Choreographing Your Search
- Bibliographic networks, sometimes called online union catalogs, consolidate the catalog records of several institutions into one database. The researcher can then obtain information about resources far beyond his or her own local library.
- RLIN (Research Libraries Network) and OCLC (Online Computer Library Center), although begun in the United States, are now international bibliographic networks that include not only libraries and archives, but museums, booksellers, and special databases, such as the English Short Title Catalog (printed works before 1800) and SCIPIO, an index of art and rare book sales catalogs.
- Bibliographic networks also exist for
- regions of the United States
- multitype libraries in states, counties and cities, including historical societies and public libraries
- university, research and museum consortiums
- The Dance Heritage Coalition Access Project initiated the loading of hundreds of thousands of dance research catalog records, most from the New York Public Library, into RLIN, and most of these have been cross-loaded into OCLC.
- Bibliographic networks offer at least two types of access: one for researchers who seek information, and another for library and archives professionals who enter information into the networks. RLIN's public research interface is called Eureka; OCLC's public interface is called FirstSearch.
- RLIN and OCLC also enable access to the Library of Congress' Name Authority File (NAF) and Subject Authority File (SAF) authority terms used by libraries and archives to standardize entries in their catalogs.