This message is being cross-posted to AUTOCAT, PACS-L, and TEI-L
The Joint Steering Committee for Revision of AACR and the
publishers of AACR2 have authorized the production of an electronic
version of AACR2 using the Standard Generalized Markup Language
(SGML). George Alexander (a non-librarian who is versed in SGML
tagging) and I were selected to convert the heavily-coded
typographer's version of AACR2 into an SGML format that can be used
by developers to construct useful products for the cataloging
There are two goals to our efforts to tag AACR2 in SGML format:
1. To supply enough information to permit a computer program to
reproduce a reasonable facsimile of the printed page of AACR2,
including varying sizes of type, italics and bold, tab
2. To provide certain hooks into the structure of the rules (such
as rule references, options, and examples) to permit a
computer program to manipulate the rules intelligently.
The completed SGML tagged rules, or AACR2-e, will not be an end-
user's product. It will require an interface to interpret the tags
and to take advantage of the structural hooks. Developers of
AACR2-e may develop linkages to other products, such as the LC Rule
Interpretations or the MARC format documents. Developers may also
insert additional SGML tags into the text for a more sophisticated
product. In short, it is expected that developers will add value
to the raw AACR2-e file.
We are close to completing prototype models for chapters 2 and 22.
The purpose of this communication is to solicit reviewers who are
willing to evaluate the work that has been done and to make
suggestions for further improvements prior to the final release of
the complete AACR2-e. Ideally, the reviewers will be those who
anticipate developing a product from the raw AACR2-e file.
Reviewers should be familiar with the printed AACR2 and have an
awareness of (and preferably actual working experience with) SGML
coding. We expect to ship the two prototype chapters at the end or
October or early November.
If you are interested in serving as a reviewer, please respond to
me personally (_NOT_ through the list) by October 23. Include a
statement of your qualifications for the project and what, if any,
products you are considering developing using AACR2-e. A limited
number of reviewers will be selected. Those who are accepted as
reviewers will receive the SGML-tagged file of chapters 2 and 22 on
a 3 1/2" MS-DOS diskette that can be viewed through a standard
ASCII text editor. Reviewers will also be required to sign an
agreement that, among other things, binds them not to disseminate
the files to others, not to modify the text of AACR2, not to engage
in any development work in advance of the full release of the
machine-readable AACR2, and to share the results of any
experimentation and research of the files with the publishers of
I am also interested in the views and comments of those who are not
reviewers regarding the development of AACR2-e, either as a
personal communication or through the forum of this list.
Thank you for your assistance on this important project.
John Duke BITNET: jduke@vcuvax
Assistant Director INTERNET: [log in to unmask]
Network and Technical Services PHONE: 804/367-1100
University Library Services FAX: 804/367-0151
Virginia Commonwealth University
Richmond, VA 23284-2033