(The Library of Congress is making many of its online files, such as its card catalog and other information sources, available online. Various files are available through the Internet, the LC News Service and America Online, a commercial service. The information in this and related articles provides an introduction to these services.)
LC Online Search is a service of LC that permits anyone outside the Library to search LOCIS (Library of Congress Information Service) over the Internet, a global collection of computer networks that communicate using the same communications methods. In the United States, Internet is managed, in part, by the National Science Foundation.
Anyone, anywhere, with a connection to Internet that permits logging on to remote computers (telnet) may search LOCIS.
Searching hours are Monday - Friday 6:30 a.m. - 9:30 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Sunday 1 p.m. - 5 p.m. Eastern time, except national holidays.
The Internet address for telnet (connecting) to LOCIS is locis.loc.gov; the numeric address is 188.8.131.52. LOCIS accepts both 3270 and line mode (such as VT 100).
One can connect to Internet through a variety of sources that are not in any way related to the Library. Sources include computer centers in business, government and academic organizations; cooperative networks; commercial vendors and gateways; private entrepreneurs; electronic bulletin boards; and National Science Foundation-related midlevel networks. Contact your local library or office computer center for information or call the Information Services Referral Desk at InterNIC at (800) 444-4345 for a list of Internet providers.
The Library does not charge for access to LOCIS; however, many Internet providers do charge some fees to connect to Internet. Up to 60 users will be able to access LOCIS at a time.
A LOCIS Quick Search Guide and a LOCIS Reference Manual will be available for file transfer (FTP) over Internet and for sale in printed form. Use Internet's anonymous FTP function to connect to ftp.loc.gov and get documents from the directory /pub/LC.Online. Print copies are available from LC's Cataloging Distribution Service at (202) 707-6100; fax: (202) 707-1334. LC offers hands- on search assistance only to on-site researchers. HELP screens exist for most files and commands.
Access is provided to a portion of LOCIS, with more than 26 million records:
Several files contain records for materials cataloged and held by the Library; in addition, there are some records for materials cataloged and held by other research institutions and agencies. Together, the materials include a variety of formats. The print and text formats (such as books and serials) may be in any of more than 400 languages. The materials are:
- serials (journals, periodicals, etc.)
- music (sheet music, recordings)
- visual materials (microcomputer software and data, including CD-ROMs)
- thesauri of names and subject terms used on catalog records
- items in the process of being cataloged
- catalog records reported from some other research libraries
- catalogs of some of LC's reading rooms
- records/citations from some bibliographies; e.g., the Handbook of Latin American Studies
Several files contain summaries, abstracts, chronologies and status information for legislation (bills and resolutions) introduced in Congress since 1973. Information for the current Congress is up-to-date within 48 hours.
Two files contain records for all materials registered for copyright since January 1978. These materials include books, films, music, maps, sound recordings, software, multimedia kits, drawings, posters, sculpture, serials, etc. A third file has references to documents that describe copyright legal transactions, such as name changes and transfers.
Braille and Audio
Two files contain records for materials designed for persons unable to read print. The materials include braille, recordings (cassette and flexible disc) and some large-print items. LC's National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped coordinates the programs for creating these files, designing the materials and distributing them to eligible readers through regional and state centers.
The file contains records that abstract and cite foreign laws and regulations as well as journal articles on legal topics. Currently, most countries represented are Hispanic-speaking, though a few are French and English. More languages and countries will be included in the future.
Note: Printing, downloading and screen capture depend on the user's local hardware and software. Access to LC's electronic mail, input/update and internal information screen systems is not available. When connecting to LOCIS each time, numbered choices must be selected from the opening LOCIS MENU.