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Your Primary Source for Nonprint Educational MediaAbout NICEM

History of NICEM

In 1958, the University of Southern California (USC) began to experiment with punch cards as a means of storing data for the preparation of printouts for publication of film catalogs. The work was funded in part by a U.S. Office of Education grant to study the feasibility of establishing a center at USC for the cataloging of nonprint instructional materials included in their master file. The project was named NICEM, the National Information Center for Educational Media.

Subsequently, a large master file was compiled from the materials collected by the University, reports of new materials, and the cataloging of data sheets from the Library of Congress. As users, producers, and distributors of educational media became aware that the University had a computerized file of information about instructional materials, requests began pouring in for listings of materials.

In the early days of NICEM's operation, individual computer printouts were prepared to meet this demand. However, as the volume of requests built up, this method became impractical. In 1967, NICEM contracted with McGraw-Hill to publish the first bound NICEM indexes, to provide wider, faster, and easier access to the data. In 1977, NICEM took its place in the technological revolution by going online on DIALOG Information Retrieval Service. By becoming available through computer links over the telephone lines, NICEM expanded its accessibility to an international audience.

In April of 1984, the NICEM database was purchased from USC by Access Innovations, an information management company in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Within a year, NICEM became available on CD-ROM. Its computer-retrievable versions became known as A-V Online.

Fueled by an aggressive development program under the leadership of Roy Morgan, NICEM re-structured its printed indexes, refined and enhanced the master file and now adds up to 20,000 records per year to the database.

Today, the comprehensive NICEM file of 440,000 bibliographic records representing over 640,000 item records is available directly from NICEM as the Film and Video Finder Online or from one of our licensed partners A-V Online from Ovid and The Library Corporation. CD-ROM versions of the database include the A-V Online on CD-ROM from SilverPlatter and the NICEM A-V MARC CD-ROM from The Library Corporation.

Beyond the bibliographic records on curriculum materials, the database covers a broad spectrum of non-print media useful at every level of education, instruction, training, and research. Librarians, media specialists, curriculum planners, teachers, human resource professionals, and researchers can select from NICEM's vast accumulative listings, available from over 25,000 production and distribution sources.

All subject areas that apply to learning, from preschool through professional, are covered in the database, including vocational and technical education, management and supervisory training, health and safety, history, psychology, fine arts, engineering, literature and drama.

The NICEM database is also rich in non-English language materials, documentaries, avant-garde and genre titles, self-help, and guidance programs. Formats cataloged include film, video, videodisc, audio, filmstrip, CD-ROM and software, as well as slide, transparency, motion cartridge, and record.