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Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Germany
Journal of Librarianship and Information Science (June 9, 2016)
In the age of digital archives and online data consultation, bibliographic research is considered as a key tool for supporting scientific research and study. The online catalogue allows the achievement of more ambitious aims and global interest thanks to its ability to associate data relating to the geographic contextualization of the catalogued editorial products (deduced from the title and content) with the search for more traditional bibliographic data through the inclusion of a specific and standardized ‘field’.
Successively, the locations identified by the cataloguer are georeferenced by using GIS applications, which allows the simultaneous view of the distribution of global and local geographical contexts specific for each item owned by a library, archive or museum. The usefulness of such an application lies in the possibility for the library to have a greater awareness of its collection, thus permitting the acquisition of an additional element of evaluation in the management and planning of purchases and donations. In this way, the ability to filter the information from OPAC search will be combined with the basic research carried out by the user by selecting only the libraries in possession of works related to a specific geographical context, involved in different specific studies (literature, landscape, environment).
Although this ability is still limited to a few specific studies, the use of tools that allow an overview of the geographical distribution of places could represent an operating standard through the definition of a special protocol. These tools are now used mostly in experimental studies in which the use of open source software has enabled the creation of maps.
This paper shows the state of the art of the applications worldwide presenting experimental case studies (i.e. Coos Bay, Oregon; Basilicata, Italy) and also suggests different applications in the field of national and international protocols of library cataloguing.
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