ChIN's Summary Page: Library of Congress
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Library of Congress


     The Library of Congress Online Catalog is a database of records representing the vast collection of materials held by the Library. In addition to these records, the Online Catalog provides cross-references, notes, and circulation status, as well as information about Library materials still in the acquisitions stage.

The Library of Congress Online Catalog contains approximately 12 million records representing books, serials, computer files, manuscripts, cartographic materials, music, sound recordings, and visual materials. The Catalog also displays searching aids for users, such as cross-references and scope notes. The catalog records reside in a single integrated database; they are not separated according to type of material, language of material, date of cataloging, or processing/circulation status.

As an integrated database, the Online Catalog includes 3.2 million catalog records from an earlier database. These catalog records, primarily for books and serials cataloged between 1898 and 1980, are being edited to comply with current cataloging standards and to reflect contemporary language and usage. The legend [from old catalog] indicates that the headings may deviate from current Library of Congress cataloging policy. For a complete search of books and serials cataloged prior to 1980, researchers onsite at the Library should also use the Main Card Catalog.

Many items from the Library's special collections are accessible to users but are not represented in this catalog. In addition, some individual items within collections (microforms, manuscripts, photographs, etc.) are not listed separately in the Catalog, but are represented by collection-level catalog records.

The Catalog includes romanized records for Chinese, Japanese and Korean language material cataloged since 1984, Hebrew and Yiddish cataloged since 1988, and Arabic and Persian cataloged since 1991. These catalog records appear in the Library of Congress Online Catalog in the roman alphabet and with English language subject headings. In the future, the Online Catalog may display catalog records in the scripts used by these languages.

Summary by Xiaoxia Li on 01-10-2001

Last updated by Xiaoxia Li on 03-26-2003

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