Developing Virtual CD-ROM Collections: The Voyager Company Publications

  • Geoffrey Brown


Over the past 20 years, many thousands of CD-ROM titles were published; many of these have lasting cultural significance, yet present a difficult challenge for libraries due to obsolescence of the supporting software and hardware, and the consequent decline in the technical knowledge required to support them. The current trend appears to be one of abandonment – for example, the Indiana University Libraries no longer maintain machines capable of accessing early CD-ROM titles.

In previous work, we proposed an access model based upon networked ‘virtual collections’ of CD-ROMs which can enable consortia of libraries to pool the technical expertise necessary to provide continued access to such materials for a geographically sparse base of patrons, who may have limited technical knowledge.

In this paper, we extend this idea to CD-ROMs designed to operate on ‘classic’ Macintosh systems with an extensive case study – the catalog of the Voyager Company publications, which was the first major innovator in interactive CD-ROMs. The work described includes emulator extensions to support obsolete CD formats and to enable networked access to the virtual collection.
Research Papers