HOLLIS Administrative Advisory Committee
Meeting 61
July 14, 1993

1. Distributable Union Catalog Replacement
2. RISM-US Database
3. BRIDGE Resources
4. Development Plan


Marianne Burke, John Collins, Priscilla Caplan, Michael Fitzgerald, Dale Flecker, Rodney Goins, Carrie Kent, Lynne Schmelz-Keil (chair), Ted Pappadopoulos, Judy Warnement, Robin Wendler (recording), Charles Willard

Absent: Bob Buckwalter, Mark Van Baalen

Guests: John Howard, Heather Reid, Tracey Robinson

Future Meetings: In the OIS Conference Room,

          October 20, 1993 -- 10-12 a.m.
          November 17, 1993 -- 10-12 a.m.
          December 15, 1993 -- 10-12 a.m.
          January 19, 1994 -- 10-12 a.m.

1. Distributable Union Catalog Replacement

Tracey Robinson explained the current thinking about a replacement for the Distributed Union Catalog on microfiche. The costs of producing a cumulating microfiche supplement continue to grow as the database grows, and has become prohibitively expensive. SSHUSH recommended a short-term solution to reduce costs: produce annual rather than cumulating supplements and produce only author/title sections, eliminating the subject sections. SSHUSH also recommended that OIS propose a longer term solution within two to three years. After considering available alternatives, OIS has determined that this is not a good time to settle on a long term solution. With the establishment of a business resumption plan which covers major outages, the DUC or its replacement will serve primarily to cover mid-term, temporary outages. These outages might be local (restricted to one library or section of campus) or university-wide. There is a legitimate question about how much effort should be expended for a medium-term, rarely-used backup.

Options for a mid-term backup include continuing to produce a diminished set of microfiche, issuing a CD-ROM, and using the RLIN database for interim access to location data. A number of factors which would impact the choice of backup are still in flux. The number and configuration of CD stations in the libraries in constantly changing. The RLG Record Task Force will make a recommendation about the type and amount of data to be contributed to RLIN by tape-loading libraries, and this could have an impact on whether RLIN could serve as a backup during medium-term outages.

During discussion, most members felt that they could take the risk of working without a mid-term backup, although Countway expressed more concern due to their distance from other Harvard libraries. Some members viewed the DUC differently when they considered its cost as a type of insurance. Judy Warnement suggested that the HOLLIS managers review the rough costs of various alternatives.

HAAC agreed that OIS should revisit the issue in a year. Charles Willard suggested that the faculty be informed about the risks. Dale Flecker noted that some faculties have already considered and rejected disaster recovery measures for their own environments.

2. RISM-US Database

John Howard presented his proposal to add the union list of music manuscripts in U.S. libraries to HOLLIS. The database has been created by the U.S. office of the R‚pertoire International des Sources Musicales (RISM), hosted at the Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library at Harvard since 1985, and covers RISM Series A/II, an inventory of music manuscripts of the period ca. 1600-ca. 1800. Since the project has been funded primarily from public sources, it is particularly desirable to make the database easily accessible to scholars nationally and internationally. RISM-US has talked over the past several years with RLG about loading the data in RLIN, but this approach has not been fruitful. In order to fulfill their mandate to make the database widely accessible, the RISM-US office investigated mounting the data as a separate, unrestricted access database in HOLLIS. This has proven to be a reasonable option, and for the current grant cycle John would like to be able to state that the database will be available in HOLLIS by July 1994.

Making the database available in HOLLIS would fulfill several goals:

Access by special categories such as dramatic role and musical except are particularly important in this database, where approximately 30% of the works have no known composer, and thus must be identified by other means.

Marianne Burke asked if other libraries would add to RISM. John explained that all the cataloging is performed by Loeb staff, either from microforms or during site visits.

Ted Pappadopoulos asked whether John envisioned the RISM bibliographic data linking to other databases. John said that such links were already present in the records, including ascii data which can be used to generate graphics and sound. Ideally, this data would be in a multimedia system which could support links to image and sound data, but such capabilities are not widely available yet.

Cilla Caplan noted that this is the second time which we're explicitly making data available to the international community (the first being the Physics Preprint database). She also noted that accepting this proposal was accepting the development schedule. HAAC unanimously approved the proposal, with the caveat that if timing were difficult, the special new indexes could be implemented as enhancements after the database was in place.

3. BRIDGE Resources

Heather Reid gave an update on the development of the Bridge. A working group is meeting weekly to work out the "look and feel" of the Bridge, and a technical group has been focussing on security issues. ULC talked about whether the Bridge should provide access equally to the Harvard community or to users outside of Harvard, and whether all the resources on the Bridge should be freely available to all, or whether some Bridge resources could require individual users to establish accounts. ULC opted for the broadest combination of security options, and decided that resources should not be excluded from the Bridge because they require individual accounts. The working groups need to know what databases will be in the first implementation, and therefore what security options need to be in place initially, with the understanding that others will be developed later.

Heather distributed a list of resources, including those given in the GIRLS report along with some CitaDel files and the Course Catalog Gopher. Dale noted that some of the Internet resources are actually commercial products and may not be legally available for remote use. Marianne Burke asked that Countway's CD Plus be added to the list. John Collins asked why no full-text files were included. Carrie Kent responded that most require special software for access. John then raised the question of e-journals. The group agreed that Academy, the online by-product of the Chronicle of Higher Education would be a valuable addition.

Dale asked at what level the VINE resources would be listed in the Bridge. This topic was discussed but not resolved at an earlier meeting. Cilla Caplan suggested that the VINE itself be listed and a few of its top resources be broken out as well.

Heather explained that the Bridge will likely be phased in, with some access available in late Fall and a stable implementation during the Spring term.

HAAC approved the amended list of resources for phase one of the Bridge.

4. Development Plan

Cilla Caplan described the current state of OIS development projects. The Bridge, the addition of the ERIC database to HOLLIS, and the End-User Reporting Project are the largest on-going projects. Format integration is on hold due to the Library of Congress' changed implementation schedule. GARP (aka Course Reserves) will begin in August, and the mainframe portion of the project is scheduled for early Winter.

There has been some activity on the LISH recommendations. The recommendations to allow for qualified keyword searching and to increase the maximum number of hits retrievable with a keyword search both require little work, but have potentially great impact on system resources. Testing will continue during the summer, with a memo to HAAC in the Fall summarizing the results. The other LISH recommendations will be evaluated one-by-one to assess impact and magnitude, at which point each will go on the list with a separate priority.

OIS will work with the College on functional specifications for the User Comment Facility.

Curtis Kendrick will raise outstanding issues (including delivery to non-owning sites) from the FETCHERRS report to the HD Advisory Committee in the Fall. December is the earliest that development work could begin, aiming to be done within the academic year. Units which use item records may meet sooner to figure out what changes may have to be made to their records to work under FETCHERRS.

Dale Flecker asked for further feedback on OCLC's Telecommunications Linking Project (TLP), which would allow access to OCLC from any network-attached PC. HAAC response was very positive, OIS was asked to pursue it.

The active project and priority list will be updated for HAAC in the Fall.


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