Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa
Te Rau Herenga O Aotearoa

5 Minutes on Bibliographic Control

Bibliographic control is the process by which information resources are described, so that they are easily accessible for users. By creating a bibliographic record regarding an information resource, and then indexing it on a database or search engine, users are able to locate the resource and find out whether or not it is relevant to them.

 

Transcript

‘A current national bibliography is a mirror that reflects the culture of a country. By looking at the current national bibliography, one is able to learn about the uniqueness of a country...A current national bibliography should reflect the interests and unique characteristics of a country much as a mirror reflects the uniqueness of an individual’
(BL Bell, 1998).

 

What is bibliographic control?

Bibliographic control is the process by which information resources are described, so that they are easily accessible for users. By creating a bibliographic record regarding an information resource, and then indexing it on a database or search engine, users are able to locate the resource and find out whether or not it is relevant to them.

 

Why is it important?

Bibliographic control is important to ensure information resources are available and accessible to the public.

 

What system do we have in New Zealand?

In New Zealand we have Publications NZ or NZNB (New Zealand National Bibliography) which consists of a list of publications from or about New Zealand. 

Publications New Zealand is administered by the National Library of New Zealand. It covers the period from approximately 1815 until the present day, and currently has a collection of about 366,000 items.

 

What is included in NZNB? ( The New Zealand National Bibliography)

Books, pamphlets, serials, non-book and electronic materials published in New Zealand in the current and preceding three years. Items as above, published outside New Zealand and with one or more of the following characteristics:

  • At least one fifth New Zealand content
  • A New Zealand setting for fiction, film, videos or dvds
  • A New Zealand author or editor

Items excluded from the Bibliography are unpublished materials, individual book chapters and ephemeral materials.

You can browse the Publications New Zealand online catalogue on the National Library website.

 

The history of universal bibliographic control

In 1895, The International Office of Bibliography initiated a project to create a complete a world bibliography. Once this utopian dream was found to be a bit illusioned, it was decided to concentrate on a system of national bibliographies – hence the birth of Universal Bibliographic Control (UBC).

The idea is that UBC is a long-term programme heading towards the development of a world wide system for the control and exchange of bibliographic information.  

Each country should have a National Bibliography, and it is up to the National Bibliographic Agency (in New Zealand’s case, Publications NZ) to make the data available to other agency’s and organisations.

 

What are some problems with UBC?

It is hard to keep tabs on all printed books. Developing countries who don’t have access to technology at the same rate as developed countries find it even more difficult.

 

Further Reading

If you’re interested in reading  morer about the subject, check out some of these great resources:

Date: 
Friday, August 15, 2014 - 10:30am

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