Preface to Online Edition

The effort to provide an updated digital version of James Patrick McCabe’s Critical Guide to Catholic Reference Books coalesced at meetings of the Roman Catholic Denominational Group at the ATLA annual conference, beginning in 2009. Permission was obtained from the copyright holder to digitize the 3rd print edition, which would provide the basis for an online version of the reference work that could be publicly accessible and updated to include new reference works in various formats.

After scanning, OCR technology was used to convert the scanned version into text, which was uploaded to a wiki, and subsequently edited by a number of volunteers from the ATLA RC group. An important feature for the online edition is the addition of links to WorldCat.org to enable users to find copies of reference works in nearby libraries. Another important feature was the addition of entries for online reference resources.

It is the hope of the participants in the wiki project that librarians and others interested in providing access to significant Catholic reference works will participate in the ongoing work of adding new entries to the project. Individuals interested in volunteering can get started by viewing the documentation for joining the site and for adding and editing new entries. By providing a selective guide to reference works which provide significant content related to Catholicism or Catholic Studies, and to reference works that represent a Catholic point of view as a major feature, we hope to build on the good work of James Patrick McCabe and to provide a useful resource for many years to come.

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