Retrospective Conversion: History, Approaches, Considerations

1st Edition

Brian Schottlaender

Published May 21, 1996
Reference - 167 Pages
ISBN 9780789000552 - CAT# HW11467

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Retrospective Conversion is an essential guide for library catalogers and technical services managers in the process of converting manual catalog records to machine readable form. It clearly illustrates the advantages and disadvantages of the three conversion methods--converting in-house, contracting to a vendor, and a combination of the two--and covers the areas of cost, staff, time, and record quality for each.

Catalogers will learn how to make a bigger investment in advance planning to achieve better end results. Helpful chapters emphasize the need for planning, quality control, and authority control in the creation of a complete catalog in a machine readable form. Also included are case studies that illustrate specific methods in action and provide a wealth of general, usable information.

This unique reference covers a variety of valuable topics for catalogers involved in converting manual catalog records. It includes an in-depth bibliography and review of the retrospective conversion literature, including over 200 items addressing general considerations, special formats, and international issues. Specific examples of retrospective conversion are analyzed including projects in medium and large size institutions, non-serials and serials cataloging, music scores, and the Library of Congress’s conversion of the PREMARC file. Specific techniques are explained such as the development of a PC workstation interface to facilitate the conversion process, the use of sampling techniques in project cost analysis, how to determine what quality standards are needed and at what cost, and authority control in both manual and online catalogs.


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