We use a shelflist card file in Government Documents because in many cases, it is the only way we can tell we own a document. I estimate that about a quarter of the collection on 1 East may be uncataloged. Our shelflist not only shows such items, but tells if it is located elsewhere (upstairs under a Dewey or LC number, in a branch, in microfiche format, etc.) By checking the shelflist, we save the library interlibrary loan costs, and it helps us authorize selective depositories to discard materials. Sometimes we send other libraries Xeroxes of check-in cards to assist them in compiling weed lists.
Here is a timeline of Ellis Library cataloging practices for documents. It underscores the fact that just because a document doesn’t seem to turn up in the UM LIBRARIES CATALOG, it does not mean that we do not own a copy! It seems the most problematic time period is 1950-1973.
Cataloging has been making a systematic effort to get all of the documents in 1 East into MERLIN. It is a long term project that has been underway for perhaps 10 years. They have been working backwards through the SuDoc collection, starting with Y (congressional) call numbers and working down. They have reached the SuDoc number I (Department of Interior.) Since Mizzou Advantage has become important, I have asked them to skip directly to the Department of Energy (E) collection. Cataloging keeps a list of its progress on their website.