RLG Announces New Resources for Cataloging and Research
The Research Libraries Group recently announced an expanded set of online resources for large public and academic libraries and their end users. The services provide access to several kinds of bibliographic and special collections data. According to the organization, its RLIN database, a union catalog with complete cataloging for the specific works held by a variety of libraries and archives, grew from over 78 million records to nearly 85 million during 1997, representing some 30 million titles from just-off-the-press research to ancient Chinese rare books.
Now, through a new RLG European Library Data Initiative, RLIN says it will significantly increase the supply of catalog records for Western European imprints and provide shared access to the holdings of major European libraries (many of them RLG members). This project involves large record loads into the RLIN bibliographic files, plus a new kind of gateway that goes directly to individual databases operated by European national libraries and university consortia to retrieve records for use in RLIN or locally.
The first participants in this project are the national libraries of France, Spain, and Switzerland. Extensive current cataloging from the Biblioteca Nacional de Espana, not available elsewhere, is already in RLIN; loading of initial files from the Bibliotheque Nationale de France and the Swiss National Library is underway.
Millions of records from outside the RLIN database will be accessible to users through the new RLG Z39.50 gateway (which will convert records to appropriate MARC format as part of the retrieval process). …