Cataloging and South Asian Language Resources: Practice and Possibilities
Cataloging constitutes a crucial function between resource acquisition and fulfillment, benefiting both the library’s own collection and other libraries’ collections through resource sharing. Accurate cataloging practices ensure effective resource searching and discovery. Conversely, cataloging errors or omissions can render resources unsearchable by or invisible to potential users. My presentation explores cataloging in the context of resources in South Asian languages – diverse both in language and script. I discuss both descriptive cataloging and subject cataloging of South Asian language resources and the need for ongoing verification and editing to enhance user access. Changes in cataloging standards in the last decade and increased availability of vernacular scripts in bibliographic records offer greater potential for South Asian language content in bibliographic search and display. I will conclude with a brief discussion on the advantages of cooperative cataloging and South Asian language resources where libraries share cataloging expertise among all participants.
Jonathan Durr has been South Asian Languages Cataloger for the University of Wisconsin-Madison General Library System since 2014. Jonathan has a BA and MA in Geography from Kent State University and an MA in Languages and Cultures of Asia from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. As a graduate student in Madison, he worked with South Asian materials as both student cataloger and in the retrospective conversion for older South Asian materials. He is particularly interested in adding vernacular scripts to existing bibliographic records which enhance their searchability. Jonathan also catalogs South Asian materials for other Big Ten universities as part of the Big Ten Academic Alliance Cooperative Cataloging Partnership and is active in CONSALD (Committee on South Asian Libraries and Documentation).