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).



  • Basement: 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.


  • CEC: Consortium Executive Committee
  • CLIR: Council of Library and Information Resources
  • Coffee: Morning staff break in the Tea Room


  • DCRM: 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 or A-Deck: 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.
  • Deck B or B-Deck: 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 or C-Deck: 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.
  • Division: The Folger is divided into seven administrative divisions: Administration, Central Library, Development and Special Events, Digital Media and Publications, Education, Folger Institute, and Public Programs. Division directors are known collectively as "Senior Directors".



  • FAHN: a group of four (or five) independent research libraries in the humanities: the Folger, the American Antiquarian Society, the Huntington, and the Newberry. Sometimes also includes the Morgan.



  • NACO: Name Authority Cooperative Program of the Program for Cooperative Cataloging.
  • NDSR: 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.
  • 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.


  • OCLC: 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.")


  • PCC: 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.


  • RBMS: 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."


  • SAA: Shakespeare Association of America or Society of American Archivists, depending on context, therefore also the cause of much confusion at the Folger.
  • Senior directors: Division heads, though not all have "Director" in their job title (for example, the Librarian is the senior director of the division known as "Central Library"). Senior directors report to the Director.
  • Shelfmarks: Term formerly used interchangeably with "call numbers" for describing the location of collection items. Starting in 2014 we're making an effort to use "call numbers" only.
  • SSF: Secondary School Festival
  • STC: Variously used to refer to a book printed in in England, Scotland, or Ireland (or an English-language book printed elsewhere) between the years 1475 and 1640, and to A Short-Title Catalogue of Books Printed in England, Scotland, & Ireland and of English Books Printed Abroad, 1475-1640 (the published catalog of such books, also known as "Pollard and Redgrave"). ESTC, an online database now hosted at the British Library, includes the Short Title Catalogue and can be consulted here.


  • Tea: 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.
  • TSI: Teaching Shakespeare Institute