Glossary of Folger terminology

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This glossary provides explanations of terms and acronyms that are used at the Folger (though some may have originated elsewhere or reflect previous practices).


Association of College & Research Libraries, a division of the American Library Association. The parent organization of RBMS (see below)
Association Internationale de Bibliophilie
American Library Association
Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules, second edition—an international standard governing library cataloging in the English-speaking world from its publication in 1967 until approximately 2012; predecessor of RDA.


In the main building, the areas on the west and south sides that can be reached from the hallway at the foot of the main stairs: Board Room, Tea Room, HR offices, IT offices, OSE offices, storage, rest rooms, copy room, and kitchen.
Monographic Bibliographic Record Cooperative Program. Component of the Program for Cooperative Catalog (PCC) that focuses on bibliographic records.
British Political Thought. Center for the History of British Political Thought—part of Folger Institute.


The Consortium Executive Committee is made up of representatives of the over forty universities that make up the Folger Institute Consortium. They convene in the second half of October and in early May to conduct Institute business.
Council on Library and Information Resources
Cataloged Wings
Folger collection of books with call numbers based on their Wing number. (See "Wing" below)
Central Library
Name of the Collections Division until 2018.
Informal morning staff break in the Tea Room; mostly happens to be people who work in areas of the building where food and drink are not allowed (Reading Rooms, Deck A, Deck B, Deck C) but everyone is welcome.
Cataloging interface to Worldcat


Descriptive Cataloging of Rare Materials, a suite of cataloging manuals for special collections. Manuals for Books, Graphics, and Serials are available as free downloads here.
Deck A
The portion of the basement level of the main building that can only be accessed by going through the Reading Rooms, unless you have a separate key. Distinct from the "Basement" and "North Basement" on the same level. By coincidence, it's also the only carpeted area on that level.
Deck B
The portion of the sub-basement level of the main building that can only be accessed by going through the Reading Rooms, unless you have a separate key. Distinct from the Art Vault and STC Vault on the same level (surrounded by the "Deck B" but accessible by key only) and from the "Sub-Basement" on the same level (a storage area used by the Facilities Department).
Deck C
The lowest level of the main building; key access only. Often used to refer to the area with book stacks only, even though the elevator room, sump pumps, and "Deck C Page Area" are also on that level.
A sub-unit of a division, e.g. the Business Office, Facilities, Human Resources, Information Systems, and Safety and Security departments are all within the Administration division
The Folger is divided into seven administrative divisions: Administration, Collections, Development and Special Events, Digital Media and Publications, Education, Folger Institute, and Public Programs. Division directors are known collectively as "Senior Directors". Note that Senior Directors' titles and Division names don't always match, e.g., the Director of Digital Access heads Digital Media and Publications.


Early Modern Digital Agendas, an NEH seminar hosted by Folger Institute.
Early Modern Manuscripts Online
English Short-Title Catalogue, (originally, the Eighteenth-Century Short-Title Catalogue). It encompasses records for monographs and serials printed in Britain or its dependencies, or in English anywhere in the world, 1473-1800, along with holding institutions. It is the successor to the printed STC and Wing bibliographies.


Group of four (or five) independent research libraries in the humanities: the Folger Shakespeare Library, the American Antiquarian Society, The Huntington, and The Newberry. Sometimes also includes The Morgan Library and Museum.
Depending on context, (1) any of the first four editions of Shakespeare's collected plays, (2) any handpress era book where the pages are made up of sheets of paper folded in half before binding, (3) any bound volume approximately 30 cm or taller that is shelved upright rather than flat, (4) front and back of a leaf of paper or vellum in a bound volume, each side of which is a "page."


General material designation. Under AACR2 rules for cataloging, a GMD term can be added, in brackets, following the first section of an item's title to denote non-book formats; for example, "A new Shakespearean poem [electronic resource] : a modern annotated text..."


International Federation of Library Associations
Institute of Museum and Library Services
Independent Research Libraries Association, an organization which includes the Folger.


Library of Congress
LC/NACO Authority File
International database containing authorized and variant forms of names for persons, families, corporate bodies, and places used on catalog records. One interface is found on the LC website.


Name Authority Cooperative Program of the Program for Cooperative Cataloging. Component of the Program for Cooperative Catalog (PCC) that focuses on name authority records.
National Digital Stewardship Residency, a post-master's program sponsored by the Library of Congress and the IMLS. The Folger hosted a resident from September 2013 to May 2014, resulting in an increase in the Folger's Web archiving efforts.
North Basement
The portion of the main building accessible from the hallway directly under the exhibition hall. Includes (west to east): the store room for the Gift Shop, the Mail Room, Security, Photography and Digital Imaging, Facilities and Maintenance.


Online Computer Library Center, a nonprofit organization specializing in library research and services. OCLC member libraries collectively maintain Worldcat, a cooperative catalog. (OCLC originally stood for the Ohio College Library Center, but as they began to expand, "Online Computer Library Center" was backformed from "OCLC.")


Program for Cooperative Cataloging, an international effort coordinated by the Library of Congress. The PCC sets guidelines for high-level bibliographic, serial, and authority records.


Depending on context, (1) a 16th- or 17th-century single-work edition of Shakespeare, (2) any handpress era book where the pages are made up of sheets of paper folded in half twice before binding, (3) any bound volume shorter than approximately 30 cm.


The Rare Books and Manuscripts Section of the American Library Association, which "represents and promotes the interests of librarians who work with rare books, manuscripts, and other types of special collections."
Rare Book School, an institute hosted at the University of Virginia which promotes "the study of the history of books and printing and related subjects" by offering intensive short-term courses at UVA and other institutions.
Resource Description and Access, an international cataloging standard initially released in 2010; successor to AACR2.
Recataloging—creating or revising machine-readable catalog records for material that has already been cataloged, working directly from the material itself. It usually refers to the creation of machine-readable records for materials that had been accessible from cards. Contrast "recon."
Reclassification—changing an item's call number.
Retrospective conversion—creating machine-readable catalog records for material that has already been cataloged, working from catalog cards. Recon is usually performed by a vendor. Contrast "recat."


Shakespeare Association of America or Society of American Archivists, depending on context, therefore also the cause of much confusion at the Folger.
Senior directors
Heads of Folger divisions. Senior directors report to the Director.
Term formerly used interchangeably with "call numbers" for describing unique designations for the location of collection materials. Starting in 2014, Folger staff are making an effort to use "call numbers" only.
Secondary School Festival
Depending on context, either A short-title catalogue of books printed in England, Scotland, & Ireland and of English books printed abroad, 1475-1640, or an item falling within scope of that catalog.


Shared staff and reader break time in the Tea Room, Monday through Friday, starting at 3pm and ending at 3:30. Complimentary coffee, tea, and cookies are served.
Tea Room
Staff break room on the basement level. Also open to readers at Tea Time.
Teaching Shakespeare Institute


(1) Short title catalogue of books printed in England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, and British America, and of English books printed in other countries, 1641-1700. Succeeded by the ESTC. (2) Any item falling within scope of the published bibliography.