Friday, August 3, 2012

Seeking and overlaying

Work is usually work, and I rarely write about it in any social media anymore. However, the past week or so has had me working with some old materials. We're building or matching together bibliographical records for thousands of materials that have insufficient records, making them very hard to find in the catalog. Some of what I have to look for is pretty easy, others a moderate challenge, still others make me bang my head on the desk - in a good way of course. I do enjoy the work, the search process, the matching of records and organization.

This is what 1849 looks like.

A simple math primer. I get a weird charge working with items that were printed when Zachary Taylor was president. The materials I've been working on are very diverse, tax laws, midwifery, a treatise on infidelity that had the date of purchase inscribed, hand written by the owner of the book - a certain Mr. Orton, in 1853.

Then there was this, from 1869. I liked the cover.

There is a lot to go through, in many different languages. It makes me think about preservation and storage, a major issue in libraries that have depositories. What do we do with the stuff? Even in the digital age not everything is available online, nor can it be found at the Gutenberg Project or Google Books. Space is becoming tighter and tighter though. Decisions have to be made. May those wiser than me be making the correct ones.

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