Press Contact: Helen Dalrymple (202) 707-1940, Jean Hirons (202) 707-5947

December 15, 1993

American Theological Library Association Joins CONSER Program

The Library of Congress is pleased to announce that the American Theological Library Association (ATLA) Preservation Programs has become the newest member of the CONSER (Cooperative Online Serials) Program. The association, located in Evanston, Ill., has 190 member libraries working in the field of religion. CONSER is a cooperative program for the cataloging of serials that includes the Library of Congress and the National Library of Canada, selected university and U.S. federal libraries, abstracting/indexing services and subscription agencies, and participants in the United States Newspaper Program. The CONSER data base resides on the OCLC Online Union Catalog.

ATLA is joining at the associate level, and will create, modify, and maintain bibliographic records for serials in the CONSER data base and contribute to the technical development of CONSER through participation in the Operations Committee. ATLA's contribution will enrich the CONSER data base by providing an important resource for serials in the field of religion.

The focus of ATLA's Preservation Programs is on the preservation of older titles. Among the first contributions will be records for 300 serials published primarily between 1875 and 1950. Preservation Programs has received a three-year grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and has contracted with Research Publications International (RPI) to do the cataloging and filming. Records created by RPI will be contributed to the CONSER data base by staff at ATLA. In addition, serials newly added to the on-demand program and serials filmed under contract with the Mennonite Historical Library, which has a grant from NEH to film Mennonite serials, will be cataloged by the ATLA catalogers and added to the CONSER data base.

In the future, ATLA hopes to involve some of the other catalogers in the member libraries in contributing CONSER records. The catalogers, many of whom have expressed an interest in participating in CONSER, would work under the direction of and contribute records via the Preservation Programs' staff. Judy Knop, director of Preservation Programs at ATLA, will represent the association on the CONSER Operations Committee. She said that becoming a CONSER member "will broaden our cataloging experience. And, it will be challenging and rewarding."

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PR 93-164
ISSN 0731-3527

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