Materials in this database comprise a wide variety of types of publications, including monographs, serials, musical scores, and multivolume literary, scientific, and reference sets. We attempted to formulate a methodology that would approach each publication (at volume level) on an individual, yet consistent, basis. We carefully opened each publication, assessed its physical condition, and thoroughly inspected it for marginalia, bookplates, cataloging numbers, and inserted materials. We then located a record for the publication on WorldCat, exported it to RefWorks, and recorded our findings into a customized template. All marginalia of interest was transcribed true to the original rendering. We recorded the locations of all insertions but left them where we found them (with the exception of a catalog removed by the curator).
Digital images were created of particularly fascinating inscriptions and inserted materials. We created approximately two-hundred-and-twenty high-resolution digital images using an Epson Expression 11000X scanner. Site logistics prevented the use of the scanner for thirty additional images of lower resolution, but some of these were subsequently photographed with a Canon XLR by Digital Imagery Specialist Marianita Peaslee. These images have all been embedded in their database records. We then supplemented the completed records with links to electronic texts on Internet Archive, HathiTrust, Google Books, and other portals where available. We hope we have achieved one of the primary goals of this project, namely that researchers will now be able to access bibliographic and cataloging information for OC library publications alongside electronic versions of the publications themselves.
OC librarians employed two distinct manuscript cataloging systems. Most publications in the OC library contain cataloging information from one or both systems, providing evidence for change in the organization of the OC library over time. These systems have been labeled as OCMH1 and OCMH2 within records. Approximately two hundred publications do not contain handwritten cataloging information at all. In addition to displaying manuscript cataloging information, three publications contain yellow "O.C. LIBRARY" labels that post-date the OC itself (Ref ID 1753a). Two-hundred-and-eighty publications contain pasted-in printed labels bearing cataloging information from the library of the Wallingford Community (WC), the largest and most prosperous satellite branch of the OC (Ref ID 89a).
We cataloged nearly the entire OC library. All together, more than a thousand individual publications comprising approximately three thousand volumes were examined for all of the aforementioned attributes. Regrettably, we were unable to handle extensive runs of five major nineteenth-century serial publications held by the OC library: Scribner's Monthly, Popular Science Monthly, Atlantic Monthly, Nature: A Weekly Illustrated Journal of Science, and Appleton's Journal of Literature, Science, and Art. These serials await the diligence of future researchers. Despite choosing not to catalog these serials in detail, we tried whenever possible to acquire electronic texts for them.
When generating RefWorks records, we occasionally came across publications in the OC library that failed to match preexisting records on WorldCat. We customized these records to eliminate discrepancies and acknowledged the changes we made whenever applicable. Following the completion of the cataloging process, we searched for electronic texts that matched the publications in the OC library with respect to title, year, publisher, and pagination. We chose to use electronic texts that varied slightly in pagination if other publication details were consistent. Likewise, when publication year and/or publisher differed, we used electronic texts only when pagination was consistent. Discrepancies between electronic and physical texts have been documented when necessary. We chose not to link records to electronic texts that deviated significantly from the publications in the OC library with respect to both publication information and pagination.