Augurio Collantes

Hostos Community College
City University of New York
Bronx, NY 10451

Keywords: Biblio-Link, Database creation, Filipiniana, Philippines, Pro-Cite, Union catalogues

Abstract: A database of Filipiniana materials which will serve as a cataloging tool can be created by utilizing the existing resources and applying the advances in microcomputer technology. It involves the use of software packages, Biblio-Link and Pro-Cite with a personal computer to develop the desired database from records for Filipiniana materials found in the bibliographic utilities. Some procedures and applications are briefly described.


This paper attempts to propose the creation of an automated database for Filipiniana materials by applying microcomputer technology and advances in software development to the existing resources.

A Filipiniana database implies that the data are all related in one way or another to the Philippines. "Filipiniana" as used in this paper, refers to any work by Filipino authors, or works about the Philippines regardless of the author's nationality. The purpose of this database is to serve as a tool for bibliographic control as well as cataloging aid.

1.1. Background

Many libraries in the Philippines are relying on the Library of Congress cataloging. Although the coverage of LC for Filipiniana materials are increasing, there are still many local publications that need to be cataloged. Furthermore, the LC catalogs which the libraries were using, are no longer available in printed form. There is also a growing interest about the Philippines over the last few years as shown by the proliferation of materials. For these reasons, I have explored the possibilities of harnessing the available technology in the United States to help produce a tool that will facilitate access to Filipiniana materials. It is possible that some kind of automation has been implemented in some Philippine libraries. Nevertheless, I am proposing a method of utilizing the existing archival tapes of the bibliographic utilities in U.S. which will serve as the nucleus of the Filipiniana database.

I started checking the OCLC catalog to find out the extent of Filipiniana holdings in participating libraries. I also searched the RLIN database since this type of material is usually acquired by research and academic libraries. As expected, the bibliographic records are scattered.


The objectives of this plan are:

1) to produce initially an automated database that will include bibliographic records from the utilities such as OCLC, RLIN, WLN, etc.;

2) to facilitate in-house input of cataloging records, that is, local librarians will be able to input their original cataloging data; and

3) to enhance library cooperation and resource sharing.

The creation of the Filipiniana database will involve the use of a personal computer with the appropriate software. As mentioned earlier, the initial records will be taken from OCLC, RLIN and WLN. Since there are many more materials that are not covered by the Library of Congress nor any library, it is imperative that local libraries will be able to add their catalog records to this database. In other words, the database will consist of 1) records as found in the bibliographic utilities and 2) records that will be contributed by Philippine libraries.

By having the bibliographic records of Filipiniana materials in an online database, both librarians and users can avail of the same data in different ways. Librarians can use the bibliographic data for cataloging purposes. As a result, standardization of cataloging is maintained while duplication of effort is minimized. The existing record can be modified to meet the specific needs of particular libraries.

In the following sections, a conceptual approach to the procedures will be explained. The software and hardware that will be used in the creation of this database are also described.


Developing the database can be done in phases. The first phase entails the compilation of bibliographic records extracted from the existing online databases such as OCLC, RLIN, WLN, etc. The second phase calls for the conversion of bibliographic records of unique Filipiniana titles into machine-readable form. These unique titles located in the Philippines are not represented in the bibliographic utilities, RLIN, WLN, etc.

3.1. Phase 1. Extraction of records.

Creating a database using the bibliographic utilities involves the following steps:

searching and identifying the records,

downloading of records identified as Filipiniana,

editing and merging of downloaded records.

A search in an online system is a dialog between the user and the computer in which the user enters the search keys defined for the system and the system responds by sending the information to the user.1 The record for a material is identified by searching the database using any of these approaches: author, title or subject.

Since there may be several records for a specific title, it may be practical to adopt the OCLC guidelines for selecting the appropriate citation. A few sample search results are included at the end of this paper.

As soon as the appropriate record has been identified, this citation has to be transferred to the disk that will become the Filipiniana database. The process of transferring data from the utility to a disk is called downloading. It is a method for capturing information sent to a computer by another computer. In online searching, downloading provides the means for transferring information from time-sharing system (as for example, OCLC, RLIN, etc.) into a microcomputer memory.2

Editing includes replacing, inserting, or deleting characters within the existing fields. In this way, the record that will be transmitted will have been modified and corrected according to local requirements. Bibliographic records from different databases that are similar will be considered as duplicates and only one record for each title will be retained.

After downloading the Filipiniana titles from the different bibliographic utilities, they will be merged into a single disk. This disk will become the nucleus of the Filipiniana database. The next step is to input the unique cataloging records that are found in the Philippine libraries.

3.2. Phase 2. Conversion of records.

The cataloging records for unique Filipiniana titles have to be converted into machine-readable form. It is recommended that the initial conversion be done as a pilot project at a library with a sizeable Filipiniana collection, trained personnel and adequate technical support.

Before the designated library will input their records for Filipiniana materials into the database, guidelines regarding coverage, formats etc. have to be made. Procedures need to be documented and time frame has to be set. The pilot project must be evaluated to find out if the goals are being met. If the pilot project is successful, conversion of records of other libraries can follow.

Eventually new titles will be cataloged using the Filipiniana database, i.e., if no record for the material exists, the data can be put in. This database will continuously be enriched as locally published materials are cataloged. In short, an ongoing extraction of cataloging data from bibliographic utilities coupled with local input of unique records will produce an up-to-date Filipiniana database.


The software package that will be utilized should have the capability to convert data to a text file from a bibliographic utility, and at the same time accept original cataloging records. The personal Bibliographic Software has been producing specialized microcomputer database systems to manage bibliographic citations. This software package consists of three separate cooperative programs: Biblio-Link, ProSearch and Pro-Cite.3

Biblio-Link converts, by database version, a downloaded record into a form that can be read by another database management program, pro-Cite. In other words, it can transfer data from OCLC to a PC. For example, you specify the name of a downloaded OCLC text file and the name of the Pro-Cite database into which the record has to be transferred. As records are sent to pro-Cite database, they are displayed on the screen in the OCLC format. The record can be customized with the option in the menu. It will be noticed that Biblio-Link correctly deposits all data elements in the appropriate Pro-Cite fields.4

Pro-Cite is specifically designed to handle bibliographic information. The functions of Pro-Cite are: storage of citations or records, searching the databases, and printing of records in the desired style and format.5 Pro-Cite can store up to 32,000 citations. It can truncate or do Boolean search. A 'quick search' is also possible. Browsing and 'jumping' around a database can also be made. Records that are not in the database have to be entered manually into the corresponding fields in the Pro-Cite workform.

The combination of Biblio-Link and Pro-Cite would make it possible to create, search, manipulate and allow options as customizing bibliographic records to suit one's needs. Another capability of Biblio-Link/Pro-Cite is that results of numerous search sessions conducted on online databases can be merged into a single local database.

Some libraries which have used these software packages and applied the procedures in their projects include the following:

A resource center (Ecumenical Resource Center) at Richmond, Virginia, was able to produce a computer-printed catalog by using Biblio-Link and Pro-Cite with another word processing program.6

The State University of New York (SUNY) at Farmingdale has produced a book catalog for its A-V materials and prepared other subject bibliographies.7

At the University of Minnesota, a Scandinavian political studies database has been developed to facilitate the compilation of printed bibliography.8

All these projects were directed toward the production of book catalogs or bibliographies. The applications for creation of databases are there and can be used for similar projects.


The software package can be used with the IBM PC XT or AT or any compatible with at least 320K RAM and DOS version 2.0 or later; or, with a Macintosh 512K, Macintosh Plus, SE or II 512K minimum with System 4.l or higher. The printer is optional but it is advisable to have one. A hard disk is recommended.9


Some of the advantages of a Filipiniana database are:

This may be an impetus for a cooperative online shared cataloging and a national union catalog for the libraries in the Philippines.

This may be a stimulus for procedural and organizational change, not only in the technical services area, but in the entire library setup as well.10

Consistency in original cataloging contributed to the database will result in standardization of records.


I have tried to show how a Filipiniana database can be developed by utilizing the available hardware and software technology. This database can be produced by extracting records from bibliographic utilities in the United States and converting records in the Philippines into machine readable form. Both records can then be merged into one union catalog of Filipiniana materials. This may eventually lead toward a national bibliographic network.

The capabilities of personal computers have increased tremendously. And yet, their prices have become affordable. This can be a viable substitute for bigger computers which may be beyond the budget of most Philippine libraries.

In closing I would offer this thought: think small. Library automation is not necessarily revolutionary; it can evolve from a small project and develop into a network of participating libraries.


1. OCLC. Searching the Online Union Catalog. Columbus, Ohio:OCLC, 1983. G:5.

2. Mortensen, E., "Downloading Potentials and Restrictions in Online Searching," In Challenges to an Information Society, NY, 1984. Washington, DC: ASIS, 1984. pp. 166-69.

3. Hoyle, N. and K. McNamara, "Biblio-Link and Pro-Cite: the Searcher's Workstation," Database 10: 73-77 (February 1987).

4. Ibid.; also: Burg, B. and E. Tallent, "The Searcher's Toolkit," Software Review section of Information Technology and Libraries 7: 455-459 (December 1988).

5. Cheyney, D. and G. Jenks, "To Pro-Cite or not to Pro-Cite," Library Software Review 411-417 (November/December 1988); McClelland, B., "To Typeset Document in Under Ten Minutes," Online 12: 66-71 (November 1988); "Personal Bibliographic Software announces Pro-Cite1.4," Information Technology and Libraries 7: 442 (December 1988).

6. Colglazier, M.L. Jr., "A Book Catalog produced for USMARC Records Using Bibliofile, Pro-Cite, Biblio-Links, and Word Perfect," Information Technology and Libraries 7: 417-19 (December 1988 ).

7. Knauth, M., "Telephone interview," (March 8,1989).

8. Brogan, M. and R. B. Kvavik, "A Customized Database on Scandinavian Government," College and Research Library News 49: 735-739 (December 1988).

9. Burg, op cit, "Personal Bibliographic Software, Inc. announces Pro-Cite for Macintosh," Information Technology and Libraries 7:320 (September 1988).

10. Gapen, D.K. Cataloging: Workflow and Productivity. A Reader on Choosing an Automated Library System. ed. by J. R. Matthews. Chicago, IL: American Library Association, 1983. pp. 261-266.

11. Hlava, M. and J. Ven, "Strategic Planning for In-house Database Creation," In Proceedings of the 9th International Online Information Meeting, London, 3-5 December 1985. Oxford and N.J. : Learned Information, 1985. pp. 249-54.

12. OCLC Online System. Cataloging: User Manual. 2d ed. Columbus, Ohio: OCLC, 1984.

13. Fidel, Raya. Database Design for Information Retrieval; a Conceptual Approach. New York: Wiley, 1987.

14. Reynolds, Dennis. Library Automation; Issues and Applications. New York: Bowker, 1985.

15. Royan, B., "Building a Bibliographic Network for Singapore," Electronic Library 5: 348-52 (December 1987).

16. Schultz, L., "Bibliographic Utilities in the 1980," Library Hi Tech (Winter 1983) 84-86.

Thomas III, J. B.,"The Necessity of Standards in an Automated Environment," Library Trends (Summer 1987) p. 126.


By title:

search key retrieves

----------- ---------

law,of,th,f Laws of the First Philippine Republic

Two entries for 2 records appear on the screen. There are two holding libraries for the first, two holding libraries for the second.

vit,le,do,in Vital legal documents in the Philippines

Four entries retrieved with 4 different OCLC numbers.

# 11001669 Philippines Presidential decrees and other vital documents comp. and ed. by CBSI editorial staff.

63 v.

# 2254009 Vital legal documents in the new society.

# 16850855 Vital legal documents in the new people's government. 1986-

Variations in titles are shown in these samples. The entries were based on the information found on the title page.

search key retrieves

------------- ------------

up^,li,bu, U.P. Library Bulletin

One library has it, LUU [Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge]

Sample of a bad record which the system does not advice others to use

# 18206304 Public laws of the Commonwealth Annotated.

By author and title:

search key retrieves

------------- ----------

phil,publ Public laws enacted by the Philippine Legislature. 1916.

Eight entries for 25 records were retrieved.

l Philippines. Public laws of the Commonwealth. Annotated.

2 Philippine Islands (2)

3 Philippines. Public (5)

4 Philippines. Bureau of Public Libraries. 1964.

5 Philippines. Commonwealth Public Laws. (2)

6 Philippines. Ministry of Public Works..

7 Philippines Republic (12)

8 Philippines UNESCO

The record that corresponds to the book at hand can be selected. By keying the corresponding number you get the full bibliographic record of the material.

To check the holding libraries key in "dha" and string of entries will be shown by state and the library's symbol.

By author's name:

search key retrieves

------------- ----------

bern,gab, Bernardo, Gabriel

Coverage of the author and his works in the two bibliographic utilities.


Title : OCLC : RLIN


Bibliography of Philippine # 21379 100 13


Bibliography of of Philippine

syllabaries. 14159703 l

Critical and annotated Bibliography of

Philippine, Indonesian, and other

Malayan folklore. 974905 69 13

Philippine retrospective

National Bibliography of Bibliographies. 959753 51 14



From another bibliographic utility, RLIN, which allows access by subject a search on the subject, Philippines-Politics was made.

command retrieves

----------- ----------

FIN SP Philip#POLIT 1234 clusters in books

A printout for 100 items showed the holdings library with the abbreviated bibliographic record. Two of the samples from the printout are as follows:

l) Storey, Moorfield, 1845-1929. OUR NEW DEPARTURE / (Boston : G. H. Ellis, 1901.)

MNUG (c-9665 MnU) [Only one library has the book University of Minnesota with both the NUC code and RLIN library symbol]

55) Wurfel, David. FILIPINO POLITICS: (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1988.)

NYBY (c9110 NB U) [The item is held by twenty three libraries]

CSCW (c-9110 CLSU)

IAUG (c-9110 IaU)

NJPG (c-9110 Njp)

NVRG (c-9110 NvU)

NYSG (c-9110 NSbSU)

RIBG (c-9110 RPB)

[and so on]

By title: command retrieves

----------- ----------

FIN TP Filipiniana materials - 3 clusters in BKS

1) Ateneo de Manila University. Libraries. Microform Reading Center. FILIPINIANA MATERIALS IN MICROFORM [WITH SUPPL. l-5]. (Manila, Philippines: Ateneo de Manila Libraries, [1972?-1977])

NYCX (c-9665 NIC) [Cornell University has the item]

2) Manila. National Library. FILIPINIANA MATERIALS IN THE NATIONAL LIBRARY. (Quezon City, Manila. National Library. 1972.)

CUDG (c-9660 CU-A) [Two libraries have the material

CSUG (c-966O CSt) U. of California, Davis and Stanford University]

3) Philippines. National Library. FILIPINIANA MATERIALS IN the National Library. (Quezon, 1972.)

DCLC (c-9110 DLC) [Five libraries have the item]

UTBG (c-9110 UPB) Brigham Young University

CASX (c-9665 CU-SB) U. of California, Santa Barbara

FLFG (c-9665 FTaSU) Florida State U. Tallahassee

FLUG (c-9665 FU) U. of Florida Gainesville