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A significant milestone:
Harvard's CONSER Office Provides 39,491 Records for OCLC

Since Harvard joined the Cooperative Online Serials (CONSER) Program in 1976, the University Library's CONSER office has been a driving force in international cooperative cataloging efforts. As a program member, the office inputs, authenticates, and modifies serial cataloging records on the CONSER database, which resides within the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) Union Catalog. The office also provides complex cataloging and processing of serial titles for the Harvard library community.

Due in large part to HUL's CONSER office, the CONSER Publication Pattern Initiative marked a significant milestone on February 27, 2001. OCLC loaded caption, pattern, and related holdings—information provided by Harvard—to 39,491 CONSER records in the OCLC database. According to Ruth Haas, head of HUL's CONSER office, "Pattern data is another example of the CONSER program's cooperative approach to providing quality information for serial publications. Harvard's dataload is an extensive base on which the CONSER Publication Pattern Initiative can build to enrich the usefulness of the program's records for the library community."

The CONSER Publication Pattern Initiative strives to promote the use of MARC 21 Format for Holdings Data, a manual detailing widely used standards for machine-readable data, and to encourage the cooperative creation and sharing of data via the CONSER database. The availability of such a large body of pattern data enables users to experiment with loading it into their check-in modules and for libraries to use the records for new system implementation. According to Sally Sinn, Chair of the CONSER Task Force on Publication Patterns and Holdings, "This is an important step forward for a project designed to eliminate the costly, redundant effort to create this data in each new system installation."

Jean Hirons, CONSER Coordinator at the Library of Congress, hopes that the inclusion of the Harvard data will promote the idea that this information should become standard in CONSER records.

Information regarding the specific pattern and holdings data can be seen at: www.loc.gov/acq/conser/harvload.html.

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Last modified on Thursday, April 18, 2002.