Pennsylvania State University Libraries created a resource for their catalogers to answer question such as: What is a bound-with?; How does that differ from an issued-with?; And how do I catalog these types of materials? First off, a bound-with is “an item containing two or more works bound together after publication by someone other than the publisher.” On the other hand, an issued-with is “two or more works intended by the publisher to constitute a single publication.” This are logical difference based on temporal contexts and the intentions of the publishers, booksellers, and collectors. Instead of continuing with cataloging the item that presented this situation, I set it aside so my supervisor can help me with nuances that come with representing these items.
The books that I did catalog were items that were removed from their bindings. The indicators that can help confirm this manifestation are: pieces of the leather still attached to the spine, sewing that is going through the item (i.e. oversewn), and remnants of glue. I enjoyed cataloging these materials because they were mostly all printed from The Cheap Repository Tracts, which consisted of hundreds of moral and religious pamphlets and chapbooks. They are very interesting materials because of the subjects areas they cover in their publications. One title was “Husbandry Moraliz’d,” which offered readings for farmers. Similar to many of the other publications, it was only a brief twelve pages.
Some things I ran into were conflicting dates in OCLC records and on the Lilly’s shelf list cards. One in particular, I was able to support and reasonably conclude that the date on the card was correct, so I needed to create a new record for the item. I used several references to clarify the discrepancy between the two dates. I searched in the British Museum catalogue, The Catalogue of English and American Chapbooks, and the NUC pre-1956 catalogue. It was a very fun experience once I knew where to look.
During my time cataloging this week, I learned the value of reference resources for cataloging firsthand. I look forward to researching and discovering morsels of information about books I catalog in the future.