Category Archives: Bibliography Section

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Conference report: Universal Bibliographic Control at the crossroads, a report on the satellite meeting

By Maud Henry, Mathilde Koskas, and Pat Riva

Universal Bibliographic Control (UBC) is a fundamental principle for national libraries, formulated over 50 years ago by IFLA and UNESCO. IFLA’s last official document on the subject, the IFLA Professional Statement on Universal Bibliographic Control, dates back to 2012, and the federation had not devoted a general meeting to the subject since the Lyon Congress in 2014. In the meantime, the international normative landscape for the production, sharing and dissemination of metadata has continued to evolve rapidly. The question arose: is the principle of Universal Bibliographic Control still valid?

Click here to get the full article – IFLA Metadata Newsletter – Dec. 2023

WLIC 2023 Satellite Meeting – Universal Bibliographic Control at the crossroads: the challenges of unifying IFLA bibliographic standards

The IFLA Satellite Meeting on Universal Bibliographic Control at the crossroads: the challenges of unifying IFLA bibliographic standards took place in Brussels (KBR) on August 18 and 19, 2023.

Universal Bibliographic Control is a fundamental principle for national libraries, formulated over 50 years ago by IFLA and UNESCO. IFLA’s last official document on the subject, the IFLA Professional Statement on Universal Bibliographic Control, dates back to 2012, and the federation had not devoted a general meeting to the subject since the Lyon Congress in 2014. In the meantime, the international normative landscape for the production, sharing and dissemination of metadata has continued to evolve rapidly. The question arose: is the principle of Universal Bibliographic Control still valid? The satellite meeting organized by the Bibliography section with the Cataloguing and Subject Access and Analysis sections at KBR on August 18 and 19 brought together some fifty participants to examine this question. The program, alternating presentations (available here) and workshops, enabled these practitioners and experts from different countries to examine the foundations of UBC, its relationship with IFLA metadata standards (International Cataloguing Principles, IFLA LRM, ISBD, UNIMARC, MulDiCat), and its place in the contemporary context. Artificial intelligence, which was the subject of so many discussions during the congress, also featured prominently.

The conclusion of this day and a half of work is unanimous: yes, the concept of Universal Bibliographic Control is still valid, but the declaration needs to be revised so that it continues to be expressed in a way appropriate to the current context, paying particular attention to its status for IFLA and its place in the universe of IFLA metadata standards. The organizing sections will therefore be working on a framework for the revision in the coming months.

We’d like to thank all the participants, the speakers, KBR, the organizing committee and OCLC for sponsoring this event!

Text written by Mathilde Koskas and edited by Maud Henry

European Retrospective Bibliographies at CERL

European Retrospective Bibliographies at CERL

Early in 2022, the Consortium of European Research Libraries (CERL – www.cerl.org) established a Working Group on Retrospective Bibliographies. The Working Group’s main focus was to identify electronic resources with bibliographical descriptions for national, regional, format-specific (i.e. incunabula, newspapers) or language-specific print cultures (up to 1830). Over the years, CERL has included several of these resources in the Heritage of the Printed Book (HPB) database, has closely aligned itself with the English Short Title Catalogue (ESTC), and more recently started to act as the host for bibliographies such as the Incunabula Short Title Catalogue (ISTC) and Short Title Catalogue Netherlands (STCN).

The members of the Working Group (see also https://www.cerl.org/collaboration/work/retrospectivenationalbibliographies) dream of a day when these electronic bibliographies together offer a comprehensive overview of European prints before 1830. The Working Group wishes to encourage the inclusion of permanent identifiers from retrospective bibliographies in catalogue records and research projects as a basis for connecting these bibliographies to form a strong and rich data network.

From the start, the Working Group was very much aware of the IFLA Register of national bibliographies, and felt that CERL would be in a position to create a supplement to this valuable list with information about bibliographies that focus on or have a strong component of books printed up to 1830.  A first overview  created by Olga Tkachuk, Ossoliński National Institute, in 2022, primarily gathered information about bibliographies (national, regional, language-specific) in nations in the east of Europe (currently listed are Albania / Belarus / Bosnia and Herzegovina / Bulgaria / Croatia / Cyprus / Czech Republic / Estonia / Greece / Hungary / Latvia / Lithuania / Moldavia / Montenegro / North Macedonia / Poland / Romania / Serbia / Slovakia / Slovenia / Ukraine). The list will gradually be expanded with information from European countries not yet listed.

As a result of the work on this overview, CERL decided to organise a conference on the topic. The title of the conference is Retrospective Bibliographies and European Print Cultures to 1830 – Challenges and perspectives in the digital age, and it will take place on 29 and 30 June 2023 at the Ossolineum Library, in Wrocław, Poland. For the programme and registration details see  https://www.cerl.org/services/seminars/rnb2023.

The key-note address by Marieke van Delft (now retired, but formerly of the Koninklijke Bibliotheek, the National Library of the Netherlands) will reflect on the word ‘national’ for these bibliographies, a term  used in established librarianship tradition in accordance with IFLA and bibliographic control standards, but in today’s world and in the historical context of early printing a term that throws up questions regarding content and scope of retrospective (national) bibliographies.

Looking at our European retrospective bibliographies, which today are no longer printed books, but databases, files with records and identifiers, we see that their scope is usually a mix of geographic/territorial and language aspects, according to the cultural impact and context of a given era.  Today, creating such a bibliography, maintaining and developing it, remains a cooperative challenge – as CERL’s and IFLA’s interest in this topic underlines – and a long-term financial commitment of national impact. Creating and maintaining the kind of retrospective bibliographies that are the focus of the CERL WG is often conceived of as a national duty and a commitment to cultural heritage – a national commitment to a national research infrastructure of transnational importance and impact. CERL as a consortium of European research libraries has a unifying role in this huge cooperative undertaking.

During the conference, we will take a closer look at inclusion and exclusion criteria for the bibliographies, as well as issues related to making data accessible and re-usable, the economics of funding the work and how we organise workflows and collaboration. And we would also like to talk about these bibliographies in the CERL context. Certain retrospective bibliographies, such as the Short Title Catalogue Netherlands and the Incunabula Short Title Catalogue are hosted by CERL, while some, such as the German Verzeichnisse der deutschen Drucke and the Short Title Catalogue Flanders, are included in the Heritage of the Printed Book (HPB) database (and some are both in the HPB and hosted by CERL as stand-alone databases). Should CERL differentiate between records from retrospective bibliographies and records from library catalogues in how this data is made available to the user community? And how can we help to make the data more visible and more accessible?

We hope that our conference will put us on the path of defining what makes retrospective (national) bibliographies valuable today, how we can present them in a way that offers the greatest benefit to end users, and what their long-term perspectives and development could be. For this we would be very happy to collaborate with IFLA’s Bibliography Section to encompass the print output from the earliest printed book to today.

Marian Lefferts, Consortium of European Research Libraries

Claudia Fabian, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, München

 

June 2023

 

Italian translation of Common Practices published

The Italian translation of the Common Practices for National Bibliographies in the Digital Age was recently completed and has now been published in the IFLA Repository:
Pratiche condivise per le bibliografie nazionali nell’era digitale

From Cataloguing to Metadata Creation: A Cultural and Methodological Introduction

Mauro Guerrini, a member of the Bibliography Standing Committee, recently published the book From Cataloguing to Metadata Creation: A Cultural and Methodological Introduction. More information about the book, along with information on purchasing the book, can be found at:
https://www.facetpublishing.co.uk/page/detail/?K=9781783306282

New file in Names of Persons project

The Cataloguing Section’s Names of Persons project webpage (https://www.ifla.org/g/cataloguing/names-of-persons/) has a new file from Poland for Polish language authors. The file follows the usual structure of NoP files: Elements forming part of a nameAdditional elements to names and Order of elements in catalogue headings.

The document has been prepared by the National Library of Poland (Biblioteka Narodowa). I want to thank Mr. Paweł Leleń, from the National Library, and Priscilla Pun for her intermediation.

You can access the file here: https://repository.ifla.org/handle/123456789/2499I hope this new document is useful for all the cataloguing community. Please, write to me if you have comments.

All the best,

Ricardo Santos Muñoz

IFLA’s Cataloguing Section

Standing Committee Member

Information Coordinator

National Library of Spain /Biblioteca Nacional de España

Email: Ricardo.santos@bne.es