Pictures in Print
As many of the loose items had not been numbered, once they had been sorted and duplicates removed, a numbering scheme was required. The decision at this stage, is whether to create an independnet sequence, or to design something that will be extensible to a wider context (e.g. if topographical prints from other counties, countries etc. are to be included, or different genres of print). Printed books already had shelfmarks so did not require further attention.
The Cathedral Library already had a system. This simply involved numbering prints on accession in one sequence, so topographical or portrait prints and loose photographs are all kept in one sequence. Nearly all of these relate to the Cathedral, so there is little need to introduce any distinction at the storage level.
The University Library had no system, but wanted to be able to create a solution that would work for topographical prints (leaving other media such as portrait prints aside for a separate sequence). As the library holds prints relating to other counties and countries, a classification was decided that allowed for these to be included too, although the only part developed was for County Durham. Three sizes of material were anticipated for the category, which was designated "Topo", a boxed sequence, a folder sequence stored flat in plan files and rolled sequence for anything larger, called respectively "Topo", "Topo+" and "TopoRoll". To this was a subdivision for major location using two letters for country and two for county (e.g. "EN" for England and "DU" for Durham). After this a three letter code identified the place (e.g. "Dar" for Darlington, which had a further subdivision of a single letter (and sometimes a number) in the case of large places. Finally a number identified each item. This gives a system thus:
Topo/ENDU/Bar/5 - Standard boxed sequence, England, County Durham, Barnard Castle, 5th item
Topo+/ENDU/Dar/A/2 - Plan file, England, County Durham, Darlington, Churches, 2nd item
At its most complicated (for Durham City) the penultimate subcode was subdivided as follows: .../Dur/A ... denotes views of the city and each number indicates direction, e.g. A1 - View from North; A2 View from North East etc. Over two hundred codes were required for County Durham.
The County Library adopted the same scheme, but had less requirement for it to be extendable beyond County Durham.
Both the County and Cathedral Libraries had straightforward sequences for all maps in folders and simply allotted the next number to each new accession. The University Library uses the same Dewey codes for maps as for printed books, storing small bound folded items on shelves and larger items in folders in plan chests.
Most of the loose material (up to 40 x 50 cm) has been placed in folders (usually one per place or part thereof rather than for each item) which are stored in archival boxes 42 x 53 x 4 cm in size. Larger items are placed in acid free card folders and stored flat in plan chests, apart from rolled maps which are shelved (with a protective cover if necessary).
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Page maintained by Richard Higgins (e mail - firstname.lastname@example.org). Last revised: May 2004