Monday, August 30, 2010

Specialized information sources

Bibliographic tools

Strictly speaking, a systematic list or enumeration of written works by a specific author or on a given subject, or which share one or more common characteristics (language, form, period, place of publication, etc.). (ODLIS)

The two main sorts of bibliography are:
Enumerative or systematic bibliography: the listing of books according to some system or reference plan, for example, by author, by subject, or by date. A library’s catalogue is an example of an enumerative bibliography, and so is the list at the back of a book of works consulted, or a book like the New Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature.

Analytical or critical bibliography: the study of books as physical objects; the details of their production, the effects of the method of manufacture on the text. Analytical bibliography may deal with the history of printers and booksellers, with the description of paper or bindings, or with textual matters arising during the progression from writer’s manuscript to published book. May be divided into:

Historical bibliography: the history of books broadly speaking, and of the persons, institutions, and machines producing them.

Textual bibliography or textual criticism:
the relationship between the printed text as we have it before us, and that text as conceived by its author.

Descriptive bibliography: the close physical description of books. How is the book put together? What sort of type is used and what kind of paper? How are the illustrations incorporated into the book? How is it bound? (Terry Belanger, “Descriptive Bibliography.” In Jean Peters, ed. Book Collecting: A Modern Guide. New York: Bowker, 1977, pp. 97-101).

Enumerative/Systematic bibliographies: Types, characteristics and uses
Library cataloguesList materials held in library collectionLocate item in library collection by: author, title, subject, keyword.Verify if item is held by a particular library
Union cataloguesList material held in collections of many librariesCheck multiple libraries at once to locate an item by author, title, subject, keyword.Verify it item actually exists. Determine who holds a particular item.
Trade bibliographiesCommercial publications providing information for selection and acquisition of published material. Shows which titles currently available from a publisher/producer.Verify existence of a work published in a particular country.Look at publication history of a country.
National bibliographiesComprehensive list of materials published in a particular country. Typically produced under auspices of a national library or other agency which is charged by law with the receipt by legal deposit of copyrighted materials.Verify existence of a work published in a particular country.Look at publication history of a country.
BibliographiesList of works compiled under some common principle, such as author, subject, place of publication, or printer. Researchers in a particular subject area may produce a bibliography on that topic (e.g. Aboriginal Health Bibliography). Speciallized types of bibliographies include discographies (listing of music written or played by an artist), or a filmography (listing of movies of an actor or director). Find a comprehensive list of resources on a particular person or subject.Find a comprehensive list of a particular type of resource (e.g. music or film).
Biblilography of bibliographiesGeneral in scope. Used to identify bibliographies on a specific subject. Good starting place for finding a bibliography on a specific subject.

Representative sources
Library catalogues

Red River College
University of Manitoba Libraries. BISON.
University of Winnipeg. Library Catalogue
Winnipeg Public Library

Union catalogues
Produced and maintained by the National Library of Canada. Includes over 26 million bibliographic records describing books, magazines, government documents, theses, sound recordings, maps, etc.; 47 million holdings from over 1,300 Canadian libraries, including NLC.

The provincial union catalogue for Manitoba public libraries. Also includes Legislative Library, Hudson Bay’s Company Archives and Industrial Technology Centre. MAPLIN no longer exists, with each provincial library system maintaining its own union catalogue.

OCLC WorldCat (available on FirstSearch)
A composite online catalog of the collections of the 24,000 member libraries of the OCLC consortium, comprising more than 36 million records for books, serials, manuscript collections, audiovisual materials, computer files, and other media.

National bibliographies
Canadiana: The National Bibliography

Since 1950 the library has been producing Canadiana, a comprehensive bibliography which documents the nation’s published heritage. Canadiana lists and describes a wide variety of publications produced in Canada, or published elsewhere but of special interest or significance to Canada. These include books, periodicals, sound recordings, microforms, music scores, pamphlets, government documents, theses, educational kits, video recordings and electronic documents. Available on CD-ROM or on AMICUS.

British National Bibliography (BNB)
Books and new serials have been recorded since 1950 in the British National Bibliography (BNB). The BNB is the single most comprehensive listing of UK titles. The records are also available online on the British Library Public Catalogue (BLPC).

Bibliographie Nationale Fran├žaise
French national bibliography: books, serials, maps, music, government documents published in France since 1970.

Trade bibliographies

Books in Print

Canadian Books in Print

Whitaker’s Books in Print
(United Kingdom)

Ulrich’s International Periodicals Directory
Annual listing of currently available periodicals. Worldwide coverage.

Online “bookstore” sites eroding use of trade bibliographies, e.g.

Bibliographies of bibliographies
Besterman, Theodore. A World Bibliography of Bibliographies and of Bibliographical Catalogues, Calendars, Abstracts, Digests, Indexes, and the Like. Fourth revised and expanded edition. Lausaunne: Societas Bibliographica, 1965-66. 5 vols.

A classified bibliography of separately published bibliographies of books, manuscripts, and popular abridgements. International in scope.

Supplemented by: Tooney, Alice F. A World Bibliography of Bibliographies, 1964-1974: A List of Works Represented by Library of Congress Printed Catalog Cards: A Decennial Supplement to Theodore Bestermann, A World Bibliography of Bibliographies. Totowa, NK: Rowman and Littlefield, 1977. 2 vols.

Bibliographic Index: A Cumulative Bibliography of Bibliographies. New York: H.W. Wilson, 1937-.
An alphabetical subject arrangement of separately published bibliographies and bibliographies included in books and periodicals. Almost 2,600 periodicals, including many in foreign languages, are now examined regularly. An extensive list, useful in itself and as a valuable complement to Theodore Bestermann, A world bibliography of bibliographies. (Balay, AA15)

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