Harvard College Library

Reorganization of Stacks Materials Continues During Summer

May 3, 2002 --Prior to the Widener Stacks Renovation (WSR), researchers seeking an 1862 publication of Montaigne's Essays, as well as a more recent criticism of the same work, a book tracing the impact of the essays on French culture, and a related journal article, could be found traveling from C-West, to 3-West, to A-East, to D-West. Today, all of these materials can be found on 5-East.

Book movers will be working throughout the summer to finish reorganizing the stacks.

"Historically, similar materials were often placed in completely different locations because of the two classification systems employed in the library - Old Widener, and Library of Congress. One of our major goals during the renovation has been to bring together the two classifications, so materials of the same subject are adjacent to one and another," said Marilyn Wood, head of Access Services.

Johnny Weyand, head of Stacks Division, notes where classifications should be placed in the vast Widener stacks.

Because WSR necessitated moving all books in Widener and many in Pusey, it offered the library an unparalleled opportunity to reorganize collections and create logical adjacencies. The result of the reorganization is a more comprehensible arrangement of the Widener and Pusey collections, easier management of collections for selectors, and an increased awareness of related material in other classifications for patrons.

"There has not been an opportunity for reconfiguring the Widener collections, on this scale, since the building opened. Johnny Weyand (head of Stacks Division) and his staff deserve much credit for carefully thinking through the many intellectual adjacencies and consulting with a number of our users in the process. This summer they face the huge task of physically moving the collections to realize the new organization. This is a great accomplishment," Jeffrey Horrell, associate librarian of Harvard

This story appears courtesy of the Harvard College Library Communications Office
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