Card Catalog to be Converted to Online Form

Card Catalog to be Converted to Online Form

The Library has launched a large-scale retrospective conversion project to convert the cards in the General Card Catalog to electronic records in the Horizon online catalog. With the completion of this project, which has been a long-standing goal of the Library, the need to search both Horizon and the card catalog for Library holdings will be eliminated.

At present, the approximately 6 million volumes in the University of Chicago Library are only partially represented online: about half of the collection (titles cataloged since 1975) is represented in Horizon, while the other half (titles cataloged before 1975) is represented in the card catalog only. To search the University's collections comprehensively, one must search both Horizon and the card catalog. The creation of machine-readable records from printed cards and their integration into Horizon is essential to scholarship and a necessary prerequisite for long-term effective operation of the Library.

With special funding from the Provost of the University, the Library will be able to complete the conversion within a period of three years. This conversion will target records for monographs and serials represented in the Library's General Card Catalog, and will cost 2.1 million dollars. Ohio Computer Library Center, Inc. (OCLC) will be the conversion vendor for the project. OCLC will utilize the OCLC Online Union Catalog (WorldCat) as the resource for conversion. All book records will be searched in WorldCat, matching records will be retrieved and updated, and unmatched titles will be keyed . OCLC will key the holdings for monographs. All serials titles will be keyed by OCLC, and Library project staff will key the holdings for serials. Blackwell North America will process authority data for the records to insure the consistency and accuracy necessary for online searching.

Major collections not covered by this project are the Crerar Dewey-classified collections, and the Chinese, Japanese, and Korean collections of the East Asian Collection. Records for these collections will continue to be represented in the card catalogs of the respective libraries, and the Library will continue to seek out opportunities to convert these records to online form on a project basis.

Conversion will be done at the rate of approximately 50,000 records per month. To maximize the benefits of the Horizon serials module, serials will be converted first. We anticipate that most serials bibliographic and holdings data will be available in the Horizon OPAC in the Spring of 1998 , and that the conversion of the 1.3 million records will be completed by the year 2,000.

For more information, contact Judith Nadler, Assistant Director for Technical Services, at 702-8743 or judi@midway.uchicago.edu.

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