Modern materials cataloging at the Folger

In addition to its extensive historical resources, the Folger also maintains a sizable collection of modern (post-1830) materials. These include scholarly works and reference resources; audiovisual materials and microforms; and "vault modern" -- resources the Folger wishes to preserve in their original physical form because of significant provenance or copy-specific characteristics, rarity, fragility, production quality, expense, and/or because the value of the resource lies in the artifact itself instead of solely in its content (think children's books or Shakespeare-themed cookbooks).

Open stacks

The majority of the Folger's open stacks collections consist of monographs, monographic series, and current periodicals, and are shelved in the open stacks on Deck B; items can also be found in the Reading Room reference collection or staff offices. They can be charged to readers, staff, departments, and projects.

When given new materials to catalog, search Hamnet first. If an item is an additional copy of something already cataloged in Hamnet, add the new copy as an additional holding to the existing Hamnet record. Update the bibliographic record if necessary. Continue with physical processing (below).

Otherwise, search OCLC to check for cataloging copy. If copy is found, follow the copy cataloging guidelines. For materials that require original cataloging, follow available best practices and refer to Folgerpedia pages on specific formats and collections (as they become available) for local practice. When you have a suitable record, import it from Connexion into Voyager, add holding and item(s) records, and complete its physical processing (see below).

Once the item is cataloged, take it to the Deck B circulation desk for lettering. (Occasionally, materials will be designated for "rush cataloging"; these items are taken straight to the Reading Room after they are cataloged.)

Physical processing

All circulating items receive a barcode, a call number label, and a Folger stamp. If you think a book designated as Open Stacks should be transferred to the Vault, please consult your supervisor or a curator before processing it.

Attach a barcode sticker in the lower right corner of the back cover of the book. If there is a commercial barcode anywhere on the back cover, use a blank sticker to cover it before attaching the Folger barcode sticker, so as not to confuse our scanners. (Folger barcode stickers will always start with the numbers 11932.)

Write the call number of the book in the upper left corner of the title page verso. (If there is no title page, write the call number inside the front cover, or on a clear page close to the front of the book.) Make sure you write legibly and large enough to be seen easily; Circulation staff have to read your writing when creating call number labels!

Stamp the center inside the back cover (or somewhere on the endpapers or last pages, if this is not possible) with a Folger Shakespeare Library stamp.

Audiovisual materials

Audiovisual materials may be standalone works (such as a film in DVD format), or may accompany other items (such as a book with an accompanying CD-ROM). The Folger collection includes VHS tapes, DVDs, records (33, 45, and 78 rpm), reel-to-reel tapes, cassette tapes, and CDs and CD-ROMs.

AV materials receive sequential call numbers based on format. The collection includes a variety of media formats, which are numbered separately. Some of these are only represented in card catalogs or in a local FileMakerPro database (staff only), and are not yet searchable in Hamnet. Please contact Folger staff if you need assistance finding audiovisual materials.

Format Call no. prefix In Hamnet?
compact disc CD yes
VHS or Beta tape VCR mostly
reel-to-reel tape (various speeds) MP no
vinyl/phonograph record (various speeds) PR no
cassette tape t.r.c. some

Serials, compilations, and offprints

Current periodicals

The Folger does not do a great deal of serials cataloging at this time. Holdings records for current periodical subscriptions are updated as new issues come in, and to reflect when back-issues have been bound together. Occasionally, the Folger will begin a subscription to a new journal, or acquire a run of back issues for a previously-unheld title. For these items, catalogers follow standard copy cataloging procedure, referring to the CONSER standard record and Cataloging Manual as appropriate.

Single journal issues and offprints

The Folger will occasionally acquire single issues of journals or offprints of articles if they fit our collection development policy. Please refer to the Single issues and offprints page for detailed information about the disposition of these items. As a rule of thumb, we only catalog these items if they are highly relevant to Shakespeare, Shakespeareana, or the Folger.


Published compilations of essays, articles, or other media are typically treated as open stacks items. For unique compilations, such as post-publication collections of magazine articles, scrapbooks, or other unpublished works, please see the relevant documentation.

Microforms and reproductions

For cataloging instructions and more information on microfilm and microfiche at the Folger, please refer to the main Microfilm and microfiche page.


Reproductions may be photocopies created from microfilms, or reprints of early or public-domain works, published by a modern entity. In the latter case, they are cataloged separately for their designated location at the Folger; see DS465 .B57 2010 for an example.

Digitized materials available online

Use the following guidelines when creating access to digitized online versions of analog material (note: born-digital resources such as websites and datasets are not covered here, nor are electronic resources accessed off-line, such as CD-ROMs).

For materials that have been digitized by the Folger from a Folger collection item, add a link to the electronic version in the 856 field of the holdings record for the original item. (Previously, separate holdings records were made for electronic versions).

At this time, we do not routinely create separate bibliographic records for digitized versions of items (although we are beginning to create separate records for microform reproductions of items in our collection).

In those cases where public services staff or curators decide it is desirable to provide access to an item that has been digitized outside the Folger, such as HathiTrust or EEBO, the digital copy should have its own bibliographic record. This is a change from previous practice, when links to EEBO were routinely added to bibliographic records for Folger copies of the books, whether or not the EEBO copy came from the Folger.

When adding a new record for a digitized item, follow basic copy cataloging procedures. Search for an existing record in Connexion, verify the record against the item in hand (or rather, in browser) and make any necessary upgrades, and import the record into Voyager.

If there is no extant record for the digitized version, create one. This is most easily done by using the "GenerateERecord" macro in Connexion to derive a new record from a matching record for the original copy. (Keep in mind, though, that this may not always be the same record on which the Folger has holdings, due to variant printings, republications, etc.) This will carry over the information from the original record, and generate appropriate 007, 33x, 588, and 776 fields.

Note: you do not need to add our holdings to the record in OCLC. The main point is to ensure that the electronic item is accessible through our catalog, and adding a holding could imply that we have our own copy of the digital file.

Verify that the information in the following fields indicates an online resource:

  • Form: o for online resource
  • 007 (Physical description fixed field): can be expanded with further subfields, but must include at least ‡a Category of material (c for electronic resource) and ‡b Specific material designation (r for remote access)
007 c ‡b r
  • 300: should always be "1 online resource." Volume designations may be given in parentheses; check that these match the digitized item. Ensure that the subfield ‡c does not reflect the measurements of the print version.
  • 337 and 338: confirm that these indicate an online resource
337 computer ‡b c ‡2 rdamedia
338 online resource ‡b cr ‡2 rdacarrier

Add an 856 field with the link to the online resource. Since you are cataloging the resource itself, not linking to a version of it, double-check that the second indicator is 0. Prefer permanent links or URIs whenever they are available. Specify the source of the digitized version in subfield ‡3 (even though this seems outside the scope of the "Materials specified" subfield, this practice is recommended by the PCC, and is widely used).

856 40 ‡3 HathiTrust ‡u

Once the electronic resource record is uploaded to OCLC, add a reciprocal 776 link to the original resource record.

776 08 ‡i Electronic version: ‡a Great Britain. ‡t Statutes of the realm (1225-1713). ‡d London: Dawsons of Pall Mall, 1810-1828 ‡w (OCoLC)844688304

Import the record into Voyager. Add a GMD to the local record.

245 14 The statutes of the realm (1225-1713) ‡h [electronic resource] : ‡b printed by command...

Add a holding with the location EleRes.

852 8 ‡b EleRes ‡h For access, follow the Linked Resources hyperlink
856 40 ‡3 HathiTrust Digital Library, Full view ‡u

Refer to the PCC provider-neutral e-resource guidelines and OCLC's MARC coding guidelines for e-resources (note that this resource is pre-RDA) for additional guidance.

Vault modern

These are post-1830 materials containing sufficient artifactual value to reside in the Vault; they receive AACR2 or RDA descriptive cataloging for fields 1xx-4xx, informed by DCRM guidelines as much as possible. Handle them as rare materials, including provisions about not leaving them unattended (exception: Shakespeare Collection materials that are accessioned as modern materials need no special handling before cataloging).

Except for new Shakespeare translations, give them copy-specific notes and headings relevant to cataloging rare materials (referred to in-house as "special collections cataloging"). These include:

  • General note identifying artists, illustrators, and printmakers if applicable
  • Copy-specific note: transcription (if feasible) of bookplates, autographs, inscriptions, and manuscript annotations in the text
  • Copy-specific note: basic binding description, featuring style, covering material, and approximate age
  • Name added entries for printmakers, illustrators, former owners, signers, inscribers, annotators. Establish non-copy-specific headings in the LC/NACO Authority File if necessary
  • Subfield ‡5 DFo added to all copy-specific fields
  • Form/genre added entries
  • 752 field (added geographic entry) for every place name involved in creation, publication, distribution, and manufacture
  • Link to any easily-available online facsimiles (in an 856 field)

If adding a holding to an existing record or doing copy cataloging, look at the whole record to make sure both the fixed and variable fields are accurate (and applicable to more than a specific copy).


Although the bulk of English-language items and many translations in the Shakespeare Collection have been fully cataloged, a small number of items are still being added to it, and records expanded for others. As of August 2014, these mainly consist of collections of sonnets, some teaching editions, and translations of Shakespeare's works. Shakespeare Collection call numbers were previously formulated as LC call numbers.

 PR2821 .A155 Sh.Col 

Call numbers for Sh.Col. translations follow a locally-modified LC scheme, and are mainly grouped under PR2796.

 PR2796 .C9 1856-1873 Sh.Col. 

However, newly-cataloged Sh.Col. items are given accession number-based call numbers and are shelved following the LC classification.

 Sh.Col. 268- 300q 


The Sh.Misc. ("Shakespeare miscellaneous") collection is composed of artifacts of Shakespereana and other materials that demonstrate the influence of Shakespeare upon popular culture. Items include calendars and almanacs, comic books and graphic novels, toys and games, books of quotations, works of fiction about Shakespeare or his characters, and other Shakespearean ephemera.

Sh.Misc. items are given call numbers in sequence, e.g.

 Sh.Misc. 1064 
 Sh.Misc. 2186 v.8 

Other rare modern items

Other rare materials that are handled by modern catalogers include screenplays, pressbooks and programs, modern publications classified as ART Vols, and Realia.