Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Have you checked NUCMC? What's that?

The initials NUCMC stand for the "National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections" at the Library of Congress in Washington DC. The Catalog is online with a search box at http://www.loc.gov/coll/nucmc/oclcsearch.html.

The description of this Catalog is:

"The Library of Congress provides a gateway for searching OCLC WorldCat (Manuscript materials) -- close to 300,000 catalog records describing archival and manuscript collections in public, college and university, and special libraries located throughout North America and around the world. Access to this gateway is made available courtesy of OCLC, Inc. "

This sounded interesting to me, so I plugged in my ever-trusty surname Seaver into the "Simple Word Form - Title, Author Subject" search box (you can't post the URL) thinking I wouldn't get many hits - and there were 245 matches!

Well, that's interesting!

Here are the summaries of three of the more interesting matches:

1) Author: Seaver, William A.
Title: Letter, April 9, [1860].
Description: 2 p.
Notes: Buffalo, New York editor and publisher of that
city's Courier.
Letter to General George P. Morris, states he has
been "with the 'stubby Little Giant' of Illinois" and
comments on his campaign.
Schindler's Antique Shop; Charleston, SC;
Purchase; Sept. 1952; $4.00.
William A. Seaver Letter, Illinois State
Historical Library.
Subjects: Seaver, William A.
Douglas, Stephen Arnold, 1813-1861.
Control No.: ocm54682248

2) Author: Seaver, Rodney.
Title: Diary, 1863-1865, 1871.
Description: 0.07 linear ft. (1 v.)
Notes: Soldier in Company K, 2nd Regiment, Wisconsin
Cavalry, during the Civil War.
Pocket diary containing an account of Seaver's
activities and descriptions of several battles in which he
participated, primarily in 1864.
Subjects: United States. Army. Wisconsin Cavalry Regiment,
2nd (1861-1865). Company K.
Soldiers -- Wisconsin -- Diaries.
United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865
-- Personal narratives.
Control No.: ocm22355369

3) Author: Seaver, Charles Morse, 1848-1924.
Title: Family papers, 1812-1947, bulk: 1893-1947.
Description: 1 narrow box.
Notes: Papers of the family of Charles M. Seaver
including three maps sketched by him (1861-62); biographical
reminiscences of him and his sons Philip and Walter H. by
another son Henry M. Seaver; genealogical notes on the
Hibbard, Seaver, and Morse families compiled by Henry M.
Seaver; and a few misc. Seaver family papers.
Hoffman, Elizabeth, 1972.
Subjects: Hibbard family.
Morse family.
Other authors: Seaver, Henry Morse, 1873-1947.
Seaver, Philip, 1881-1943.
Seaver, Walter Hibbard, 1870-1930.
Seaver family.
Control No.: ocm26868809


And I only went down through 60 matches! If these records related to my family, I would be ecstatic to find them. But how to find them?

This page (http://www.loc.gov/coll/nucmc/locate.html) provides directions to locate a manuscript:

Locating collections found during an OCLC search


1. From the multiple display choose "more on this record"; next, choose "tagged display" and locate the 040 field toward the top of the record.
2. Make note of the letter code (e.g., DLC) located in subfield a ($a).
3. Go to the
Participating Institutions Search page, enter the letter code , and submit the search.
4. If search is unsuccessful, go to the Library of Congress'
MARC Code List for Organizations and select Go Directly to the MARC Organization Code Database, choose "Organization code" as your search type, type in your letter code, and submit the search.

So I didn't do the search exactly right - I have to locate the 040 field in the Tagged Display. The Tagged Display for the third entry above is:

* LDR 01044npc 2200253Ka 4500
001 ocm26868809
003 OCoLC
005 20071016225450.0
008 921027i18121947vp eng d
040 $aMAH$cMAH
035 $a(OCoLC)26868809
100 1 $aSeaver, Charles Morse,$d1848-1924.
245 00$aFamily papers,$f1812-1947,$gbulk: 1893-1947.
300 $a1 narrow box.
520 $aPapers of the family of Charles M. Seaver including three maps sketched
by him (1861-62); biographical reminiscences of him and his sons Philip and
Walter H. by another son Henry M. Seaver; genealogical notes on the Hibbard,
Seaver, and Morse families compiled by Henry M. Seaver; and a few misc.
Seaver family papers.
541 $aHoffman, Elizabeth,$d1972.
600 30$aHibbard family.
600 30$aMorse family.
700 1 $aSeaver, Henry Morse,$d1873-1947.
700 1 $aSeaver, Philip,$d1881-1943.
700 1 $aSeaver, Walter Hibbard,$d1870-1930.
700 3 $aSeaver family.
994 $aZ0$bLCC
948 $hNO HOLDINGS IN LCC - 1 OTHER HOLDINGS


The 040 line says 040 $aMAH$cMAH, so the letter code is MAH.

On the OCLC Particpating Institutions page at http://www.oclc.org/contacts/libraries/ I input the code MAH and found that the repository for that record is

MASSACHUSETTS HIST SOC
BOSTON, MA 02215-3695
United States

No surprise, I guess, since Charles M. Seaver was a Massachusetts resident. So now I know where to find the manuscript or collection. The challenge before me is how to obtian a copy of it. I'll see if I can figure out my options in a later post.

The point here is that there may be manuscripts and collections of papers that may really help you with your family history resting in a drawer or on a shelf in an institution just waiting for you to discover it. The NUCMC system is another tool in the family history researcher's kit - but only a few researchers even know of it and fewer still have used it. Of course, the records are not online! But at least the index and the search capability are online, which makes the search easier.

Of course, some students of New England Native American lore would say that the "Nucmuck" tribe resided in Massachusetts, but that would be wrong - the "Nipmuck" and "Tadmuck" tribes were there, but there was no "Nucmuck" tribe. I guess you could consider the NUCMC tribe to be the genealogists parading through the Library of Congress reading room looking for NUCMC manuscripts.

1 comment:

Deborah said...

Can't wait to try this all out! I know there's a manuscript or box of letters out there waiting for me! Also gives me ideas about what one can do with that box of WWII letters so that they can be preserved.