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May 12, 2006

IndexCat: digital vesion of the Index-Catalogue of the Library of the Surgeon General's Office

The National Library of Medicine's History of Medicine Division sponsors a digital version of the five series of the printed Index-Catalogue of the Library of the Surgeon General's Office (1880-1961) which is called IndexCat http://www.nlm.nih.gov/hmd/indexcat/ichome.html.

IndexCat was completed in 2004. The NLM catalog LocatorPlus can also be searched in IndexCat. The Advanced Search allows you to search keyword, author, subject, date, ID#, and Title/Journal Title search. New database features allows you to save, print, and download records. For more information, see http://www.nlm.nih.gov/hmd/indexcat/aboutic.html. For a project description, see http://www.nlm.nih.gov/hmd/indexcat/abouticproject.html

Excerpt about subject headings in IndexCat from the Technical Bulletin announcement, May 28, 2004
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/pubs/techbull/mj04/mj04_cat.html :

An IndexCat Browse mimics the printed page and displays in dictionary order in a single alphabet, interfiling Subject Headings with Author and Title main headings. The exception is Series V which is published in a divided format with two alphabets. Volume 1 includes authors in one alphabet. Volumes 2 and 3 include Subject Headings in another alphabet. The content of Series V is also limited in scope to monographs and dissertations; journal articles were cited in Index Medicus.

Subject Headings are not MeSH. They are Index-Catalogue headings that may differ both in format and content among series. For example:

Series 1: Cholera, Asiatic (History and statistics of), by localities
Series 2: Cholera (History and statistics of), by localities
Series 3: Cholera (History and statistics of) by countries [or continents]
Series 4: Cholera [Asiatic] Epidemiology-by countries
Series 5: Cholera epidemiology

Because of these differences, the subject headings index is a keyword index. Use 'all of these' or 'as a phrase' indicators to simulate exact heading searches, when desired. IIn a follow-up project, NLM intends to map headings to MeSH.

I have had this title entered into the Library Online Research Resources (ORR) database at http://www.library.uiuc.edu/orr/ , which is a database we try to provide access to all of our electronic indexes and abstracts, journals, and such. To search the ORR for this title, be sure to click either the Reference Tools tab or All
Resources tab, and then enter IndexCat in the search box. There is no link to the electronic version from the Online Library Catalog record for the print version at this time, but should be in the future. Further details about this title will be added to the ORR record in the future as well.

Melody Allison
Assistant Biology Librarian and Assistant Professor of Library Administration
Biology Library
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
101 Burrill Hall, 407 South Goodwin
Urbana, IL 61801
(217) 333-7461; 3654

"If men were angels, no government would be necessary."
-- James Madison

Posted by mmalliso at May 12, 2006 3:11 PM