The Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History at the University of Kentucky is recognized around the world as a leader and innovator in the collection and preservation of oral histories. The more than 9,000 interviews in our collection provide a unique look into Kentucky and American history.

While the Center for Oral History has developed an excellent stand-alone catalog of the collections, projects and interviews in the collection utilizing Drupal and DACS, we wanted to provide discovery through our online catalog, our discovery system (InfoKat Discovery) and WorldCat.

This project had a number of decision points:

  • Since discovery is available through a number of avenues already, is it important to catalog them in OCLC?
  • What cataloging rules and standards should I use?
  • What are other institutions doing to provide access to similar collections?
  • At what level should these resources be cataloged – collection, project or interview?
  • What elements are critical to adequately describe these resources, their provenance and their availability?
  • Is there a way to reuse the metadata that is already created?

After completing the cataloging for the first 200 projects, the Center for Oral History notified us that they were migrating the server on which their catalog lived and all of the URLs would be broken. While on the hiatus for server migration, the library migrated its ILS and opened up a new set of discovery questions.

This presentation will address the challenges, decision processes, methodologies and workflow for cataloging in OCLC and our online catalog that are being utilized to expose this extremely valuable resource, including the PHP scripting used to create a metadata extractor.

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A presentation at the American Library Association Midwinter Meeting in Atlanta, GA.