The Pride Library at Western is located inside Weldon Library. Their growing collection is unique in academic libraries in North America. One aspect of the collection that sets it apart from other queer collections is “The Closet Collection.” This collection, donated by the family of a closet gay man of London, includes postcards, records, periodicals, and pulp fiction novels. I have been volunteering for the project to create bibliographic records in order to integrate the pulp novels into Western’s OPAC.
An important aspect of this project is to create subject headings so researchers can have access to important themes. As the subject headings in LCC are seriously outdated and no more specific than “gay fiction,” our team has been creating a folksonomy to remedy the situation. There is no other comparable collection from which to “copy catalogue” the specific titles as in many cases the books do not officially exist.
We read the books in order to identify important themes. Once a master list has been created we will apply specific subject headings from our folksonomy to specific books so that they are accessible through an online catalogue. We also hope to allow for tagging, so that users can apply their own tags to the books. This will increase accessibility and usability.
As this project pushes the boundaries of library collections and taxonomies, it provides the opportunity for community-centred cataloguing. This allows for better access as there are more ways to search for information. There is always room for volunteer readers, so please contact me if you are interested in helping out.