(and some more specific cataloguing_notes)

goals for collection

  • access
  • organisation
  • coalition with other organisations
  • collection management tool ( for online access)
  • classification system (for physical organisation)

serendipity should be preserved, encouraged practiced!

some physical library stuff

possible shelving arrangements and subject classification- call numbers


option 1

shelved by broad + foam-generated subject, then by running number

-assign subjects (or use existing subjects) on shelves, then generate running number to assign each book its place

Metacreation: Art and Artificial Life would be

art34 OR (tech34, sci34, compsci34, where ever you’d like it).

option 2

shelved by running number

simply number the titles as you enter them into the system


  • running numbers will require users to truly ‘graze’ the collection to acquire all titles on their wish list- tick on serendipity
  • will make it easy to find newest books
  • will make it easy to visually determine if book is NOT on the shelf where it should be!
  • will be very foam specific, may be trickier to integrate with other orgs and their users

option 3

shelved by broad subject area, then alpha by author

-assign subjects (or use existing subjects) on shelves, then author name

Metacreation: Art and Artificial Life/ Whitelaw, M would be


option 4

shelved by subject in Dewey

-look up number on verso page or in lib catalogue or here : http://dewey.info/ ie

Metacreation: Art and Artificial Life would be



776/META if you would like the alpha after Dewey to be the title (meta) rather than author (whit)

(http://dewey.info/class/776/about.en )

standard library practice is dewey dash author/artist (first 4 letters) unless it is an anthology or has many contributors, then it is the dewey dash title.

it doesn’t really matter, but consistency will put all similar subjects by the same author/artists next to each other on shelf

* meta library system like trove http://trove.nla.gov.au/ - search will link you to multiple library holdings (MARC view or librarians view in a catalogue - tag 082 subfield a is the dewey number assigned by that library)



  • in this system like subject stays with like, increasing the chance of finding relevant works exactly where you are physically looking
  • losses, withdrawals, replacements will not affect placement on shelves
  • widely used system - familiar standards and easier uptake by possible future library network
  • keeping to broad basic dewey numbers will keep the process simple and allow for some serendipitiy
  • system created in 1876- broad subject areas dont cover modern specifics like art and artificial life, but the subject divisions (after decimal point) do- if you get the system going with the broad dewey areas (whole numbers like 776), library interns from the future can take up the reins and really break it down at a later date and you have a system and physical subject areas up and running in the meantime

EPHEMERA (postcards flyers other), AV etc

  • by type (ie separate shelf)
  • then by subject (however you decide- broad, dewey etc)
  • if large amounts on a partic subject, can integrate into collection by popping in box on shelves with books on topic
  • with multiple copies one copy integrated one in main ephemera collection
  • call number (ie dewey or running number) has prefix ie E or AV


  • maybe use an overarching prefix MAT, then other descriptives
  • foams suggested categories for materials look good, but id simplify metals, rather than P4.1 (steel) i’d just use MET/S or MET/Z for Zinc, to keep with other categories like WOO.
  • this would apply to documents/catalogues (CAT) on the materials too MAT CAT WOO (then maybe the supplier if more specificity needed)
  • materials would of course be tagged however you choose in the system, these are just broad shelving possibilities

other physical library stuff to consider

  • labeling: putting the classification on the book. want it on the spine (easier to use), inside the book (more handsome), both (standard lib practice)? make sure it is a type you will still be able to get in 5years… one public library i worked for just dymo labelled their spines
  • barcoding (lots of bc generators online)
  • interns - art libraries orgs, library schools see attached
  • flash mob the library: organise an old fashioned working bee, once you settle on some basic principles of the library to do things like labelling and barcoding. this will get work done and increase awareness of library project and your collection. perhaps foam and library volunteers/interns?
  • statistics
  • rfid
  • foamloan: how to mark a book as taken (only a shelf marker like a clipboard with a name on it, or system marker)

still havent really cracked into collectiveaccess, but still feel pretty positive about the newmuseum configuration http://collectiveaccess.org/profiles/newmuseum.xml   

New Museum for Contemporary Art, New York, NY USA

Institutional archive for digital preservation of program documentation for an art museum.

Metadata Standards

Object Types

Occurrence Types

dublin core

collections, datasets, events, images, interactive resources, moving images, physical objects, services, software, sounds, texts

exhibitions, public programs, education initiatives, publications


not sure how easy it will be to tweak but have faith it will be no problemo


4.1 Modifying an Existing Profile

The simplest way to create a custom cataloging interface is to modify an existing

profile. You will find in the Configuration Library at CollectiveAccess.org profiles

implementing many different metadata standards and suitable for a wide range of

projects. Select the profile that most closely matches your collection or cataloging

project. Review the documentation on that profile and determine what changes, if

any, need to be made.

Next, map the required changes to the five profile sections. Do you need a

translation? Then set up a locale. A new list of media formats? Set up a new list

definition. Create a new element set for that list and then add it to a bundle in

user interface definitions.

Modifying an existing profile will help to ensure that all the necessary

components for a functioning installation profile are present and working. It also

saves a whole lot of typing!

need time to look properly. have not yet. has foam looked?

i will have time when i get back to Oz.


other library system stuff

notes on building the resource

  • see how this goes, take reborn resource to like minded orgs
  • reciprocal collection use with other libraries
  • solicit a publishing arrangement. many organisations will donate their publications to a valuable/relevant library. contact organisations libraries/p.r. people for inf0

  • library/library_notes.txt
  • Last modified: 2014-01-08 14:26
  • by alkan