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Bicentennial Conference  on 
	Bibliographic Control for the New Millenium: Confronting the Challenges of Networked 
	Resources and the Web
sponsored by the Library of Congress Cataloging Directorate

Tom Delsey
Tom Delsey
Director General
Corporate Policy and Communications
National Library of Canada
395 Wellington St.
Ottawa, Canada K1A, ON4

The Library Catalogue in a Networked Environment

About the presenter:

Tom Delsey is presently Director General, Corporate Policy and Communications, at the National Library of Canada (NLC). During his twenty some years with NLC, he has been Chief of the Canadian MARC Office, Assistant Director for Standards, Director of the Cataloguing Branch, Director of the Acquisitions and Bibliographic Services Branch, and Director of Policy and Planning. Over that same period of time, Delsey has been an active participant in various Canadian and U.S. committees, including the Canadian Committee on Cataloguing, the Canadian Library Association's Copyright Committee, MARBI, and the CONSER Executive Committee. Internationally, he has been involved in several committees and working groups within the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA), International Standards Organization (ISO), and ISDS. In recent years he has served as a consultant for the IFLA Study on Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records, and most recently he has completed a study for the Joint Steering Committee for Revision of AACR (JSC), producing a schematic model of the cataloguing code's logical structure. He has published a number of papers on bibliographic standards and the application of technology to bibliographic control. Delsey has a bachelor's degree in English literature from McMaster University, an MLS from the University of Western Ontario, and a Ph.D. in English and American language and literature from Harvard University.

Full text of paper is available


For the past four decades the development of the library catalogue has been inextricably linked to advances in digital technology. In the sixties, libraries began experimenting with the use of digital technology to support catalogue production through the capture, formatting, and output of bibliographic data. In the seventies, software developers introduced a wide array of systems to support online access to library catalogues. In the eighties, the development and implementation of open standards added a new dimension to the networking of online catalogues. In the nineties, the development of Web technology enabled libraries for the first time to link records in their online catalogues directly to the digital resources they describe.

The evolution of the library catalogue from a manual to a digital form has had a significant impact on the interface between the catalogue and the user, and in a number of fundamental ways has altered the way in which catalogue data is accessed. Likewise, the migration of the catalogue from a local to a networked environment has had a significant impact on the interface between the individual library catalogue and other catalogues and bibliographic databases accessed through the network. Potentially, even more significant for the library catalogue is the direct linking to digital resources that is made possible through the World Wide Web and the impact of this new technology on the interface between the catalogue and the resources the catalogue describes.

This paper provides an overview of how technology has changed the relationships between the library catalogue, the catalogue user, alternative sources of bibliographic data, and the resources described in the catalogue. It looks--from a technical perspective--at what those changes mean for the way we support various interfaces to the catalogue, and it highlights changes in approach that will be needed in order to maintain and enhance the effectiveness of those interfaces in an evolving networked environment.

Jennifer Trant
Jennifer Trant, commentator
Executive Director
Art Museum Image Consortium
2008 Murray Ave., Suite D
Pittsburgh, PA 15217

About the commentator: Jennifer Trant is the Executive Director of the Art Museum Image Consortium (AMICO) She also serves as a Partner in Archives & Museum Informatics, and Editor-in-Chief of Archives and Museum Informatics: the Cultural Heritage Informatics Quarterly from Kluwer Academic Publishers. She is co-chair of "Museums and the Web" and "ichim2001" in Milan, Italy, and is on the program committee of the ACM Digital Libraries 2000 conference, and the Board of the Media and Technology Committee of the American Association of Museums.

Prior to joining Archives & Museum Informatics in 1997, Jennifer Trant was responsible for Collections and Standards Development at the Arts and Humanities Data Service, King's College, London, England. As Director of Arts Information Management, she consulted regarding the application of technology to the mission of art galleries and museums. Clients included the now closed Getty Information Institute for whom she managed the Imaging Initiative and directed the activities of the Museum Educational Site Licensing Project (MESL). She also prepared the report of the Art Information Task Force (AITF), entitled Categories for the Description of Works of Art for the College Art Association and the Getty.

Full text of commentary is available

Library of Congress
January 02, 2001
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