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 Progress Report 2004 CCILA logo CCILA logo

Students of Latin America history, culture and institutions are handicapped by the lack of a comprehensive, centralized, accurate union catalog and bibliography of imprints of that Continent. The Center for Bibliographical Studies at the University of California, Riverside is filling this lacuna by creating CCILA (Catálogo Colectivo de Impresos Latinoamericanos hasta 1851), a union catalog and bibliography of Latin American imprints to 1851. Although a rapidly increasing percentage of our citizens and residents are of Hispanic origins their printed cultural heritage has only recently begun to receive the attention it deserves in our country. We have been engaged for over two decades in creating the English Short Title Catalog (ESTC), a union catalog recording the English and Colonial heritage. Our Hispanic heritage deserves no less. The year 1851 is chosen deliberately. The idiosyncrasies of hand printing require specialized rules differing from those required for the output of the machine press. That revolution in production was largely completed in Europe and North America by the 1830s. The change took place over a more prolonged period of time in Latin America. For example, the first steam press was not employed in Argentina until 1841. The government of Chile still employed a hand press for official publications as late as 1851. 1850 is also the terminal year of the century in which the gradual emergence of independent nations in Latin America takes place. It is considered a useful study period for analyzing the events and movements, economic, political and social, that characterize the age of democratic revolutions and the evolution of the independent nation-state.

A machine-readable catalog, subject to boolean searching, and recording the full output of the Latin American press, with citations to as many copies in public repositories as can be identified, as well as surrogates, whether hard copy, microform or digital, will provide a research tool of unparalleled versatility and depth, revolutionizing the study of Latin America in the Colonial and early independence period. But the creation of a catalog through traditional manual cataloging can be a notoriously expensive and time-consuming process. To provide a usable research tool in a short time frame at minimal cost we have chosen rather to key a select list of bibliographies and catalogs. This has produced some 77,000 machine readable records, which are being edited, largely by electronic manipulation, into the base file for the union catalog. Two successive grants from NSF have brought us to this point. In the intervening period we have been soliciting records from machine-readable catalogs in libraries throughout North and South America. We estimate that the records we have amassed so far comprise as much as 75% of the letter press production in Latin America from the introduction of printing in Mexico, in 1539, to 1850.

We will edit the records to MARC 21 standards and load them the Research Library Information Network for public access. During the budget period we will also establish standardized name forms of personal and corporate authors, geographic places and library citations. These will have independent value will be of value to libraries throughout the region that lack national union catalogs and authority files. The benefits go beyond the student or advanced scholar. Software developed by the Center for the ESTC can enable libraries to search the catalog over the internet and add holdings on line. The library will only have to report items new to the file and can receive in turn records from CCILA with its holdings attached to load into its own OPAC. CCILA will complete the network of national union catalogs of the hand press era being created in the rest of the Western World bringing the full power of machine-readable cataloging and electronic access to a whole continent.

Pr. Henry Snyder
Director of the Center for Bibliographical Studies & Research
University of California, at Riverside

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