Medieval Group Session '(Re-)Cataloguing Cecil Roth’s Manuscript Collection: What’s the Point?'

The next Medieval Group session will be led by Konstanze Kunst (Manuscript Cataloguer, Special Collections) on the subject of re-cataloguing the Cecil Roth manuscript collection.

With processing backlogs still one of the hottest topics in Special Collections and Archives, and the cry for "More Product, Less Process" haunting metadata teams in every library, the (re-)cataloguing of collections which are already somehow discoverable may seem to many antiquated at best—and a squandering of resources at worst.  Using the ongoing (re-)cataloguing of Cecil Roth’s manuscript collection here at Special Collections in Leeds University Library as an example, this talk will discuss why libraries nevertheless still take it upon themselves to acquire the funds to launch in-depth cataloguing projects for some of their collections.  It will show that, despite the validity of the current "MPLP" discussion, these projects are not the remnants of bygone information practices but should be considered to be one of the most fruitful services libraries or archives can provide to their patrons, be they mature scholars or first-year students.

Konstanze H. Kunst holds a master’s degree in history from the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA), and a master's in history as well as Jewish Studies from the Freie Universität Berlin. Before starting her position as Manuscript Cataloguer of the Cecil Roth Collection in Special Collections at Leeds University Library, Konstanze was ABD in the Ph.D. program of the history department at the University of Pennsylvania and was working on her dissertation "Jewish printing in Prague and the topography of the Ashkenazi printed text production between 1657 and 1714."  Konstanze's academic interests in the history of material texts, descriptive bibliography, and the cataloguing of Hebraica are also reflected in her experience as cataloguer and intern at university libraries in Baltimore (MD) and Philadelphia.

The event will begin with tea and biscuits in the Le Patourel room at 5pm, and the talk will start at 5:30. All are welcome!