|CTI Textual Studies||
Guide to Digital Resources 1996-98
|Table of Contents|
Bibliographic reference databases provide fast, search-based access to large quantities of data. The databases which are available can be split into two categories: those which give access to large numbers of general references, covering a wide spectrum of disciplines and subjects, whose strength lies in the breadth of their coverage, and those which give an indepth, detailed coverage for a specific area of interest.
In the first category, COPAC currently gives free, Internet-based access to the library catalogues of six of the largest research libraries in the UK and Ireland; the records for a further seven libraries are in the process of being added. The searchable entries cover not only standard printed materials but also many special collections, video and sound materials. The Bath Information Data Service (BIDS), another on-line service, gives access to various bibliographic databases (with the additional facility of providing full-text electronic or paper copies upon request). Extensive CD-ROM resources include the British Library General Catalogue of Printed Books to 1975, which contains records of almost six million books, approximately half in English and the rest in other Western languages. Records for non-English resources are also well represented; the holdings of the national libraries of France (Bibliographie National Française), Spain (Bibliografia Nacional Espanola), Latin America (Novum Regestrum), and Germany (Deutsch Nationalbibliographie Aktuell) are available on CD-ROM.
There are also some excellent discipline-specific bibliographic databases available, many of which include additional features which are particularly appropriate for the subject matter. The Database of Classical Bibliography, for example, is equipped with sophisticated retrieval software which allows subject searching in Greek, and which permits searching by Greek genre, geographical origin, and ancient date. Similarly, the Illustrated Incunable Short Title Catalogue holds records for materials contained in libraries all over the world; as well as detailed notes and descriptions for each incunable, the database also contains ten thousand key images of the incunables. English Literature is particularly well served by excellent databases; the Annotated Bibliography for English Studies, for example, contains bibliographic entries selected and annotated by an international network of scholars, in fields ranging from Women's Studies to Cultural and Film Studies. An increasing number of specialist databases are also being made available on-line. The Brotherton Collection, a unique collection of seventeenth and eighteenth century manuscripts which contains many items which have never previously been indexed, has been catalogued and this catalogue been made available for free access via the Internet. Other projects are also following suit; on-line access to databases is becoming something of an expected norm.
Bibliographic reference tools have two main applications: for the production of a consistent bibliography for a particular piece of work, and for the on-going collection and maintenance of one or a number of lists of references. Most come equipped with a selection of standard output styles (such as APA, MLA and Chicago) and many will also allow you to create your own styles. Library Master is particularly appropriate to Arts scholars in this respect, as the twenty-five pre-set styles include those for manuscript and unpublished collections. Many packages are essentially 'stand-alone', independent databases, which will allow files to be output in a format suitable for a word-processing package. Reference Manager, for example, is aimed towards the development of a bibliographic database, with the potential to hold a large number of records; these records can then be output in a variety of styles (including for major wordprocessors). However, others such as Citation 7, Papyrus and EndNote Plus offer additional functionality; they will work within a word-processor to scan documents for in-text citations, re-format the citations according to a selected style, and format appropriate endnotes, footnotes and references lists. Papyrus also a more extensive has the facility to add notecards (containing additional, searchable information) to any reference. Most packages have an additional option for importing references from external sources, such as CD-ROMs or on-line catalogues. ProCite offers these functions and, in addition, gives the option to import both World Wide Web references and documents formatted for the World Wide Web. An additional option will allow a user to browse the WWW from within the bibliographic software.
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HTML Author: Sarah Porter
Document created: 17 January 1997
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The URL of this document is http://info.ox.ac.uk/ctitext/resguide/bibl96.html