Magazine article Computers in Libraries

Using Downloaded NOTIS Records to Create a Bibliography

Magazine article Computers in Libraries

Using Downloaded NOTIS Records to Create a Bibliography

Article excerpt

Brooklyn College is a fouryear unit of the CUNY (City University of New York) system. We offer Bachelor's and Master's degrees and cooperate with the Graduate Center in some of their PhD programs. The library serves all these students plus faculty and staff.

Frequently, undergraduate classes are given assignments for which it would be useful to have a subject bibliography of books in our library. Prior to automation, one would select the appropriate cards from the catalog and type up a bibliography

With the advent of word processing, formatting and indexing of these bibliographies became easier but the original data still had to be input. In 1989 CUNY began to implement a NOTIS based OPAC, called CUNYPLUS. Brooklyn College's collection was one of the first entered. While CUNYPLUS made it easier to search the collection, originally, there was no way to download results, so references still had to be manually input for word-processing. In 1993 Rabbit software was installed on some computers, so that CUNYPLUS could be searched from them and the resultant citations downloaded.


To show my methodology, I am using a bibliography of autobiographies. There is an ongoing assignment in some English classes to read any autobiography. If students are interested in a specific person, they can easily check CUNYPLUS. However, in many cases, they have no preference and would like to see a listing of available autobiographies.

Using a card catalog would not work for this assignment as most autobiographies are not indexed by the term "autobiography" but by a subject heading with a subheading of biography, for example, Authors, American - 20th century - Biography. There are many published bibliographies of autobiographies in our library but use of these entails checking all entries against our catalog and many entries may not be held.

With CUNYPLUS I used keyword searching and limited to BC holdings (k=autobiography and BC). The results are automatically in reverse chronological order. I skimmed through the records, downloading those that were appropriate - some of the records retrieved were about autobiographies rather than autobiographies themselves and some were collections of short biographical sketches, which I did not want.

Figure 1 shows a downloaded record and Figure 2 shows that record after extraneous material was removed via a word-processor and the subject headings were edited for conformity. …

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