Course:5: Access and Outreach
Lesson:Lesson 2: Getting the Word Out
Topic:Extending Your Outreach Efforts

Extending Your Outreach Efforts

There are professional tools available for extending information about your collections beyond your local community. These tools are essentially large collections of catalog records from many, many organizations that are made available to a wide community via searchable databases. These tools rely on a cataloging standard called MARC.

By your providing catalog records in these large, collaborative databases, researchers throughout the United States and around the world will have access to information about your archival and manuscript collections. Researchers will know where to find your unique, one-of-a-kind collections and be able to contact your organization to use the material for their research. Generally, the number of researchers using your collections will increase due to your increased exposure through the database.


If you have an online public access catalog you probably already use MARC to create your catalog records. If your MARC records are stored only in your local online system, you should consider utilizing a service such as RLG (Research Libraries Group or OCLC World Cat (Online Computer Library Center Both of these groups maintain large catalogs using MARC records submitted from a variety of organizations. Using them assures that your MARC records are made available to a worldwide audience who can discover your collections via these large collaborative and searchable catalogs.


If you don’t use MARC and don’t have an online public access catalog, you can use another service that is run by the Library of Congress in order to get the word out about your collections. Called the National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections (NUCMC – pronounced ‘nuck-muck’), it is a free-of-charge cooperative cataloging program available to repositories located in the United States and its territories. The repository must admit researchers and must lack the capability of entering its own manuscript cataloging into either the RLG or OCLC databases.

The NUCMC Team uses information or data you provide on your archival and manuscript collections and prepares a catalog record using the MARC format in the RLG database. The team does not arrange and describe or write finding aids for your collections nor do they advise on the arrangement process. More information about NUCMC is available on the web at 

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MARC (Machine Readable Cataloging). MARC is a standard way of creating cataloging (also called bibliographic) records and ensures that all catalog records are created in a uniform way.  

NUCMC (National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections). NUCMC is a free-of-charge cooperative cataloging program that is available to repositories located in the United States and its territories. 

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NUCMC can be contacted by phone at (202) 707-7954, email at, fax at (202) 707-7161, or mail at: 

Library of Congress
101 Independence Ave. S.E
Washington, D.C. 20540-4375