Thursday, November 8, 2007

LC Law Team Reclassification Projects

From LC Cataloging Newsline, v. 15, no. 4 (November 2007):

The Law Team, Social Sciences Cataloging Division, has
embarked on several projects to reclassify materials in the Law
Library of Congress. The first such project is a major effort to
reclassify approximately 800,000 "pre class K" titles. Arranged in
the Law Library stacks simply by name of country, these titles
often have duplicate shelf location numbers and are therefore
difficult to retrieve. The Law Library requested that the Law Team
focus first on materials from Latin American countries of strategic
interest to the United States Congress. In fiscal year 2007 (year
ending Sept. 30, 2007) the Law Team reclassified all the Cuban and
Venezuelan treatises and more than eight truckloads of Mexican
titles. These materials are vacuumed and searched by Law Library
staff before being forwarded to the Law Team.

In a second project, the Law Team undertook to reclassify more
than twenty shelves of Dutch books from the "Nederlandse
staatswetten" series. In addition, a sizeable backlog of Swedish
ministerial publications issued before the year 2000 was eliminated
as a result of an agreement with the Law Library that allowed those
items to be classed with the issuing ministry rather than by topic.

Much of the Law Team's energy was devoted to reclassifying the
pre-1970 congressional hearings. Thousands of hearings were
processed by the Law Team during the first year. Under its
agreement with the Law Library, Google has now digitized about
72,000 of these hearings. An estimated 25,000 remain to be
reclassified and digitized. Once a presentation format for the
digitized data is selected and implemented, linking will be
possible between the bibliographic record and the digitized data.
In collaboration with the Cataloging Policy and Support Office and
the Law Team, cataloging automation specialist David Williamson
provided customized software for downloading OCLC records for pre-
1970 congressional hearings that lack bibliographic records in the
LC integrated library management system. This program, Z-
ProcessorHearings, has proven to be very useful, since it
eliminates manual input of much repetitive data. There is a
separate database containing records of the digitized hearings, and
each record contains a barcode that will permit future linking to
the corresponding bibliographic record. The linking enterprise
will make the hearings readily accessible to the Library's users,
while allowing Law Team members to determine whether a particular
hearing has been digitized.

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