I learned a new word this week. I read about catablogs on the Archives 2.0 wiki (about libraries that use Web 2.0 technologies).
A catablog, the wiki explains, is a library blog that provides short descriptions of collections in blog posts. The posts are tagged and categorized so visitors can easily find topics they’re interested in.
The library materials themselves aren’t on catablogs, but you can use the catablog post to find out what’s in a collection and link to a library catalog listing or finding aid for the item.
- For example, if a relative went to Drexel University in Philadelphia, see the Archives and Special Collections blog. You can pick a type of record from the category list, or browse by decade, century or letter of the alphabet. You’ll learn about resources such as the Programs and Invitations Collection, 1862 to 1965 (graduation programs, banquet invites and the like), or People Photographs 1880-2000.
- The Brooklyn Historical Society named its catablog Emma. To see posts, choose a category or browse. In the Business and Industry category, a post on the Bennet Ryder Collection, 1676-1915, tells you it contains wills, deeds, indentures and other documents from the Bennet, Lake, Stillwell and Van Sicklen families of mid-17th century New Amsterdam. The Slavery category has a post on the Plymouth Church of the Pilgrims-Henry Ward Beecher Collection, 1847- 1980, which has papers from the abolitionist’s pastorate over the church.
- UMarmot from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst is the original catablog, according to Archives 2.0. Choose from categories such as Civil War, Rhode Island, and Immigration and Ethnicity. Posts describe collections including the Simeon Bartlett Account Books, 1792-1867 (business records from a Williamsburg, Mass., freight hauler, farmer and sawmill owner), and Civil War Diaries, 1862-1863.
Some library blogs aren’t dedicated catablogs—rather, they combine posts about historical collections with those on events and other news. For examples, see the Library of Congress blog, the Ohio Historical Society Collections blog and the Columbus (Georgia) Public Library Genealogy & Local History blog.
If your library has a catablog or a traditional blog, consider subscribing to e-mail alerts or to its RSS feed (look for this button to add the blog to a blog reader).