Situation with the B. classification Linde M. Brocato

Situation with the B. classification
Linde M. Brocato
All books in the B. classification in Stacks were sent to Oak Street in the fall of 2009; exceptions
are B.s with the prefix Q. or F, and B. materials in department libraries and in the Undergraduate
Library. Policy for cataloging biographies as documented, for the purpose of gathering them, is
that established numbers continue to be assigned, even though our policies for new class
numbers have changed, and now accord with standard Dewey classification. Thus, while many
B.s are "old" (which is how and why you collect several million volumes in a library for deep
scholarly research), the numbers are still used for new materials. As there is no place in the
Stacks for them, they can no longer have that location.
Neither the Arts and Humanities Division (A&H) nor CAM/CWG was consulted when the
decision was unilaterally made by Central Access Services, although Gail Hueting subsequently
informed A&H of the entailments of eliminating the classification from Stacks. At this point,
A&H wants new materials to be given Dewey numbers so that new biographical materials can
stay in stacks, but this will require a change in policy, and rewriting the documentation. There is
also some talk of reclassifying biographies in B. according to certain criteria to get them back
into the Stacks.
An example of the problem:
An incoming book, I documenti vaticani del processo di Galileo Galilei (1611-1741) has the
edition description "nuova edizione accresciuta, rivista e annotata da Sergio Pagano" – we have
two copies of the now-original edition from 1984,but now in STOS, because it is classified
B.G158do. Several recent books on Galileo's trial are in HIX; a couple are in STX with the
number 520.92G133xx, and there is a film in Undergrad with the latter classification.
Again, the first principle for cataloging biographies is to use the established number if there is
one, and "established" is defined as 4 or more titles. In this case, the long-established number is
the B.G158 classification, with 108 titles, while the 520.92G133xx numbers actually represent
the proliferation of a number that is not the correct one.
108 titles
5 titles
As B. numbers are not "dead" (unlike the C. numbers we used to use, or the A. numbers), if we
follow the policy articulated in the documentation, we should continue to catalog new materials
with established B. numbers, which means that new materials are relegated either to STOS, or to
departmental libraries (which still hold them), if those libraries wish to have the volumes.
In this case, the parameters of the collection housed in History doesn't include volumes of
primary documentation. This item, then, should given the number B.G158do 2009, but, for it to
go to Stacks, it has to have the number 520.92G133do 2009, even though the first edition has the
number B.G158do, which requires changing the policy and the documentation.