Presented to the Library Management Council on 6 June 2001
Martha O'Hara Conway, Catalog Management Librarian

Executive Summary, or, Answers to Frequently-Asked Questions About
the Status of Our Retrospective Conversion Projects

Where in the alphabet is OCLC in terms of conversion?

  • In the Official Catalog, somewhere between "Meredith, George" and "Merian, Maria Sibylla." In the Serials Catalog, somewhere between "Dar al-Fikr al-Arabi" and "Davenport City Directory."

Where in the alphabet are we in terms of ORBIS loads?

  • Still somewhere around "Giblin, James Vincent," which is where we were in January.

Why havenít any records been loaded since January?

  • We have not loaded any records from the Official Catalog or Serials Catalog projects since January because the records that have been updated or created for us by OCLC since November 16 -- about 350,000 of them -- are being held by OCLC because they must go through authority control processing before they are loaded into ORBIS.

What (exactly) is the relationship between retrospective conversion and authority control?

  • In July 1995, the Libary enthusiastically endorsed a recommendation from the Retrospective Conversion Planning Committee "for a comprehensive, vended approach to authority control [that would] best meet the demands of a large retrospective conversion project and the demonstrated need for sophisticated, systematic authority control on an ongoing basis." In so doing, the Library recognized that a comprehensive, automated approach would "maximize over the long term -- for the Library and for our [readers] -- the significant investment in authority control that is so critical to successful use of our catalog." We used the OCLC ACS service from March 1997 through December 2000, at which time OCLC discontinued its ACS service and we finalized our plans for implementing the authority control component of OCLC's MARC Record Service (MARS).

How much of the Official Catalog and the Serials Catalog is done?

  • As of the end of May, OCLC has processed 998,840 records from the Official Catalog (about 57% of the records requiring processing) and 69,241 records from the Serials Catalog (about 40% of the records requiring processing).

When will OCLC finish the Official Catalog and Serials Catalog projects?

  • March 2002

When will we be done with the other projects?

  • East Asian: June 2003
  • Hebraica: August 2002
  • Near East: October 2002

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Last updated: June 25, 2001