- Union Catalogs and Their Problems (I)
- No.1, p.93-106
The writer of this article contributed one of a series of articles six years ago entitled “Union catalogs; an initial survey of Japanese union catalog” in Toshokan-Zasshi (Japanese Library Journal). It was soon followed by several other articles relating to the problems of union catalogs in Japan.
A survey conducted in 1959 on the use of union catalogs in public and college libraries by Mr. Kuroiwa was also published. Messrs. Kutsukake, Nishizawa and Yamasaki, as distinguished practioners in this field, contributed much in their writings to the clarification of the idea and indication of the status of union catalogs in Japan and elsewhere. Recently Tokyo University Library began an enormous experiment to develop a union catalog covering the main library, branch and departmental libraries including those attached to many of the research institutes, etc. of the University. Preliminary steps for the compilation have been taken through microfilming of all cards of these libraries and reproducing of standard size cards from microfilmed images.
Although all these suggest very strong interests in union catalogs among Japanese librarians, the writer has some concern about whether or not the Japanese library world in general properly understands the functions of the union catalog.
It is remembered also that 21 years ago Mr. Mamiya wrote a comment, “Union catalog on parade” in Toshokan-Kenkyu (Library Research) in which he criticized very sharply the situation.
The writer tries to introduce modern definitions of the union catalog (mainly from the Unesco/Library of Congress Bibliographical Survey. 1950).
A union catalog in card-form, which is easily kept up-to-date, is our ultimate goal, rather than the printed union catalog in book-form. The latter is merely a fragment of the former and can cover only a limited period. Sections of the card-form may be published in book-form whenever the demand justifies it.
Also some concepts, such as the indexes of duplication, of inclusiveness, and of distinctiveness, are introduced for the purpose of calling to the attention of librarians the raison d'^etre: for what and for whom union catalogs are intended.
Some historical viewpoints and also historical union catalogs such as Registrum librorum Angliae and its Japanese counterpart. Nihonkoka-Kenzaisho-Mokuroku (Union list of Chinese materials in Japan), compiled by Sukeyo Fujiwara (died 898), and current union catalogs (Japanese and foreign) are also discussed in order to provide a general basis for further discussion of the problems in Japan.
（Japan Library School）