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61st IFLA General Conference - Conference Proceedings - August 20-25, 1995

Section on Bibliography

Annual Report 1994

Ross M. Bourne
British Library, Boston Spa
Wetherby, West Yorkshire
LS23 7BQ, UK
Fax: (44-937) 546586
e-mail: ross.bourne@bl.uk
is Chair of the Section on Bibliography.

Isabelle Boudet

Bibliothèque Nationale de France
21 rue Maurice Grandcoing
94200 Ivry, France
Fax (33-1) 44063605
is Secretary.

Standing Committee and Section Membership

The Standing Committee has 11 members from nine counties, plus five observers. Section membership totals 86. The Section continues to be concerned about the lack of representation from outside Europe and North America on its Standing Committee and efforts will continue, prior to election year, to widen the pool of experience that is available.


The aim of the Section on Bibliography is to promote bibliographic activities in both theory and practice. Its objectives are to establish a form for the discussion of questions concerning the princi ples of different types of bibliography, especially national bibliography; and to set up guidelines and recommendations for the improvement of national bibliographic control and the international exc hange of bibliographic information, taking into account the effect of new technologies, the state of development of different counties and of users' needs. During the past year the Section's energies have been dedicated largely to joint projects with other Sections within the Division of Bibliographic Control. It has participated in seminars on universal bibliographic control and UNIMARC (Dakar, Senegal in November, and Vilnius, Lithuania in June). It is leading the planning of a large-scale conference on national bibliographic services to be held in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1997. It is espec ially concerned with the revision of the UBCIM Programme's publication Names of Persons, a process that it is hoped will be completed in 1995.

Production of National Bibliographies

At a more specific level the Chair of the Section is undertaking a project that is investigating the technological gap between developed and developing countries on the production of national bibliog raphies. To this end he visited Vilnius in spring 1993, while another colleague, Barbara Bell (USA), currently serving in Namibia, has contributed her experience in southern Africa to this study. The study should be concluded at the end of 1994 and will be published in due course.

Changing Trends in the Publication of National Bibliographies

During the Havana Conference it was agreed that a survey should be conducted into changing trends in the publication of national bibliographies; one of the Standing Committee members, Robert Holley ( USA) will be undertaking this project, which will be reported on in Istanbul. The survey will give special attention to developing countries and will include access to the Internet, availability and limitations on use, and the current or proposed use of CD-ROM as a means of distribution.

1997 Conference on National Bibliographic Services

The Section is leading the planning for this conference, scheduled either shortly before or after the IFLA Conference. Pre-prints will be made available, and the conference will be limited to 100 par ticipants. Ten participants and ten speakers will be sponsored by UNESCO. A meeting will be held in Istanbul with representatives from the Sections that expressed interest in participating.


The Section published two issues of its Newsletter, in January and June of the report period.

Havana Conference

At the Section's programme meeting during the 1994 Conference in Havana, papers were presented on Cuban current and retrospective bibliography, the Salvadorean national bibliography, the Caribbean Bo oks in Print project, and the issue of quality in national bibliographic services.
Papers presented

Caribbean Books in Print Project

This paper describes a project attempting to produce a Caribbean Books in Print (CBIP). The way that the Caribbean and the category of Caribbean books that will form the content of CBIP are to be def ined for this project are discussed. An attempt is made within these definitions to estimate the size of the population of Caribbean books currently in print. The need for a tool in the form of CBIP is examined, commenting on the need to strengthen the regional book industry.

Biblioteca Nacional Salvadoreña 1800-1990

The project "to complete the National Bibliography and to reclassify and catalogue the documents in the Gallardo Library" was born in a meeting in 1991. Among the factors which add to its importance, the visibility and the relevance of the project are: the increasing international interest in Central American affairs, the lack of a national Salvadorean bibliography, the acknowledged documentary richness of the Gallardo Library, and the acquisition of the original, incomplete bibliographical project started in the '80s. The bibliography, which is also a collective catalogue will, in the prin cipal libraries of El Salvador and in the world, locate those works published by the Salvadoreans, in El Salvador or about El Salvador, between 1800 and 1990. It uses the USMARC format, is based on t he model of the National Library of Nicaragua, and will be available in print and on disc. It will contain about 30,000 entries.

Quality of a National Bibliographic Service: in the Steps of John Whytefeld - an "Admirable Cataloguer"

The paper focuses primarily on the bibliographic data created for and used in a national bibliographic service rather than on the technology used for the manipulation and distribution of the data. Se lected aspects of the UK experience are described to provide examples of problems which face any national bibliographic service. Quality of national bibliographic records should be concerned with acc uracy, consistency, functionality, and timeliness. Some performance measurement activities in the UK are described and the paper stresses that education and training of those who create bibliographic records must be adequate if national bibliographic needs are to be satisfactorily met. It is at the level of the individual cataloguer that the foundations of a high-quality service are laid.

Contribución de la Biblioteca Nacional de Cuba a la bibliografía corriente y retrospectiva

The paper presents an historical survey of the compilation of the Cuban National Bibliography, beginning with a brief overview of the General Bibliography to 1959, and the assumption by the National Library of responsibility for the bibliography at the end of 1961. Also described are how provincial libraries have carried out the research necessary to record earlier publications, starting with th e first items printed in their arrears. Also considered is the National Library's links with the study and development of national bibliographies of other countries, in particular those of Latin Amer ica. Noted also are their frequency, the types of material covered, indexes, the classification schemes used (the Dewey Decimal System is accepted as the norm) and cataloguing and bibliographic descr iptions. Special mention is made of the compilation of bibliographies of individual figures and catalogues of periodical publications which are the result of 30 years of bibliographical research.