----- Original Message -----
From: "Mike Richter" <[log in to unmask]>
> At 09:26 AM 4/7/2004 -0400, Steven Smolian wrote:
> >Actually, the presence of fewer catalogers may be seen as a good thing,
> >perhaps indicating that it is no longer considered imperative that each
> >library generate all its own cataloging with its accompanying
> >empire but rather obtain it from a central service, reducing costs
> >substantially. This may be leading to everyone cataloging the same way
> >minor additions to the record regarding location and other administrative
> >variants, and thus allow searches to disclose multiple copies countrywide
> >more easily.
> >I thought this was what everyone had been working toward over the years.
> I believe we are seeing here one of the splits in contemporary library
> technology. That is, a lending library using published materials, would
> have such a standard index available. But an acquisitions library dealing
> with manuscripts, private recordings and works in limited distribution
> would have to devise its own cataloguing system as well as its own filing
> system. Clearly, older publications will also be deprived of modern
> catalogue references; the first folio has no ISBN. <G>
Another point is that a standardized and centralized data system would
demand that all users be networked, and that each user maintain at least
a relational table that would include the primary key entry for the work
in question plus a Y/N boolean field indicating that the work was (or was
not) included in their holdings.
Of course, it would be possible to use a single master database to provide
all the data on a given recording (or other entity), which could then be
copied as a data record for anyone who had a copy; however, to do so, the
master database would have to include ALL the data on the entity that
future users might need or want!
As well, there are internal data items that apply only to the individual
copy of the entry...such as condition, price paid, storage location and
the like. There are other that, while not infinitely variable, can vary
between individual instances...such as label type, master pressing (or
not), and the like.
Steven C. Barr