Catalogers go to school for years to learn the style and syntax peculiar to library catalogs, and to make the entries clear and accurate. But more and more often now library customers are accessing catalog information themselves, often online from home. Because of this, library systems are making efforts to produce catalog entries that are more "plain language" and user-friendly to all.
But one still encounters authority terms that are downright esoteric. How many people know what a vade mecum is? Were you paying attention in class when your English teacher explained the bildungsroman story, or a robinsonade? Do people really speak of vagabondage? **See below for explanations of these terms.**
There is one cataloging term, however, that is self-explanatory and even rather lyrical and poetical. This term is Homes and Haunts.
Just as it sounds, under Homes and Haunts you will find items discussing and revealing the living spaces and stomping grounds of noted people. These items help you delve more deeply into how these people lived, and how the places they frequented influenced their lives and work.
Are you a Jane Austen fan? Homes And Haunts Austen Jane brings up these titles:
A rambling fancy : in the footsteps of Jane Austen / Caroline Sanderson
A walk with Jane Austen : a journey into adventure, love, and faith / Lori Smith.
Want to know the surroundings in which Allen Ginsberg howled? Homes and Haunts Ginsberg:
The Beat Hotel : Ginsberg, Burroughs, and Corso in Paris, 1958-1963 / Barry Miles
Homes and Haunts Hemingway brings up several titles, including:
Walks in Hemingway's Paris : a guide to Paris for the literary traveler / Noel Riley Fitch
These subjects also range out further than specific people. For example, Homes and Haunts Architects brings up:
Architects' dream houses / Jean-Claude Delorme ; photography by Thibaut Cuisset ; [translated from the French by Willard Wood]
And Homes and Haunts Artists New Mexico brings you:
Artists at home : inspired ideas from the homes of New Mexico artists / by Emily Drabanski ; foreword by Elmo Baca
Homes and Haunts Motion Picture Actors and Actresses takes you to books touring the homes of Hollywood stars:
Lost Hollywood / David Wallace
Movie star homes : the famous to the forgotten / Judy Artunian and Mike Oldham
Browse Homes and Haunts and discover how the places frequented by famous people helped make them who they became.
** Explanations for terms mentioned above**
vade mecum (sometimes vademecum or vade-mecum) -- a manual, handbook, or pocket reference
bildungsroman -- a coming-of-age story, where a major character experiences growth/transition from youth to adulthood
robinsonade -- derived from Defoe's Robinson Crusoe; stories where protagonists are suddenly separated from civilization and thrown upon their own resources
vagabondage -- the preferred term is now vagrancy