Nineteenth Century Short Title Catalogue Series I & II (1801-1870), and Series III (1871-1919)

Richard Landon
1998 Papers of the Bibliographical Society of Canada. Cahiers de la Societe bibliographique du Canada. Bibliographical Society of Canada  
CD-ROM. st850 per disk. IssN I365-8247-Ten years ago, in these pages, I reviewed the first five volumes of Series n1, Phase I (1816-1870) of NsTc covering the letterS A-BORz. My reservations about the project concerned its implication that it constituted a union list of all nineteenth century English books, when it really only represented the holdings of six (then eight) large institutions; that it was based on catalogue records, not examination of the bookts themselves; that its subject access
more » ... its subject access through Dewey numbers and broad subject headings was cumbersome; and that it attempted to distinguish its clientele between 'real' historians and book historians. A database had been constructed from the beginning of the project, and now a CD-ROM has been published of the complete contents of the sixty-two volumes of Series I and n1 and the first of fourteen diskts of Series nII, which will only appear in electronic format. In 1987 I did conclude, despite my cavils, that 'The complete set ought to be on the reference shelves of every research institution' and I still agree with this statement. For Series I and n1 the original shortcomings of scope and record format remain for the CD-ROM version. What percentage of the total publications of British, British Empire and American books and pamphlets this work contains is anyone's guess, but it could be as low as fifty percent. The ability of a particular record to satisfy the demands of a particular researcher still depends on cataloguing practices of each of the eight institutions, and they do vary considerably. What has changed dramatically, however, is the ability of a researcher to effectively manipulate the records and to use the indexes in much more interesting ways. There are ten indexes: keyword (for bioth title and imprint), title, author, author epithet, subject, place of publication, date of publication, classification number, location, and reference number. Boolean searching is also a feature, which for instance, could combine any subject with any place with any year or years. This kind of search would be all but impossible using the hard-copy edition. The disk is easy to use on Windows 95, for one can keep the indexes in one window to refer back to while using the rest of the screen. There is a tendency
doi:10.33137/pbsc.v36i1.18081 fatcat:b6be34vyn5de7jb4viozbjknvu