Need and strategy
The OSU Libraries East Asian collection has many large multi volume sets. These sets are collections of rare books and hard-to-find copies in the history that have great research value. However, it has been long for these sets to be neglected due to lacking of adquate bibliographic records on the library online catalog. Usually only a short bibliographic record exists for a whole set, and there is either no content note, or, the set is too large to have content note created on a single OCLC record. It is very difficult (if not impossible) to know what (sub) titles are included in these sets, and as a result, these multi volumes are seldom circulated.
The OSU library has a circulation policy to move less frequently circulated books to the University Book Depository, where no open stack browsing is available. In other words, these books are packed in air-tight boxes and stacked in a compact shelving area to which only staff can have physical access. This has become the destination of these multi volume sets, as well. Once they are moved to depository, they will probably sit there in darkness for years before anyone can discover the research value they may instead offer.
A decision of moving 40 multi volume sets to Book Depository was made when the OSU Thompson Library renovaction is complete in 2009. Before moving these multi volumes to Book Depository, Professor Li, the Chinese and Korean Collection manager, called Sherab Chen, the Coordinator for Non-Roman Cataloging for possible ways of “saving” the content of these multi volume sets. A project team is formed in Cataloging, consist of three student lanugage specialists led by Sherab to work on this task.
The question is not only how to index the contents of the sets, but also how to, effectively and efficiently, make use of the index in assisting library users to find what’s contained in the sets. Traditionally, on an OCLC WorldCat bibliographic record, a field called 505, will be added, which will in turn displayed as Table of Contents on the record in public view. However, 505 field is inadequate in handling large multi volume sets. [more rationales...] Therefore, ……
Examples of OCLC records bearing table of contents
龍威秘書 Long wei mi shu OCLC#8030612
Procedures and progress
- Create table of contents on Google Docs, using Spreadsheet.
- Designate one sheet (or book as called on Excel) to a specific title in the series. We can group several sheets (i.e. contents of titles) into one Spreadsheet file, in order to reduce the number of files we need to create for the whole set. This is especially helpful when the multi volume set is very large.
- Once we complete the spreadsheet, publish it as a web page. Make sure that “Automatically republish when changes are made” box is checked. [see note]
- Google Docs will assign a specific url or web page for this spreadsheet file. Post that url to the bibliographic record made for the title, using the 856_40 field (with $z Linking to table of contents and $u …the url).
- When you have more than one sheet of titles grouped together in one spreadsheet file. Use the general url in the record made for the first title. Then open the published webpage of the Google Spreadsheet file, click on the next tab (on top of the page) to open the sheet bearing the content of another title — if you pay a close attention you will notice that the url in the address box has now changed slightly! Use that url in the bibliographic record made for the next title.
Note. Ideally, Google Docs Spreadsheet should allow publishing each single sheet within one spreadsheet file separately, and assign separate urls for each published sheet. However, we encountered the problem that Google Docs Spreadsheet can not publish sheets within one file separately. In stead, it can only either publish the entire file at once, or, publish one sheet at a time; and if later on, we publish another sheet, the url pointing to the earlier one will stop function. To remedy this problem, we used the strategy as described above.
Project 4. A large collection of Chinese local records in reprint
Description and need
This collection is under one series title: 中國方志叢書 Zhongguo fang zhi cong shu. There are approximately 3,360 volumes (Call number DS780 C52 to C58), divided by regions. The Ohio State University Library has created simple bibliographic records for each regional title, but the records are lack of sub titles, therefore, no one will know what exactly we have in these volumes. We need to enhance the records by either providing content fields (using the 505 field), or, as we did for the above multi volume sets, create other forms of online table of contents, and link them to the OCLC bibliographic record.