Page 50 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 35

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JEWISH BOOK ANNUAL
the Rava family, owners of item 4, the Bologna Pentateuch of
1482.
II. Card catalogs in facsimile
There is a paradox in publishing a card catalog. The card
catalog was prized for its flexibility, for the ease w ith which it
could absorb new entries w ithout altering its basic structure.
Yet issuing the card catalog in book form cancels this advantage,
at least for users of the published version. Although the tradi­
tional motives for publication count where publication of card
catalogs is concerned, at least two new factors also come into
play. One of these is the conclusion of at least one commercial
firm that there is money to be made in such an enterprise.
Another is a new sense of the urgency of the need for coopera­
tion. Herbert C. Zafren, in his Introduction to the Dictionary
Catalog of the K lau Library, acknowledges a qualitative change
in the conditions under which libraries operate:
This is an age of library cooperation. The increasing
flood of books, pamphlets, periodicals, and other informa­
tion has made it impossible for any single library to
collect and classify all of it. It therefore becomes necessary
for libraries to pool their resources by publishing details
of their holdings, especially when these are highly spe­
cialized. Thus, the total resources of the nation become
known and usable.
In this spirit, the L ibrary of the Hebrew Union College
—Jewish Institute of Religion presents this catalog to
reveal the extent of its resources, to invite use by those
qualified, to assist other libraries to bu ild up their own
collections and to catalog them.
In the case of the First Supplement to the Dictionary Catalog
of the Jewish Collection, The New York Public L ibrary, there
is a further motivation. The cards are issued in book form in
order to supplant the card catalog. The tension between the
flexibility of cards and the permanence of the book is once and
for all resolved in the direction of permanence, but only because
the flexibility of the computer looms on the horizon. In other
words, the First Supplement was prepared as one phase in a