October 2010

Two more useful sites if you work with Polish films (or, as I did yesterday, with a series of audiobooks featuring Polish film actors as readers): Filmpolski.pl and Filmweb. I have not worked with either site enough to compare their coverage or detail with IMDB, but they were lifesavers (especially Filmpolski) for authority work.

Now to be perfectly frank (and earnest), no one hands us programs when we catalog films at Indian Trails, nor to my knowledge have the Rockettes ever made an appearance. However, we do have a number of resources to help us do the work faster and better, even if we don’t have as much fun as Annie and Sandy.

Joy has already posted about the Internet Movie Database — probably the movie cataloger’s most indispensable online resource outside the cataloging tools themselves. But there are some more specialized sites as well that are worth knowing about.

Cataloging a musical or play? The Internet Broadway Database aims to be to Broadway what IMDB is to films. “IBDB (Internet Broadway Database) archive is the official database for Broadway theatre information. IBDB provides records of productions from the beginnings of New York theatre until today.”

A niche in which we have collected, not heavily, but significantly at our library is Mexican film, particularly of the so-called “Golden Age” (1939-1945) through the 1950s and early 1960s. A surprising amount of the information needed for these films can be found in IMDB, but I have used several other sources as well.

Más de Cien Años de Cine Mexicano, while by no means encyclopedic, is a good source of information on the more prominent films, directors, and stars of Mexican film — and, if you read Spanish, an enjoyable read and a good introduction to the subject.

The Mexican Film Resource Page has a great many useful links categorized under General and Organizational Sites, Online Newspapers and Magazines, Production and Distribution Companies (and TV networks), Research Sites and Lists, Pages I Have Created (“I” being the site’s author, David Wilt), and Sites Dedicated to Individual Films, Specific Genres, or People. Of particular interest if you really want to get deeply into this, PDFs of current issues of The Mexican Film Bulletin are also available here (January 2008 through September-October 2010 at this writing; a CD of volumes 1-14 is also available for purchase).

Terminology is always an issue when cataloging films, the more so when credits are in a language other than English. You won’t find entries for the equivalents of “gaffer,” “best boy,” and “key grip” in a standard Spanish-English dictionary! Ask me how I know this! There is an online Spanish to English Glossary of Translations–Cinema, Film, TV, Drama Terms (a KudoZ open glossary) that I have often found useful. You can search terms or, alternatively (and sometimes amusingly) browse. Altera un poco el ánimo (it changes one’s mood a little) while cataloging. A drop-down menu lets you choose from a large array of languages; I have not tried any of the others, but the Russian-English and Polish-English lists look promising.

Finally, for those who catalog anime, the Anime News Network Encyclopedia — “The Internet’s most trusted anime news source.” I have not consulted this very much, but my colleague who catalogs our anime collection and is an expert in the field uses it extensively.

Joy Anhalt, Marjorie Bloss (of Dominican University’s Graduate School of Library and Information Science), Nancy Johnson (of the Joliet Public Library, moderating), and I presented a program on RDA at the Illinois Library Association 2010 Annual Conference in Chicago last Wednesday.

Our presentations, and documentation of some of the resources we consulted, are attached below.

RDA, the Next Phase (.ppt): Joy summarizes the development of RDA from FRBR and FRAD, introduces some key terms and concepts, and takes us through a timeline of what has been done and what is planned:

RDA, the Next Phase

Cataloging with RDA (.ppt): I expand on some of the terminology, explore the structure of RDA a little, and examine some selected examples of cataloging under AACR2 compared with RDA:

Cataloging with RDA

Getting Around in the RDA Toolkit (.ppt): Marjorie takes us on a tour of the Toolkit, looking at its layout and demonstrating key features (Marjorie’s demonstration was live online, but these screen captures illustrate her points):

Getting Around in the RDA Toolkit

Resources (.doc): A list of mostly online resources on various aspects of FRBR, RDA, and related metadata issues:


RDA Resources