NCL and British Library sign a memorandum of cooperation on the Database of the Union Catalogue of Chinese Rare Books

(21 May 2015) National Central Library (NCL)’s Director General Shu-hsien Tseng and Dr. Catherine Eagleton, Head of Asian and African Studies, British Library (BL), signed a Cooperation Agreement at the NCL on May 21, 2015. Lead Curator Ms. Sara Chiesura from the BL was in attendance to witness this historic moment.

The Database of the Union Catalog of Chinese Rare Books was established in 2000 enhancing international cooperation, promoting the joint creation and sharing of bibliographic resources on Chinese rare books. The NCL is in charge of building the database and handling liaison with over 60 cooperation partners for the system.

Since 2012, the Bavarian State Library, the National Library of France, and the Oxford University Library have all joined the system and made the bibliographic records for its extensive collection of Chinese rare books available for inclusion in the database system. With over 640,000 bibliographic records, the database has made a considerable contribution to the sharing of bibliographic records for Chinese rare books and facilitated online searches for such resources.

The NCL and the BL have established a great relationship in the past years. In November, 2013, the two libraries joined and signed the Agreement to make images and data of NCL’s Dunhuang Collection available on the International Dunhuang Project web database in London. And now, the NCL is glad to co-sign this Memorandum of Cooperation on the Database of the Union Catalogue of Chinese Rare Books with Dr. Eagleton in Taipei.

In the Memorandum the BL will provide the NCL with bibliographic records of its Chinese rare books collections dated before 1911. And bases on the principle of mutually beneficial cooperation, the NCL would also provide access to the advanced search functions of the database for IP addresses at the BL. And the NCL will help retrospective conversion of more than 5,000 cataloging cards of the Chinese rare books holding at the BL. And later on export those records in MARC21 format back to BL for uploading to their cataloging system.

Director General Tseng noted that maintaining this meaningful database, she believes that the two libraries are playing a role of messenger of the civilization of all mankind. In the digital age, the international cooperation will rely on the mutual sharing of their digital content and services, in order to better serve the international patron’s needs.

During Director General Tseng’s remarks, she especially thanked Dr. Eagleton and Curator Ms. Chiesura for flying all the way from London to sign the memorandum and their willingness to share with the NCL their expertise in the presentation. She also noted that today’s signing of the Memorandum will be another significant successfully collaboration for this international.

The illustrated announcement is here.