Canadian Anglican Church offers online library databases as service to the whole Communion

After four years of development, the Anglican General Synod library is ready to launch a group of online information databases called “ASK — Anglicans Seeking Knowledge.”

The online package consists of five databases available from the library. Their accessibility through the internet makes ASK a valuable new resource for the entire Anglican Communion and for researchers world-wide.

(The databases will be online later this week.)

The databases include a full text database of General Synod policy resolutions dating back to 1924, a full text database of all resolutions of the Lambeth Conferences (1867-1998) and Anglican Consultative Council meetings (1971-2002), a book catalogue database of more than 4,000 titles and an article database containing more than 32,000 articles. Journals indexed include The Anglican Journal, Anglican World, The Church Times, Episcopal Life, MinistryMatters and The Tablet to name only a few.

The databases represent a unique treasure trove of Anglican, and in particular, Canadian Anglican material, said Karen Evans, General Synod Librarian.

One of the most important features of the catalogue and article databases is that they are indexed in great depth, said Ms. Evans. “We supply as many subject terms as needed to completely describe the content down to the essay or chapter level and to identify and isolate material of particular Anglican interest,” she said, noting that in books with more than one author or contributor “we ensure that every author is identified and searchable in the author field.”

For example, the 416-page book Anglicanism: A Global Communion was edited by four individuals. The Library of Congress (and most academic libraries) describe this book listing only one of the editors (Andrew Wingate) and giving it one subject heading (“Anglican Communion”). The General Synod Library has catalogued all 75 individual essays and 86 contributors. “We have given this item 122 subject headings in order to adequately describe all of the contents of this book which includes authors from the around the Communion,” explained Ms. Evans.

The Content Server/WebPublisher software (also known as INMAGIC) used to create the online databases allows researchers to search and print material from the various databases using the internet. The online databases are available to the public without charge.

Ms Evans said the databases demonstrate a commitment to corporate transparency and are offered by the Canadian Anglican Church as an example of mutual information partnership and reciprocity.

“We see this project as an example of partnership in mission, an information and communication offering to the wider Anglican Communion,” said Ms Evans.

For further information please contact:
Karen Evans
General Synod Librarian
Tel: 416-924-9199 ext.291
Email:[email protected]

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