Recording surrogates in microform and in digital form on

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					Recording surrogates in microform and
in digital form on the international level

Werner Schwartz (SUB Göttingen)

LIBER Workshop        The Hague, 14. April 2003
Surrogates and Preservation
 Store and protect the original works for

  generations to come.
 Our resources and time allow to treat a

  relatively small number of originals only.
 Reformatting textual and other content to

  surrogate support is an alternative way of
  preserving information.
 In research any surrogate can be accepted only

  if the true image of the original is present.

Do we have to opt for one type of surrogate?
   Digitisation offers clear advantages in terms of access,
    while microforms offer more security because of less
    cost and and technical effort in preserving the
   In 1994 already the governing body of EROMM
    allowed for digital surrogates to be recorded under the
    same conditions as preservation microforms:
      Archival quality and adherance to standards
      Retention unlimited in time
      Presence of the true image of the original
      Accessibility

Why tell others about our surrogate?
1. Publishing catalogues is a service to research
   and users in general.
2. The costs of reformatting to surrogate are
   such that we must avoid duplication by
   – recording it in our catalogue to prevent
      duplicating the effort within the library.
   – sharing this information with other
      libraries, who might want to reformat a
      copy of the same work.

Printed works requiring special attention
 Both reasons for recording and sharing

  information about surrogates are valid for any
  item held in a library.
 With unique works (e.g. manuscripts) no other

  than the owning library could accidentally
  repeat reformatting.
 Printed works and any other that have been

  published in multiple copies can be held by as
  many libraries in any country.

Sharing information about . . .
   American libraries were first to start systematic and large scale
    preservation microfilming.
   To record what had been microfilmed a national register was
    published in the form of a multi-volume union catalogue:
         short title + number of reels + owning library
   With automated catalogues coming into use new features were
    made possible:
     – reuse of the record created for the original
     – description of physical attributes in standardised form
     – exact location of original and surrogate including
   In the 19-eighties records were created in a joint project of
    libraries from the printed register of microform masters.
Sharing information on the international level
   The successfull American experience and the creation
    of microform master registers in France and Britain
    provided the model for the European Register of
    Microform Masters.
   The database went online in the internet in 1994 with
    four countries cooperating and some 50,000 records.
   Today 12 European countries are working as partners
    of EROMM.
   Non-partners in Poland and Russia have contributed
    records of their own.

12 countries in Europe

Sharing information on the international level
   On an exchange basis the Research Libraries Group is
    regularly contributing records collected from its
    members and from other sources. This includes
    records derived from OCLC, LC, and the NRMM.
   The Latin American Register of Microform Masters
    LAROMM, based at Caracas, is sending records from
    its partners in Brasilia, Chile, Columbia, Panama,
    Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela.
   Today EROMM includes 2.5 million records of
    printed works, that have been reformatted to
    microform or to digital form anywhere in the world.
An instrument for co-ordinating reformatting projects
 Trustworthy and complete information:

    Identify the original work
    Agency responsible
    Manufacturer
    Date and place
    Physical description of the surrogate
    Retention of original?
    Who will provide user access or service copies
 Production of the surrogates must comply with

  published standards or, in the case of digital
  surrogates, with de facto standards.
Permanent access is the promise of reformatting
   Every surrogate recorded in EROMM must be accessible to
   When a digital version is available in the internet hyperlinks
    will lead to it from the record.
   Today access to the database is offered free of charge to all
    libraries and individuals from partner countries.
   Libraries may use EROMM as the direct way to request a user
    copy from the owner of the master or to ask him about more
    details (e.g. edition, different support for the copy, technical
    detail, price). No uniform pricing!
   Libraries who contribute records themselves may use the
    database for derived cataloguing.

Work done by partners
   The partner is collecting records from his region or
     – Raising awareness about the importance of
     – Encouraging cataloguing of surrogates according to
       international standards.
     – Checking quality of records.
     – Merging and converting records to one file and one
       bibliographic format.
   The partner sends records to EROMM at regular
   He makes sure that libraries respond to requests.
Work done by the EROMM host
   Incoming files are checked for their contents: Records
    that do not describe the preservation surrogate are
    being rejected.
   To reduce the effort of the host UNIMARC has been
    chosen as bibliographic format. Today the host is able
    to deal with a number of other formats, too.
   All records are merged into one online database.
   Annually a CD-ROM including the records of all
    European sources is published.
   Periodically new European records are sent to RLG in
Contents of the EROMM database
   Microforms and (still in small numbers) digital forms
Looking at records from European sources only:
   Country of publication and language of the item:
    France (47,57%), French (41,91%)
    Britain (28,86%), English (28,76%)
    Germany (7,05%), German (8,89%)
    Netherlands (4,94%), Dutch (3,94%)
   Some countries are slow in catching up to their
    expected rate of record contribution.
E.g. German records increased from only
   3,20 % in 1997 to 12,81 % in 2002 of the total number. In
   comparison The Netherlands are performing very well, from
   0,63 % in 1997 to 11,34 % in 2002.)
Special problems and features
   Because of the attractiveness of the digital document the
    numbers of new microform records declined in the U.S.
    But since 2000 this trend has been reversed.
   It is an established standard to enter the physical
    description of the microform reproduction as coded
   We observe considerable carelessness in this respect when
    looking at digital forms although similar standards exist
    for MARC21 and UNIMARC.
   To relieve cataloguers of the tiresome task of selecting
    codes according to technical information received from
    microfilming or digitisation departments EROMM is
    offering online help in creating or checking codes.
Special problems and features
   Some would-be partners of EROMM encounter
    considerable difficulties when trying to convert records to
   The EROMM host has in recent years accumulated
    experience in dealing with different formats; we are able
    now to accept records for EROMM in almost any format
    as long as the records carry the information, which is
   A new feature that allows to selectively retrieve and
    display defined segments of records is being prepared:
     – Digitised periodicals only
     – European records only
     – Latin works only, etc.
Requesting copies for replacement or use
   The response by libraries to requests for copies that
    are sent to them is still too slow.
   Even in countries, where a good infrastructure has
    been set up for collecting records of surrogates,
    awareness often is not high enough for the importance
    of giving access to surrogates.
   We are therefore encouraging libraries to link requests
    coming from EROMM to their national or regional
    systems of document supply.
   EROMM is giving support to national initiatives, that
    try to improve their ‚preservation surrogate network‘.

Delivering copies to the user
   EROMM has no direct influence on how libraries
    handle requests nor on prices they charge.
   EROMM encourages to conclude agreements among
    defined groups of libraries, that offer special
    conditions to their members, e.g.
    – No payment prior to delivery
    – Begin of copy production upon receipt of request
    – Send copy and invoice at the same time
    – Special pricing or standard pricing for defined types of

Avoiding duplication and waste of resources;
an old idea gaining importance
   From the outset EROMM was to record surrogates that
    were about to be produced but were not yet available.
   The possibility to send records of works that are planned
    to be reformatted has only rarely been used; as a result
    some degree of duplication is visible.
   This is particularly bad and costly when journals are
    concerned. This is why another European project
    (DIEPER) that is focussed on the digitisation of
    periodicals offers the possibility on its web site to record
    any journal, which has been earmarked for digitisation.
   EROMM is offering a similar facility where planned
    reformatting projects can be announced and become
    retrievable in the EROMM database.

              Thank you


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