ALPHABETICAL CATALOGUES :
Readers are more at home with a catalogue arranged alphabetically, as such catalogues are arranged as in a dictionary. Alphabetical catalogues can be arranged in several ways, some of which are by authors, by name of persons, by title or by specific subject. These are discussed in the following subsections.
Author Catalogue In an author catalogue, the entries of documents are under authors' name and are arranged alphabetically. In other words, the leading section of an author catalogue would be the name of an author. An author is generally a person or a corporate body who is responsible for the thought contents of the document brought out under the name. Listing of personal names of authors varies greatly because of the cultural traditions in the naming of persons in different regions of the world. For example, names of persons in western countries, Indic names, Muslim names, Chinese and Japanese names have their own traditions, which part of the names should be taken as the lead in a catalogue has been set by cataloguing codes and there are established practices. There are also a variety of corporate bodies under whose names documents are published. Although we are not concerned very much with rendering of names in catalogue entries here, it is important to note that their filing position is determined by these names. Inaccuracies in the rendering of names would seriously affect the alphabetical arrangement of entries in the catalogue.
Libraries may have author catalogues arranged in three different ways. a) There may be an exclusive author catalogue without mixing it with any other entries such as titles, subjects, series, etc. b) Author entries may form part and parcel of a dictionary catalogue. c) Author entries may form part of the alphabetical index of a classified catalogue. Irrespective of the form in which an author catalogue exists, it provides an important approach to a library catalogue, as it fulfills an essential function of a catalogue. If the user approaches the catalogue with the correct name of an author, the catalogue immediately gives the person all the documents by the author. To help a user, the other variants of a name of an author are usually provided as cross-reference in a catalogue.
The advantages of an author catalogue is that it brings together the titles of books of the same author at one place in the catalogue. This helps a user to obtain at a glance what books are available in the library by a given author. This function, can, however be fulfilled by author entries in other inner forms of a library catalogue. In a classified catalogue this function is performed by the alphabetical index or dictionary part.
The catalogues of the British Museum Library (now the British Library), the Library of Congress, the National Library of India are some of the fine examples of author catalogues.