The Center for Bibliographical Studies and Research (CBSR) at the University of California, Riverside (UCR) seeks to preserve and make accessible printed cultural heritage through its management of three bibliographical research projects—the English Short Title Catalogue, the California Newspaper Project, and the Catálogo Colectivo de Impresos Latinoamericanos—and two metadata/archival projects—the California Newspaper Microfilm Archive and the California Digital Newspaper Collection.
The CBSR was established in 1989 by the Chancellor as a result of recommendations from the Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHASS) and review by the Planning Review Committee appointed by the Chancellor to assist in charting the future growth of the campus. Initially the Center was created to institutionalize and manage two programs of international significance at UCR - The Eighteenth-Century Short-Title Catalogue (ESTC) and the Eaton Program in Science Fiction and Fantasy. In 1995 the UCR Library assumed responsibility for the Eaton Program. In 1990 the Center took on responsibility for the California Newspaper Project (CNP), the State component of the United States Newspaper Project funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). In 2000 the Center began the creation of the Catalogo Colectivo de Impresos Latinoamericanos (CCILA). In 2005 it initiated the California Digital Newspaper Collection (CDNC) with support from the NEH and the California State Library (CSL). Also that year the CBSR began purchasing and acquiring master negative microfilm, which became the California Newspaper Microfilm Archive (CNMA).
Bibliographical studies have been described as "the systematic description and history of books, their authorship, printing, publication, [and] editions." In establishing the Center the Chancellor recognized the growing scholarly interest in the study of the book both as a physical object and as an agent in the growth of learning in the western world after the invention of printing. The three oldest projects at the Center—the ESTC, CNP, and CCILA—are rooted in bibliographical studies.
Recently the CBSR has expanded to become more broadly focused on metadata, defined as the data that provides information on the physical object and its digital representation. The CDNC is one of the largest publicly accessible archives of digitized newspapers in the country and is founded on a number of internationally recognized structural and descriptive metadata standards. Since its inception in the 1970s, the ESTC has been created around library cataloging standards but recently, with support from the Mellon Foundation, the Center has been moving the project to a linked-data environment, to allow researchers to more easily access and contribute to its metadata.
The Center seeks to support and encourage research in and contributions to bibliography and metadata, and to participate in “digital humanities” efforts, on and off-campus. The CBSR is an internationally recognized contributor to the field of bibliographical studies through its current programs. The ESTC is a landmark, cooperative bibliographic endeavor that has become the model for creating access to the products of the hand-press in the western world. Institutions around the world contribute to its growth and refinement. Similarly, CCILA is being built by contributions from libraries in North and South America and provides researchers access to scarce and scattered holdings in numerous repositories. The CDNC has partnered with numerous public and private institutions and organizations and contributes to the ongoing efforts to accurately and openly preserve and provide access to our newspaper heritage.
The Director’s position is funded by CHASS. All other positions are funded by grants and endowments. Digitization and metadata creation is funded through grants, public-private partnerships, and contracts with local organizations.