Forms of Catalogue: Physical Forms, OPAC and Inner Form

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Structure of Module: E-Text

 

4. Questions

 

5.  Further Readings

 

1. Introduction

 

The form of library catalogue can be studied by dividing it in two forms:

 

     (i) Outer or Physical forms of library catalogue.

(ii)  Kinds or Inner forms of library catalogue.

 

2. Physical form of Library Catalogue

 

Outer or Physical form is related to external shape, size and appearance of catalogue.

 

2.1  Type of Physical forms

 

Physical forms of library catalogue can be studied by dividing it in the following types:

 

(i)  Conventional forms

(ii) Non Conventional forms

 

2.1.1 Conventional forms

 

Conventional forms can be divided into following types:

 

(a) Printed or Register or Book form

(b) Card catalogue

(c) Sheaf catalogue

 

2.1.1.1  Register or Printed or Book form

 

The catalogue in which catalogue entries are hand-written or printed and bound into a volume is known as Register or Printed or Book Catalogue. Many big libraries, before the adoption of open access, were publishing their catalogues and were supplementing by additions, for keeping them upto date. In United States first book catalogue is Harvard catalogue which was published in 1723. Yale catalogue was brought out in 1745. Other examples are of British Museum, Glasgow and Liverpool catalogue and of National Library Calcutta Catalogue.

 

2.1.1.1.1 Advantages

 

This form of library catalogue remained in use for many years due to its numerous advantages. Its advantages can be enumerated as:

 

1. It is portable, hence can be consulted in any section of the library or even outside the library i.e. at the home of the users. But a catalogue of big libraries in multi volume can be not be consulted outside the library.

2. Due to its portable size, it is easy to handle and consult. It can be referred with greater speed.

3. Several entries can be seen at a time.

4. Printed catalogue of big libraries can be used as a reference and book selection tool y other libraries.

5.Occupies less space.

6.If multiple copies of the catalogue are there, several readers can refer it at the same time.

 

2.1.1.1.2 Disadvantages

 

After serving the readers for many years, this form of catalogue was replaced by card form of catalogue due to following limitations of this form. Some of the limitation are as follows:

 

1. Too expensive to produce, and laborious process to compile it.

2. Always remains outdated, as no facility of interpolation and extrapolation is available in this form.

3. Less durable.

4. To avail the services of cooperative cataloguing is not possible as cooperative cataloguing services are available in card form only.

5.No facility of guiding is possible in this form.

Due to above limitations, printed catalogue was replaced by card catalogue.

 

2.1.1.2 Card form of Catalogue

 

The first use of cards for catalogue was made by Rosier for preparing catalogue of Paris Academy of Science. It is widely used from of catalogue. Norris refers to its use in France in 1790s and French code was meant for card catalogue. In United Kingdom its first use was made by Trinity College, Dublin in early 19th century.

 

In this form of catalogue, entries are made and arranged in any desired order, on cards of uniform size i.e. 12.5 x 7.5 cm. and kept in trays or drawers of catalogue cabinet. The cabinet containing cards is kept on stand. A rode passes through the hole of cards for locking purposes. In this form one entry is prepared on one card.

 

2.1.1.2.1 Advantages

 

The reasons of popularity of this form can be enumerated as follows:

 

1.  The facility of insertion and withdrawal of cards keeps this catalogue always upto date, hence far from obsolete.

2. Can be easily guided.

3. As the entries are prepared on cards, it is easier to consult and handle by the users.

4. Card catalogue is more durable from other physical forms.

5. Being a single unit, cards can be arranged in any desired order.

6. Cooperative cataloguing is possible.

7. Economic to maintain and cards can be changed at any time.

8. Present a neat appearance.

 

2.1.1.2.2 Disadvantages

 

Inspite of several advantages, it has the following disadvantages:

 

1. Occupies much space.

2. Only one person can consult one tray, as only one copy of the catalogue is provided in the libraries.

3. Not portable. Due to its size and bulk, it is not portable and can be consulted within the library where it is kept.

4. Cards and cabinets are too expensive.

5. Mischievous readers can easily take out the cards, hence less protected. Though a thin iron rod passes through it, if someone intentionally wants to remove a card, he can do so without much effort.

 

2.1.1.3 Sheaf Catalogue

 

A catalogue formed by sheets, slips, or cards fastened in a binder that permits the insertion or new material. Slips are usually of 6’’ x 4’’ size notched at the left hand side. Its first use was made by the University Library, Leydon, Holland in 1876. It was improved by Madam Ricci in 1891. J.D. Brown invented in 1892 adjustable sheaf catalogue. The modern form was invented by Arthur Lambert. It provides shelf locking wicket. It is usually used in public libraries of U.K. In this form some difficulties of Book or Printed catalogue are removed.

 

2.1.1.3.1 Advantages

 

Some of the advantages of Sheaf catalogue are as follows:

 

1. It combines the advantages of Book and Card form. Facility of insertion and removal of entries is provided in this form.

2. More than one entry can be prepared on a slip.

3. To prepare entries on slips or paper, it is easier and cheaper to produce.

4. Occupies less space than card catalogue.

5. Easier to handle and can be removed from the stand.

 

2.1.1.3.2 Disadvantages

 

It is claimed that this form combines the advantages of Book catalogue and card catalogue. But this form neither provides the advantages of Book catalogue nor card catalogue. Due to following disadvantages, this form could not get popularity in library world. Some major disadvantages of this catalogue are as follows:

 

 1.If one book is entered on one slip, it is wastage of stationery. If two or three books are entered, it is overcrowded and needs retyping.

2. Carbon copies are not so pleasant as that of original.

3. Slips of paper are less durable as compared to cards.

4. Though facility of insertion and withdrawal, but not so easy as in card form.

5. Cooperative cataloguing is not possible.

6. Guiding is not satisfactory.

7. Can only be consulted within the premises of the library.

 

2.1.2 Non-Conventional Form

 

As a result of rapid development of computer and communication technology, now a days a newer form of catalogue known as non-conventional or modern form is replacing conventional forms of library catalogues. These forms are:

 

1. Visible index form

2. Microform catalogue

3. Machine readable catalogue

 

3.1.2.1 Visible Index

 

Visible index catalogue consists of strips mounted on a frame or cards held flat, hinged and with edge of each card protecting so as to make the heading visible. The cards are usually of 12.6 x 20 cm. size. The card is inserted into a hinged kraft pocket, exposing the top portion. These pockets are held in specially prepared steel cabinets. In each tray of cabinet a good number of cards can be housed. When a tray is pulled out, only the edges of card are visible through which the headings of entries alone can be seen. This type of non-conventional catalogue is used in selected Indian libraries for maintaining records pertaining to current periodicals.

 

It does not possess the qualities of a card catalogue. The catalogue occupies more space even than the printed book catalogue. It is not portable and there is no possibility of having multiple copies.

 

Visible index is not useful for libraries. This form of catalogue is used for the listing of gramophone records, illustrations, periodicals etc.

 

2.1.2.2 Microform Catalogue

 

In this form of catalogue entries are reduced and printed upon a film or fiche. Its limitations are that they can not be used by naked eyes, but will require microfilm reader for magnifying the image on the film or fiche. However some of the advantages of microform catalogues are compactness, occupying less space, portability and accessibility to users, possibility of multiple copies at the lower cost, easiness to use and maintain.

 

2.1.2.3 Machine Readable Catalogue

 

The latest trend in libraries is to use computerized catalogues. Catalogues are prepared on magnetic tape or magnetic disc. Catalogue can be searched at a certain times known as off line. In on line method entries are held in computer files and search can be made directly to the computer or projected on the screen at any time.

 

Three advantages of computer catalogues are keeping update catalogue with speed and efficiency, speedy search for all the sought approaches and multiplicity of copies.

 

3. Form of Library Catalogue

 

The form which refers to various varieties of construction and arrangement of the catalogue is known as Inner or Internal form. These are broadly divided into following three types:

 

(i)  Alphabetical catalogue

(ii) Classified catalogue

(iii) Alphabetic-classed catalogue

 

3.1 Alphabetical Catalogue

 

Alphabetical catalogues are again of following types:

 

(a) Author catalogue

(b) Title catalogue

(c) Name catalogue

(d) Subject catalogue

(e) Dictionary catalogue

 

3.1.1 Author Catalogue

 

Author catalogue or variation of it (i.e. pure author catalogue, author entry in a dictionary catalogue or author index entry in a classified catalogue) is supreme in value and importance. Reader can approach subject or title by many ways but author only by exact expression as authors’ name is indisputable thing. However alternative author approach is served by references.

 

In author catalogue, entries are arranged alphabetically. It tells about the works of a given author possessed by the library or whether library is having a particular work of the author. Author is a broad term which includes editor, compiler, translator, reviser etc.

 

3.1.1.1 Advantages

 

Its main advantages are:

 

1. It brings all the works of an author at one place instead of scattering them throughout the catalogue according to their subject.

2. It discloses whether a particular book by a particular author is in library or not.

 

3.1.1.1.2 Disadvantages

 

Its limitations are:-

 

1. Pure author catalogue cannot serve the readers properly, hence added entries under editor,translator, reviser, illustrator, distinctive title etc. are to be provided for making it more satisfactory tool.

2.It should also be equipped with a subject index as an auxiliary approach.

 

3.1.2 Name Catalogue

 

Name catalogue is restricted to author and subject catalogue arranged in one alphabetical sequence-subject catalogue is restricted to sub-entries for the names of persons according to subjects headings consisting of names of persons treated as subject viz

 

Basant, Annie (author)

Chaucer: critical study (Name title)

Delhi University (author)

Gandhi, Mohandas Karamchand – Biography (Name title)

Ranganathan series (Name series)

Sen, Prafull Kumar, tr.

Tagore, Abindra Nath, ill.

 

3.1.3 Alphabetical Subject Catalogue

 

It is the catalogue in which the headings on the entries are made under the name of the specific subject of the book and are arranged alphabetically. This catalogue satisfy readers approach for the subject point of view only.

 

3.1.4 Title Catalogue

 

It consists of entries for books under their title arranged alphabetically. It is useful for oriental works i.e. Sanskrit and Pali books as authors have given distinctive names to their works. However, title catalogue in its pure form is rare now-a-days.

 

3.1.5 Dictionary Catalogue

 

According to ALA Golssary of Library Terms dictionary catalogue is ‘A catalogue usually on cards, in which all the entries (author, title, subject series etc) and their related references are arranged together in one general alphabet. The sub-arrangement frequently varies from the strictly alphabetical’. According to S.R. Ranganathan, ‘Catalogue in which all the entries are word entries, hence

 

(i) it consists of one part only,

(ii) entries are arranged alphabetically like dictionary, and

(iii) main entry begins with the name of author or substitute for it’ is known as dictionary catalogue.

 

It is called a dictionary catalogue because the entries and references are arranged in a single alphabet, like a dictionary. The dictionary catalogue is very popular in the United States. In fact it was Charles Ammie Cutter, famous writer of Rules for dictionary catalogue, is responsible for the universal acceptance of this form of catalogue in Americs.

 

3.1.5.1  Advantages

 

The main reason for dictionary catalogue’s long maintained popularity was its simpleness. The main advantages are:

  1. It is simple in its use. Readers are familiar with the arrangement, hence it is easier to consult and use as there is one sequence only to be consulted for.
  2. It provides formation to the readers if author, specific subject, title or series is known. For example if a reader knows that a particular book belong to Wiley Farm series, and does not remember author, title, subject etc., he can directly consult the catalogue under alphabet and he will find his desired book.
  3. Ample use of references may also be made, which is not possible in Classified catalogue (see and see also references). These references leads from one subject to another and on heading to another.
  4. It  provides  excellent  service  in  direct  manner  if  the  reader  approaches  the catalogue  through  the  correct  and  precise  enunciation  (expression)  on  his specific subject. Suppose a reader wants material on horses, by consulting the catalogue under horse, he will get all the books on Horses at one place. He need not to possess the knowledge that it is a part of Zoology or domestic animals or livestock or farm animals. These subjects are also related each other by preparing see also subject references.
  5.  Some time, it proves superior to classified catalogue as it groups related subjects which are scattered in classified catalogue i.e.
India, Architecture NA44
India, Economics X.44
India, Music NR44
India, Painting NQ44
India, Philosophy R6 and so on

 

Reader who wants books on ‘Indology’ will get all books at one place.

 

3.1.5.2 Disadvantages

 

Inspite of all the above advantages, there is a great volume of adverse criticism that the dictionary catalogue has tended to become too complex and unwieldy. Its main disadvantages are:

 

1. This kind of catalogue is unable to satisfy the demand of the readers, if the approach is not made through the correct expression of the specific subject. For example if reader wants material of Chess and he is consulting the catalogue under indoor game, he will not find specific book devoted fully to chess.

2 .It is not as simple as it appears. The alphabetical arrangement scatter the related subjects in unhelpful alphabetical order. Hence users cannot get a full view of the entire ramifications of a subject at one particular place. For example horse, stallion, mare, colt etc all are related subjects but the cards will be scattered under the alphabets C,H,M,S etc.

3. The above scattered subjects are connected through see and see also subject entries, which are a source of irritation of the readers.

4. Though it is useful in public libraries, but its value in a research library is discredited.

5. The change in terminology of subject, thousands of cards are required to be changed.

 

3.2 Classified Catalogue

 

S.R. Ranganthan defines classified catalogue as a ‘Catalogue in which some entries are number entries and some are word entries’. Hence it is divided into two parts- (i) Classified and (ii) Alphabetical. Classified Part of Classified catalogue consists all its number entries (i.e. Main Entry, Cross Reference Entries), and Alphabetical part consists all the word entries (i.e. Book Index Entries, Class Index Entries and Cross Reference Index Entries). According to Margaret Mann, Classified catalogue is a ‘subject catalogue in which the entries are arranged by some recognized system of classification, the notation, or classification symbol furnishes the method of arrangement’. According to H.A. Shap ‘Classified catalogue arranges its entries in a systematic order of subjects, the order usually being that of the classification scheme used for the arrangement of the books on the shelves’. In this form of catalogue the entries for books are arranged according to the class symbols.

 

Advocating the Classified catalogue, S.R. Ranganthan says that the subject approach of the readers can only be served by classified catalogue. It spreads before readers a full, connected, panorama of all material on his specific subject, all its subdivisions, all broader subjects of which it is itself a subdivision. A reader is unable to name the specific subject exactly. It is always a broader or narrower subject that is usually thought of. Alphabetical part will direct him to the region of the classified part covered by the number so and so. Hence it displays the full field of his interest.

 

3.2.1 Advantages

 

Classified catalogue possess the following advantages:

  1. The chief advantage possessed by classified catalogue is that main entry not only lies under its specific subject but in the neighborhood of entries of the related subjects.

 

For example

 

2. It increases the familiarity of readers with larger number of books as related books lie in neighborhood.

3. It discloses the strength and weakness of the library by subjects, as books on one subject will be at one place.

4. The catalogue in a particular subject may be got printed.

5. It reproduces the systematic order of the classified scheme in use on the shelves.

6. Its class index entries are easier to refer.

7. If and internationally accepted or widely used classification scheme is used it will help in cooperative cataloguing and will promote international bibliography.

8. In case of change of terminology of subject, only in alphabetical part subject index cards are to be changed. No change in classified part is needed.

9. It is suggested that it is cheaper to compile, easy to file and find books.

10. In case library using card catalogue, classified and alphabetical part are arranged separately, more readers can consult the catalogue at a time.

 

3.2.2 Disadvantages

 

Inspite of above mentioned several advantages, there are a few disadvantages:

1. Classified catalogue does not offer approach there is a two step process. First reader will have to consult the alphabetical part and then classified part. So it is against the 4th Law of library science and Law of Parsimony.

2. Readers are not pleased with it is notation of classification scheme is not easily comprehensible to average user.

3. With any growth and new development in the universe of knowledge, the portion of the classification schedule may become obsolete and thus relevant part of the subject catalogue has to be revised.

 

3.3. Alphabetic classed Catalogue

 

Cutter has defined alphabetical classed catalogue as ‘an alphabetic subject catalogue in which the subjects are grouped in broad classes with numerous alphabetic sub-divisions. It may also include author and title entries in the same alphabet’. It follows two methods of arrangement (i) major subject divisions are arranged in a classified order and subordinate subjects within major division in the alphabetical order (ii) major subject divisions are put in alphabetical order with subordinate subjects are arranged in classified sequence. For example major divisions are Mathematics, Physics, Engineering, Chemistry, Technology etc are arranged in classified sequence and within major subject like Physics its sub divisions like Dynamics, Electricity, Gases, Heat, Light, Magnetism etc will be arranged alphabetically. Like this other method will be vice-versa to the above arrangement. In this form of catalogue, the combined advantages of both alphabetical and classified form are achieved. Reader can get all the related material in a collection in a logical manner. As this form of catalogue has not been experimented fully, much can not be said authentically about this form.

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Interesting fact

  1. In United States first book form of catalogue is Harvard Catalogue which was published in 1723.

 

Further Readings

  1. Gurja Kumar and Kishana Kumar. Theory of cataloguing. 5th ed. New Delhi: Vikas Publishing House. 1986. Chap. 3 & 4.
  2. Horner, John. Cataloguing. Londen: Association of Assistant Librarians, 1970. Chap. 25.
  3. Job, M.M. Theory and practice of cataloguing. New Delhi: Metropolitan, 1989. Chap. A & C.
  4. Needham, C.D. Organizing knowledge in Libraries. Andre Deutsh, 1969. Chap. 17.
  5. Sengupta, Benoyendra. Cataloguing: its theory and practice. Calcutta: World Press, 1964. Chap. 4.
  6. Vishwanathan, C.G. Cataloguing: theory and practice. 6th ed. Lucknow: Print House (India), 1986. Chap. 7 & 8.