Saturday, January 17, 2015
Bibliographic Sources: Use and Evaluation P- 05. Information Sources, Systems and Services
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MODULE 9: BIBLIOGRPHIC SOURCES: USE AND EVALUATION
Content Writer: Prof. Vara Lakshmi Rudrabhatla
Email id: firstname.lastname@example.org
Structure of Module/Syllabus of module(Define Topic of Module and its subtopics)
Use and Evaluation
SOURCES,BIBLIOGRAPHIES, KINDS OF
BIBLIOGRAPHIES, EVALUATION OF BIBLIOGRAPHIES
1. DESCRIPTION OF THE MODULE
Description of the Module
Subject Name Library and Information Science
Paper Name Information Sources, Systems and Services
Module Name/Title Bibliographic Sources: Use and Evaluation
Module Id LIS/ISSS/09
Pre-requisites Reference Sources, Information Sources, Catalogues, Indexes
Objectives To get an overview of Bibliographical Sources of information.
Keywords Information Sources-Bibliographies, Bibliographical Sources,
National Bibliographies, Webliographies
Bibliography means, most commonly, a list of books, films, videos, etc. but in a technical sense
it can be the science of the transmission of literary documents. Bibliographies are systematically
prepared guides or keys or pathfinders to the literature. Scholars and scientists depend on
bibliographic sources to draw an overview of a subject and to find a document; otherwise they
are bound to miss some part of literature. Compilation of a bibliography is a process or
technique that belongs to the whole of scholarship and the world of learning.
With the invention of printing press and particularly after the internationalization of printing
industries, there has been a tremendous growth of literature in all branches of learning by what
is known as ‘information explosion’. This increased growth caused problems to scientists to
keep themselves abreast of current developments, without a proper key or aid to access the
mass of literature. This has lead to the emergence of bibliographical tools as means of
controlling the literature of the world. Significant contributors to the field include W. W.
Greg, Fredson Bowers, Philip Gaskell, and G. Thomas Tanselle.2
3. EVOLUTION OF THE CONCEPT
The origin of bibliographies can be traced back to ancient Assyrian and Greek civilizations of 7
century B.C., when lists of clay tablets were prepared. Alexandrian library maintained subject
lists of books. Before invention of printing, the word was used in the sense of copying. After
1763, the meaning was changed from the ‘writing of books’ to ‘writing about books’. Between
17th and 18th centuries the principles, concepts, practices and varieties of bibliography were laid
down (P.Padhi, 1994). By 20th century beginning the bibliographies were clearly defined and the
Some earlier attempts in the evolution of the concept of bibliographies are:
1545 - First attempt for a bibliography was made by Konrad Gesner, a Zurich Physician. He
prepared a list of scholarly publications in the world and named it as ‘Bibliotheca Universalis’.
Though claimed as universal bibliography, it included books in three languages viz. Latin, Greek
and Hebrew. During the same period, Fair Catalogues or Mass Catalogues of books exhibited
at famous book fairs at Frankfurt (1564-74) and at Leipzig (1595-1860) were developed.
1719 - Lists of private collections were also called as bibliography, for example, Michael
Maittaire’s ‘Annals Typographia’, arranged chronologically listed information about printers and
1763 - The ‘Bibliographic Instructive: rare books’ by G.E. Bure, was not just a list but gave
essential bibliographic examination. Henry Bradshaw of Cambridge University established this
method of investigation into the physical nature of the book, its manufacturing and history. This
was popularized as analytical method. Similar techniques were established to incunabula, 18th
century plate books, etc.
1908 – British Museum had published first descriptive bibliography ‘Catalogue of books in the
15th century’. It recorded in predetermined order all relevant bibliographic elements of each
1909 – A. W. Pollard published textual bibliography on ‘Shakespeare Folios and Quartos: a
Study of bibliographies of Shakespeare Plays.’ He made detailed examination of related works
for their textual authenticity.
Thus by the start of 20th century four types of bibliographies, viz. Systematic/Enumerative,
Historical/Analytical, Descriptive and Textual bibliographies were in use.
We can summarize the historical development of bibliographies as follows:
Early bibliographies were trade lists or trade catalogues;
Later attempts were made to compile universal bibliography; and subject wise lists of
books with descriptive notes;
During 18th century, subject wise listing and critical bibliography;
19th and 20th centuries developed subject wise listing of books, periodicals and periodical
articles called as documentation lists.
The library profession is mainly concerned with systematic bibliographies and the compilers are
either bibliographers or librarians.
The term bibliography was derived from two Greek words – ‘Biblion’ and ‘Graphein’, i.e., writing
of books/copying of books/mechanical reproducing. However, it now means a ‘list of books’.
Oxford English Dictionary defines “Bibliography as a list of books of a particular author, printer
or country, or of those dealing with any particular theme; the literature of subject.”
Louise Shore defines it as, “Bibliography is a list of written, printed or otherwise produced
records of civilization which may include books, serials, pictures, maps, films, recordings,
museum objects, manuscripts and any other media of communication. The list of such records
is bibliographies and the art of preparing them is bibliography.”
A.L.A. Glossary of Library and Information Science defines bibliography as “A list of works,
documents or bibliographic items, usually with some relationship between them, e.g., by a given
author, on a given subject, or published in a given place, and differing from catalogue in that its
contents are not restricted to the holding of a single collection, library or group of libraries.”
According to V.W.Clapp, it is “The systematic listing of records of human communication”.
S.R.Ranganathan viewed it as “a list of documents listed together for some purpose. The
purpose is to bring to the attention of the reader an exhaustive and selective list of documents
relevant to his pursuit of study or enquiry”.
Therefore, a bibliography is a systematic listing, either indicative or comprehensive, of works:
by a particular author
on a particular subject
published in a particular country
published in a specified period
mentioned in, or relevant to, a particular work (a bibliography of this type, sometimes
called a reference list should normally appear at the end of any paper in scientific
4.1 Distinction between bibliography, catalogue and index
Bibliographies differ from library catalogs by including all relevant publications rather
than items actually found in a particular library. However, some national libraries'
catalogues also serve as national bibliographies, as they contain (almost) all their
Catalogue is a list of books and other items arranged in a definite order. It records,
describes and indexes the resources of a collection, a library or group of libraries, where
as bibliography provides single access point to information, generally the first author.
An index provides multiple access points to the document through several concepts
treated in the document. Generally bibliographies focus on macro thought, i.e., books 4
etc. while indexes aims to cover micro thought, i.e., primary literature. Further, an index
achieves exhaustiveness but bibliography does not.
1. Key to a given collection
2. Can serve as a bibliography
3. Provides physical access to documents
4. Tools for libraries
5. Must be comprehensive
6. Distribution difficult (if in card form)
1. Key to literary sources on a subject
2. Can’t serve as a catalogue
3. Helps to know existence of documents
4. Tools for scholars / scientists
5. May be comprehensive or selective
6. It can be distributed
4.2 Use of bibliographies
The bibliographies have made a significant contribution in the communication and utility of
scientific information. In the earlier times, the scholars used to browse, scan the published
literature in their field and keep abreast of the current developments. With the proliferation of
literature it became difficult for them to do so. Hence bibliographies have a vital role to retrieve
relevant information and thus save the time of the user. They bridge the gap between the
original document and the user acting as a key to the treasure of primary knowledge. The uses
can be summarized as:
Helps to locate information on the subject in question
Provide a means for verifying such items as authors’ name, complete title, place of
publication, edition, etc.
If annotated, indicate the scope of the work and its usefulness.
Gives more information than available in catalogue.
Groups work according to form, location and period.
Helps to find out basic and best books on a subject.
The use of bibliographies depends on their scope. The scope varies depending on the type – it can
be universal, national, complete partial, comprehensive or a reading list.
4.4 Aims and Functions of Bibliographies
The UNESCO and the Library of Congress, in their survey report, 1950 stated the following
aims and functions of bibliography:
“1. Its aim is to make it possible for intellectual workers, to learn of publications of recording the
developments in their fields of interest not only in their own countries but also throughout the
2. Promote the effectiveness of a particular project in research.
3. Contribute to the cultural development and enjoyment, which are derived from records of
learning and culture.
4. Assist in promoting useful applications of existing knowledge and making the applications
which have been developed in one country, widely known to all countries.”
Quick and easy access to information is vital to the development of various fields of knowledge.
In this respect, bibliography plays an important role.
A scholar can very well know about the existence of a document(s) in a particular field of
He can also identify a document by knowing its bibliographical details.
It can serve as book selection tool for the librarians.
In well-established libraries, the bibliographies are frequently consulted for verification of
bibliographical details and the location of material.
It is useful for general reader as well as for research scholar.
The primary function of bibliography is a reference tool. It helps;
to locate a book of known or not much known author
to locate books in any literary form like poems, plays, short stories, etc.
to study and compile bibliographies on a topic by researcher
to provide readers with a list of current books on a specific topic
to select basic books for children or youth in a library
to provide bibliographical information of a particular book.
A bibliography may be arranged by author, date, topic or some other scheme. Annotated
bibliographies give descriptions about how each source is useful to an author in constructing a
paper or argument. Creating these blurbs, usually a few sentences long, establishes a summary
for and expresses the relevance of each source prior to writing.
5. BRANCHES OF BIBLIOGRAPHIES
The major branches of bibliographies are:
It is a systematic listing and description of books according to some system or reference plan,
for example, by author, by subject, or by date. The implication is that the listings will be short,
usually providing only the author's name, the book's title, and date and place of publication.
Bowers (1949) refers to enumerative bibliography as a procedure that identifies books in
“specific collections or libraries”, in a specific discipline, by an author, printer, or period of
production. He refers to descriptive bibliography as the systematic description of a book as a
material or physical artifact (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bibliography). Enumerative bibliography
(systematic bibliography) attempts to record and list, rather than to describe minutely. Little or
no information is likely to be provided about physical aspects of the book such as paper, type,
illustrations, or binding.
A library's card catalog is an example of an enumerative bibliography, and so is the list
at the back of a book of works consulted,
Its main function is recording, i.e., listing of works with bibliographical details.6
The purpose is to disseminate information and guide the user in selecting and accessing
Arrangement of entries is alphabetical.
Most used reference tool and can also be called as reference bibliography.
E.g. Books In Print; Subject Guide to Books In Print.
5.2 Analytical or Critical
First started by Henry Bradshaw (1831-1886), it involves the study of books as physical objects;
the details of their production, the effects of the method of manufacture on the text. These are
concerned with the whole study of the physical book- its history, appearance, and the influence
of the manner of production on its text. Analytical bibliography, the cornerstone of descriptive
bibliography, investigates the printing and all physical features of a book that yield evidence
establishing a book's history and transmission. Analytical bibliography may deal with the history
of printers and booksellers, with the description of paper or bindings, or with textual matters
arising during the progression from writer's manuscript to published book.
Examines books as tangible objects. Life study of an extant book as physical object.
Studies the book from half title page to printer’s colophon.
More applicable in manuscripts and incunabula as it deals with standard and correctness
E.g. Hain Luding F.T. Reportica bibliographian as annual. 2v. 1826 – 1838.
Early Indian Prints: an evaluation from William Carey. Historical Library of Serampore College,
Analytical bibliography (sometimes called critical bibliography) may be divided into several
types, as follows:
Analytical (Critical) Bibliography
So, by-products of analytical bibliography are descriptive, historical and textual.
Descriptive bibliography starts where analytical ends. It is concerned with the application of
analytical bibliography to the external form of the book. It is concerned with the physical
description of books. How is the book put together? What sort of typeset is used and what kind
of paper? How are the illustrations incorporated into the book? How is it bound? Like the textual
bibliographer, the descriptive bibliographer must have a good working knowledge of the state of
the technology of the period in order to describe a book's physical appearance both accurately
Descriptive bibliographies are books that give full physical descriptions of the books they
list, enabling to distinguish one edition from another and to identify significant variations
within a single edition.
Describes each rare item in hand and state to what extent it differs from the ideal copy,
i.e., the perfect state of the book, aesthetic features, etc.
Good descriptive bibliographies are therefore indispensable to book collectors, whatever
their fields of interest and whatever the time period their collections cover.
Descriptive bibliographies as a scholarly product usually include information on the
following aspect of a given book as a material object:
“Format and Collation/Pagination Statement – a conventional, symbolic formula that
describes the book block in terms of sheets, folds, quires, signatures, and pages
The collation, which follows the format, is the statement of the order and size of the
Binding – a description of the binding techniques (generally for books printed after
Title Page Transcription – a transcription of the title page, including rule lines and
Contents – a listing of the contents (by section) in the book
Paper – a description of the physical properties of the paper, including production
process, an account of chain-line measurements, and a description of watermarks (if
Illustrations – a description of the illustrations found in the book, including printing
process (e.g. woodblock, intaglio, etc.), measurements, and locations in the text
Presswork – miscellaneous details gleaned from the text about its production
Copies Examined – an enumeration of the copies examined, including those copies'
location (i.e. belonging to which library or collector)”
E.g. A Bibliography of English printed Drama to the Restoration up to1660.
Historical bibliography may range from technological history to the history of art of making
books. It is concerned with the evidence the books provide about culture and society. It is the
study f books as objects, i.e., concerned with history of making books, for example, history of
writing, printing of materials, binding, etc.
History of making books – writing, printing, illustrations, binding, etc.
Shows the social and cultural developments.
Evolution of writing, printing, binding etc.8
E.g. Longstreth, Richard, Compiler. Historical Bibliography of architecture, landscape
architecture and urbanism in United States since World War II. Updated in 2010
This is applied to study the inner/literary content of documents. Handwriting is often difficult to
decipher; compositors make occasional mistakes, and proofreaders sometimes fail to catch
them; but (especially in the period before about 1800) we often have only the printed book to tell
us what the author intended. Therefore, textual bibliography indicates the relationship between
the printed text as we have it before us, and that text as conceived by its author.
Textual bibliography (sometimes called textual criticism) tries to provide with the most
accurate text of a writer's work.
The equipment of the textual bibliographer is both a profound knowledge of the work of
the writer being edited (and of his or her period) and an equally profound knowledge of
contemporary printing and publishing practices.
The purpose is to determine the effect of writing or printing process, its completeness,
variations among editions, etc.
It requires a literary critic.
E.g. Henrey, Blanche. Botanical and Horticultural Literature before 1800: Comprising a history
and bibliography of Botanical and Horticultural books printed in England, Scotland and Ireland
from the earliest times to 1800. London, Oxford University Press, 1975.
“In addition to viewing bibliographic study as being composed of four interdependent
approaches: enumerative, descriptive, analytical, and textual, Bowers notes two further subcategories
of research, namely, historical bibliography and aesthetic bibliography. Both
historical bibliography, which involves the investigation of printing practices, tools, and related
documents, and aesthetic bibliography, which examines the art of designing type and books,
are often employed by analytical bibliographers.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bibliography)
6. TYPES OF BIBLIOGRAPHIES
Bibliographies can be categorized in different ways.
Universal National Region Trade Language Author Personal Subj Selective Incunabula Biblio B/B
They can also be categorized, according to Pithambar Padhi, on the basis of the following
1. Form Physical Indian National Bibliography
Intellectual Guide to Reference Books
2. Agency or Purpose Bibliographer Chaucer: A bibliographic Manual
Printer Printer’s List
Binder Binder’s List
Publisher Indian Book Industry
Bibliophile American first editions
Copyright Catalogue of copyright entries
Library – Library catalogue,
Book Selection List, Reading
Books in Print
3. Language Telugu (media and subject) Grandha Suchika
4. Mode of Compilation Primary National and Trade
Secondary Comprehensive Bibliography
5. Subject Science Index to Literature on Science
6. Space Area of Coverage
British National Bibliography
7. Time Current Indian Book Industry, Monthly
Retrospective Indian Reference Catalogue of
Besides the above, bibliographies are of the following types:
a) An Annotated bibliography is usually a note added to an entry in author bibliography to
elucidate, evaluate or describe the subject and contents of a document. It has entries which
include " ... note[s] ... intended to describe, explain, or evaluate the publication referred to" (ALA
Glossary, p. 8). It requires skills for concise exposition and succinct analysis. It contains two
distinct parts, namely, the bibliographical citation and a brief descriptive paragraph including
the salient features of the article or subject of the text. This indicates to the reader the relevance
and accuracy of the document as per the reader’s information needs.
E.g. Waite, L. J., Goldschneider, F. K., & Witsberger, C. (1986). Non-family living and the
erosion of traditional family orientations among young adults. American Sociological Review, 51
The authors, researchers at the Rand Corporation and Brown University, use data from the
National Longitudinal Surveys of Young Women and Young Men to test their hypothesis that
non-family living by young adults alters their attitudes, values, plans, and expectations, moving
them away from their belief in traditional sex roles. They find their hypothesis strongly supported
in young females, while the effects were fewer in studies of young males. Increasing the time
away from parents before marrying increased individualism, self-sufficiency, and changes in
attitudes about families. In contrast, an earlier study by Williams cited below shows no
significant gender differences in sex role attitudes as a result of nonfamily living. (Example uses
APA Citation style)
b) A Current bibliography records currently or recently published material, with the intent of
reporting the recent literature as it appears. It is an index to new publications in print for a
defined period. The lists may be compiled for a subject or for a form like books, periodicals,
E.g. The Orion Center's On-Line Dead Sea Scrolls Bibliography posts books, articles and
reviews related to the Dead Sea Scrolls from 1995 to the present. The bibliography was initiated
and maintained by Dr. Avital Pinnick from 1995–2000. David Emanuel compiled the
Bibliography from 2000–2002; it is currently overseen by Dr. Ruth Clements, with the help of
research assistants Shelly Zilberfarb Eshkoli (2003–2004), Nadav Sharon (2004–2009) and
Hannah Wortzman (2009–present).
c) A National Bibliography is "A bibliography of documents published in a particular country
and, ... documents ... written in the language of the country" ( ALA Glossary , p.151). It tries to
list as comprehensively as possible the county’s publication output. It is a window to the
literature of and on a country. The national bibliographies have a long history and are more
popular since 19th century. The national bibliographies underwent tremendous changes with the
advent of electronic databases. Now national bibliography of a country is accessible online and
is published on DVDs.
E.g. British National Bibliography: The national bibliography records the publishing activity of
the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland and as such is a measure of their intellectual
output. This has traditionally included printed publications and more recently has been extended
to electronic publications following the extension of legal deposit to this class of material in
d) A Retrospective bibliography "... lists documents or parts of documents, such as articles,
published in previous years, as distinct from a current bibliography ... . Retrospective
bibliographies are frequently divided into two types ... [one of which is] research-oriented, [and]
are intended as jumping-off points for those doing research in the topic covered ..." ( ALA
Glossary, p.194). Therefore, a retrospective bibliography lists works that have a common
element like subject, and published during a particular period in the past. The retrospective
bibliographies have two themes, firstly, research oriented, where retrospective lists are
prepared to open any missing publications. And secondly, Didactic, which aims to teach the
reader what is already know (by others) in a specific subject area.
E.g. Charles Evans. American Bibliography. A Chronological Dictionary of All Books, Pamphlets
and Periodical Publications Printed in the United States of America from the Genesis of Printing
in 1639 Down to and Including the Year  (Chicago: The Blakely Press for the Author,
1943-1955). 13 vols.
e) A Serial bibliography appears at fixed intervals of time, e.g., weekly, monthly, quarterly,
annually, and has as its mission the reporting of titles, often both book titles and article titles (as
well as dissertations, book reviews, pamphlets, and other types of material) as they appear.
There are many types of bibliographies and the leading bibliographies differ slightly in the
names assigned to its various branches. These types of bibliographies are concerned with
listing of books and other reading material in some systematic order. The various types are as
6.1 Incunabula or Book rarities
This type of bibliography lists the early printed works up to 15th century. It was considered as a
cradle period of printing and the systematic order in arranging various parts of a book was not
E.g. Proctor, Robert. An index to the early printed books in the British Museum from the
invention of printing to the year 1500, with notes of these in the Bodlein Library. 2 vols. London,
Kegan Paul, 1898-99; reprinted with four supplements and Konrad Burger’s index, London,
6.2 Trade bibliography
Large publishing houses engaged in book trade bring out such type of bibliographies. The list
includes commercial publications available for sale. It helps in the selection and acquisition of
recently published documents. Otherwise called as trade catalogues or publishers catalogues,
these bibliographies are brought out by the publishers to market their products. These are also
utilized as book selection tools for librarians. Besides they reveal the current publications along
with the availability details that help the librarians and users to select and acquire documents.
These are available in print as well as electronic databases.
E.g. Books In Print, R.R. Bowker, U.S.A.; Indian Books In Print, etc.
6.3 Selected or eclectic bibliography
This kind of bibliography is concerned with the listing of only selected and the best books. The
bibliography is prepared taking into criteria like the age of the readers or subject choice etc.
E.g. Dickinson. World’s Best Books: Homer to Hemingway. New York, Wilson, 1953.
Sonnenschein, W.S. The best books: A readers’ guide, 3rd ed. London, Routledge, 1910 –
35, 6 Vol.
6.4. Subject Bibliography
Subject bibliographies are the listings of publications on a subject or discipline. The list contains
information about everything published on a subject. It is a comprehensive list of all books,
periodical articles, pamphlets and other reading material in a particular subject. The books listed
are supposed to be the best books available on the subject and thus help the researcher as a
tool to get awareness and study all relevant documents on a subject. Subject bibliographies get
outdated soon and the books listed have little value after some time due to rapid changes in the
subject and emergence of new books embodying new subject components.
E.g. Bateson, F.W. Ed. The Cambridge bibliography of English literature. 4 vols. Supplement
(v.5) edited by G.Watson. Cambridge University Press, 1940.
Kistler, J. (2000) Animal rights: A subject guide, bibliography, and internet companion. Westport,
Elizabeth S. Aversa. The Humanities: Selective Guide to Information Sources, 5th Ed. Libraries
6.5 Author bibliography or bio-bibliography12
The bibliography prepared combining an account of a person's life with a discussion of works
written by or about that person is called author or bio-bibliography. It records books, articles,
etc. written by an author or attributed to him and the material written about the author by others.
E.g. Sharma, Jagdish. Mahatma Gandhi: a descriptive bibliography. 2nd ed. Delhi, S. Chand,
Fisher, James. Spencer Tracy: A Bio-Bibliography (Bio-Bibliographies in the Performing Arts).
6.6 Bibliography of bibliographies
It is a list of bibliographies listed in a systematic and logical order. It includes all types of
bibliographies published in different fields.
E.g. Besterman, Theodore. A world bibliography of bibliographies and of bibliographical
catalogues, calendar, abstracts, digests, indexes and the like 4th ed. Geneva, Societas
Bibliographica, 1965-67. 5 vols.
6.7 Bibliophilic bibliographies
It is a list of books collected by book lovers for their rarity or first editions or special physical
features or first editions of a celebrated author.
E.g. Johnson, Merie de Vore, “American first edition”, 4th ed. revised N. Y. R R Bowker, 1942.
6.8 Universal or General Bibliography
A Universal bibliography is the survey of all records of civilization in all fields of knowledge and
is not restricted to one place, time, language, subject or author. It lists documents belonging to
all kinds of material, produced in all countries, in every language, at any time and on all themes.
In fact there is no universal bibliography as such but compilation of published catalogues of
great national libraries may be the nearest approach to the concept.
According to S. R. Ranganathan, a bibliography to be universal should include all published
material, whether books or parts of them or periodicals or articles in them, or combination of
them on all subjects in all languages in all counties, at all times.
Constraints in compiling a universal bibliography:
Growth of knowledge
Growth of literature
Out of print or rare books
Format – arrangement suitable to all minute subjects
Lack of adequate resources and manpower
Attempts made for universal bibliography:13
a) Konrad Gesner – Developed in 1543 Bibliotheca Universalis. T consists of 12000 books
in learned languages, i.e., Greek, Latin, and Hebrew, etc. The arrangement was
alphabetical by name of the author. In 1548, the bibliography was rearranged subjectwise
and published as ‘Pendectarum Sie Partitionum Universalium’. In 1555, an
appendix to Bibliotheca was published adding 3000 books. It did not include books in
vernacular language, therefore, although there were about 50000 books at that time, it
included only 15000 books.
b) Messkatalog – of Frankfurt and Leipzing book fairs were published in 1564 – 1749 and
1595 – 1860. It included books published in all European cities and European languages
and few books from outside Europe.
c) 17th Century – French man Abbe Drouyn, Religious advisor to Paris Parliament,
prepared Universal Bibliography based on available catalogues and compiled 321
d) 18th century – Two Italian scholars, Abbot Marucelli and Father Savanarola, attempted to
use Gesner’s plan. Their attempt came out as parts in printed form.
e) 19th Century – attempts made by Barnvell, Bannanges, Cole, Crestadaro, Panjoru, Dilke,
Ermun et al. Middle of 19th century few attempts were made for universal bibliography
but more attention was paid on developing catalogue of British Museum and plan for
stereotyping library catalogue by Charles C. Jewett in U.S.A.
f) End of 19th century was a landmark in the development of universal bibliographies. In
1895, Paul Otlet and Henry La Fontaine submitted their proposal for universal
bibliography at the International Conference on Bibliography and got it approved. A card
catalogue was set up at Brussel’s Institute of Bibliography (later FID). Repertoire
Bibliographique Universal was to record every document published anywhere in the
world. By 1914, 13,000,000 catalogue cards were developed. Entries were made under
classified order using Universal Decimal Classification. After that, the bibliography was
discontinued because of large filing areas.
After the 1st World war, the emphasis on universal bibliography declined. After World War II,
UNESCO initiated Universal Bibliographical Control and insisted on National bibliographies. It
has also developed Universal Availability of Publications (UAP).
Problems: There are several problems in the compilation of a universal bibliography, which
Completeness not possible because – information on many books not available, or only
title is known;
At times, only information is available but not the books;
Huge number of books;
Too many languages;
Requires too much space in print or card;
Arrangement of entries is a problem because of different pronunciations of names in
Lots of manpower is required for the compilation of bibliography
Alternatives: As an alternate, other methods were adopted such as:
A selective universal catalogue,
National bibliographies of all nations can be maintained, and
Collection of published catalogue of national libraries is a good alternative.
Finally it was felt that universal bibliography is not necessary because it is unusable due to bulk
and large amount of information may not be necessary.
E.g. Library of Congress. A catalogue of books represented by Library of Congress printed
cards. Issued up to July 31, 1942. 167 volumes.
Catalog Cards printed by the Library of Congress from August 1, 1942 to December 31, 1947.
Supplement 42 volumes.
6.9 National Bibliographies
Although the national bibliographies have 400 years of history, the term ‘national bibliography’
was adopted only about of 100 years ago. A national bibliography should record all documents
published or unpublished, irrespective of the agency issuing them, covering trade as well as non
trade items, irrespective of the form of material, language, subject or time of publication.
Dr S.R. Ranganathan recognizes the following categories of national bibliography:
“1. List of all books published in a country.
2. List of all books on a country.
3. Lit of all books published by all the citizens of the country.
4. Lit of all books published on all the citizens of the country, and
5. Any one combination of the above.”
Though it emphasizes on the total output of a nation taken together, in practice, it is restricted
to material, time, space and origin. Hence, national bibliography can be defined as a source that
attempts to list, as comprehensively as possible, the publications of a particular country during a
specific period. "Publications" here, can refer to most any kind of intellectual output, regardless
of its format. A national bibliography is considered as national heritage. It has more systematic
approach to organization of material.
E.g. Indian National Bibliography. Calcutta, Central Reference library, 1957- Monthly.
British National bibliography. London, British Library, 1950- Weekly.
The national bibliographies are compiled on the basis of material received by the national library
under the copyright acts as promulgated in various countries. A depository law is legislation
requiring publishers to provide a copy of each piece of published material for a designated
repository. Such legislation varies from country to country from a voluntary deposit by publisher
to a mandatory deposit often associated with countries with extreme censorship.
With the advent of electronic databases, national bibliography has been undergoing a
tremendous amount of change. Difficulties related to access have been all but eliminated in 15
many cases. In this regard, a variety of formats are appearing. In some countries, such as the
Czech Republic, the national bibliography no longer is issued in paper form at all, but is
published as a DVD. Others still have only their paper edition. Online catalogues of national
libraries now serve the function of a national bibliography. Many countries have online versions
of their national bibliographies. All of these new formats are giving a new significance to the
national bibliography as a resource for scholars.
6.9.1 Indian National Bibliography. Quarterly, October 1957 – 1963; Monthly, January 1964 -.
Calcutta, Central Reference Library, 1959 - . With annual cumulations.
Indian National Bibliography Committee appointed by Government of India, decided to have an
authoritative bibliographical record of current Indian publications in all major Indian languages. It
records material received in the National Library, Calcutta, under the Delivery of Books and
Newspapers (Public Libraries) Act, 1956 to include newspapers. As per the Act, every publisher
has to deliver a copy of their publications to National Library, Calcutta and three other
repository libraries within 30 days from the date of publication. It is mainly responsible for the
implementation of two schemes, viz.
Compilation and Publication of the Indian National Bibliography (both Roman Script and
in the respective language scripts). This is a monthly record of current Indian
publications in 14 languages including English based on receipts in the National Library,
Compilation and Publication of Index Indiana (in Roman Script), an Index to select
articles appearing in current Indian periodicals presently in six languages.
On the basis of the recommendations of an Expert Group in the Ministry, the publication of the
Indian National Bibliography and Index Indiana has been fully computerized. The monthly
volumes of INB, since June 2000 appear regularly.
The INB records, since its inception in 1958 have been retro converted in to electronic data. The
whole data along with recent records will be made available online very soon.
Periodicity: It started publication from October – December 1957 and was published as
quarterly up to 1963; afterwards, it is published monthly.
Scope: It includes all publications produced in the following major Indian languages, viz.
Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit,
Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu and English. The following categories of publications are excluded:
a) Musical scores
c) Periodicals and Newspapers (except the first issue of new periodical or periodical
published under new title)
d) Keys and guides to textbooks
e) Ephemeral items
Initially it was divided into two parts – Part I covering general publications and Part II covering
Government publications and each part had two sections – alphabetical and classified. Since
1973, the two parts were combined into one with two sections – alphabetical and classified.16
Arrangement: The arrangement in the classified section is in classified order according to
D.D.C. but Colon Class numbers are also given at the bottom corner of each entry.
Entry: Each entry consists of class number, author’s name, full title, place of publication,
publisher’s name, year of publication, pages, nature of illustrations, size, nature of binding,
price, series, and annotations where ever necessary. The second section is alphabetical index,
giving author, title, subject in one alphabetical order. For subject headings, chain procedure has
Due to variety of scripts prevalent in India, it was decided to use Roman script (English) for the
bibliography. Names of authors of books and titles of books in Indian languages are
transliterated into Roman script with diacritical marks and then arranged in one alphabetical
order under each class. The language of the book is denoted by symbols given at the left hand
bottom corner of each entry.
There is a great time lag in the publication of INB. There was no publication of the
bibliography from 1968-70, and these were later published as annuals. Even now the
publication is too much delayed.
It is costly for any library to purchase. Hence INB is not serving its purpose.
INB records all publications in regional languages in Roman script. Many Indian readers
do not recognize Roman script and cannot get benefit from it.
To overcome this problem, separate annual bibliographies for each of the Indian
languages in their respective scripts are prepared and edited by Central Reference
Library and published by respective State governments. However, these are not being
6.9.2 National Union Catalog, USA
Although there is no official American national bibliography, the Library of Congress has been
authorized to use the National Union Catalog (NUC) for that role. It began in 1876 and is very
comprehensive, with listings from more than one thousand North American libraries. This
catalogue contains many items not published in the United States, including foreign language
titles. The NUC is very useful for finding the location of materials available in American libraries
and what can be borrowed through interlibrary loans. UNESCO website provides information on
National Library Catalogs.
7. COMPILATION OF BIBLIOGRAPHIES
Compilation of bibliographies may be done in anticipation or on demand. In any case, the
primary requirement for compilation is subject knowledge. Earlier times witnessed the subject
experts as bibliographers as in the case of indexes, reviews, etc. However, presently trained
LIS professionals are ready to accept the task and compile a bibliography with efficiency.
Generally, the reference section of a library is bestowed with the preparation of bibliography
service. Here the basic steps of compilation of bibliography are presented briefly and the details
have been covered in the Module on Information Services.
Krishan Kumar identified the following steps for the preparation of bibliographies: 17
1. Planning – involves definition of the subject and its scope; items of information to be
included; kinds of entries and their arrangement.
2. Search for documents – from catalogues, books, periodicals and other micro
3. Selection – of items to be included in the bibliography if it is selective/ elective and
4. Preparation of entries with bibliographical information in accordance to the standard
5. Arranging the entries in classified or alphabetical or both as per the requirement.
6. Preparation of bibliography in typed, mimeographed or print form.
Librarians are familiar with the compilation of bibliographies for the bibliographical control of
print documents. Now similar control mechanism is required for electronic documents named as
webliography, a term coined by Dr. James Frankel in 2000. The webliography presents a wide
range of electronic resources related to a specific subject that are freely available on the
Internet. Webliography denotes an enumerative list of hypertext links surrounding a common
subject or theme following standard citation guidelines.
According to dictionary.com, a webliography is defined as “a list of electronic documents,
websites, or other resources available on the World Wide Web, especially those relating to a
particular subject. For example, A student's annotated webliography on Shakespeare”.
Therefore, it is different from a bibliography in the sense that a bibliography lists books and
other printed works and a webliography represents a list of websites used.
Webliography is needed to facilitate:
limited user time to access the internet
lack of search skills
difficult to find pertinent information from the huge reservior of knowledge, just like
finding a needle from hay stack
need for bibliographical control
to identify and locate information
to save time
to have optimum access and use of information
Dariush Alimohammadi suggested following phases in compilation of webbliographies:
Selecting the topic
Search the web; navigation of web with one of the popular search tools like google,
google scholar, subject gateways like Intute, etc.
Browsing and selecting the best among the retrieved hits following the criteria for web
Creating a web page; some software like Microsoft FrontPage, Netscape Composer and
Dream weaver can be manipulated.
Writing an introduction; preparing a table of content to help user to navigate the subject
gateway easier. 18
9. EVALUATION OF BIBLIOGRAPHIES
Evaluation of bibliographies is essential to understand their worth in retrieval of information and
to acquire a thourough understanding of these sources. Hence librarians are practicing
evaluation of bibliographies with well laid down criteria used for the evaluation of reference
sources. The checklist for the evaluation of a bibliography includes the following criteria:
o Authority - The work should be authoritative, accurate and dependable. It can
be judged on the basis of reputation of author, publisher, sponsoring body or
compiler. For e.g. authoritativeness of Cumulative Book Index, a trade
bibliography can be determined by the publisher, H.W.Wilson.
o Scope – It is to be assessed whether the bibliography is comprehensive or
selective, curent or retrospective. The coverage, limitations, purpose, kind of
material, language, place, period, etc. should be examined.
o Arrangement – Arrangement of bibliography is important otherwise it has no
utility value. Bibliographies can be arranged in various order, like classifeid,
chronological, alphabetical or alphabetico- classed. However, a good 19
bibliography has to be arranged by subject with alphabetical indexes to
encourage its use.
o Entries and items of information: A good bibliography ought to provide author
and collaborator, subject, series, and title entries as well as cross references.
Complete bibliographical details have to be provided in the main entry like author
(s), collaborators, title, edition, imprint, series, number of volumes, illustrations,
binding, price, bibliographic references etc. and each entry has to be enriched
with annotation or abstract.
o Revision – To keep the work updated periodical revision of biblographies is
essntial. Hence whether the publication follows a revision policy or not has to be
o Special features – Distinctive fetures of the bibliography in comparison to other
bibliographies in the subject have to be studied. Generally such special features
will be stated in preface and introduction.
o Drawbacks: There may be limitations in coverage, cumulations, time lag in
publication, too expensive, etc. that have to be analyzed.
o Format: The physical get up of the bibliography, the quality of printing, type
faces, paper, binding and the presentation needs to be considered.
Bibliographies play a pivotal role in scientific communication, more specifically the subject
bibliographies. The changing trends in electronic publishing has brought in changes in
traditional compilation of bibliographies. Inspite of the changes in form and format, the basic
principle of serving the user with list of publications in a subject or selected fields remains the
same. Hence LIS professionals have to learn the techniques of bibliographic compilation and
apply them in print or electronic world.
ASSESSMENT & EVALUATION
Q 1 Who developed
A G. E. Bure
<B> B Konrad Gestner
C A.W. Pollard
Feedback for correct
Correct Option Q 2 ‘Books In Print’ by
R.R.Bowker is a
<A> A Trade Bibliography
B Subject Bibliography
C National Bibliography
b. Match the following:
Q 3 Match the following bibliographies
in Colum A with corresponding
Column A Column B
1. Textual Bibliography a) Evolution of writing, printing
2. Descriptive Bibliography b) Literary content of document
3. Historical Bibliography c) Physical description of the
Ans: 1. b 2. c 3. a
Q 4 Match the following examples
(column A) with corresponding type
of bibliography (column B)Column A Column B
1. An index to the early printed
books in the British Museum.
2. Indian Books in Print b) Subject
3. The Cambridge Bibliography
of English Literature
c) National Union Catalog
4. Mahatma Gandhi: a
5. Repertoire Bibliographique
6. Library of Congress. A
catalogue of books represented
by Library of Congress printed
Ans. 1. e 2. a 3. b 4. f 5. d 6. c
c. Fill in the blanks.
Q 5. Preparation of bibliography is called -----------
Q. 6. Navigation of the Web is a function of ---------
d. True or False
Q. 7. The bibliographies are always arranged in chronological order.
Q 8 Arrange the following
bibliographies in order of their
Order Number Answer
1. Subject Bibliographies Trade Bibliographies
2. Trade Bibliographies Universal Bibliographies
3. Bibliographies for Journal
4. Universal Bibliographies Bibliographies for Journal
A. INTERESTING FACTS
Lists of clay tablets have been found in Nineveh
Modern bibliographies originated from trade bibliographies
The Library of Congress Catalogue is the national bibliography of USA.
IFLA developed guidelines and directions for ‘National Libraries in Digital Age’
Bibliographic databases replaced the tradition bibliographies
Term Definition Related Term
A Annotations Note added to a
bibliographical entry to
describe the subject
Basic bibliographic data
on all publications
I Incunabula Books printed prior to
M Messkatalogue Catalogues produced for
book exhibitions and
Frankfurt (1564-1749) and
at leipzig (1595-1890)
T Trade lists Lists of current
publications for sale
C. WEB LINKS / REFERENCES
Web links/ References
Bowers, Fredson (1994) Principles of bibliographical description. Oak Knoll Press / St
Frieds, Thelma. Retrospecive bibliographies. In Literature and Bibliography of Social
Sciences. Los Angeles, Melville Publishing Co., 1973.
Katz, William (1982) Introduction to reference work. V.1, 4th ed. New York, McGraw Hill,
Krishan Kumar (1978) Reference Service 2nd rev.ed. New Delhi, Vikas Pub.
Padhi, Pitambar (1994) Reference sources in modern Indian Languages. Bhubaneswar, Gayatrivedi Pub.
Ranganathan, S.R. (1963) Documentation and its facets. Bombay, Asia Pub. House.
Sharma, J.S. and Grover, D.R. (1987) Reference Service and sources of information.
NewDelhi, Ess Ess Pub.
Shores, Louis (1954). Basic reference sources. Chicago, ALA.
UNESCO/Library of Congress (1950) Bibliographical survey. Paris, UNESCO