Cataloging and Preserving the Shakespeare Collection (NEH)

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This article is about an NEH grant related to the Shakespeare collection. For related articles, see Shakespeare collection (disambiguation).

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Cataloging and Preserving the Shakespeare Collection was a grant project funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities that took place between May 2010 and June 2016. A largely book-in-hand recataloging project, its purpose was to create and enhance bibliographic access to each edition and copy of Shakespeare in print held at the Folger, adding personal and corporate name headings for editors, translators, printers, booksellers, publishers, engravers, and artists; along with copy-specific descriptions of former owners or other unique characteristics. The project also included rehousing fragile volumes in protective phase boxes, and mass-deacidifying editions in the open stacks.


Cataloging practices and procedures for the grant project changed over time. Archived pages concerning the project are found at Sh.Col. cataloging project on PBWorks Discussion at Talk:Cataloging_and_Preserving_the_Shakespeare_Collection_(NEH)

Name authority clean-up

During the course of the project, Folger catalogers started focusing their time and attention on describing the volumes, passing off the addition of authorized access points (also known as "tracing") to the Hamnet records for illustrative and booktrade personnel to a volunteer. The volunteer searched the LC/NACO Authority File, adding the access points for all established names, and keeping a spreadsheet of the names that were not in the authority file. The authority research clean-up project involves researching the names and creating preliminary name authority records that will be completed by regular catalogers.

Doing the research

  • Give priority to names that have multiple bibliographic records in Hamnet
  • Do a thorough search of the authority file to confirm that a name authority record (NAR) for the entity does not exist. Prefer the Connexion search function over the authority file as housed on the LC website, which is limited to left-anchored searches.
  • Search standard references sources for each class of entity and copy information to temporary workspace.
Artists, etc.
  • Google the names if not found in reference sources
  • For pre-1801 English booktrade entities, search the ESTC. Since the ESTC transcribes precisely, you can be sure of how the name appears on the resources. Records for eighteenth-century books may silently omit booksellers' addresses.
  • For the booktrade, perform publisher keyword searches in Connexion, to gather information on the varieties and frequency of different forms of the name and approximate trading dates.
    • Be skeptical, however, about accepting abbreviated or truncated forms of the name as it appears in recorded imprints, since standard AACR2 cataloging requires the cataloger to "Give the name of a publisher, distributor, etc., in the shortest form in which it can be understood and identified internationally" (1.4D2).
    • Fleshed-out names are likelier to be representative of how the name appears on the piece.

Recording the research

  • Create a new authority record in Connexion.
  • Use the form of the name found on the cataloged piece in the 1xx field.
  • Input the information relating to the work cataloged in the first 670.
    • See DCM Z1 for more information on formulating the 670
    • DCM Z1 is also available through Cataloger's Desktop
  • Cite other sources found, if any.
  • Make sure My Status reads: preliminary [your initials] .
  • Save to the shared authority local save file.
  • Add your initials and save file number to the spreadsheet.


External links