Digital Tables of Contents (DTOC)

The Digital Tables of Contents project creates machine readable TOC data from surrogates of the actual TOC, and by using scanning and optical character recognition (OCR) as well as original programming written by project staff, materials are subsequently HTML-encoded and placed on a server at the Library. In the process the underlying MARC records are also modified to include links to the TOC data. This project faced considerable challenges as the Library changed from its own MUMS system to an Integrated Library System (ILS). The team produced a new computer program to work in the ILS environment which addressed a number of significant technical issues relating to data access which the new system introduced. In the calendar year ending May 31, 2000, the total number of Digital TOCs on the web reached 2000. The projectís goals continue to be to add about 200 items per month.

The scope of coverage for the project continues to expand and includes many fields of knowledge beyond the projectís initial focus on important business books. Among others, DTOC selects books in most fields of Economics, Political Science, Technology, Computer Science, and Bibliography. It continues to select books on small business and entrepreneurship as always.

In a related project, DTOC also includes the TOC from "Best Books" as listed in Library Journal. By including TOC for these particularly valuable titles, the project is able to anticipate requests for these books and to improve the likelihood that a search for them will include a TOC link in the search result. The project is ongoing.

Both the MARC records themselves and the linked TOC data may be viewed through a Web browser by accessing the Library's online catalog access options, available at http://catalog.loc.gov . In addition, various Web indexing software also makes catalog and TOC records available over the World Wide Web from any location.

Here are samples of these various displays: