An Analysis of Cost Factors in Maintaining and Updating Card Catalogs

J. L. Dolby, V. J. Forsyth


This study enumerates and compares costs of manual and computerized catalogs. The difficulties of making comparative cost studies are examined. The report concentrates on the problems of cost element definition and on the reporting of as many comparable sources as possible. Results of cost studies are presented in the form of tables that show comparative costs of cataloging, card processing, conversion, and manual and comput- erized processing. There are also tables on card catalog costs. Conclusions are that the costs of manual and automated methods are essentially the same for short entries, and that there is a substantial economic advantage for automated methods in full entries.

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