The Library of Congress operates overseas offices in Brazil (Rio de Janeiro); Egypt (Cairo); India (New Delhi); Indonesia (Jakarta); Kenya (Nairobi); and Pakistan (Islamabad). These regional offices acquire, catalog, and preserve publications from regions of the world where conventional acquisitions methods are inadequate. They perform these functions directly for the Library of Congress and for research and academic libraries in the United States and other countries, through the Library’s Cooperative Acquisitions Programs. Together, LOC’s overseas offices cover 58 Asian, African, Middle Eastern and South American countries.
Established in 1962, the New Delhi office is the oldest and largest of the six regional offices, acquiring publications from India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, the Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka, as well as Tibetan publications from India and Nepal. The office employs a staff of 69 Indian nationals who are acquisitions librarians, catalogers, preservation specialists, information technology specialists, accountants and support staff dedicated to administrative and operational functions. Publications acquired are in 24 major vernacular languages and an additional 15 dialects and tribal languages. Bibliographic records created on line for the Library’s international bibliographic data bases include full level, minimal level, subject and collection level cataloging.
To cover the region well, New Delhi maintains sub-offices in U.S. Embassies in Colombo, Dhaka and Kathmandu. Each sub-office consists of a Country representative and a Library Technician; Bhutan and the Maldives are covered by a Bibliographic Representative in each country. LOC-New Delhi uses a combination of book dealers, exchange agreements, donations and extensive travel by staff to acquire publications for the Library of Congress and the National Library of Medicine, the National Agriculture Library and 45 other research libraries in the United States through its South Asia Cooperative Acquisitions Program.
LOC-New Delhi’s microform division preserves daily newspapers, serials and other at-risk print materials for the Library’s collections by reformatting these publications into master negatives, print negatives, positives and microfiches.
The New Delhi office and its sub-offices also provide reference services for other US government agencies in addition to the Library of Congress, the Law Library of Congress, the Federal Research Division and the Congressional Research Service upon request. Staff members participate in regional conferences, present papers, provide training and guidance in acquisitions, preservation and cataloging to South Asian libraries.