BEAT Report for ALA June 2004

The Bibliographic Enrichment Advisory Team (BEAT), a Cataloging Directorate initiative aimed at developing tools to aid catalogers, reference specialists, and searchers in creating and locating information, has realized considerable progress since the January 2004 report. Major components of the team's work are enriching the content of Library of Congress bibliographic records, improving access to the data the records contain, and conducting research and development in areas that can contribute to furthering these efforts. Additional information regarding BEAT, its work, and the projects described here may be found starting at the main BEAT web page at http://lcweb.loc.gov/catdir/beat

Automated Web Cataloging

An outgrowth of BEAT’s Web Access to Publications in Series project (see below), Web Cataloging evolved from the experiences the team gained in providing access at the individual monograph level for selected series. While effective, the processes utilized heretofore were labor intensive, and BEAT has now started to use a much more automated approach to this work. Using programming developed by team member David Williamson, it has proved possible for a cataloger to examine the abstract page for a particular monograph on the Web, and by using computer and programmed functions; effect the creation of a MARC record that is automatically added to the LC database. This record includes an abstract of the title represented. A cataloger subsequently enhances that cataloging data to ensure that name headings are established and to add subject headings. The capability greatly reduces manual aspects of the project and allows catalogers to concentrate on the intellectual work, thus providing an enriched record through largely automated means. The application is being applied first to selected series issued by the Federal Reserve Board.

Abstracts and annotations

In the area of abstracts and annotations, a new project has been initiated to add the text of annotations to the underlying LC catalog records for those collections that have been assigned a Library of Congress Catalog Card Number (the LCCN) in A Guide to the Microform Collections in the Humanities and Social Sciences Division, an extensive Web-based bibliography describing many of the Library's microform collections. Existing bibliographic records for these collections do not carry the same extremely useful information describing these collections, as does the online Guide. The project will result in the record being enhanced to provide a much fuller description of the collection identified by the catalog record, and should be very useful in helping researchers who find the entry to assess and utilize that collection to advantage.

Web Access to Works in the Public Domain

This project makes links from the LC Catalog to full electronic texts of items represented in the LC collections.

In this most recent addition, beginning with approximately 230 titles represented in the Library’s collections, links have been made to titles in The Harvard University Library Open Collections Program’s Women Working 1870-1930. The Open Collections Program aims to “to increase the availability and use of historical resources for teaching, learning, and research by digitizing selected resources in broad topic areas and providing access to them through the World Wide Web and the Harvard Library catalogs,” and Women Working 1870-1930 provides access to digitized books and other materials on the topic of women in the U.S. economy from 1870-1930.

BeCites+

BECITES+ (Bibliographies plus: Enhanced Citations with Indexes, Tables of contents, Electronic resources and Sources cited) enhances staff- produced bibliographies, and the catalog records for the titles included in such bibliographies, by adding links to their tables of contents, indexes, and sources cited. Another recent initiative has been the scanning and conversion to text of heavily used, but out-of- print guides to Library collections whose individual items are not easily identified in the Library's online catalog.

In addition to guides previously completed in business, immigration, and the works of Jefferson, the project has digitized ten titles published by the Center for the Book as well as a Guide to Manuscripts in the Monasteries of Mt. Athos. A number of other works are in progress, covering additional business resources, guides to microfilm collections, prints and photographs resources, and manuscripts from additional Middle Eastern monasteries, as well as a guide to Ladino publications in the Library of Congress. The BeCites+ home page is located at http://www.loc.gov/rr/business/guide

Web Access To Publications in Series

This project has several facets, the first of which is to link many "working paper/discussion paper" type serial publications to their Web-based electronic versions. By linking to these electronic versions, LC provides more timely, comprehensive, and cost effective access to these series. In a second area of activity the Library's Serial Record Division is creating electronic serial records for a number of high research value monographic series that have not been represented in LC's catalogs, thereby opening up a rich, new source of information for researchers who may now access electronic versions of these items. So far, these efforts have provided access to the full, electronic texts of more than 20,000 individual monographs. As a further enhancement, a pilot project has been launched to create electronic resource records for the individual monographs of selected series.

In addition, a noteworthy enhancement to both the project and for Business Reference services has been the creation of a web-accessible database of Technical Reports and Working Papers in Business and Economics for series covered by the project. The database can be accessed at http://www.loc.gov/rr/business/techreps/techrepshome.php

Pre-1970 Congressional Hearings

This project will result in significantly improved access to approximately 6,500 pre-1970 Congressional hearings, improving service to the Congress and addressing an important objective in the Cataloging Directorate’s strategic plan. Other benefits to be derived include central, as opposed to dispersed availability of the hearings, better access to the content of the items, improved cataloging describing these hearings, and the addition of other information concerning alternate data source availability .

The project is being undertaken through the collaborative efforts of several Library units including the Congressional Research Service and Law Library, with the added benefit derived from such cooperation. The methodology to be employed consists of identifying and retrieving the items that make up the body of these hearings, reclassifying to class KF in the Law schedules and upgrading the cataloging for the items, exploring making digital copies available for hearings in poor physical condition, re-labeling the items to reflect the new classification, and housing them in a single location, the Law Library.

ONIX Initiatives

ONIX (ONline Information eXchange) is a means of representing book industry product information and is being used by some publishers today to communicate that data electronically.

Other Tables of Contents Projects


This page last updated June 15, 2004


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