India office OPAC?

Thu Sep 2 16:21:00 UTC 1993

> David Stampe <stampe at>, <stampe at uhunix.bitnet>
> Dept. of Linguistics, Univ. of Hawaii/Manoa, Honolulu HI 96822

> Is the catalog of the India Office in London accessible online?

OPACs have been taken for granted in the UK for over a decade now,
and I don't think there are any serious academic libraries of any
size which have not succumbed to the trend. 

Anyone who feels the need for a BL OPAC [British Library Online 
Public Access Catalogue] would be wise to write to:

Cdr L.M.M. Saunders Watson
British Library
Board Headquarters
96 Euston Road
London NW1 2DB
United Kingdom

and ask him why the British Library lags so very far behind other
institutions in this area. 

Bear in mind that the culture of the British Library is such that
you promise things for a date after you yourself will have left
the institution. No one is seriously expecting a working British
Library catalogue before the year 2000. But you will get an amusing
letter sent to you and you can easily picture the secretary typing 
it smiling as she adjusts the date in the word processor's template
paragraphs on this popular question. Report back to INDOLOGY what
the official estimated date has now become when you get your reply...

And will the catalogue of the British Library ever be accessible

No, never. But it is kind of fun to ask about their plans from time
to time... ;-)

And unless you write they can say there is no demand as far as they 
can see. All Indologists anywhere in the world should care enough
to jot down a quick letter to ask for this, the British Library
catalogue, including Oriental Collections and the India Office Library
, should be available online. 

Craig Jamieson
University of Cambridge

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