Re: To Sir, With Love DVD

Delin, Peter (
Sat, 22 Feb 2003 04:12:03 -0800 (PST)

Dear John,

it's an important problem you are posing, I think. People want to learn
more about specific DVD titles they find in our library catalogues than
they did in the video age. But to do a full subject cataloguing with all
the features you mentioned is not as time consuming as one may suppose
at first glance: In the upcoming DVD age there are thousands of people
out there that have already checked the discs we are adding to our

A fundamental cataloguer's rule is called in German library terminology
"autopsy" (I do not know the right term in English). But with DVD
"autopsy" now gets another meaning. It is done by the people themselves
and we may check their reviews to get the information missing on the
cover from them, thanks to the internet. In our library we have a
central processing department which does the cataloguing but subject
cataloguing is done by ourselves. We (nearly) never use our player
because it's too time consuming. For this work we have put the links of
a collection of reviewing services for each country we buy DVD from to
the upper bar of the internet browser. So they are only a click away.
You only have to insert the title into the search field. For the US we
use (in this order) (really excellent), , , , , , (reviews available via google) , (for samplers) , (for silent movies). DVD file is the best one,
I think. If we can't find anything we use (though many independent titles are
not comprised).

We also use WORLDCAT especially for samplers. Certain library catalogues
are also promising. For example to learn about the special features of
French DVD the best source is (the catalogue of one
of the first public media centers of Europe in Belgium). They buy nearly
all DVD published on the French market and they check them all! Another
(small) source is

We also use the web sites of the publishers. For the Criterion
Collection we take the description of the special features via cut and
paste directly from their website and add "from the container" (I hope
this does not violate copyright - if you can find the same text on the
cover). We also add the names of those who have compiled and restored a
film to distinguish it from other versions in the catalogue (important
with silent movies). For example you can check in our catalogue all
films we own that are restored and published by David Shepard (we admire
his work).

We are very much interested in the experience of other media librarians
in this field especially about good reviewing resources. But after all
one has to admit that DVD cataloguing takes more time than in the video

With kind regards
Peter Delin/Videolektorat
Zentral- und Landesbibliothek Berlin

John Muller schrieb:
> Actually, Margot, this is a separate issue worth bringing up with this
> group...
> The complexity of DVD content can be quite daunting for catalogers. Hidden
> features and other easter eggs are quite common, and really should be noted
> in bib records (some eggs are jokey, but many have depth of content worthy
> of notation), but who has the resources/time to locate them?
> Of course, there will always be the problem of misleading container/cover
> art;
> So what do you do? To what extent should a cataloger study DVD content?
> Klatuu Barada Nikto!
> --
> John F. Müller
> Sonoma State University Library
> Jean & Charles Schulz Information Center - Multimedia Department
> 1801 East Cotati Ave.
> Rohnert Park, CA 94928
> Phone: (707) 664-2590
> FAX: (707) 664-2090