U.S. Congressional Serial Set (1817–1980) with American State Papers (1789–1838) – Readex Digital Edition

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If Julia Child had been a government documents librarian instead of a chef, one can just imagine Dan Aykroyd as Julia in his classic “Saturday Night Live” sketch imploring us to “save the Serial Set” instead of the liver. We can all be pleased that Readex, a division of Newsbank, Inc., has not only made the Serial Set accessible but easily searchable with the release of the U.S. Congressional Serial Set – Digital Edition.

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Colorado State University Libraries (CSUL) purchased the digitized United States Congressional Serial Set, 1817–1994 and American State Papers (1789–1838) from the Readex Division of NewsBank, Inc. and, once funds and records were available, the accompanying MARC records. The breadth of information found in the Serial Set is described, along with the difficulties in using the print version (incorporated in the literature review, which includes citations of announcements of the digital collections and reviews of the software). The digital version of the Serial Set has its advantages, but there are additional rewards (much greater discovery opportunities) when items in the digital collection are directly accessible from the library catalog. The purchased MARC records, while overall excellent, had problems that needed to be corrected before they were loaded into CSUL's Innovative Interfaces library catalog. Patron access impact was used as a criterion when determining which of the records would be fixed before loading. High impact problems were identified and solutions derived for: multiple 245 (title) fields; 245 s indicator zero with titles beginning with a, an, or the; dollar sign used in text; fixed field date; languages; subject headings; creating proxy URLs; classification numbers; and author authority control (e.g. corporate entries and presidential entry errors).
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