Lesson 4: Access Other Libraries and Archives Online


It is simple today to locate and access online catalogs for libraries and archives in the U.S. and around the world. One of my favorite Web sites is Library Spot at http://www.libraryspot.com/. Here you will find a wealth of library-related materials. Of especial interest, though, are the links listed on the left side of the main screen under Libraries. All types of libraries are listed and a click on a link makes access easy. However, a click on the link labeled Libraries Online presents another Web page on which there are links to three General Directories. Of these, the link to Libweb at http://www.lib-web.org prrovides a geographical listing of many libraries worldwide, as well as a search facility. If I click on Europe, and then Germany, I can find English names of many German libraries, library systems, and archives. The State Library Berlin is one link on the list and, with a single click, I am taken to the Staatsbibliotheck zu Berlin site at http://staatsbibliothek-berlin.de/. And so, if I cannot read German, I still have hope. A language translation technology and software site, Systran, provides at their Web site at <www.systransoft.com> the ability to translate a single page by URL or specific text between many languages. Simply copy and paste the full URL of the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin site or another site into the translation box and a single page can be translated into English. While the translation isn’t perfect, it is usually sufficient to allow you to get the meaning of the site. Use the catalog and the Systran site together to conduct searches and then to translate the text of search results.

There are many options available to you for accessing and searching archives’ catalogs worldwide. You just have to be prepared to do some online research. Check the list in our Useful Links page under Resources.