Retro-converting South Asia

The retro-conversion project at OIL is going well, with the South Asian Collection now close to completion. The retro-conversion project is making sure all books in OIL are on OLIS & SOLO- some books bought before 1987 were previously only catalogued in the card catalogue. It’s being done by James Fishwick, a cataloguer employed specially for this task.

The South Asian Collections (with 500s shelfmarks) are mainly about Sanskrit and Prakrit language & literature, with some Pali, Gujerati, Bengali and so on. There are just under 7,000 items.
4,300 of these were already on our online catalogue before James started.
1,500 had copies at other Oxford libraries, so James just had to add holdings for OIL.
Over 800 were not in any other Oxford libraries, so had to have new records made for them or copied from WorldCat.
Finally, almost 300 items in the vernacular have not yet been catalogued, as they’ll require a specialist. Emma Mathieson of the Bodleian’s South Asian collections has said she’ll help us, thankfully!

Now the South Asian collections are finished, James is moving onto Islamic Religion, the BPs. A preliminary survey of the Bs and BLs suggests that these should be considerably quicker to work on- James looked through 984 books in just two days, as only 15 were not already on our electronic catalogue.

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