Bethany Kluender, Special Collections Cataloging Librarian, is hard at work re-cataloging and reclassifying Special Collections’ Dewey materials, which means she is updating the existing catalog records so they have accurate descriptions, more access points, and meet current cataloging standards, especially for rare materials (DCRMB).
This process also entails reclassifying these books that use the Dewey classification system and changing them to the Library of Congress system to match the majority of Special Collections holdings.
Many of the books are early 20th Century acquisitions and were first cataloged in the 1980s. Interesting details about provenance and binding were often not included in the original cataloging work since descriptive standards have changed over time. One rewarding part about this project has been the “detective work” of researching a bookplate or inscription from previous owners.
For example, the following images are from a 1556 copy of Marcus Tullius Ciceroes thre bokes of duties (London: Richard Tottel). Research revealed that this book most likely belonged to a Lucy Renshaw. It is inscribed to her from her friend/travel companion Amelia B. Edwards, who was a talented writer & self-taught Egyptologist. Amelia’s grave is designated an LGBT landmark. The late 19thC leather binding also features Lucy’s monogram in silver.
All of this previously unrecorded information is now available for our students, faculty, and patrons. This project is still underway with hopefully many more fascinating things to be discovered. Be sure to follow Special Collections & Archives on social media to see updates of the project.