Cecelia Boone Interview
Cecelia Boone began her career at University of Minnesota Libraries in the
Social Welfare History Archives (June 1976-1978). There, she was a writer and editor on a project
called the Women's History Sources Survey before joining Minitex and the MULS program in 1978.
In her interview, she describes the MULS service and how it operated in the 1970s and 1980s;
hand-writing library holdings data; typing up and storing the holdings data in the homegrown
database at the University of Minnesota; supervising and working with student staff; the migration
of the MULS records from the database to OCLC WorldCat in 1987 and 1988, and her experience working
with Alice Wilcox (Minitex Director, 1969-1982).
Interviewed by Sara Ring, Minitex, on June 9, 2011.
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More About MULS
MULS – originally, the Minnesota Union List of Serials and, most recently, the Minitex Union
List of Serials – was the second major program of Minitex. Staff of Minitex participating
libraries soon learned that having specific information about the serial publications owned by Minitex
libraries was critical to the success of the Minitex Document Delivery program.
Even early in Minitex's history, large numbers of requests received from libraries for their patrons
were for copies of articles from journals, newspapers, and other serial publications. A method was
needed that could provide information about which libraries held which issues of which serials.
Building a database based on serials holdings information from the University of Minnesota, Twin
Cities Campus libraries and adding holdings provided by the Minnesota Historical Society, the
Minneapolis Public Library, and other Minnesota libraries, Minitex staff created a database of
serials holdings information and bibliographic records that was recognized as an important resource
throughout the Minitex region and beyond.
Libraries in North Dakota and South Dakota added their holdings information to MULS in the 1970s.
75,000 bibliographic records in MARC-like format from MULS were among the start-up files used to
create the CONSER file in OCLC WorldCat in 1975. Through special projects, Minitex/MULS staff also
produced machine-readable holdings data for libraries in Montana, Iowa, and Wisconsin. The history
of MULS mirrored the history of other union lists of serials around the country, but was always
unique in that it contained holdings for academic, public, state government, medical, and other
special libraries, while most other North American union lists of serials were from smaller, more
homogeneous library groups.
The decision was made during Fiscal Year 2011 to discontinue MULS as a separate Minitex program
because of technological changes that have provided other, more easily maintained sources of
holdings information as well as the growing online availability of serial publications. These
changes, coupled with budget reductions required by Minnesota's budget shortfall, meant that
Minitex could no longer support staff dedicated to MULS activity. Information related to maintenance
of local holdings information in OCLC WorldCat continues to be available through the
Minitex website and through
Support at OCLC.
This Oral History Project interview by Minitex is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.