The following is a guest post by Tracie Coleman, Information Section head of the Licensing Division.
I began my career in the U.S. Copyright Office in 1991. For ten years, I worked as a bibliographer in the Copyright Public Records Reading Room (CPRRR). When responding to public requests for copyright information, I was responsible for searching through the thousands of catalog cards and records housed in the CPRRR. I had long left my position as a bibliographer when I happened to hear about a virtual card catalog (VCC).
Like everyone else, I was excited for the January 2018 launch of the VCC proof of concept, which contained cards from two time periods (1955–1970 and 1971–1977). The card drawers resembled the same look and feel as those in the CPRRR. As a result, some of the cards contained filing errors, and corrupt images. Although not ideal, these errors actually added to the authenticity of providing a similar experience online as it would in person. Was it perfect? No. Was it a good place to start? Yes!
I’m even more excited with the July 2018 release because this round of enhancements is primarily based on user testing feedback and comments from the online survey. Check out ‘Phase II’ of the Virtual Card Catalog and let us know what you think. The newest features include: the ability to narrow the number of results from a browsing session, the ability to track all browsing performed in a session, and the ability to perform simple and advanced queries of the card images. There is more to come; however, we still need help. Your feedback is welcomed and needed, so keep the comments coming!