Having completed (more or less) my weeding project, I decided this week that it might be fun to assign myself a new task: building an informal catalog of the books and related objects in Wood’s House (AKA The Suite In Which My Soon-to-be-Former Office is Located). It’s a task with some practical value — these materials are not included in the university library’s collections, and as far as I know there’s no master list describing them, so it might turn out to be useful to have an inventory of what’s here. This is just a bunch of stuff that happened to be in the original Wood’s House (more on this in another post) when Philosophy and Religion and Social Work moved from that building to the renovated Social Science and Arts Hall. There’s neither rhyme nor reason to it, and much of the collection is damaged and wildly out of date; it’s basically ten shelves or so of rejects, forming a sort of literary Island of Misfit Toys. One never knows quite what will be there — at various points in this collection’s history, we’ve had everything from a very old abridged Oxford English Dictionary to a book promoting the wonders of psilocybin. While the collection technically doesn’t circulate, its size has varied by a book or three over the years by virtue of accidental and deliberate donations, random walk-offs, and mysterious (re)appearances. No one, as far as I know, has ever bothered to keep track of any of it.
So, yeah. This is going to be fun! Because I’m only doing this informally, I decided not to bother with full MARC records; these books will probably be tossed as soon as the institution decides it wants to do something else with the space, unfortunately. Instead, I’m cheating a little: I’m creating a collection of records using the Bookpedia app, which I’ll probably then export in both an HTML version and CSV so I can tinker with the records a bit. Because so many of these books are rather old, I’m also going to have to dig for proper information about them, which should be a fun challenge!
By way of a preview of the next blog post in this series, here’s an image for you: