The Pinyin conversion refers to the machine conversion of the Chinese bibliographic records from the Wade-Giles1 to the Pinyin2 romanization system. All libraries in North America have recognized Pinyin as the standard romanization scheme for Chinese records, and started cataloging according to the new Chinese Romanization Guidelines released by LC since Oct. 1, 2000. The national Pinyin Conversion Project, conducted by a joint effort among the Library of Congress (LC), the Research Libraries Group (RLG), and the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC), was officially completed on April 1, 2001. The Chinese bibliographic and authority records in the OCLC and RLG databases were accordingly converted to the Pinyin system. At IU, we have followed the national practice of creating cataloging and acquisitions records for Chinese materials from day one, Oct. 1, 2000.

Thanks to the successful work by the Technical Services, our local library online database, IUCAT, contains primarily Pinyin records. Both Chinese monograph and serials records were converted to the Pinyin romanization System.

To learn more about the Pinyin conversion and the related documentation, please visit LC's, OCLC CJK Users Group's, and Council on East Asian Libraries' Pinyin Conversion Web sites at:

1. The Wade-Giles romanization system, named after Thomas F. Wade and Herbert A. Giles, was widely used in English publications until 1979, and by libraries in North America until October 2000.

2. The Pinyin system was developed in China in the late 1950s. Used by the United Nations, institutes of higher education, and most of the Western world's media, Pinyin became the standard for the US Government in the late 1970s. It was not until 1997 that the Library of Congress officially decided to adopt the Pinyin as a standard for romanizing Chinese. A large-scale conversion project has been in place since then.





Wen-ling Liu
June 12, 2014