• COMMFISH: all about Alaska's commercial fisheries collections

      Carle, Daria O.; Kazzimir, Edward; Rozen, Celia M. (IAMSLIC, 2009-07)
      One of the more unique holdings in the Alaska Resources Library and Information Services (ARLIS) stands out due to its extensive size and breadth—the CommFish collection. The entire management history related to Alaska's commercial fisheries is documented here, including controversies over fishing rights, subsistence, and much more. These reports, including primary source data reported nowhere else, precede statehood and capture in great detail the extent, scope, successes, failures, policy decisions, and inventories of Alaska's fisheries statewide. When statehood was realized in 1959, the agency responsible for managing commercial fisheries was also established: the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G). Fishery managers in the newly created agency recognized early on that much of the data compiled would be of professional interest, while other information clearly had a public right-to-know component. As a result, a diverse number of series to meet each of these information needs was initially established. Over time, however, these series have been subject to the familiar vagaries common to all gray literature, such as title changes, name irregularities, and murky bureaucratic authorship. ARLIS inherited these extensive collections from several ADF&G libraries over a period of years. Most of the items had never been distributed outside of the agency, and ARLIS often owns the only copy. Recently, ARLIS has spent much time and effort to provide original cataloging for these materials in OCLC. ARLIS’ approach to cataloging these complex series may also be of interest to librarians facing similar challenges.