CJK Allegro Catalogues
The web interface to the Library's original script allegro catalogues of Chinese and Japanese materials was inaugurated in December, 1997. They currently contain some 170,000 and 73,000 records respectively.
Chinese Catalogue (full-form characters)
Web access to allegro databases was developed at Braunschweig Technical University by Dierk Hoeppner. In Oxford, it has been implemented by Thaddeus Lipinski, whose work was initially financed by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE). This, together with generous help from all members of the allegro team in Braunschweig, is gratefully acknowledged.
UK CHINESE AND JAPANESE UNION CATALOGUES
The successful outcome of this work, and growing expertise in the use of allegro, has made other developments possible. Most notable is the provision of access to the European union catalogue of Japanese books. This is hosted by NII (National Institute of Informatics, formerly NACSIS) in Tokyo, which in 1991 offered its services free of charge to a consortium of UK libraries with the aim of facilitating the cataloguing of Japanese material and thus contributing towards the formation of a worldwide catalogue of Japanese books. Continental European libraries later joined the project, and their holdings were included in the union catalogue from 2005. The database offers readers improved access to the holdings of Japanese research collections throughout Europe, and currently contains over 280,000 bibliographic records to which 430,000 copy records are linked. Only a few of the libraries have completed the retrospective conversion of catalogue records for older items. Updates to the Union Catalogue are received weekly from NII and immediately incorporated into the database.
The ability of allegro to import (convert) data from a wide variety of sources offers the technical possibility of incorporating data currently held in quite different and varied formats into a single, homogeneous database. This led to the construction in 2000 of a UK Union Catalogue of Chinese Books under the auspices of RSLP (Research Support Libraries Project). The database incorporates Chinese records in original script from the British Library, the Bodleian Library, the Brotherton Library (Leeds), and the university libraries of Cambridge, Durham, SOAS (London) and Edinburgh, and is updated regularly. It currently gives access to some 300,000 different titles.