Collection News: National Union Catalog

Collection News: National Union Catalog
Jenny James Lee
August 6, 2014

The Libraries plans to withdraw its holdings of the National Union Catalog, Pre-1956 Imprints from the collections this summer. The NUC, as it is fondly known, was an important resource for scholars and researchers in the pre-digital era to confirm citations and locate physical publications. With the advent of electronic library catalogs and projects such as OCLC WorldCat, Hathi Trust Digital Library and Google Books, the content of the NUC is less essential to bibliographic research. A study completed in 2008 estimated that at least 75% of the NUC was available in WorldCat, the aggregated database which contains the Library of Congress’ catalog along with those of major research libraries from around the world including Drexel (DeZalar-Tiedman, 2008).

Libraries staff no longer consult this tool and have not witnessed use by faculty in a number of years. It is a static record and thus less reliable for locating difficult to find scholarly items published prior to 1956, which was its unique earlier value particularly for ILL services. Withdrawing theover 700 volumes of NUC from the Libraries’ collections will empty 40 shelves to place newly bound volumes of print journals and periodicals in the compact shelving on the Lower Level of W.W. Hagerty Library.

Please let me or Beth Ten Have, the Libraries’ Director of Academic Partnerships know very soon if you know of any reason for Drexel to retain this printed catalog of catalog records.

Danuta A. Nitecki, PhD
Dean of Libraries