Yesterday, I was creating Enid Blyton’s name authority file to accompany the catalogue in our database. A name authority file is basically a brief biographical sketch of the author, noting significant events in their life and career, which gives a context to the archive material. As Enid appears in the Dictionary of National Biography, sourcing the content for her name authority file was relatively straight forward.
However, I did hit a snag when trying to add her bibliography to the name authority record. We usually include a complete bibliography in a name authority file and, as I have previously mentioned, I spent quite some time compiling a bibliography which, although probably still not complete, is reasonably thorough. Turns out it’s too thorough for our catalogue database – when I tried to add the data to the relevant field, only about half the bibliography copied across. All attempts to add further content to the field failed, and eventually resulted in the database crashing. There is clearly a limit on the amount of data which can be placed in the ‘published works’ field in the database, and Blyton’s bibliography exceeds that limit but quite some margin! I’m now going to have to come up with some way round the problem which allows the data on her published works to be included in the catalogue, without causing the whole system to crash. Seems it is possible to have published too many books!
The Enid Blyton blog will be taking a break for a couple of weeks over the Christmas period, but we will be back in the new year with more progress reports on the cataloguing and conservation of the Enid Blyton archive. So please do come back for a visit in 2011!