In 1998, the NCL released the database of the Taiwan Area Rare Books Union Catalog (website: http://rbook2.ncl.edu.tw/Search/Index/2), providing a record of rare books and general string-bound works in public collections in Taiwan. In 2000, this database has been expanded to include rare books in China, Japan, Korea, U.S. and other overseas collections. Titled the Union Catalog of Chinese Rare Books, it currently comprises over 630,758 bibliographies.
This database includes rare book bibliographies in metadata format and presented in several core bibliographic field. Users can search for materials through 14 search values and both traditional and simplified search interfaces. Search results can be presented in detailed or summarized form. Moreover, to provide readers with access to a broader selection of rare books, the database allows for linked searches of rare books collection in China, Japan, U.S., and European countries.
The database accepts material in CSV, CMARC, CNMARC and USMARC/MARC 21 formats to facilitate the search, display, uploading, and maintenance of information. In future, the system will be made compatible with international standard metadata bibliographic information export functions to facilitate exchange.
Based on the principle of mutually beneficial cooperation, the NCL would also provide access to the advanced search functions of the database.
Goh Sok Boon
East Asian Studies Library
University of Malaya