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 microfilm; 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 stack 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 adding a copy of something already cataloged in Hamnet, add the new copy to the existing Hamnet record, updating as necessary. 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.

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 CD-ROMs.

Serials, compilations, and offprints

Current periodicals

Single issues of journals



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 For unique compilations, such as post-publication collections of magazine articles, scrapbooks, or other unpublished works, please see the relevant documentation.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

JISC Digital Media provides a helpful guide on the distinction between microfilm and microfiche, while the Northeast Document Conservation Center discusses the merits of microforms as preservation formats.


Microfilm holdings are given call numbers based on whether they were created at the Folger or by an external vendor or institution.

If the microfilm was created at/by the Folger, the film is given a sequential "Film Fo." number:

 FILM Fo. 112.8a 

If the microfilm was created at/by an external institution or vendor, it is accessioned and given a sequential "Film Acc." number:

Film Acc. 539

(The capitalization of "Film" in the call number has varied over time, and may appear in all capitals, or with only an initial capital.)

If the Folger holds the resource from which the microfilm was reproduced, add an "additional physical form available" note in MARC field 530

530  ‡a Also available on microfilm.

Microfiche and slides

Microfiche holdings are given sequential numbers as they are acquired and accessioned.

Microfiche 36


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 and born-digital materials

Vault modern

Post-1831 materials shelved in the vault are assigned to the general rare collection (call numbers based on their accession number) unless they belong to other specific collections depending on their format and content.


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.