Academic journal article Information Technology and Libraries

RLIN CJK and the East Asian Library Community

Academic journal article Information Technology and Libraries

RLIN CJK and the East Asian Library Community

Article excerpt

RLIN CJK became operational in September 1983. At the end of March 1993, there were well over a million records with vernacular Chinese, Japanese and/or Korean (CJK) in the RLIN database. Most of these records were entered online by thirty-seven participating institutions. The remainder, f42,391 records as of March 1993, were batch loaded. Most of these came from OCLC. The six most productive participants are the Library of Congress (209,511 records), Yale University (98,488 records), Columbia University (93,728 records), the University of Michigan (72,933 records), Princeton University (64,494 records), and the University of Toronto (63,304 records).[1]

What has this meant to the East Asian library community? Obviously, the advent of RLIN CJK meant that for the first time the community was able to bring under control all Chinese, Japanese, and Korean works within a nationwide system of automated processing, thereby making them accessible to the scholarly community.

Ever-advancing electronic technology and communications networks have revitalized cooperative and coordinated collection development and shared access. Bibliographic control, the development of a comprehensive bibliographic database, is a prerequisite to any cost-effective sharing of resources, that is, to collection development and access.

RLIN CJK has also produced additional dividends for the East Asian library community; it has brought the technical processing and bibliographic practices of the East Asian libraries into the mainstream of American librarianship. CJK was developed as an integral part of the main bibliographic record file of a national bibliographic utility. The design ensures that CJK records are accessible in the same manner and same instance as Roman-alphabet records. Furthermore, since machine manipulation of bibliographic records requires greater standardization and precision in record creation, RLIN CJK forced the East Asian library community to conform, literally overnight in some cases, to the bibliographic practice of mainstream American librarianship. Cataloging rules addressing the needs of East Asian libraries had been developed over the years, but they had not been hitherto closely adhered to. The effect of RLIN CJK on East Asian collections can be seen if we consider previous efforts to coordinate East Asian cataloging.



The first cooperative cataloging project of the East Asian library community was the Oriental Card Reproduction Project. The Library of Congress (LC) reproduced without editing) and sold by subscription catalog cards for Chinese, Japanese, and Korean works cataloged by American libraries. During the life of the project (1949-58), cards for more than 88,000 works were reproduced and distributed: 54,278 cards for works in Chinese, 32,532 for works in Japanese, and 1,985 for Korean titles.[2] Some of these cards, produced in an abundant exercise of freedom of expression, are still in the catalog trays of many libraries.

In 1953, the Oriental Processing Committee (OPC) was established by a directive from the Librarian of Congress to study problems and make recommendations on all aspects of the cataloging of Oriental materials. From 1953 to 1957, the OPC held almost one hundred meetings.

In 1954, the Cataloging and Classification Division of the American Library Association appointed the special Committee on Cataloging Oriental Materials. For the next four years, a heavy and continuous correspondence took place between this committee and OPC, resulting in additions and changes to the two basic codes of 1949: ALA Cataloging Rules for Authors and Title Entries and the Rules of descriptive cataloging of the library of Congress.[3]

These modifications and additions for the cataloging of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean materials were subsequently incorporated into the Anglo-American Cataloging Rules (AACR) of 1967 (with the exception of the sections on romanization, word division, etc. …

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