CLIR Postdoctoral Fellow, Institute for the Study of the Ancient World
New York University
All libraries change as collections grow. As a result, libraries must provide information about new acquisitions to the communities they serve. The library of the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World (ISAW) serves an interdisciplinary community of scholars whose interests range broadly. However, on an individual level, these researchers tend to focus on specific geographic regions and time periods. Therefore, though the collection of the library is broad, a researcher at ISAW may be interested in books pertaining to a relatively narrow window of space and time. This environment presents an opportunity for a novel approach to library cataloging. In addition to the list of new titles organized by subject, we have also built a map-based interface, which locates new titles according to their geographic areas of focus. Using this tool, researchers specializing in the history of a specific region can triage the large amount of new material in order to learn about what matters most to them. Both geography and chronology provide salient access points for researchers at our institution. Creating a geographically-oriented interface allowed us to better serve the community in one regard, but we are hoping to expand this project to locate new titles in both space and time. But including chronology in the new titles search will require creative solutions to difficult problems. In this talk, we will present the work done thus far on the map interface and suggest some possible ways forward on the problems of organizing titles chronologically.