Readex, a division of NewsBank, inc. has announced the creation of the U.S. Congressional Serial Set, Digital Edition--an Internet-accessible version of the historical collection. The United States Congressional Serial Set, commonly referred to as the Serial Set, began publication with the 15th Congress, 1st Session (1817) and contains the House and Senate Documents and the House and Senate Reports, usually from congressional committees dealing with proposed legislation and issues under investigation. During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, executive-branch materials were also published in the Serial Set.
New metadata for each publication, together with images, 13,000 full-color maps, and searchable ASCII text, brings two hundred years of the Serial Set into the 21st century. Full bibliographic records will provide: full titles from the publications themselves; actual dates of the publication given in full; full pagination for each publication; indexing of all personal authors; all House and Senate Committees indexed as corporate authors; detailed subject indexing that captures the main points of each publication; and clear indication of related maps, illustrations, and statistics. When complete, the U.S. Congressional Serial Set Digital Edition will contain more than 12,000,000 pages from over 350,000 publications, including 52,000 detailed maps. Under a cooperative agreement with the Library of Congress, Readex is creating full-color digital images of approximately 13,000 maps from the Reports and Documents of the U.S. Congressional Serial Set. The Serial Set will be released in phases, beginning with the pre-Civil War phase and followed by the Civil War through the end of the 19th century. The production schedule calls for completion of the entire pre-Civil War period by December, 2004, and the complete 19th century by June, 2007 or earlier. The collection will feature full bibliographic records newly created for each publication and provide the ability to search words and phrases from anywhere within the resource. At the individual publication level, the new Readex Bibliographic information includes the full Serial Set number, publication number, Congress and Session numbers, title, date, collation, personal and corporate authors, and an indication of the presence of illustrations, maps, and statistical tables, where applicable. An Editorial Advisory Board comprised of librarians and digital conversion experts will oversee the bibliographic thoroughness and editorial integrity of the collection.