In the 1937 report of the Joint Committee on Materials for Research to its parent institutions, Binkley wrote:
At the June, 1937, meeting of the American Library Association, Director Hirshberg of the Western Reserve University Libraries spoke to the Resources Board on the union catalogue problem, showing a motion picture film of the various procedures followed in the making of the catalogue. The motion picture film was produced by the Joint Committee through the cooperation of the Recordak Corporation and will be used throughout the country to help in the setting up of similar projects in other centers.1
The Cleveland Union Catalogue project was based on microfilming catalogue cards and collating the results, all with W.P.A. labor. By this time it had completed all the Cleveland libraries, and was extending to include the University of Michigan and possibly Detroit libraries. Although I cannot now document the continuity, I believe it was a source for the original OCLC database – at least, I remember reading as much years ago before I started taking this project seriously, but I can’t now find the reference. Some day it will turn up.
But what about this motion picture? It’s not mentioned among the papers of the Joint Committee in the Library of Congress. Might it still exist somewhere?
“Report of Activities, 1937, of the Joint Committee of the Social Science Research Council and the American Council of Learned Societies on Materials for Research.” American Council of Learned Societies, Bulletin 27 (1938): 44–48, at pp. 46-47.↩︎