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University at Buffalo Libraries

University Archives

Marjorie Hehr

Click here to see the full photograph of the UB Libraries Service Award Honorees, 1982 University Libraries
Cataloging
Years at UB: 1941-1983

Marj Hehr came to UB in April 1941 when Charles Abbott was director of the University Libraries. Over the next forty-two years, Hehr served under six different library directors. Working in the cataloging department during a time before databases and online catalogs, the speed and precision of her catalog card filing was legendary here at UB.

On September 30, 1982 Hehr was one of the honorees for a UB Libraries Service Award.


Hehr worked in the UB Libraries long before automation made cataloging "easier". Here are some basic catalog filing rules that she would have had to know by heart:


Basic Card Catalog Filing Rules

All cards are arranged alphabetically by the first word, unless the first word is "A," "An," or "The"

Entries file word by word with the sequence of each word being complete before beginning longer words:
-- "New York" would be filed before "Newfoundland"

Abbreviations and numerals are filed as though spelled out:
-"100" is filed as "One hundred"
-"1776" is filed as "Seventeen seventy-six"
-"Mr." is filed "Mister"
-"St." is filed "Saint"

Cards for books written BY a person are filed before cards for books written ABOUT him or her. Works by and about individual authors are filed in the following order:

  1. Complete works
  2. Selected works
  3. Individual titles, arranged alphabetically
  4. Works about an individual title
  5. Works about the author or his works in general

Surnames beginning with "Mc" and "Mac" are filed as if they were all spelled "Mac".

Surnames compounded with prefixes are filed as one word, Example:
"O'Connor" is filed as "Oconnor"

Ignore titles of nobility or the military, such as Sir, Lady, Captain unless this is the only distinction given when persons have the same first name.

Identical words for author, subject, and title file in that order, which may result in a modification of strict alphabetization, as shown in the example:

  • Law, Richard (an author)
  • LAW (as subject)
  • LAW-PERIODICALS (subject/subdivision)
  • LAW-NEW YORK (subject/geographic subdivision)
  • LAW, ANCIENT (inverted subject heading)
  • Law and business (a book title)

Historical subdivisions of a subject are arranged in chronological order, i.e., according to date. For example:

  • UNITED STATES -- HISTORY
  • UNITED STATES -- HISTORY -- COLONIAL PERIOD
  • UNITED STATES -- HISTORY -- REVOLUTION