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Cheshire II: Design and Evaluation of a Next-Generation Online Catalog System

Ray R. Larson, Ralph Moon, Jerome McDonough, Lucy Kuntz, Paul O'Leary


The Cheshire II project is developing a next-generation online catalog and full-text information retrieval system using advanced IR techniques. This system is being deployed in a working library environment and its use and acceptance by local library patrons and remote network users are being evaluated. The Cheshire II system was designed to overcome twin problems of topical searching in online catalogs, search failure and information overload. The system incorporates a client/server architecture with implementations of current information retrieval standards including Z39.50 and SGML.

The Cheshire II system is being made available for public use in the UC Berkeley Astronomy-Mathematics-Statistics Library (a medium-scale academic branch library, circa 75,000 volumes) using modern workstations, and to the national mathematics research community via network access. Use and acceptance of the system and its features will be evaluated using transaction monitoring and questionnaires.

This paper will describe the system architecture and the user evaluation tools.

Contact: Ray R. Larson