The Beehive: the official blog of the Massachusetts Historical Society

Pamphlets, Pamphlets Everywhere!

Some excellent news from our Senior Cataloger, Mary Fabiszewski, who announces a major milestone in her current project, creating catalog records for our online catalog (ABIGAIL) of all the printed pamphlets in our collections. Mary writes:

"The cataloging department (me) is pleased to announce, that with the addition of Barret Wendell's 'Relations of Radcliffe College with Harvard' (much less salacious than it sounds, I'm sure), the 1800s are finally at an end (as far as cataloging pamphlets are concerned).

I started this project back in January of 2008 with the year 1831. Since then 15,725 new records have been added to ABIGAIL, bringing the total number of pamphlets for that time period to 19,352. Along the way, of course, each pamphlet got a new envelope and was put in its proper place.."

Reference Librarian Elaine Grublin provides some data about what the presence of online records means for the use of these documents:

"Just to show how much Mary's cataloging efforts have paid off, here are some quick call slip numbers.

In 2006, items with "box" call numbers were requested 195 times. That was 7.6% of the total number of printed items called for in that year.

In 2009, items with "box" call numbers were requested 620 times. That was 29.6% of the total number of printed items called for in that year."

I know all our researchers who use these materials join us in congratulating Mary for her hard work, and look forward to continued progress in 2010. The twentieth century pamphlets are scheduled to be completed by July of this year.

Oh, and in case you're interested in Mr. Wendell's pamphlet, you can (now) find the ABIGAIL record for it here.

permalink | Published: Friday, 29 January, 2010, 8:59 AM


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