lending library

Discussion in 'Horological Books' started by Jon Hanson, Oct 15, 2006.

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  1. Grouse

    Grouse Guest

    Hi Sam: I am glad to see you here on the NAWCC MB.

    I was looking through the original posts here on the Horological Books and found that Sam (kirxklox) and Jon Hanson were the original posters and Founders of this Forum. Thank you Sam. It is interesting that you have had a hand in most of these forward thinking ideas.

    Gary
     
  2. Jon Hanson

    Jon Hanson Registered User
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    Yes, Sam is everywhere--founder supreme of the book forum, web horology and one of the internet chapters!

    Jon

    PS: I like books lists.
     
  3. Fortunat Mueller-Maerki

    Fortunat Mueller-Maerki National Library Chair
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    Sam Kirk writes:
    "Only by adding Key Words and short commentaries about each would there be a means of identifying whether they would cover the information you desire..."

    and that is exactly the reason that using the online catalog is more productive than the lending looklist (no matter if it is HTML code or a PDF file).

    I am painfully aware that the keywords in the Winnebago catalog are far from perfect, actually they are lousy, but there are keywords associated with each book, i.e subjects (in addition to the title words) that are searchable on the online catalog. And that is first important step beyond Author/Title search.


    The problem with the LARC catalog is that the subject words were first developed 30 years ago, before computer were a realistic alternative, and the only way to use the catalog was to physically use the cardcatalog in Columbia. That catalog sat on the desk of the librarian and anybody not knowing what the proper subject headings were could easily ask the librarian.

    At one time (about 12 years ago) that catalog was mechanistically turned into computer code, but the only screens one could use it on were still in the room of the library.

    But once that same catalog (with the majority of items cataloged 20 years ago or more) went online (i.e. to remote access) about 6 years ago, the helping hand of the librarian was sorely missing. That is why if you search e.g. for "grandfather clock" you do find 9 titels, mostly where the wordsb "granndfather clock" appears in the title of the publication. But many of the most important titles on that subject do not show up, because unwittingly you did not use the "proper" terminology that the librarian established a long time ago. If you put in "long case clock" you get zero hits, in spite of this also beeing a good (although british) way to describe a grandfather clock. If you put in "longcase clock " as search term you do get 8 books, those where those words appear in the title. To get what you are looking for however you need to put in "tall case cloks" Now you get all 70 books on the subject.

    But as BillWard said, the machine is finicky, if you put in "Tall case clock" instead of "Tall case clocks" you get nothing.


    I know this is very frustrating, The LARC Catalog in Columbia is using data (and a nontransparent keyword system) that was NEVER designed for the general user, and especially not for a remote user.

    The library committee has been painfully aware of this issue for years, but the only solution would be to recatalog each of the ca. 20'000 items in the LARC catalog with a new system. The staff in Columbia (given its other duties) clearly does not have the time and resources to do so.

    However 2 members of the library committee (Bob Holmstrom and Fortunat Mueller-Maerki) have undertaken the effort to partially solve the problem. We called our project "Bibliographia Horologiae Mundi".

    In cooperation with several specialised horological libraries (in Switzerland, Germany and Holland) we have first studied the issue and then designed a new classification system especially for horological publications. The project started nealy 5 years ago.

    We than tested the usefullness of the system by testcoding 2000 horological titles (by actually opening each book and determining what it was about). We then spent months changing the first design and finetuning the system with the help and advice of horological librarians in several countries. Several categories had to be reclassified. Then more publications were cataloged, we now are at over 10'000 horological titles. (As we needed the physical books to do this well, we did not use the LARC catalog as the base but our own horological libraries).

    There are several additional features built into the application, like

    1.- ( a future capacity to expand to) multilingual search, so that a user in Germany can type in "Unruhe" and find stuff that an American has coded with "Escapement".

    2.- The ability to not only catalog periodicals as publications , but add information down to the content of every article level(giving this the potential to become a combined index for several - or many- horological periodicals) and we have secured pledges for future cooperation from several publications, (once our tool is ready).

    3.- The system is set up that it will show which participatings libraries have that particular book.

    4.- A private user will be abel to use the same database to catalog his/her private library witrhout the need to reenter the data on each book.

    5. Besides the hard bibliographical facts each item is subject coded on several dimensions, and in addition has a one sentence -somewhat subjective desicriptionof its content.

    etc.



    We then used the last 18 months to construct an internet based platform and remote user interface to search, enter and edit data. The whole thing is designed to work in a collaborative system with many users contributing data, a bit like Wikipedia, although with strict quality controll. Let me know if in the future you may be abel to help.


    Much more still needs to be done but the Betatesting site of the searchengine is up and running an beeing tested by selected users around the world.


    When (hoefully not IF) we get this done, it will be ahuge step forward for horological bibliography. I will keep you posted on future developments.


    Fortiunat Mueller-Maerki
     
  4. kirklox

    kirklox Registered User

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    Fortunat: I have been accused of ridiculing your efforts and trying to upstage what you have done. That is simply UNTRUE. I did not even know it existed when I started this, however I do not believe that what you are doing conflicts with what I am trying to do. Actually I believe the results of both will be attenuating. My system will make Horology a lot more visible to the World and yours will provide the usability to find various books on various topics quickly and reliably. We are coming about doing this from two different directions. My system will allow the Lay Person to comment about the various books along with the Professional researchers.

    I have shut down visitor access to the Special Lending Library Project that I am working on. I prefer that no one would try to reverse engineer what I have done. I will reinstate that access if at a later time it is needed.
     
  5. Jon Hanson

    Jon Hanson Registered User
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    In order to assist in getting these lists out to the members to aid in education, research and study, maybe our annual renewals COULD SHOW A LINK/web address TO SUCH LISTS TO MAKE AWARE THAT THEY EXIST.

    This way members would be made aware of the LL; and, paper, mailing, postage, time and mart ad space could be saved.
     
  6. kirklox

    kirklox Registered User

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    Jon, did you realize it was over four years ago that you and I started to get this forum. Even then we were trying to get the NAWCC to expand its concept of Public Education for the World. I will always promote visible public participation is the best means to grow the NAWCC and to maintain its members.

    I have a secret collection of items to be shown at the Hot Springs Regional in two weeks. Never before seen collection. A unique presentation. A rare collection where many of the images are of clocks that the Buildings have been destroyed in the name of PROGRESS.
     
  7. Fortunat Mueller-Maerki

    Fortunat Mueller-Maerki National Library Chair
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    #57 Fortunat Mueller-Maerki, Oct 20, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 7, 2017
     
  8. Fortunat Mueller-Maerki

    Fortunat Mueller-Maerki National Library Chair
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    Aug 25, 2000
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    #58 Fortunat Mueller-Maerki, Oct 20, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 7, 2017
    Sam

    rest assured. I do not feel in any way that your effort to get more visability to the NAWCC library, or to publish booklists, or your special project is ridiculing or in any other way detrimental to Bibliographia Horologiae Mundi.

    Fortunat
     
  9. Jon Hanson

    Jon Hanson Registered User
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    Currently, can non members check out books?
     
  10. Fortunat Mueller-Maerki

    Fortunat Mueller-Maerki National Library Chair
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    Anybody can use the physical library if they are in Columbia.

    Only members (and students enrolled in the School of Horology in COlumbia) can check out (in person or by mail) any items.

    Fortunat
     
  11. Jon Hanson

    Jon Hanson Registered User
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  12. Jon Hanson

    Jon Hanson Registered User
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    Does the west coast horological museum have a lending library and is it affliated with Columbia?
     
  13. Fortunat Mueller-Maerki

    Fortunat Mueller-Maerki National Library Chair
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    Aug 25, 2000
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    The West Coast Horological Museum (in the State of Washington) is a independent legal enity from NAWCC, that has chosen to associate itself with NAWCC bu becoming a chapter of NAWCC. As you know, Jon, Chapters function quite independently and the National Offieres have as much say on the West Coast Museum as they have on what your Pocket Watch Chapter does.

    The museum is a "guest" in a local historical museum where they use a couple of rooms. To the best of my knowledge they do NOT operate a library

    Fortunat
     
  14. Jon Hanson

    Jon Hanson Registered User
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    Thanks for clearing this up, as I thought it was in No. Calif.
     

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