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Associations and InstitutionsAnnual 

64th IFLA Conference Logo

   64th IFLA General Conference
   August 16 - August 21, 1998


Code Number: 023-141-E
Division Number: IV.
Professional Group: Bibliography
Joint Meeting with: -
Meeting Number: 141.
Simultaneous Interpretation:   Yes

Presentation on International Bibliography of Bibliographies in Library and Information Science and Related Fields volume 2. 1979-1990.

Maria Witt
Médiathèque de la Cité des Sciences
Paris, France


The new work "International Bibliography of Bibliographies in Library and Information Science and Related Fields" volume 2. 1979-1990, published by K. G. Saur, is a follow-up to the previous work in the same field, by the same author, which covered the period 1945-1978 and was published by Ossolineum in 1985 (1). It lists ten thousand titles organized according to a topic classification scheme. It includes all areas of information science and related fields: archiving, history of the press, etc. The bibliography contains, for the most part, titles which appeared between 1979 and 1990. As for the reviews, they cover a much longer period: those which appeared after 1990 are included under the relevant titles.

The richness of this compilation may be appreciated from the following characteristics: international coverage, comprehensive information (highly detailed notes), and the indexes provided making it easy to use.


Undertaking monumental works in the field of bibliography is not easy, and completing them is even less so.

The work which is the subject of this presentation is an example of the titanic labour of its author but also of its publisher, a firm specializing in reference books for libraries.

It is a bibliography of bibliographies in information science and related fields by Henryk Sawoniak, Emeritus Professor of Bibliography, to which it has been an honour and a pleasure for me to contribute.

We are very pleased that the bibliography is coming out the day before the conference on national bibliographies, even though our work is not confined to national bibliographies.

"International Bibliography of Bibliographies in Library and Information Science and Related Fields" volume 2. 1979-1990, published by Saur, may be considered as a follow-up to the previous work in the same field, by the same author, which covered the period 1945-1978 and was published by Ossolineum in 1985 (1).

Aim and target readership

Our intention was to publish an exhaustive list of bibliographies pertinent to the professions of librarian and of archivist in the widest sense of the term, covering the specified decade on a global scale and including both up-to-date and historical documents, chiefly monographs in whole or in part.

Our hope is that this reference tool will be of use to professionals or to all those who are interested in questions of library science, in information services or in the history of books.

It is principally aimed at librarians and information science experts, bibliographers, historians of the book and press, bibliometrics researchers, archivists, publishers and booksellers.

This bibliography is intended as much for researchers as for practitioners, as much for teachers as for students in these fields.

This is an international bibliography

In regard to both the subject matters covered and the works cited, the scope of our work is essentially international. All countries and languages are represented: Western and Eastern Europe, North America and Latin America, etc.

For the most part, the bibliographies we have included were produced in European languages as well as a few others such as Japanese (ref. 324) and Hindi (ref. 189-190). For some Oriental languages, we have chosen the variant which uses the Roman alphabet (e.g. Malay, ref. 2757). Titles in Cyrillic alphabets have been transliterated into Roman letters. Notes and comments are in English.

Themes represented in the bibliography

The ten thousand titles to be found in the bibliography deal not only with library and information science but also with related fields such as archiving, the book trade, publishing, the history of books and of printing, the history of calligraphy (palaeography), the art of books, copyright law, bibliophily, the history of paper, reading, bibliometrics, copying techniques and many others.

Due to the increasing computerization of libraries, some new headings have been created as compared with the volume 1945-1978, for example:


It is difficult to describe briefly the classification used in this bibliography. Essentially, it is a kind of a topic classification, with subdivisions according to subject, chronology or geography. We have tried to make the classification functional and practical so as to make it as easy as possible to explore any given field. When looking for a specific reference, we suggest that it is best to start with the indexes. This bibliography is made up of two sections (not to be confused with its two physical volumes), followed by the indexes and an appendix.

Part I "General" consists of almost 600 references arranged into 9 chapters, occasionally subdivided according to subject matter or country (particular countries).

Part II "Particular disciplines and topics" is a list of 8,600 references organized into 52 chapters which are arranged in alphabetical order and which may be seen as falling into four groups:

Each chapter is subdivided according to various criteria: subject matter, chronology (either of content or of publication), titles of periodicals, names of institutions, etc.

The period covered

The bibliography mainly contains titles published between 1979 and 1990. As for the reviews, the period covered is greater with those appearing after 1990 being included with the titles to which they refer.

Most of the references are published documents

Included in the bibliography are published monographs in full or in part, microfiche documents (e.g. the "National Union Catalog of Books" from the Library of Congress), or computer databases (e.g. ERIC) (2). Also included, in full or in part, are bibliographies which have been published as serials or as bibliographical references in monographs or articles.

The bibliography also contains reviews in the form of notes to each reference. These constitute a veritable mine of information for the researcher.

Selection and collection criteria

In addition to the content criterion, publishing and physical format, a decisive criterion in the choice of bibliographies was the number of references. Nevertheless, several smaller lists were selected. This was especially so in the case of certain specific fields where very little reference material was available (e.g. 5237 and 6295).

One third of the references were found through personal inspection, and, for the rest, we used secondary sources. For this vast compilation we drew our information from the following:

Reference layout

Each title is described in a reference bearing a serial number. Each successive edition of the title has its own description where it differs significantly from preceding editions, otherwise it is mentioned in a footnote.

Each reference is made up of several elements: item number, bibliographical description (author, title, publisher, and, where it is merely a component part, title of main document), number of references (or an approximation where we did not do the analysis ourselves), number of pages, series, notes, reviews.

The title is given in the original language and is translated in a footnote for lesser-known languages. Exception is made for titles cited from the Soviet bibliography "Bibliografiya Sovietskikh Bibliografiyi"; only Russian titles are found in this source. In this case, the note states the language of the document and the precise source of the information, e.g. Ref. No. 1413 "(published in Estonian, reference taken from Bibliogr. Sov. Bibliogr. 1988 No. 4407)".

Most of the entries, including those for up-to-date bibliographies, specify the number of pages, thus making it easier for the user to judge the size of a given bibliography.


The notes, which represent a major part of the references (and of the bibliography) are intended to provide the user with the maximum amount of clarification. These notes are more detailed where we ourselves carried out the analysis of the work.

In them may be found information about co-authors, details of the title and subtitles, and frequency of publication.

They also contain:

As for the content, sometimes the table of contents is indicated (in the original language or in English).

The notes also specify links to other documents mentioned in the bibliography, or give the titles of related publications such as reprints, translations, previous and subsequent editions, etc.

To help in evaluating the titles listed, we have included reviews. Direct selection or secondary sources have given rise to almost 2,000 reviews relating to 850 references. They appear in chronological order of publication date.

We conclude by concentrating on the indexes and the appendix.

The indexes

The subject and title indexes in particular complete the systematic classification scheme and facilitate reference searches.

Five indexes make up one fifth of the work: an index by author (whether individuals or corporate authors); an index by title; an index of names cited in references; an index by subject; and a geographical index (by town, district or country name, along with qualifying details).

The appendix entitled "Library and Information Science Literature" is made up of 1,050 references divided into 7 parts: organization of bibliological documentation; bibliographies and databases; the role of information sciences within libraries; evolution of publications on information sciences (surveys and research, both national and international projects); bibliometric analysis (journals, theses, research papers); distribution of information science documents; and publication problems (retail distribution, etc.).


As we said at the beginning of this presentation, this work is intended for the full range of information sciences professionals both now and in the future. We hope that our work will be of use to you in your day-to-day work, especially in research and reference tasks. The international nature of its content should enhance the usefulness of this work throughout the world.


We would like to thank everyone who has helped to make this work possible: the editorial office of K. G. Saur, in particular Mrs Bia von Büllow for her professionalism, helpfulness and patience. It is thanks to her flexibility that we were able to make essential changes during the publication process. We owe a debt of gratitude to the publisher for the layout and typography which make this work readable and easy to use, despite the apparent indigestibility of a 1,000 page compendium.

We would also like to thank the staff of the National Library of Warsaw, the library of the University of Warsaw and, especially, the bibliographical documentation services. Thanks are also due to our colleague Mrs Helena Puta for her advice on the section dealing with information technology and computerization, to Mrs Hanna Tomczewska, and to Mrs Ewa Krysiak for all her help and for the English translations.


  1. "Miedzynarodowa bibliographia bibliografii z zakresu informacji naukowej i dziedzin pokrewnych" ; this publication can be used by any for international user : table of contents, introduction and index are in English. Its new version, up-dated with notes in English will soon be published by SAUR as volume 1, 1945-1978.

  2. The references concern the published titles, although there are some exceptions : eg Anglo-American thesis reacheable for every user. For this kind of documents we have used the specific chapters : partie I.6. Lists of thesis and dissertations, I.7 Research in progress. Unpublished works.

  3. Especially from the National Library of Warsaw, the Warsaw University Library , Information Technical and Economic Information Institute of Warsaw and other specialized libraries : eg Art Institute Library, Archives Bureau.

  4. "Library litterature", "LISA", "Bulletin signalétique section 101", followed by "Pascal" database, "Referativnyj Zurnal, 59", "Informatika", "Informationsdienst Bibliothekswesen", "Fachbibliographischerdienst Bibliothekswesen" and others.

  5. German, Polish, Bulgarian, Czech, Slovak, Hungarian etc..., review bibliographies such as the American "Library Science Annual" (continued by "Library and Information Science Annual") and "British Librarianship and Information work"

  6. For example "ARBA guide to library science litterature 1979-1983" (ref n 244) or the Soviet bibliography of bibliographies 1917-1987 (ref n 264 : "Bibliotecnoe delo, bibliotekovedenie, bibliografija, bibliografovedenie : 1917-1987)"

  7. eg American Archivist, International Classification, Journalism Quarterly, Reprograpics Quarterly

  8. for ex. "Bibliographische Berichte", Bibliografija sovetskoj Bibliografi" or the retrospectiv "A bibliography of Latin American Bibliographies 3 vol. 1969-1984"

  9. eg "Walford's guide to reference material", "Internationale Bibliographie der Reprints", "American Reference Book Annual", "Internationale Bibliographie der Festchschriften", "International Bibliography of Thesis and Dissertations"

  10. "Encyclopaedia of library and information science", "Lexicon des gesamten Buchwesens" or the "Glaister glossary of the book"