Contact: Craig D'Ooge (202) 707-9189
October 7, 1993
New Online Information System Available
The Library of Congress announces the availability of a new online information system, LC MARVEL (Library of Congress Machine-Assisted Realization of the Virtual Electronic Library). The new system can be accessed over the worldwide computer network known as the Internet. LC MARVEL serves as the Campus-Wide Information System (CWIS) for the Library of Congress and also provides information services to the U.S. Congress and constituents throughout the world.
It is a simple-to-use online gateway to worldwide Internet offerings as well as a source of electronic information about the Library, its collections, and activities.
LC MARVEL uses the Gopher software, a publicly available menu- based software program developed and distributed by the University of Minnesota. Most information offered by the system is text-based and can either be viewed on a computer screen or mailed to an individual's electronic mailbox. In addition to text-based information, graphic images also are provided. However, viewing these images is dependent upon the user's software interface.
The Main Menu of LC MARVEL consists of the following selections:
1. About LC MARVEL
2. Library of Congress: Facilities, Activities, and Services
3. Research and Reference
4. Library of Congress Online Systems
5. The U.S. Congress
6. Federal Government Information
7. Services to Libraries and Publishers
9. Employee Information
10. The Global Electronic Library (by Subject)
11. Internet Resources
12. What's New on LC MARVEL
To access LC MARVEL over the Internet, use the telnet command to connect to marvel.loc.gov and login as marvel. This will connect you to the "generic" telnet Gopher client. Initially, only 10 ports will be available to outside users for direct telnet connection. However, it is most effective to connect to LC MARVEL using Gopher client software, or via other Gopher-based systems by pointing to marvel.loc.gov, port 70 (the 10 user limit does not apply to this access method).
Although the Library of Congress charges no fees for access to LC MARVEL, many Internet access providers do charge fees to connect to the Internet.
Individuals and organizations that do not already have access to the Internet should contact their local library for further information or call the InterNIC Information Services Referral Desk at (800) 444-4345, Monday through Friday, 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. (Pacific time), which can send a list of Internet access providers.
In addition to worldwide access over the Internet, public access to LC MARVEL is currently available on-site in the Library of Congress's Newspaper and Current Periodical Reading Room and the National Demonstration Laboratory. Additional sites are planned for the future.
Several menu choices on LC MARVEL should be of particular interest to the Library's constituents. The menu item "Library of Congress: Facilities, Activities, and Services," for instance, contains information on hours and services, on-site and traveling exhibitions, and full text of LC press releases. "Services to Libraries and Publishers" offers information on how to obtain an ISBN (International Standard Book Number), ISSN (International Standard Serial Number), and how to participate in the Preassigned Card Number (PCN) program, Cataloging in Publication (CIP) program, and cooperative acquisitions programs. Another menu item, "Internet Resources," presents access to the Internet through a variety of searching tools and by geographic location. Librarians will benefit from easy access to online public library catalogs worldwide in addition to the Library of Congress Information System, which contains LC catalog records and other information files. Two other menu items, "The U.S. Congress" and "Federal Government Information," gather electronic resources on Congress and the entire federal government (e.g., searchable congressional directories and committee assignments, full text of GAO reports, the U.S. Constitution, Supreme Court decisions, etc.). Under the "Copyright" heading, the full text of circulars and form letters from the Copyright Office is available.
Constituents of the Library will find many useful resources in the "Research and Reference" menu item. Information is available about individual reading rooms and services to researchers. Documents in the "Employee Information" menu are not restricted to Library staff and may be of some interest to those outside the Library (e.g., full text of internal publications, searchable Library regulations, emergency information, job postings, Combined Federal Campaign information, etc.)
LC MARVEL is still "under construction" and will be enhanced and improved continuously. New features and information are always noted in the "What's New on LC MARVEL" menu.
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