an interesting experiment

Robert J. Robbins rrobbins at NSF.GOV
Thu Nov 1 08:41:57 EST 1990

Recognizing that the library community has for years been operating 
and maintaining large databases on collections (library holdings), 
some people at Michigan State have begun experimenting with using
an established, national library database (OCLC) to hold information 
about biological specimens.  The attached forwarded message gives a 
brief description of this effort.  More information can be obtained
from Jim Beach: beach at


Robert J. Robbins
Program Director, Database Activities            Phone: (202) 357-9880
Biological, Behavioral, and Social Sciences      FAX:   (202) 357-7745
National Science Foundation
1880 G Street, Room 312                InterNet: rrobbins at
Washington, DC  20550                    BitNet: rrobbins at nsf


------- Forwarded Message

Date:         Wed, 31 Oct 90 16:58:36 LCL

As part of a project to pursue the suitability of the libraries'
MARC record formats and library database systems for natural history
specimen accession data, we cataloged a few herbarium specimens in
the MARC AVM format.  The records met OCLC cataloging standards and
we subsequently uploaded them to OCLC.

If anyone is interested in seeing them in OCLC and has acccess to an OCLC
terminal the record numbers are: 22477424 and 22477438.  The specimens
are of Magnolia grandiflora and Cerastium tolucense.  They can be brought
up with an author or title search.

We also subsequently downloaded the records into the Michigan State
University NOTIS system, known locally as "MAGIC."  MAGIC is accessible
over the Internet at no charge, if you have access:

TN3270 to, then type "dial magic", then type the clear screen key
or use
Telnet to; at the which host prompt type "magic"; then type "vt100"

The records can be accessed by a title search on scientific name, or an
author search on the collectors: "Beaman John" and "Churchill John".

We are undertaking aditional cataloging and plan to write a couple of
reports on the suitability of the existing MARC formats and the library
systems in general for herbarium accession data.

Laurel Jizba, Library Technical Services
Jim Beach, Botany
Michigan State University

------- End of Forwarded Message

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