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Five Colleges of Ohio

Historical Cataloging: Sampling


Between April 16 and May 7, 1998, members of the Five Colleges of Ohio Government Documents Group conducted a random sampling of the various priority classes to be cataloged in this historical cataloging project. The classes selected include materials produced by the Departments of Interior, Labor, State, and War as well as various Presidential materials. Documents from the classes sampled generally had publication dates ranging from the late 19th century to around 1950. The results of this random sampling are listed below:

Class

Number Sampled

In OCLC

In OhioLINK

Need Enhancement

I 19.

55

N/A

16 (29%)

62%

I 20.

20

N/A

14 (70%)

none

L 2.3:

52

88% (4 for MF)

13 (25%)

few to none

PR 32.

68

76%

13 (19%)

approx. 85%

S

47

98%

16 (34%)

between 13 and 21%

W

52

85%

22 (42%)

85%

Because of its earlier retrospective conversion project dating from 1986 to 1994, the College of Wooster conducted a random sampling of all SuDocs classifications based on the files of documents for which records had not been found earlier. Staff selected 91 titles for sampling, all published between 1863 and 1987 with the majority published between 1950 and 1980. Of these 91 titles, 20 were found already in the online catalog with full cataloging and 36 more were found with brief records. A total of 64 titles had corresponding OCLC titles, around two-thirds of the records selected, and approximately 18 of those titles (around 20% of the total records sampled) need additional enhancement.

In summary, while the results vary from agency to agency, OCLC records exist for approximately 50 to 75% of historical documents, with some agencies or departments having nearly all their publications cataloged. The catch to this good news is that a large percentage of those same records need additional enhancements, ranging from simply the addition of a SuDocs number to more specific subject headings. Therefore, while we will have fewer records than expected requiring original cataloging, we will need to be very careful in evaluating the OCLC records that we do find in order to discover which of those records will need additional work.

Appendices : Details of Results
Five Colleges Page    -     Ohio Five Documents    -     Cataloging Project
URL:  http://www3.wooster.edu/Library/Gov/Ohio5Docs/Catalog/Sampling.html
Editors:  Jennifer E. McMullen and David J. Miller
The College of Wooster Libraries, March 2001