The ‘Tape Typewriter Plan’ is a plan for making possible a widespread co‐operation in documentation between libraries, while at the same time facilitating the internal clerical and cataloguing operations at individual libraries. The plan is based upon the use of a tape‐controlled typewriter and the associated use of the full capabilities of modern information processing machines (electronic computers and their related devices). Any individual library requires only a tape typewriter in order to enter the plan and to become a full co‐operator. By the exchange of tapes between libraries, the present enormous duplication of bibliographic work at co‐operating libraries can be markedly reduced, because keyboard operations performed at one library can be used to make catalogue cards at another. Conformity to any single classification system or to any specific catalogue card format is definitely not required by the plan, since the information processing machines operating on the tapes produced can make new tapes for other formats and can perform translations from one classification system to another. The information processing machines can also be used for rapid compilation of special indexes, lists, selected bibliographies, union catalogues, lists of holdings geographically, etc., for the documentary resources of all the co‐operating libraries. A most important aspect of the plan is that it will not require setting up a unique large‐scale universal documentation centre for processing, search, or storage. The plan does not require conformity in the choice of tape‐typewriter equipment to be employed. The plan does not require library ownership of computing equipment, nor does it depend upon any specific choice of computing equipment. The plan is shown to be self‐motivating, with participation at each library following from the library's own assessment of its self‐interest.
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