Happy Holidays!

+
"x"
"XXX"
"XXXXX"
"GOD JUL"
"BUON ANNO"
"FELIZ NATAL"
"JOYEUX NOEL"
"VESELE VANOCE"
"MELE KALIKIMAKA"
"NODLAG SONA DHUIT"
"BLWYDDYN NEWYDD DDA"
"""""""BOAS FESTAS"""""""
"FELIZ NAVIDAD"
"MERRY CHRISTMAS"
"KALA CHRISTOUGENA"
"VROLIJK KERSTFEEST"
"FROHES WEIHNACHTSFEST"
"BUON NATALE-GODT NYTAR"
"HUAN YING SHENG TAN CHIEH"
"WESOLYCH SWIAT-SRETAN BOZIC"
"MOADIM LESIMHA-LINKSMU KALEDU"
"HAUSKAA JOULUA-AID SAID MOUBARK"
"""""""'N PRETTIG KERSTMIS"""""""
"GESE A BMDE KERSGEES"
"ONNZLLISTA UUTTA VUOTTA"
"Z ROZHDESTYOM KHRYSTOVYM"
"NADOLIG LLAWEN-GOTT NYTTSAR"
"FELIC NADAL-GOJAN KRISTNASKON"
"S NOVYM GODOM-FELIZ ANO NUEVO"
"GLEDILEG JOL-NOELINIZ KUTLU OLSUM"
"EEN GELUKKIG NIEUWJAAR-SRETAN BOSIC"
"KRIHSTLINDJA GEZUAR-KALA CHRISTOUGENA"
"SELAMAT HARI NATAL - LAHNINGU NAJU METU"
"""""""SARBATORI FERICITE-BUON ANNO"""""""
"ZORIONEKO GABON-HRISTOS SE RODI"
"BOLDOG KARACSONNY-VESELE VIANOCE "
"MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR"
"ROOMSAID JOULU PUHI -KUNG HO SHENG TEN"
"FELICES PASUAS - GLUECKLICHES NEUES JAHR"
"PRIECIGUS ZIEMAN SVETKUS SARBATORI VESLLE"
"BONNE ANNEBLWYDDYN NEWYDD DDADRFELIZ NATAL"
"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""
XXXXX
XXXXX
XXXXX
XXXXXXXXXXXXX

This is a polyglot Yuletide greeting formerly posted annually to library forums by the late J. McRee (Mac) Elrod of Special Libraries Cataloguing. Whatever you celebrate or don’t, however you do it, I hope you have the company of friends and family in these dark times.

Published in: on December 22, 2016 at 8:34 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , ,

Orc ID

So blogging has mostly ground to a halt since I’ve taken a new job at an academic library; maybe it will resume some time. But today a publisher got in touch to get a license to publish a short article I wrote and they recommended I get an Orc ID. O_o

Orc ID

No, not like that. But that is definitely what I imagine.

An ORCID is actually an identifier used to disambiguate people. Libraries have been doing this for centuries, but in the past couple of decades there’s been a push to use numerical identifiers rather than textual ones. Libraries have long kluged the problem of many people with the same name by adding qualifiers to names, such as middle names, years of birth/death, or other titles or even activities. So because there are many “Michael Monaco”s in the world,  I might be established as “Monaco, Michael Joseph” or “Monaco, Michael Joseph, 1972-” or something like that. But a simple number would make the identifier more useful worldwide. Consider Tolstoy — written in Cyrillic his name is be Алексей Константинович Толстой; “Толстой” is various Romanized as “Tolstoi,” “Tolstoy,” or “Tolstoĭ”. Likewise Korean, Japanese, and Chinese names may vary a lot depending on the language they are publishing in. There is an effort to bring all the forms together in individual countries’ authority files (for example the US has the Library of Congress’ National Authority File or NAF) and the NAF-equivalents of many countries are brought together in the Virtual International Authority File (VIAF.org — where Tolstoy is VIAF # 96987389). But these are focused mostly on people publishing books, albums, films, and so forth. More minor works like journal articles don’t get cataloged individually in library catalogs and there is no need to disambiguate the millions of academics who publish worldwide for library catalogs. So the ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor Id.) is meant to work a bit like the VIAF but for researchers and academics (as well as journalists, etc., in principle), so that my publications as “Michael Monaco” are not confused with other “Michael Monaco”s, and it uses a string of numbers (in my case, 0000-0001-7244-5154).

So anyway it’s nice work and hobbies encounter each other like that.

Published in: on September 16, 2016 at 9:07 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: ,

Good news!

Congress has been so effective at getting things done and solving problems that they can focus on telling librarians how to do their jobs!

So when the Library of Congress Policy & Standards Division decided that “Illegal aliens” was not a useful and objective term for use in subject headings (with good reason), Repugnant congressmen raced to compose a bill that would undo their deliberations. For some reason every other PSD decision made that week was fine, but this one change demands action from our normally sessile representatives.

What next, a Senate hearing to investigate subversive call numbers? (“Why is Islam listed before Christianity? Why is the Bible filed under BS?“) A Supreme Court ruling on permissible story time books? Maybe we need a congressional oversight of reference librarians to make sure every question is screened by the Heritage Foundation.

FFS, man.

Published in: on April 13, 2016 at 3:28 pm  Comments (8)  
Tags: ,

CIP for self-publishers

Did you ever open a book and notice that back of the title page has, probably beneath a copyright notice and a mailing address for the publisher*, a little block of text that says “Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data”? For those of us of a certain age the layout is familiar, as it is pretty much what you’d see on a catalog card from the pre-digital library catalog**. If fact it is there for exactly that reason: it give librarians a head up on how to classify the book, what the main subjects are, and it presents the author’s name in a form that will distinguish it from other similar names. So part of the function is that the cataloging in publication (CIP) provides an analog catalog record which can be copied into a library’s catalog. But CIP’s other function, when it come from the Library of Congress (of some other national library like Library & Archives Canada or the British National Library) is to tell librarians that this book is serious enough to have been submitted to the national library. (Actually they just submit a title page, table of contents and/or summary, and biographical info about the author, since the book may be unfinished. That’s why CIP doesn’t include the page count and other details you will find on an actual catalog record, and occasionally the title changes by the time of publication, and in some cases the subjects don’t really match the finished book.)  Getting CIP is a detail the big publishers bother themselves with because it makes sales to libraries that much easier, but it also demonstrates the publisher cares about details, and might have performed other traditional publishing roles like fact-checking, proofreading, and editorial review. Small presses and self-publishers might do all that too, but in my experience a lot of them don’t. Sadly getting CIP isn’t very easy for them either. The Library of Congress has some requirements about the number of books and authors published by a publisher before they will even be eligible for CIP, which effectively shut out self-publishers.

Naturally a number of companies are happy to fill this void, and they charge from $50-120 for the service. Of course most writers of fiction probably don’t need to bother with CIP, since the subject analysis and call number assignment of fiction is not a big issue for libraries. But nonfiction — especially nonfiction that the author thinks has some lasting value and would like to have preserved in a library — has a much better chance of getting into the libraries with CIP. I wouldn’t say it is as important as having an ISBN but it is on the same list of priorities. You can read more here, if you are interested in why CIP is important and how to get it. (The linked article mentions three companies that provide CIP for a fee. I’d also add Special Libraries Cataloging, Inc., to the list. The owner “Mac” Elrod has a fairly impeccable reputation.)

Anyway all this is a preamble to say that if you

  1. are self-publishing a book on RPGs, miniatures, or other topics likely relevant to this blog, and
  2. would like CIP as a small measure to help get your work into libraries

I’d be more than happy to provide CIP. I am professional cataloger, so I won’t screw it up too badly. And I’ll do it for free because I want to promote the hobby and the DIY community. Depending on response, I ought to be able to do this pretty quickly for you — quickly enough that it shouldn’t delay publication. All you need to do is send me

  • a mock up of what you title page will look like (front and back) — preferred title, author, and publisher place/name/date
  • a table of contents listing chapters or sections if that helps explain your content, and/or a summary, and
  • enough information about yourself that I can distinguish your name from others already in the national authority file (NAF)

See, I’m not asking for a free copy or anything like that — after all your book is presumably unpublished if you plan to add the CIP, right? I’d be doing this on my own time, not my library’s, so unless we do actually acquire a copy I can’t add your record online to WorldCat, nor can I actually add your name to the NAF if you don’t already have works in WorldCat or in my library like I do for books at my library; it will just be an email back with text to cut and paste onto your book’s title page verso (verso=back, recto=front, in bibspeak). Also I will be doing this from home, since it would not be kosher to use library resources for outside stuff. So it’s not exactly a guarantee of anything, you’re be getting what you pay for, etc., but it could help.

 

——–

*And perhaps a series of numbers like this: “15 14 13 12 11 10 09     10  9  8  7  6  5  4 3”, which printers use to note printing year and number; they just pull off the previous number, so in this case the first group of numbers might be the year and the second group the printing number, so here we see a 3rd printing made in 2009.  Other printers don’t bother with the year and list numbers out of order: “2 3 5 7 9 8 6 4 1”.  This is kind of dying out as printers no longer need to literally remove the numbers from the printing block, but for older books if you see a “1” in the sequence you know you have a first printing.

**Actually the CIP standard has recently been updated to match changes in cataloging rules and to be, theoretically, more web-friendly.

Published in: on November 24, 2015 at 12:00 pm  Comments (1)  
Tags:

Book sale haul, day 2

Back to the library, this time with my brother and a friend. More goodies.

The Dark Design (Riverworld #3)

The dark design / Philip Jose Farmer. (another Riverworld novel; still waiting to start them till I get the first one)

11226442

Njal’s Saga (Penguin classics; I’ve read a lot of Viking sagas but not this one, even though it must be the most famous of them all)

763841

The song of Roland (Penguin classics)

216494

The end of the beginning /Avi (for my daughter mostly)

https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1177443078l/704178.jpg

The slynx / Tatyan Tolstaya (Looks like an interesting one: a satire about Russia, it involves an underground society, after s nuclear war, that uses mice for food, clothes, commerce, and entertainment)

Doctor Rat

Doctor rat / Willaim Kotzwinkle (another oddball; looks like something Doris Lessing would write as a follow-up for Briefing for a descent into Hell, which was a great book come to think of it)

7081881

The best of Frederic Brown (another book club edition)

and

1027003

The encyclopedia of Hell

And afterward we checked out a neat little craft beer bar with the clever name Craft Beer Bar. There we knocked a few back while opening up a grab bag of 20 more sci-fi paperbacks I got for a dollar!

There were some classics ( 2 by HG Wells, as well as Callahan’s Crosstime Saloon by Spider Robinson, A stainless steel rat is born by Harry Harrison) as well a several others I’ll give a shot; about 2/3 were dross though (Piers Anthony, number X in a series, Star Wars novels, and similar). It was a lot of fun.

The only downside is that I need to clear shelf space now. The wife strictly enforces a “one book in, one book out” policy that I have to admit is for my own good.

Published in: on May 9, 2015 at 10:58 pm  Comments (2)  
Tags:

Book sale haul, day 1

As I always try to do, I hit the “pre-sale” for Friends of the Library the other night. As usual, I was a little disgusted by all the prospectors with scanners looking for stuff to resell at a profit. I know the library gets money either way but it seems really dishonest to prey on people’s good will for the library like that; after all the stuff I buy I’ll probably donate back so someone can enjoy it for a buck or less while these vultures are sending them off to jerkwad collector, right? Yeah maybe I shouldn’t begrudge them. I guess I’m just annoyed they aren’t actually there to find things to read and enjoy. Oh well.

The cover images are all swiped from Goodreads.com, which has a surprisingly complete catalog.

I’m planning to hit it again on Saturday (probably while this post goes up). They always restock the shelves between the sale days.

Not a bad haul so far for 5 bucks:

8359940

Dragons / Hogarth & Clery (love this cover; it’s a nice illustrated miscellany on dragons)

874563

The magic of Atlantis / ed. Lin Carter (Atlantis-related tales by the usual pulp fantasy suspects — Howard, Kuttner, de Camp, etc.)

11115558

Little, big / John Crowley (a hardback in excellent condition, even though it is a “book club edition”)

462383

Return to Quag Keep / Norton & Rabe (withdrawn library copy; I would not normally bother with Norton but this does have a D&D connection and an intro by EGG)

3821856

Three Hainish novels / Le Guin (typical beat up book club edition but I like le Guin)

1293690

The dwellers on the Nile / E.A. Wallis Budge (a Dover reprint of a fairly classic book on the Egyptians; I may have read this before but I’m not sure)

11383493

Sturgeon is alive and well (stories by Theodore Sturgeon, a true master)

7858

Dead cities / Mike Davis (nonfiction about extinct and abandoned cities of modern times; looks interesting)

483992

Fantastic archaeology / Stephen Williams (about crackpot theories about North American prehistory; unfortunately I realized it has some mildew when I got it home so it will not be joining the shelves permanently; so far it’s good)

716523

The sundering flood / William Morris (a BAF paperback in good condition)

[no pic!]

Issues # 15 and 16 of Harbinger (2005) — a British miniatures magazine I’d never heard of.

Published in: on May 9, 2015 at 12:00 pm  Comments (5)  
Tags:

Merry Everything!

+
"x"
"XXX"
"XXXXX"
"GOD JUL"
"BUON ANNO"
"FELIZ NATAL"
"JOYEUX NOEL"
"VESELE VANOCE"
"MELE KALIKIMAKA"
"NODLAG SONA DHUIT"
"BLWYDDYN NEWYDD DDA"
"""""""BOAS FESTAS"""""""
"FELIZ NAVIDAD"
"MERRY CHRISTMAS"
"KALA CHRISTOUGENA"
"VROLIJK KERSTFEEST"
"FROHES WEIHNACHTSFEST"
"BUON NATALE-GODT NYTAR"
"HUAN YING SHENG TAN CHIEH"
"WESOLYCH SWIAT-SRETAN BOZIC"
"MOADIM LESIMHA-LINKSMU KALEDU"
"HAUSKAA JOULUA-AID SAID MOUBARK"
"""""""'N PRETTIG KERSTMIS"""""""
"GESE A BMDE KERSGEES"
"ONNZLLISTA UUTTA VUOTTA"
"Z ROZHDESTYOM KHRYSTOVYM"
"NADOLIG LLAWEN-GOTT NYTTSAR"
"FELIC NADAL-GOJAN KRISTNASKON"
"S NOVYM GODOM-FELIZ ANO NUEVO"
"GLEDILEG JOL-NOELINIZ KUTLU OLSUM"
"EEN GELUKKIG NIEUWJAAR-SRETAN BOSIC"
"KRIHSTLINDJA GEZUAR-KALA CHRISTOUGENA"
"SELAMAT HARI NATAL - LAHNINGU NAJU METU"
"""""""SARBATORI FERICITE-BUON ANNO"""""""
"ZORIONEKO GABON-HRISTOS SE RODI"
"BOLDOG KARACSONNY-VESELE VIANOCE "
"MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR"
"ROOMSAID JOULU PUHI -KUNG HO SHENG TEN"
"FELICES PASUAS - GLUECKLICHES NEUES JAHR"
"PRIECIGUS ZIEMAN SVETKUS SARBATORI VESLLE"
"BONNE ANNEBLWYDDYN NEWYDD DDADRFELIZ NATAL"
"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""
XXXXX
XXXXX
XXXXX
XXXXXXXXXXXXX

Enjoy your winter solstice celebration of choice! The above ASCII art is a polyglot Yuletide greeting posted annually to library forums by J. McRee (Mac) Elrod of Special Libraries Cataloguing

Published in: on December 24, 2014 at 10:49 am  Comments (1)  
Tags: , ,

The Brut

The oldest book I’ve ever cataloged is this:

brut1Here it is, laying in a protective box.    It had languished for some time in the “backlog” of items that never had electronic records created when my library moved from a card catalog to a computer catalog.  This was a very fairly common issue (and still is, really) because libraries rely on cooperative bibliographic databases for the vast majority of their catalog records.  But most libraries have a lot of rare, or even unique, items — like this one — that need original cataloging.  (Of course every new publication needs an original record too; it’s just that once it’s made, libraries can all share it!)

Anyway this is a book that was made in the 15th century, to judge by the handwriting.  It has 99 numbered leaves, plus a few leaves pasted into the front and back later with scribbled notes.

brut2The whole thing was, of course, copied by hand by some scribe, and because he had some extra space, he copied more than one work into it.   There is a short geographical introduction which identifies some of the places mentioned in the main work.  This is the first page of it:

brut3Then the main work begins — a history or chronicle of England, called the “Brut” because the first English king mentioned is a Brutus.

brut4“Here folowith the Chronicle of England shortly[?] [something]”

The text is mostly unadorned, apart from some red & blue initials

brut6and some marginal notes.

brut7The bookdealer’s description says the book is all in one hand but I would disagree.  Then again I’m no expert.

In addition to the “Brut” chronicle, there is a longish romantic poem called “The destruction of Jerusalem,” and also a popular poem (sometimes attributed to Walter Mapp) called “Cur mundus militat,” which tells of the vanity of the world.  The first line is “Why is the world loved Þat is false and vayne…

brut8Maybe you can almost make that out above.

brut9The red bar on this page is actually just the laser from the bar-code scanner at my desk.  If you’re worried about the fact that I handled this book bare-handed, I should mention that I did wash my hands thoroughly, and gloves are not always worn when handling old materials because the clumsy handling of gloved fingers by librarians, scholars, etc. has been found to be more damaging to brittle pages than leaving traces of skin oils.  (Notice too that a book like this was handled by many, many people for decades or even centuries, as it is written in English which means it was meant to be popularly enjoyed; probably read aloud by literate members of the household that owned it.)

Someone else at my library blogged about this book alreadyThe Brut is interesting as it mixes legend with real history.  King Arthur is among the kings listed.  The first compilation was sometime in the early fifteenth century and stopped around 1415; later authors added “expansions” to keep it up-to-date.  There is a book on the development of the work here.  I don’t know which version we have; I suppose a more thorough investigation could identify it and narrow down the date. I had a devil of a time finding a modern text version of the chronicle, but did find this.  This version is over 600 pages, and includes a lot of “extras” from various versions of the text as well as associated poems and romances.  I’ll keep an eye out for a modern English version.

Published in: on February 23, 2014 at 8:26 am  Comments (3)  
Tags: , ,

A patent of nobility

Several years ago, in my job as a librarian, I got to catalog a really unusual item: a patent of nobility.  Patents of nobility were issued when a person was granted a title, and usually include a coat of arms to go with the title.

The patent I cataloged had been almost forgotten some time before I came to the library, and stored among other old items that had been set aside for careful treatment or further research.  In this case the patent was a large “quarto” sized book (each page is a quarter of full sized sheet, in this case that makes the book 37 cm tall), bound in red velvet and with black and yellow ribbons tying it closed.  A wooden disc was attached by a gold cord, and when I looked more closely at the disc I realized it had a lid and opened.  Inside I found this:

patent2It’s a little hard to make out but it is a coat of arms.  In fact it is the Great Seal of Austria, the great seal of Joseph II, Holy Roman Emperor, impressed on red wax.  This sort of wax is very hard and somewhat brittle — sealing wax.

Here’s the book’s cover and the seal:

patent1The book had about twenty pages, and each was hand-lettered in a fairly fancy calligraphy.  Here are some pages and details:

The first page, with hand-drawn decoration

The first page, with hand-drawn decoration

Another page

Another page

patent6Here we see his full title: Franz Carl Maydan von Dannenthal.  He was apparently an artillery commander of some kind.  The text, I assume, explains his genealogy and what he did to earn his title, but the German was beyond me to scan and I could not take the time to try to decipher it all.  He had a short entry in a reference book, which I consulted while creating an authority record for his name.  Otherwise he is basically forgotten, except perhaps by his descendants.

The coolest part of the book is the coat of arms — rendered in full color, with gold foil decorations.  This was painted directly on the page, and the colors were quite brilliant despite the age:

patent4Here’s a close-up.  Is that Franz Karl Maydan’s portrait at the crest, or just a generic knight?  I don’t know.

patent8Unfortunately I only took pictures with my phone, so these are not great images.  Still, it is quite a treasure.

It is signed by Joseph II of Austria   and a variety of others (I could not make out their names).  It is dated 1781.  You can take a look at it in the flesh if you come to Cleveland.  (There are many, many more treasures in the Special Collections of Cleveland Public Library too.)

Published in: on January 12, 2014 at 8:00 pm  Comments (8)  
Tags: ,

Quit your bitching about the 5e playtest; please redirect your nerdrage against CISPA

Thanks to Big Rich for reminding me that this legislation is still under consideration.

Tell your senators to kill this bill.  There is no need for such an invasive law.  Privacy matters even if you have nothing to hide.

Thanks!

 

Published in: on May 24, 2012 at 10:00 am  Comments (2)  
Tags: , ,
Fail Squad Games

Tabletop RPG Products

Cigar Box Battle

An online resource blog for gamers and geeks focused on wargames miniatures and board games and role playing games

terribleminds: chuck wendig

Chuck Wendig: Freelance Penmonkey

Save Vs. Dragon

"We are here on Earth to fart around. Don't let anybody tell you any different."--Kurt Vonnegut

POWER WORD KILL

Old School Roleplaying and related musings

Hobgoblin Orange

My return to the world of miniature figure painting and RPGs

booksandopinions.com

The Book Reviews You Can Trust!

Dawn of the Lead

Zombies and Miniature Wargaming

The WordPress.com Blog

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.

hosercanadian

Miniature Motivation

Take On Rules

Jeremy Friesen - a poor soul consumed by gaming.

Age of Dusk

Roleplaying, reviews and associated paraphernalia.

Roll to Disbelieve

"We are here on Earth to fart around. Don't let anybody tell you any different."--Kurt Vonnegut

A Book of Creatures

A Complete Guide to Entities of Myth, Legend, and Folklore

Making the Past

Diary of an apprentice swordsmith

Ancient & Medieval Wargaming

Using De Bellis Antiquitatis, with the odd diversion...

Riffing Religion

Prophets should be mocked. I'm doing my part.

Cirsova

An encyclopedia of the Cirsovan empire, thoughts on Gaming, Music and more.

2 Warps to Neptune

Surveying the Gen X landscape and the origins of geek

Inside the Shadowbox

Rolling the dice. Writing the words. Pushing the buttons. Eating the bacon. Smiling and waving.

daggerandbrush

Miniature painting, wargaming terrain creation and more

Fractalbat

A lair for gaming, sci-fi, comics, and other geekish pursuits.

tenfootpole.org

I bought this stuff and read it so you don't have to.

Role Play Craft

Crafting ideas, options, and modules for your role playing campaign.

The Rambling Roleplayer

A collection of advice, essays, and rambling rants about tabletop gaming and other geekiness. Often updated Monday-ishly.

Sheppard's Crook

The occasional blog of a closet would -be wargamer and modeller

10 Bad Habits

Where the Wild Things Aren't

The Weekly Sift

making sense of the news one week at a time

inthecitiesdotcom

Just another WordPress.com site

Lost in Time

"What happened to Claw Carver?"

chieflyill

gaming, graphics, and genrefication

Stuffed Crocodile

Mazes, Martians, Mead

Metropollywog

Role-Playing Games, Medieval History, Assorted Legends and Myths, and My Stupid Life.

%d bloggers like this: