20 Pages

Item Level Access to Special Collections: A Prototype for an Integrated Automated Index

WithLucy Shelton Caswell

Researchers increasingly rely on electronic access to information which in an earlier time would have been available only through tedious searches. Online catalogs describe the availability of books and journals, and CD-ROM and mainframe-mounted indexes provide access to specific contents. Very little has been done, however, to provide a standardized online indexing system for special collections. Sophisticated library users are asked to cope with a confusing array of card files, inventory records, and collection registers. All too often, these cumbersome finding aids fail because of inadequate indexes.