3.5.5 Withdrawal from Special Collections

The withdrawal process begins when a curator requests that an item be removed from Special Collections. Catalogers and others may recommend items for withdrawal, but the final decision rests with the curator.

Withdrawals may occur for a variety of reasons:

  • A cataloged item is found to duplicate another item already in the collection (often cataloged in a different call number and on a separate record).
  • A copy newly acquired by gift or otherwise is deemed superior to a previously cataloged copy in terms of physical condition, dust jacket, inscriptions, etc. and the old copy is no longer wanted.
  • A cataloged item is later judged to fall outside of collection parameters or is no longer wanted by the curator for that collection.
  • A cataloged item has turned up missing and subsequent searches over an extended period of time fail to locate it; the item is declared missing.

Review by Subject Selector

When recommending an item for withdrawal, the curator should indicate whether the item may be considered for transfer to the stacks. (Pre-1800 imprints or items with sale value over $1,000 should not be placed in stacks, but may be offered for sale to a dealer.) In many cases, withdrawn items may be appropriate for the stacks or another collection outside the
L. Tom Perry Special Collections; the selector with jurisdiction over the subject will make this decision. Items may be placed on the appropriate selector’s gift review shelf with an explanatory note (including cataloger’s name and date) attached.

Revising the online record

Revising the catalog record will generally include some or all of the following actions:

  • Merging duplicate records, if any.
  • Transferring copies from one collection to another or one library to another.
  • Changing location codes to indicate withdrawn or missing status.
  • Deleting a withdrawn copy from a record which includes other retained copies.
  • Updating the barcode field to match a replacement copy.
  • Updating or deleting notes in the catalog record referring to specific copies that have now been withdrawn or transferred.
  • Deleting (or revising) the corresponding record(s) in RLIN and OCLC, as appropriate.

In all cases, add 583 notes to document the actions taken and the reasons for the action:

583 trans rare to stacks $c 20020417 …

583 copy 2 deleted from record: declared missing [sold, etc.] $c 20030113 …

The cataloger is responsible to see that all necessary steps are taken so that the resulting record accurately reflects the new status of all copies involved.

Bibliographic records for Special Collections items should never be totally deleted from the database. If withdrawal of an item leaves the bibliographic record with no remaining copies, the records should be archived by changing the location of the item to WITHDRAWN. (Use of the WITHDRAWN location when there is only one call number/copy on the record automatically shadows the record.) Archived records may be pared down by removing subject headings and some notes and added entries if desired. It is advisable to keep local notes that refer to acquisition, provenance, or descriptive elements such as physical condition, inscriptions, etc. In general, retain any information that lends to the unique identification of the item, including the former call number.

Bibliographic records which have copies in addition to the one being withdrawn should not be shadowed. Withdrawn copies on these records may either be designated WITHDRAWN or deleted completely according to the discretion of the cataloger. It may be useful in some instances to keep a copy statement in order to retain the call number or information in the COMMENTS field regarding acquisition. In some cases, the presence of linked order information may prohibit deletion of the last copy on a call number. Use of the WITHDRAWN location in these cases shadows only the copy involved (and the call number, if there is only one copy on the call number).

If the withdrawn item is the last item on the record, the cataloger is responsible for deleting the Library’s holdings in OCLC.

Transferring or Preparing for Withdrawal

Items that the subject selector has approved for transfer may be recataloged for the new location:

  • Change the location and library online.
  • Remove the bookplate and flag.
  • Add a new barcode and update the barcode field.
  • Make sure that the item has been tattle-taped and stamped with the property stamp.
  • Insert a call number correction slip and put on the new book truck in the lettering room.

After the catalog record has been revised, books that will not be retained by BYU should be stamped “Withdrawn” on the bookplate and the call number crossed. Consult with the appropriate curator as to how to dispose of the item once it has been withdrawn.

Report statistics on withdrawn and transferred items to the Catalog Department secretary.

Missing items

Any time that an item in Special Collections is sought and cannot be found, a search process should be initiated in an attempt to locate it. Such a process might include:

  • Rechecking the shelves for the item, including browsing adjacent numbers to check for misshelving.
  • Checking the reshelf area.
  • Checking circulation files.
  • Sending an email notice to Special Collections staff, in the event that one of them may have it in his/her office or possession.
  • Checking the date the item was cataloged and, if very recent, checking with the cataloger to see if the item may still be in transit from cataloging.

The first three steps of this process should be repeated at intervals two or three times for the next two weeks. If at the end of two weeks the item is still not found, notice should be sent to the cataloger so that the item may be declared missing.

An item is declared missing when the current location field is set to MISSING. A 583 field should also be added to identify this action and when it took place. At least once a semester, a search should be made on this 583 field to produce a list of items currently missing from the SPEC-COLL library. A student should use this list to search the shelves and determine if any of the items have returned. Items that are located should be routed to the cataloger so that the status online may be updated.

Items that have been declared missing for one year or longer may be considered for withdrawal or may be left as MISSING indefinitely.

If an item has been declared missing and is therefore withdrawn, and it is the last copy on the record, the cataloger is responsible for deleting the Library’s holdings in OCLC.

Maintained by: Bob Maxwell

Last Updated: February 2003

Location / Hours

The Catalog Department is located on Level 6 of the Harold B. Lee Library. The Department is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.