This post was written by John F. Buydos a Reference Librarian in the Science Section.
The Sweet’s Catalog File is a building product source and a frequently used title here at the Library. It is an example of a master catalog (i.e., catalogs or partial catalogs from several manufacturers, with a combined index) in the same class as Electronic Engineers Master Catalog, IC Master, Food Engineering Master, and Thomas Register of American Manufacturers. The print volumes in the collections of the Library of Congress go back to 1915 and you can see some sample pages featured in this post.
This title has gone through some big changes over time. Earlier series include Sweet’s Catalog Service: Architectural File, Sweet’s Engineering Catalogues, and Sweet’s Catalog File for Builders. There are also numerous instances of title changes and even titles being split into new titles. For example, Sweet’s Engineering Catalogues was published from 1914-1933 but starting with 1934 it split into Sweet’s File: Engineering (TA215.S85), Sweet’s File: Mechanical Industries (TA215.S86), Sweet’s Catalog File: Power Plants (TA215.S87), and Sweet’s File: Process Industries (TA215.S88). Furthermore, titles may be divided into various section numbers and that also changes over time.
To get a sense of how extensive this title is, here are the four basic areas of the stacks of the general collections with the approximate number of shelves:
TA215.S… 33 shelves
TH455.S.. 99 2/3 shelves
TH6010.S… 1/3 shelf
TK455.S… 1 1/3 shelves
TOTAL 134 1/2 shelves
Keep in mind that each shelf is approximately 30 inches long so that there are 336.25 linear feet or 0.064 miles of Sweet’s Catalogs in the collections of the Library of Congress!
Since titles vary widely even within the same call number, here is a list by call number including the approximate dates of Library of Congress holdings:
TA215.S78 Industrial Construction and Renovation (1977-1990)
TA215.S8 Plant Engineering (1953-1976)
TA215.S82 List of Users (1930, 1932, 1936-1938)
TA215.S84 Sweet’s Engineering Catalog (1915, 1927-1933)
TA215.S85 Sweet’s Catalog File: Engineering (1934-1992, 1996)
TA215.S86 Sweet’s Catalog File: Mechanical Industries (1934-1952)
TA215.S87 Sweet’s Catalog File: Power Plants (1934-1952)
TA215.S88 Sweet’s Catalog File: Process Industries (1934-1952)
TH455.S782 Building Products for Export (1992)
TH455.S784 Mechanical Engineering and Retrofit (1981-)
TH455.S785 Engineering: Mechanical, Electrical, Civil, Structural (1979-)
TH455.S786 Civil Engineering, Structural Engineering, Retrofit (1980-)
TH455.S7864 General Building, Renovation, Homebuilding, Remodeling (1984-)
TH455.S787 Contract Interiors (1977-)
TH455.S788 International Construction (1986-)
TH455.S79 Electrical Engineering, Light Construction (1955, 1978, 1997)
TH455.S8 Sweet’s Architectural Catalog (1918, 1920, 1925-1926, 1929-)
TH455.S85 Builders/Light Construction (1942-)
TH455.S86 Directory (1999)
TH455.S87 Mechanical Engineering (1976-1980)
TH455.S873 Mechanical/Sanitary (1976)
TH455.S874 Homebuilding/Remodeling (1996)
TH6010.S93 Accessible Building Products (1995)
TH6010.S94 International Building Products (1995-1997)
TK455.S79 Electrical Engineering (1979-)
Science Reference is going to publish a much more detailed inventory and finding aid on their web page, so for those interested in this title keep your eyes peeled. In the meantime, if you have questions you can ask Science Reference via Ask A Librarian.