Monday, February 14, 2011

Share your hidden collections

The National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections cooperative cataloging program is looking for participants in Hawaii. Through NUCMC, the Library of Congress and eligible U.S. archival and manuscript repositories provide and promote bibliographic access to the nation's documentary heritage, thus celebrating the diversity of American life and providing an excellent tool for genealogical and historical research for the last 50 years.

In particular, NUCMC is looking for smaller institutions or repositories that may hold hidden collections that NUCMC could describe and make known at the national and international level. The standardized bibliographic records created and distributed via this international database are sometimes the first broad exposure for a repository's collections, often generating wider usage and public awareness that in turn speak persuasively for increased support from funders and administrators for hidden collections.

To be eligible, a repository must 1) be located in the U.S. or its territories; 2) must regularly admit researchers; and 3) must lack the capability of entering its own manuscript cataloging into OCLC.

Participating repositories, such as local historical societies, museums, public libraries, or town clerk's offices, provide NUCMC with information (main entry, title, date range, size, scope, etc.) describing their archival and manuscript holdings. NUCMC staff at the Library of Congress then use the information provided to create MARC bibliographic records describing the repository's holdings in OCLC WorldCat. Additionally, anyone with access to the World Wide Web has free access to the entire OCLC archival and mixed collections file through the NUCMC Web site.

For more information, e-mail NUCMC.

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