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George Sand

This r-ball was created at the National Library of France (BnF) by 10 experienced cataloguers and/or active members of the Bibliographic Transition Program who spent over 4 hours RIMMFing George Sand related works on 2 February 2016.

George Sand is a nineteenth-century French author who took on a male pseudonym in order to have her works taken seriously by French critique. A prolific, feminist writer, her works include novels and novellas, plays, fairy tales, essays, travel accounts, etc. Her scandalous (love) life inspired many writers and filmmakers, and her widely-read works still arouse enthusiasm today. Her impact on French literature and society designated her as the perfect figurehead for a BnF Jane-athon, the "Sand-athon", which also happens to have occurred in a meeting room named after her.

The challenge was to catalogue French ressources in an English-speaking tool. Many records had to be created from scratch with data found in BnF’s main catalogue, which does not support MARC21 export. And even the records that could be imported in MARC21 – usually from English-speaking databases – were edited in French when edits were needed, hence a charming yet puzzling mash-up between French and English languages sometimes. But the aim of the day was to experiment hands-on FRBRised cataloguing, regardless of the linguistic inconsistencies that might come out of it. And on that front, the experiment was unanimously considered a success.

An exciting and enlightening experiment, the Sand-athon paves the way to a much larger French Jane-athon, to be held in early May 2016.


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