It's like an early Christmas gift for a University of Illinois library collection, to build upon a gift of nearly a century ago. The Council on Library and Information Resources has awarded UI's Rare Book and Manuscript Library almost $500,000 to catalog more than 20,000 Italian books and documents dating to the 1500s.
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“You completely describe it,” library director Valerie Hotchkiss says in explaining the term catalog. She compares it to keeping score at a baseball game and being able to thoroughly relive it from that scorecard afterward. “A good cataloging record allows you to recreate the whole book; and, more importantly, it gives you access to that book.” Accessible it is, she says; you can see the rare book collection without white gloves.