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"Wholly Visionary": the American Library Association, the Library of Congress, and the Card Distribution Program

  • Author(s): Yee, Martha M
  • et al.
Abstract

This paper offers a historical review of the events and institutional influences in the nineteenth century that led to the development of the Library of Congress (LC) card distribution program as the American version of a national bibliography at the beginning of the twentieth century. It includes a discussion of the standardizing effect the card distribution program had on the cataloging rules and practices of American libraries. It concludes with the author's thoughts about how this history might be placed in the context of the present reexamination of the LC's role as primary cataloging agency for the nation's libraries.

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