Monday, December 10, 2012

KCKCC's world-wide "The Morgue" index passes 9,000 mark


Normally, a website dubbed “The Morgue” probably would not generate many hits on the world-wide web and yet the Kansas City Kansas Community College service is used around the world.

“We’ve had hits from 58 countries and every continent but Antarctica,” says Joe Grasela, reference librarian at the KCKCC Library where “The Morgue” is maintained.

The only program of its kind in the world, “The Morgue” is the premier author subject index to English language journals within the field of Mortuary Science and provides students, scholars and researchers with an on-line tool specifically targeted at the literature in Mortuary Science.

The program reached a new pinnacle this past week when the 9,000th entry was entered by Douglas Gritzan, a community volunteer who has been making the entries for the past two years.

“Joe (Grasela) was doing it but there was so much there was no way he could keep up with all his other duties so I can of fell into it and liked it,” said Gritzan.

In addition to more than 9,000 articles, the program boasts 32 journals, 1,885 authors and nearly 3,500 subjects.

“The majority of Mortuary Science programs in the U.S. have a direct link for the students to the Morgue as does the American Board of Funeral Service Education,” said Wiley Wright, Coordinator of KCKCC’s Mortuary Science program.

Grasela said former Webmaster Charles Cowdrick wrote the first program and the first entries into the program were made in 2001 after research determined there was no such service offered anywhere in the world.

As usage of the website increased each year, the number of entries also escalated and the demand widened.

“In addition to students and Mortuary Science programs, we’re also getting requests from law firms,” said head librarian Cheryl Postlewait.

PHOTO: “The Morgue,” a world-wide Mortuary Science and Funeral Service Journals Index offered only by the KCKCC Library, reached a new milestone this past week when Douglas Gritzan entered the 9,000th entry. (KCKCC Photo by Alan Hoskins)