Conversion has begun at the Moravian Music Foundation, but we are not talking about a religious conversion — rather a conversion from catalog records on paper converted to online records in a new web catalog. Barbara Strauss and David Blum, catalogers for this project, started working on two tracks — working on the Research Library and working on the manuscript collections from the vaults.
As David worked his way through the Research Library collection, he integrated books from the Moravian Music Foundation with the books from the Southern Province Archive into one collection ordered by Library of Congress call numbers. Each volume, however, retains a mark for the Archives or the Foundation. David has found some real gems, which Nola Knouse will explore at one of the lunch lectures in the future.
Barbara worked with staff from Backstage Library Works in Provo, Utah as they converted the catalog records for the manuscripts and early music imprints. This is a high-tech, high-touch job. Barbara created specifications for each collection to create a consistent record with all the Moravian and musical points of identity. Catalog cards or book catalogs were scanned; catalogers at Backstage Library Works created records according to specifications; records were checked for quality assurance; finally the records were added to the largest library database in the world — WorldCat.org. From WorldCat.org, the Foundation will create the new web catalog.
What will all this conversion work do? There is not one answer to that question. As this project progresses, we will discover many benefits to this conversion work. Let me start with one. On the Foundation’s webpage Research at the Moravian Music Foundation, Nola discusses a broad array of research topics and approaches. All of this is based on the assets found in the Winston Salem and Bethlehem vaults. This conversion work will facilitate research on these topics and topics we haven’t dreamed of yet.