YOU, a zine for me, a zine for you
How I catalogued a zine called YOU
30 June 2016
As an employee of the National Library I am privileged to work with amazing materials that are being collected and preserved for current and future generations to appreciate and enjoy. My role in that process, as a cataloguer, is to ensure that you are able to discover those materials once they have been incorporated into our collections. What I am fortunate to see and hold in my hands, I need to describe in a meaningful way that also complies with our cataloguing rules. Of course, I also have a great deal of fun too, particularly with zines!
We use a multitude of resources to assist with cataloguing materials. What might surprise you though, is that we also utilise sites such as ZineWiki. Whilst a website like this one can provide some background information to the zine being catalogued, the standard cataloguing rules of Resource Description and Access are applied to these materials. A zine may be viewed as an ephemeral item, however it is still afforded the full cataloguing service.
It is important that I employ all my cataloguing skills and tools within my cataloguing arsenal to ensure that the records I produce are as comprehensive as possible and allow for greater discovery by you.
Other staff members, far more experienced than me, have already provided information regarding the history and nature of zines in Australia. You can read previous conference papers by Debbie Cox and Elaine Bulluss with the accompanying slide show also available through Slide share.
I would like to share with you the processes involved with the cataloguing of a particular zine known as YOU.
When we first encountered YOU it was decided to treat the material as a serial, not a monograph. So what’s the difference?
Publication frequency can determine how we decide if an item is a monograph or a serial.
If the item is stand-alone it is considered a monograph, (but it could also be a monograph in series—don’t get me started—more on this at a later time!). If the item is not stand-alone it needs further investigation. In the case of YOU it was noted that material is issued frequently, in a number of formats and sizes. YOU was clearly not a stand-alone item and so the ruling of serial was applied. Have a look at the You cataloguing record.
Notes included within a cataloguing record are designed to make an item easier to identify. Notes fields are part of that cataloguing arsenal I mentioned earlier. This is where we can utilise a free text format (within approved guidelines) to describe information, unique to specific issues, together with an indication as to publication frequency and presumed author just to name a few.
This cataloguing record shows as at June 2016 we hold 29 issues at call number Nq 808.6099405 SIN, one broadside at Broadside 1172, and 156 issues at call number HENDERSON 719.
So now we have 3 holdings with which to contend. How do we decide what goes where?
YOU can arrive here through a number of different methods including donated materials or staff acquisition trips. The manner in which the material has been acquired determines placement within the collection. At present we have a formed collection of zines known as the Nick Henderson Zine Collection. If the YOU we receive was donated through this collection then they are assigned a location and call number that reflects this as HENDERSON 719.
In the event YOU was sourced through a different acquisitions process then the material will be included in the collection with a call number of Nq 808.6099405 SIN.
But what about Broadside 1172? I hear you ask. Well perhaps a picture provides a better explanation…
In the old scale I stand at 5’ 6” or 167cm (give or take), so you can see that this item is rather large. It is housed in a Mylar pocket measuring 1200mm x 900mm. The standard 2B pencil provides further indication as to the size of this item and highlights the ‘empty’ or absent date on this material.
YOU is presented in a number of varying sizes and formats. Some materials arrive in a paper bag, others are a postcard sized item, still others may appear as letters within envelopes or have attachments such as marbles or chopsticks. Ensuring the integrity of the material is preserved whilst also ensuring YOU is accessible is another decision that is made during the cataloguing process. We use a range of different storage solutions to ensure that resources are well maintained for access and appreciation by all.
To quote Luke, the creator of YOU, I’ll speak to you again soon.