Australian Bibliographic Network

Australian Bibliographic Network
Launched1981; 38 years ago (1981)

Australian Bibliographic Network is a national shared library cataloguing network that commenced in 1981 in Australia.

Early stage

The National Library of Australia began investigating the potential for a national shared cataloguing network in the 1970s. In August 1978, following a feasibility study,[1] the library announced a pilot project.[2] The Australian Bibliographic Network (ABN) commenced operations in November 1981.[2][3][4][5]

The ABN system was as a multi-sector network, including university, state, public and special libraries.[6] Services to school libraries were provided under a separate national service, the Schools Catalogue Information Service (SCIS), first developed in 1984 as ASCIS.[7]

Various state library systems joined the network within the next few years [8][9]

First Conference

The first ABN conference was conducted in 1983 [10]

National Library

The National Library of Australia established an advisory body, the ABN Network Committee (now Libraries Australia Advisory Committee) to advise the Library on the operation and development of the service.[6]


The database for the service is known as the Australian National Bibliographic Database (ANBD).[11][12]

The database is still an essential element of the Australian national library networks, and the largest database in Australia of its kind [13]

National standards

Training for the network,[14] and the subject catalogue of the network underwent a range of changes in the 1980s.[15][16] The ABN Standards Committee met for the first time on 14 May 1981.[4] The issues dealt with in the first four meetings included:

  • minimum level of detail in contributed records
  • allowable and mandatory changes to bibliographic and authority records
  • priorities for authority control
  • detailed examination of AACR2 rule interpretations
  • standards for geographic names
  • extension of Library of Congress Subject Headings to allow additional 'approved' subject headings
  • use of MESH and 'Participant' subject headings
  • the subject heading for Australian Aborigines
  • policy on duplicate records
  • the hierarchy for 'bumping' (record replacement) among different sources
  • standards for a 'high level record' that would be immune from bumping
  • extension of the Input/Edit system to cater for music, maps and manuscripts [4]


Once established a range of guidelines and publications ensued [17][18][19]


From 1981 to 1999 this service was called the Australian Bibliographic Network (ABN) and from 1999 to 2005 the name changed to Kinetica.[20] Elements of the network still exist, but the main public access is by the Trove website.

See also


  1. ^ National Library of Australia (1976), Bibdata network : draft proposal for an Australian national shared cataloguing system, National Library of Australia, ISBN 978-0-642-99077-8
  2. ^ a b "Our History". Libraries Australia. National Library of Australia. Retrieved 11 December 2014.
  3. ^ National Library of Australia; Australian Bibliographic Network (1981), Draft proposal for the development of an Australian Bibliographic Network, National Library of Australia, ISBN 978-0-642-99217-8
  4. ^ a b c Cathro, Warwick S (January 1991). "The Australian Bibliographic Network: A Survey of its First Decade". Australian Academic & Research Libraries. 22 (4): 37–52. doi:10.1080/00048623.1991.10754736.
  5. ^ Bryan, Harrison (1982), "The development of the Australian Bibliographical Network. -Mollie Thomson Memorial Lecture, 9 October 1981-", Cataloguing Australia, 8 (Mar 1982): 2–18, retrieved 11 December 2014
  6. ^ a b Development of ABN
  7. ^ Spence-Richards, Pamela; Wiegand, Wayne; Dalbello, Marija (2015). A History of Modern Librarianship: Constructing the Heritage of Western Cultures. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO. pp. 191–193. ISBN 9781440834738.
  8. ^ "Victoria joins library network". The Canberra Times. 28 June 1982. p. 12. Retrieved 8 December 2014 – via National Library of Australia.
  9. ^ "Library network progresses rapidly". The Canberra Times. 17 September 1984. p. 14. Retrieved 8 December 2014 – via National Library of Australia.
  10. ^ ABN Conference (1st : 1983 : Melbourne, Vic.), National Library of Australia (1983), First ABN conference, 12-14 July 1983, Melbourne, National Library of Australia, ISBN 978-0-642-99302-1CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  11. ^ National Library of Australia; Australian Library Collections Task Force (1999), National Bibliographic Database survey July 1999, National Library of Australia, retrieved 8 December 2014
  12. ^ Rajapatirana, Bemal; Missingham, Roxanne (1 February 2005), "The Australian National Bibliographic Database and the Functional Requirements for the Bibliographic Database (FRBR)", The Australian Library Journal, Australian Library and Information Association, 54 (1): 31(12), ISSN 0004-9670
  13. ^ Australian National Bibliographic Database
  14. ^ Australian Bibliographic Network; Gerrie, Brenda; National Library of Australia (1984), Australian Bibliographic Network : a review of training, National Library of Australia, ISBN 978-0-642-99329-8
  15. ^ Australian Bibliographic Network; Hall, Elaine; National Library of Australia (1985), ABN subject cataloguing manual, National Library of Australia, ISBN 978-0-642-99334-2
  16. ^ Australian Bibliographic Network; National Library of Australia (1989), ABN subject cataloguing manual (2nd ed.), National Library of Australia, ISBN 978-0-642-10476-2
  17. ^ Australian Bibliographic Network; ABN Office (1981), ABN news, ABN Office, National Library of Australia, ISSN 0726-0644
  18. ^ Australian Bibliographic Network (1983), ABN general news circular, National Library of Australia, ISSN 0726-0679
  19. ^ Australian Bibliographic Network (1979), ABN technical bulletin, ABN Office, National Library of Australia, ISSN 0726-0660 – this particular publication preceded implementation, and continues to date...
  20. ^ Boston, Tony; Wilson, Fran. "Libraries Australia and PictureAustralia: Innovation in access at the National Library of Australia". National LIbrary of Australia.

External links

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