a project of the CBSR

CCILA logo CCILA logo
 The Proposal CCILA logo CCILA logo

In cooperation with the members of ABINIA, libraries with substantial collections of Latin American material in North America and Europe, and SALALM, we propose to create a union catalog and bibliography of Colonial Latin American imprints in the Research Libraries Information Network (RLIN). Access can also be provided in house to a mirror image of the file we will maintain for contributing libraries to consult for updating. Ultimately we expect the file may also be distributed on CD-ROM or some other medium.

In terms of scope, we would suggest all letterpress material, both monographs and serials, the standard for most of the national European files with which we are familiar. We propose to include all imprints in Latin America and the Philippines to 1850, by which time machine printing had been introduced throughout much if not most of the continent. The standard for the records to be created is that laid down by Anglo-American Cataloging Rules, 2nd ed., revised (AACR2r) as modified by Descriptive Cataloging of Rare Books (DCRB). This is the standard for the pre-1700 portion of the English Short Title Catalogue and also that being followed by John Carter Brown Library for its project.

We propose to create the file in two stages. The base file will be created by keyboarding the entries from Jose Torribia Medina’s bibliographies along with those we have identified as supplementing them or replacing them. We have identified more than 50,000 such entries to include and from overlapping bibliographies expect to add at least 10,000 more (see the attached list). The records keyed from the printed bibliographies will be entered in a MARC format. (A sample record as well as a full AACR2/DCRB record are attached.) We have chosen this method after examining Medina and many supplementary works and noting the care taken in transcribing title page data. A careful physical description is also present in a wide variety of cases. And the notes, often extensive, are often of the kind one would want to add to a catalog record. This will also give us considerable holdings information when we needed to consult copies. Within a year we can have a working, online catalog, that would provide the database upon which a full union catalog can be built. And the file will be accessible to users through RLIN and thus be usable from the start even as we completed the task. Scholars and bibliographers will immediately have access to virtually the entire corpus of printed material for study and access.

Once the bibliographies have been keyed and the file loaded, the second phase will commence. the major tasks to be accomplished will be (a) replacing truncated records, the case in a few of the bibliographies, with full transcriptions;(b) establishing the headings and uniform titles; (c) creating the added entries, including subject headings; (d) creating records for items reported from contributing libraries and other sources which are new to the file; and (e) verifying and augmenting the holdings information. Where title page information has been truncated in the base bibliographies, recourse will have to be made to the original or a surrogate, at least of the title page, to edit the records to full standards.

The initial creation of the database is not a complex or sophisticated operation. It involves keying large amounts of data into a bibliographic file, a routine operation. But a properly crafted database that can serve as the basis of a complete union catalogue and bibliography that can be accessed, enhanced, and distributed in a variety of new and exciting ways is another matter altogether. The Center has the expertise, bibliographical and technological, to create and maintain such a file. And, since it has worked with a wide range of libraries in creating the ESTC and the CNP, libraries rich and poor, well staffed and staffed not at all, it is an appropriate institution to house a project that will in turn work with a wide range of Latin American libraries, in order to ensure that the catalog eventually created includes all surviving Latin American imprints to 1850.

Dr. Henry Snyder

Last Updated

Copyright © The Regents of the University of California. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions of Use