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Weekly News Digest

April 26, 2012 — In addition to this week's NewsBreaks article and the monthly NewsLink Spotlight, Information Today, Inc. (ITI) offers Weekly News Digests that feature recent product news and company announcements. Watch for additional coverage to appear in the next print issue of Information Today. For other up-to-the-minute news, check out ITIís Twitter account: @ITINewsBreaks.

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Millions of Harvard Library Catalog Records Publicly Available

The Harvard Library announced it would make more than 12 million catalog records from Harvard’s 73 libraries publicly available. The records contain bibliographic information about books, videos, audio recordings, images, manuscripts, maps, and more. The Harvard Library is making these records available in accordance with its Open Metadata Policy and under a Creative Commons 0 (CC0) public domain license.

In addition, the Harvard Library announced its open distribution of metadata from its Digital Access to Scholarship at Harvard (DASH) scholarly article repository under a similar CC0 license. The catalog records are available for bulk download from Harvard, and are available for programmatic access by software applications via API’s at the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA). The records are in the standard MARC21 format.

"By instituting a policy of open metadata, the Harvard Library has expressed its appreciation for the great potential that library metadata has for innovative uses. The two metadata releases today are prime examples," said Stuart Shieber, Library Board Member, director of the Office for Scholarly Communication and professor of Computer Science at Harvard.

John Palfrey, chair of the DPLA, said, "With this major contribution, developers will be able to start experimenting with building innovative applications that put to use the vital national resource that consists of our local public and research libraries, museums, archives and cultural collections." He added that he hoped that this would encourage other institutions to make their own collection metadata publicly available.

The records consist of information describing works—including creator, title, publisher, date, language, and subject headings—as well as other descriptors usually invisible to end users, such as the equalization system used in a recording.

Source: The Harvard Library



Send correspondence concerning the Weekly News Digest to NewsBreaks Editor Brandi Scardilli

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