duplicate catalog numbers

Eric A. Lazo-Wasem ealw at GEORGE.PEABODY.YALE.EDU
Fri Jan 13 15:58:39 CST 1995


Re: the question of duplicate catalog numbers:

I originally sent this directly to Alan Harvey - but maybe the rest of you
would be interested, judging from the responses

At the Peabody Museum, we had to make a similar decision with our recent
invertebrates.  Our catalogs date to 1866 and were broken up into various
groups (radiates, crustacea, sponges, etc.).  In all we have to maintain
about a dozen overlapping series for about 100,000 catalogued lots.

The solution, and key to any numbering scheme is to realize that we are
dealing with unique identifiers - hence, you should use a prefix code to
distinguish between the numbers of the various phyla.  We adopted a
mnemonic code such as follows which allows you to maintain the duplicate
numbers in one easily manipulated database without having to totally
renumber everything:


                     IZ.PR00022  - sponge (PoRifera) #22
                     IZ.TN00022  - TuNicate #22
                     IZ.CR00022  - CRustacean #22

The IZ prefix distinguishes our records from those of all other
divisions which maintain THEIR number series sympatrically with ours in
the museum database.

I might add, however, that the separation of catalogs into functional
groups or phyla is really a holdover of the "manual method" when all
cataloguing was done by hand; there is NO NEED to continue new
ca separation of catalogs into functional
groups or phyla is really a holdover of the "manual method" when all
cataloguing was done by hand; there is NO NEED to continue new
cataloguing this way just because it has always been done that way
before.  The idea behind separate number systems was linked to systematic
indexes or even special unit collections.  As of this year we are freezing
the numbers of the old system and starting a new system without mnemonics
of ALL phyla.  As long as there is a relational link to a taxonomic file
that has all the relevant higher taxonomy, there is never a question about
"what kind of animal is it"?



   Eric A. Lazo-Wasem
   Collections Manager, Div. of Invertebrate Zoology
   Peabody Museum, Yale University
   email: eric.lazo-wasem at yale.edu
ÿÿ    duplicate catalog numbers                                               ac




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