Friday, August 21, 2009

Good News in the World of Accents

I just have a quick update of the last post. Since I wrote about some of the major bugs in our new catalog, one of them has been fixed. It seems that accents are no longer an issue. So if you're searching for Bartók, you can now just type Bartok, just like in the old catalog. This should make searching a lot easier.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Using the New Catalog: Part 1

As you might have noticed, it's been awhile since I updated the blog. We've been pretty busy here trying to figure out the new catalog and I haven't wanted to post on it until I had only wonderful news. Well, 1.5 months later, it's still not perfect, but there's some really cool features to tell you about and some bugs you need to know about. Since the bugs are more likely to affect how you use the catalog day to day, we'll start with those. And just so you know, we are trying to get all of the bugs fixed, so I'll let you know if/when that happens.

If you are searching for anything (composer, author, title, etc.) that has an accent in it, you have to be really careful. For example, this catalog considers Bartok and Bartók to be two different people. So if you want a better search, go into Advanced Search and put the two different versions into two different fields with an OR between them. NOTE: There's another bug that causes problems in Safari and Google Chrome, so if you get unexpected results using those browsers, just switch to a different one.

Refine Your Search
After performing a search, you'll see a "Refine Your Search" section on the left side of the screen. This looks really useful, but it is currently just grabbing results from the results page in front of you. So it's only based on 20 results at a time, even if there are hundreds of actual results. This makes it not quite as useful, although it is a good place to find names with proper accents to copy and then paste into a search (see Accents section above).

Printed Music Icon
If you're looking for a score, don't be confused by the icon that looks like a speaker with Type: Sound next to it. This is just another bug that needs to be fixed. For now, just look at the call number. Scores will start with M or MM (and sometimes MT for teaching material).

Display of Multiple Works
If you are looking at the details page for score or sound recording that has multiple works in it, you might not always be able to see what all of the works are right away. Again, we're working on fixing that, but in the meantime, you might need to look a little deeper for this information. The first place you can try is the Descriptions tab between Holdings and Comments (under the bibliographic information). If the information isn't there, try looking at the Card View (ISBD) tab, which is the fourth tab underneath the author's name.

So those are a few of the quirks to be aware of. There are some more, so if you see something odd or just aren't finding what you would expect to find, please come talk to me or another member of the Allen staff. We might have some ideas that could help. Within the next week or so I'll try to get another post up about some of the cool features of the new catalog. Stay tuned!