School of Information Management & Systems   Spring 2000.   Michael Buckland.
245 Organization of Information in Collections.

Exercise 2: Names in Melvyl catalog - Due Feb 2

In catalogs and indexes, each different name is presumed to be a different person. If different persons do have the same form of name, the cataloger should "differentiate" them, usually by making sure that the name is complete, adding birth/death dates and/or other attributes as needed to distinguish different individuals. Different names (or different forms of name) used by the same author should be consolidated under a preferred form of her/his name and/or linked by cross-references so that finding any one form of the name will find all forms. To "control" such complexity it is common practice to maintain an "authority file", a list of "established" (approved, authorized) forms, other forms, and cross-references, with notes citing the evidence used. (And likewise with variant names of topics in a list of subject headings, alias "Thesaurus"). In the GLADIS system a search retrieves a list of headings, when you select a heading from the list then you retrieve recordds for documents (books, etc.). In MELVYL there are two "find" commands: the BROWSE command finds headings; and the FIND finds records for documents. In effect, FIND, first performs a BROWSE to find headings and then automatically continues to retrieve all the records "posted" to that heading. Explore this structure in the MELVYL CATALOG. Do the following in the following order:

2. Do F PA T'U-WEN, MA-K'O How many records?
3. Something odd? Do both again and use D REV 333- after each to see a screen or two of records yielded by each. Explanation?

4. Check MELVYL's list of authors' names by using the BROWSE command: Try BRO PA SNODGRASS, QUINTUS CURTIUS Who is who?

5. Do F DLA ID 3013380 then D LONG What do you find?

6. Another example: BRO PA SEUSS then SELECT second author: SEL 2 Then, for records of works by this author, do, e.g. D LONG 47 and D LONG 237 What do you find?

7. George C. Bompas wrote a book about his eccentric brother-in-law called Frank. Can you find it? Frank who?

8. Does MELVYL contain any books by this Frank? You could try F PA for books by him. You could try BRO PA for the heading for him. [Note: He lived 1826-1880. He wasn't Frank Merton Buckland and he wasn't Frank Morgan Buckland].


10. Do F PA BOMPAS, GEORGE C then do D LONG in order to reveal the subject heading for the subject of the biography.

11. If MELVYL didn't find this Frank's books at step 8, why not?

12. What could be done to MELVYL so that these books would have been found by the search command F PA BUCKLAND, FRANK ?

13. What author's name in the MELVYL CATALOG most closely resembles your own name? Best approach is to use BROWSE PA . Start with BROWSE PA [your own name in full], and then successive approximations (e.g. surname, first name and middle initial; surname first name; surname, truncated first name [e.g. MICH# for Michael]; surname and initials;... ) until you find the best match you can. Then SELECT the name and find a book. What did you find? (Revised 1/25/00)