More ideas about the future
For our first column, we asked several prominent members of the digital library community to identify an issue that is not getting sufficient attention from researchers. Here's what you thought about what they told us.
I would like to respond to James Michalko's retrospective capture of content.
I fully realize that we as the keepers of the nation's treasures, both in national libraries and academic settings, should try to develop standards and education so that our treasures will be maintained. But there is a segment of the literature that also needs to be "captured" in electronic form, our indexes and abstracting sources. Most of these unique tools are available in electronic form back to the early 1970s. However, many if not all extend back to the early 1930s and 40s. This period of indexing is apparently not being considered for conversion. If so, I have heard no report to tell me which indexes are under consideration.
I work daily with the life sciences indexes. Biological Abstracts is available back to 1984 (perhaps into 1970s), CAB to 1973, Agricola to 1970. Is there any funded program for carrying BA back to 1926? And Agricola back to 1942? The UK should be concentrating on Commonwealth Agricultural Bureaux (CAB) indexes, some of which date back to 1932.
Information that is not in the most current format may be, in large part, lost to the research community. Let's find a way to fund a retrospective capture of at least one of these indexing sources as soon as possible!
Marston Science Library, University of Florida