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Project: user-catalogues that have tons of uncombined works


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Jul 10, 2011, 7:31am Top

I don't know if this will take off at all, but this self-project of mine is starting to get overwhelming.

I've been bookmarking user-catalogues whenever I come across one that has a large amount of 1-copy works. I search on the first few to make sure there are other copies in the system, and it's just a combination-thing, not a "this is the only work on LT" thing.

I'm not actively seeking out users with these types of catalogues, but I stumble across them often when combining books of my favorites authors.

Anyways, I started a bookmark-folder to keep track of all the catalogues that I need to dig into, see which 1-copy works need to be combined with main works, etc. .... That bookmark folder has recently reached 30 bookmarks. Way more then I anticipated.

So.... would anyone like to help? It's usually more in-depth combining, often the 1-copy works don't have author names, etc...

To get an idea of what I mean, these are two of my bookmarked ones:

Jul 10, 2011, 12:03pm Top

#1 I have a bunch of these also and I agree, it is overwhelming. I see other things along the way as well. I sometimes pick a first or last name and work from the author pages. However I also have some libraries with no authors listed.

I also have a few works that need separating and have been sitting on them. It's getting harder to remember what my scribbled notes mean!

Edited: Jul 10, 2011, 9:24pm Top

To keep track you might find that a WikiThing page would be useful, I've used subpages of mine to keep track of various things as I was working on them. (Especially useful when I have two computers I use.)

Jul 10, 2011, 10:54pm Top

>1 Heather19: I'd be willing to help. I like the "messy" stuff where it ends up being a puzzle. If you want, I can start tomorrow on the two you listed or let me know what you want worked on.

Jul 10, 2011, 11:24pm Top


Two more, for starters. I'll list a few at a time, and you guys can go through and help with them whenever you can. I really appreciate this!

(I've thought about making a WikiThing page, but that whole site kind of overwhelms me and I try to stay away from it)

Aug 3, 2011, 8:50am Top

Also happy to help when I've got a moment or two. If you post some more in here when you find them, it would be handy.

Aug 3, 2011, 9:22am Top

I have about 1900 1-copy books. I am just afraid that really means I have the only copy. http://www.librarything.com/catalog/Papiervisje

Aug 3, 2011, 10:45am Top

Yours is worse than mine. Even MUCH worse than mine.

I have 448 - one less than a few minutes ago. Most of mine are real singletons. It is nearly 10% of my entries, making me feel rather peculiar. (I'm really pleased that I found a match for Anderton for orders that's one of the books I bought a duplicate of during our recent holiday.

Aug 3, 2011, 10:46am Top

7> Most of what I see are comics. Not many folks here index them.

I'm cleaning up some of the Akira, the 38 original run.

Aug 3, 2011, 11:41am Top

I find some of those when combining comics and magazines and usually work through the account to get them properly combined (and uncombined because there is a lot of this going on there as well -- lumped together different issues)

Aug 3, 2011, 12:21pm Top

For those of you with a lot of singletons, especially after you verify they really are, remember that you could tag them ultb for unique library thing book and join the discussion of ultbs on the group forum. :)

Edited: Aug 3, 2011, 3:42pm Top

Linkie: http://www.librarything.com/groups/uniquelibrarythingbo

The last three of these that I came across, they were users who entered everything in capital letters. Titles, authors, etc. Very little sync'ed up.

edit: That's not Papiervisje's case, of course. He's just special. :)

Aug 3, 2011, 4:39pm Top

Looks like mostly black hole works:


I'm hoping someone has a copy and paste that they can leave them to help.

Aug 3, 2011, 4:42pm Top

>13 theapparatus:

This account seems pretty well to me? What are you talking about?

Aug 3, 2011, 4:43pm Top

>13 theapparatus:,14

Ah - ordering by entry date showed the trouble. OK... that looks like a failed import to me.

Edited: Aug 3, 2011, 4:44pm Top

I left them a comment asking them if they needed help. :)

Aug 6, 2011, 2:01pm Top


Um, sort by Total Members and give the titles a looksee.

Edited: Aug 10, 2011, 11:27am Top

19> Some of these are things like theatre programmes or posters. They only look at first sight as though they ought to be combined.

One thing that would help combine the things that could be would be a series for The Penrose Annual. No idea what it is, but various people have them, and there seem to be several that could be combined, except that they are attributed to a variety of authors.

I have checked all the singletons that are books with a date in the publication field 1990 or later. I found a very few to be combined, and in the process found a few annuals that needed separation. Net result was porbably more singletons. There are a number of other journals that other people might also have, but I didn't follow them up.

Aug 11, 2011, 3:05am Top

This is a great thread. I was thinking I was a bit peculiar myself, cleaning up other people's libraries. But luckily we are with more :-)
Here are some I've been working on:
http://www.librarything.com/catalog/yvlind1 (I've worked from the authorless up to B, leaving C-Z to be done. It's a lot of art catalogues with multiple author names and in several translations. So it takes specific searching to find the other copies. And there are also a lot of singletons)
http://www.librarything.com/catalog/jcchlibrary (I come across a lot of schools with sloppy catalogues. It makes me wonder about who is doing the cataloguing and why that job isn't done with the same standard of quality as the students are expected to deliver)

Edited: Aug 11, 2011, 8:38am Top

Maybe it is the same standard of quality the students are expected to deliver....

ETA: I must admit it wouldn't have occurred to me to clean up other people's catalogues directly like this but there's lots of scope here.

Aug 11, 2011, 9:00pm Top

I'm so glad there is interest in this project!

For me, it started out when I was combining Nancy Drew books. I noticed that the same usernames kept popping up on the 1-copy works I was combining, so I took a look at their catalogues to see if anything else needed to be combined. And it snowballed from there.

Aug 12, 2011, 4:57am Top

I've often gone in and done as much as possible on a catalogue when a newcomer has asked about problems with one book. Sure enough, if there was one problem the person noticed, there have usually been a lot more they hadn't.

Aug 12, 2011, 6:55am Top

Anyone who is interested in combining the Penrose annuals this is probably the most detailed cataloguing of them anywhere. That should help in sorting them them out.

Aug 12, 2011, 8:33am Top

I have been looking at the National Print Museum library, post #19 and combining authors works when I can, a lot of them are truly singletons, ULTB. It has been a lot of fun. My dad was an engraver, his best friend owned a printing company and they met at Cincinnati's Graphic Arts High School in the 1950s. Somehow these titles are like old friends I never met. I must have paid more attention to their shop talk than I remember.

Aug 13, 2011, 6:31pm Top

Found another one:


Some of the records are attached but many are not.

Only about 2 dozen in the whole collection.

Aug 14, 2011, 9:52pm Top

If anyone wants another library to work on this user http://www.librarything.com/profile/jaycary has a lot of singles. It looks like a bad mass import as a lot of the author names are truncated.

Edited: Aug 16, 2011, 5:15pm Top

28> And an example of a free account getting around the 200 book limit. :)

edit: Actually it now looks like they imported a couple of times. I see 3 copies of some works.

Aug 22, 2011, 8:03am Top

The worst catalogue ever?

If this would be a competition, I proudly nominate http://www.librarything.com/catalog/katietw2.
845 books and hardly any author entered, just titles. As a result there are almost 200 singletons...

Aug 22, 2011, 10:03pm Top

Amazing, but it has tags....

Aug 22, 2011, 10:15pm Top

#30 and yet that member is "public free" with many many more than 200 books?

Aug 22, 2011, 10:20pm Top

They might have had a year membership (it reverts to free I believe). Or it is the import bug that existed at one point

Aug 23, 2011, 2:11pm Top

Only 5 in this one and I'm doing roots as you read this. :)


Aug 23, 2011, 3:57pm Top

Interesting! I wasn't even aware of the possibility of seeing all the one-copy works in one's library! I seem to have 2357, so even if there might be one or other among them that in fact should be combined, I'll probably never come round to checking. Most of them are singletons, I know.

Aug 23, 2011, 4:03pm Top

Thanks you to whoever followed up on 34. :)

Sep 8, 2011, 7:53pm Top

Just throwing out this user. They have at least 200 works as being the only member with them:


I didn't spot check but that just seems high to me.

Sep 9, 2011, 5:02pm Top

# 37

I took a look at this library. I only got to two singletons, one was real a singleton, the other was a book by J. B. Priestly, which now shows with 23 copies. I spent a bunch of time combining other Priestley books which needed combining. I have to go, and will get back to this later on tonight.

Edited: Sep 9, 2011, 5:59pm Top

I got a few more of them, but also did as much combining of other things I found in the authors.

I think most of them are going to end up being real singletons.

Sep 10, 2011, 8:12pm Top


Another one of those almost 200 single works folks that may need a looksee:


Is it time to go home yet?

Sep 10, 2011, 8:33pm Top

Got another one:


Looks like many of the records don't have authors and there are 3 pages of single works.

Sep 11, 2011, 6:17pm Top

Kaethe has over 7,000 works, with almost 1,600 singletons. Looks like a bad import with all those missing author records. Way too much for me to get into.

Edited: Sep 11, 2011, 8:27pm Top

I've been working on Kaethe little by little for over a month (which means I've done maybe 20 combinations? With over 60 catalogues in my growing list, I hate staying on one for too long)... But yeah, it's definitely a big task.

Sep 11, 2011, 8:49pm Top

#43 And I have to add to this topic by saying that I've discovered several libraries added in the last few weeks with import failures. If we combined the shortened author name (first or last or middle) with the correct book previously, the work properly combined. So this is definitely worth doing.

I have about 50 libraries in my list currently. Since I stop to do the separations on the author pages, it is a long, long project.

Edited: Sep 12, 2011, 8:48am Top

>import failures

Don't tell me that. :) I was going to start doing that workaround in an attempt to add in the remaining books in my collection until I can renew my membership or decide what to do with it.

Sep 12, 2011, 10:03am Top

45> I'm not addressing this to theapparatus since he or she has asked me not to address him or her again, but if anyone else is tempted to use the import loophole to exceed the limit on unpaid accounts, then that's a TOS violation. Tim has stated that he won't punish anyone who does this accidentally but doing it deliberately (and announcing to everyone that you've done it deliberately) is a violation.

Sep 12, 2011, 3:27pm Top


That import bug still exists, and I believe that Tim recently said it's no longer actually considered a bug.

Edited: Sep 12, 2011, 4:24pm Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

Sep 12, 2011, 5:43pm Top

>45 theapparatus:

Uhm... you have a lifetime account already?

Sep 12, 2011, 5:52pm Top

>41 theapparatus:

Working on that one now as well. :)

Sep 12, 2011, 7:10pm Top

49) I do now thanks to someone's generosity. :)

Sep 14, 2011, 8:46am Top

This one is quite a challenge


Somehow only the first names of authors are entered, or the initials. But no last names and thus many singletons.

I have been working on Kaethe, but this one is probably worse.

Sep 14, 2011, 9:31am Top

#52 There are several of us working on his library and help gratefully appreciated! Be aware that he imported many books three times so the number "3" in his library also means singletons.

Another particularly nasty library is this one:

Many books were imported 4 times although there are some that he imported only once. Also, with no tags, it's hard to identify some of the books, especially the Bible commentaries.

Thanks sneuper for helping.

Edited: Sep 14, 2011, 10:02am Top

I've been poking around the grammartroll library for the last couple of hours as well.

edit: Found another one: http://www.librarything.com/catalog/robertmorrow

I'll work on that one later today.

Edited: Sep 14, 2011, 11:22am Top

I hate to say this, but actually those libraries are also a lot of fun to work on. Once we've cleaned up all of LT, somewhere halfway 2017, we will just keep a few of those libraries in our treasure chest to keep us happy & in shape.

Meanwhile, I'll divide my attention between grammartroll and kaethe and a few smaller ones I found.

Sep 14, 2011, 3:05pm Top

In Kaethe's works with as many as 7 records still need combining... So this one will take a long long while I suspect :)

Sep 14, 2011, 5:08pm Top

>I hate to say this, but actually those libraries are also a lot of fun to work on.

I'd rather be spending my time on more interesting things that would be more helpful. Like tagging or looking for spam or working on the grout in my bathroom.

Sep 15, 2011, 3:16am Top

Sep 15, 2011, 8:30am Top

Maybe we should make a wiki page out of this. That way we can see what's being worked on and what needs help.

Edited: Sep 17, 2011, 4:28am Top

wiki page Good idea.


I've added all the catalog links from this thread

Sep 17, 2011, 8:29am Top


I think http://www.librarything.com/catalog/sardonicmanor/yourlibrary is done by now. So that could be the first one off the list.

Sep 17, 2011, 11:04am Top


Making the description on the page as polite as possible would be a good idea. Technically these folks haven't done anything wrong and we're trying to help them.

Hate to have anyone feel like they've been singled out.

Sep 17, 2011, 7:15pm Top

Heh. I didn't say that anyone had done anything wrong, and certainly hadn't intended to imply it, and by saying "works that need help" specifically tried to imply that it wasn't a user problem, but a data problem. Actually, I didn't even use the word problem.

But that's the great thing about it being a wiki -- if anyone can write the intro better, they can change it!

how about you, theapparatus?

Sep 17, 2011, 11:57pm Top

Like that for example? :)
Blame it on auto-combination... so people do not feel offended...

Sep 18, 2011, 9:35am Top

63) There was a reason why I was asking for someone else to write it. Thanks.

Sep 18, 2011, 12:46pm Top

I've done those...

You can post on the Combining/Separating (Please Fix This Book!) Request Thread, currently at number 42: http://www.librarything.com/topic/123666

I think the techniques are in the wiki somewhere, but dinner calls so I don't have time to look right now.

Sep 18, 2011, 2:22pm Top

Thank you, I will look for the info.

Sep 26, 2011, 5:13pm Top

Sep 26, 2011, 7:47pm Top

>69 theapparatus:

Mind adding them to the wiki? :) Added that one.

Edited: Sep 26, 2011, 7:51pm Top

You mean the wiki I suggested? :)

One of these 40 tabs open days. Kind of a rush before we lose power trying to get stuff done.

Sep 26, 2011, 7:52pm Top

The same one ;)

Oct 13, 2011, 9:57am Top

http://www.librarything.com/catalog/OliveBranchLibrary (added to wiki)

Found this one while fixing up The Harvard Classics (again). There are many singletons. But also note that many books have been entered in the catalog four times. So books with a member count of 4 are also in need of combination.

Oct 13, 2011, 11:41am Top

Silly me. It was already on the list. It's not much good to add to the list without reading it.

Oct 13, 2011, 12:54pm Top

>73 eromsted:

Up to 8 that I found in one catalog - being 8 from the same catalog. So I usually look into anything with 74
PS: I think I will reorder the list in alphabetical order.Because I cannot find anything there either

Oct 13, 2011, 2:04pm Top

Usually multiple quanities is a sign of a botched import. Maybe dropping them a comment asking them if they need help would be a good idea?

Oct 14, 2011, 10:15am Top

Looks like this catalog "http://www.librarything.com/catalog/pam_lusk" has been completed - no singletons left & all the lower numbers (3,4,5) actually have that many different numbers.

Oct 18, 2011, 8:48pm Top

Panera has slowed to a crawl and i can't get this page to load. The user adds in her books WITH ALL CAPITAL LETTERS so I have a feeling that there's a number of single works in there. I've combined a couple of authors that I've already seen.

Can someone please check for me?


Edited: Oct 18, 2011, 10:34pm Top

#78 Yep, lots of single works. Started looking at some of these and will do what I can.

Edited to add: Fixed what I could. There are still a few singles that I think really are. But there are a few titles that I wasn't sure about combining.

Oct 29, 2011, 6:19pm Top


Lots of the authors look like Whitehouse, �mile Zola; Roger. I've done several where the author was usable, and most of them did have many copies.

Oct 31, 2011, 11:56am Top

>80 MarthaJeanne: I think this one is done. I could find no proper cominations with the remaining singletons.

Nov 8, 2011, 5:41pm Top

Got another one. Looks like a bad import because many of the authors are messed up it appears to me:


Oct 11, 2012, 2:42am Top

I found this one:

This looks like a data import gone wrong. The entries in the first 100 or so pages have neither title nor author, all entries after that have author only, and mostly seem to be combined into the correct work. I noticed because the most popular book for Eddy C. Bertin is "Title missing", all 18 copies seem to belong to this user, though.
Anything anyone can do?
(Not sure whether this is the right thread or group even?)

Oct 11, 2012, 2:51am Top

Yes, I just noticed her too. I agree it's probably a bulk import gone badly wrong. Clueless on how to proceed.

Edited: Oct 11, 2012, 8:09am Top

>83 leselotte: That whole library seems to be made up of repeated import of the same fubared file over and over.

Wiping the whole mess would be best -.-

That person needs to format their file correctly and learn that imports don't process real-time.

Oct 13, 2012, 10:01am Top

I agree; it would be best to just delete this mess, but that probably won't happen ... too bad, because it really screws up statistics!

Oct 13, 2012, 10:26am Top

Ultimately, if enough users do such things, maybe even Shakespeare will end up with "No title" as his main work. It's bad, and it makes LT look bad.

Jan 7, 2013, 4:59pm Top

Is there an easy step by step to fix these books?

for example, using this one:


LT work actually is:



Jan 7, 2013, 5:10pm Top

I've now combined that one and a few similar ones.

It isn't particularly simple because the first link goes to a work with a bad author name. That first had to be split, the part with the books by Cheyenne McCray had to be aliased to his author page, and then they could be combined there.

The first place to look to combine is on the editions page of the work. The second place is on the author page. Other tricks involve ways of getting both works on the same author page, and there are ways of combining works without doing that, but they are too geeky for me.

Jan 7, 2013, 5:11pm Top

Here are some steps to take where the two works that need to be combined have different authors, where one book doesn't have an author, or where the author listed on one book is wrong or incorrect but can't/shouldn't be combined into the other author:

1st: Check the "editions" page of the stray (your first link) to see if it suggests a combination with the other one. It sometimes will if the ISBNs are the same. If it lets you combine from there, do that.

2nd: If there's no suggested combination (for the book you want to combine it with), then the easiest way to go -- and the one least likely to cause problems -- is to change the authors:
a) If the author name is wrong (as in this case) or missing, then go to "add other authors" and add or change the primary author to match the author name on the work you want to combine it with. Then go to that author's page and combine the works from there.
b) If the work has more than one author, and the stray has a different author than is listed on the main work's page, then simply add the other author *to the main copy of the work*. You'll then be able to go to the common author's page and combine the works from there.
NB: whether you do a) or b), make sure to go back and check the resulting combined work to see if the authors are correct. Sometimes this process can make an author's name show up twice, so you may need to clean up the primary and main authors if necessary.

Edited: Feb 26, 2013, 6:56pm Top

Lots of singletons in this one due to, apparently, last part of author names getting chopped off on import :


Mostly taken care of I think, some books remain that probably need further combining but lack enough distinctive information for a 3rd party to make the call.

Group: Combiners!

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