NUCMC History Timeline: 1947-present
A report by the American Historical Association Special Committee
on Manuscripts recommended that a national register of manuscripts
AHA Special Committee on Manuscripts abolished.
Joint Committee on Manuscripts formed by Society of American Archivists
and the American Association for State and Local History.
A suggestion is made to create a national register under the umbrella
of the National Union Catalog (NUC); this would include cataloging
of manuscripts and printing of cards for sale (similar to 1901
LC cards); this is what happened; the name of the project is National
Register of Manuscript Collections.
Plans started for a national register of manuscripts entries in
one master file; name of project changed to National Union Catalog
of Manuscript Collections.
LC applied for grant to start project.
November: Council on Library Resources gave LC grant
of $200,000 to begin NUCMC program; there were subsequent grants
of $170,565 to continue the work to July 1964, when Congress first
appropriated funds to continue the program as part of the Library’s
April: Program staff was assembled under the guidance
of Lester K. Born.
May: Formation of Manuscripts Section in Library's Descriptive
Cataloging Division; included a section head; three catalogers;
and a clerk typist.
June: First catalog cards printed.
September: 825 collections cataloged; NUCMC had different
focus than planned; its scope was reduced because of budget constraints;
eligibility reduced to publicly open repositories and those located
in the U.S.; only archival material held by repository not created
by them (e.g., university archives) eligible.
NUCMC printed volumes planned and executed; two volumes published
by 1964 covering 1959 to 1962.
First printed volume describing some 7,300 collections in 309
Until present: Congress appropriates money to continue
work on NUCMC.
NUCMC automation planning began.
March: NUCMC begins automated cataloging into RLIN.
Final printed volume published.
NUCMC moves from RLIN to OCLC cataloging.
Over 114,000 collections in nearly 1,800 repositories cataloged
over the course of the program.
October: NUCMC program becomes part of Cooperative
Programs Section in newly-created Cooperative and Instructional
May: 50th anniversary of NUCMC.
Ostroff, Harriet, "The National Union Catalog of Manuscript
Collections: From the Printed Volume to On-Line Data Base."
In The Hispanic Experience in North America: Sources for Study
in the United States, edited by Lawrence A. Clayton (Columbus:
Ohio State Univ. Press, 1992): 51-59.
NUCMC Catalogers and archival files (including an announcement
about the 10th anniversary of NUCMC).