The MARC Library (SobekCM) is a C# library that contains classes for working in memory with MARC records: This allows records to be read from MARCXML and MARC21 formats. Once in memory any field or subfield can be edited, added, or deleted. Then the record can be queried or saved again in either a MarcXML or Marc21 file format. Features Ability to read MARC records into memory from a Marc21 or MarcXML file or stream Ability to manipulate the MARC record in memory Ability to save the record to a Marc21 or MarcXML file (UPCOMING) Plan to add Z39.50 ability into this library The MARC Library (SobekCM) evolved out ofRead More →

The most recent Code4Lib Journal issue has an excellent article that should be mandatory reading for anyone working or with a library. The article is “Interpreting MARC: Where’s the Bibliographic Data?” by Jason Thomale. In it, he explains in extremely clear terms exactly what MARC is not. He begins by explaining that MARC pre-dated relational databases. That means everything we think about for computers, digital processing, data structures, and logic doesn’t apply for MARC. The title of this blog post is from one of the article’s notes: There is also the statement about working with MARC data purportedly made by Google engineer Leonid Taycher thatRead More →

I’d always assumed that catalog records were based on MARC, and that MARC was a guideline or standard like METS, MODS, or TEI, or even HTML or XML. After all, SGML is one heck of a powerful grandparent for modern record formats, right? And for printing, TeX, LaTeX, and BibTeX have been around for ages, so there’s no way that an archaic punch-card style technology could be in use at almost every library in the US, right? Sadly, no, I was wrong. My assumptions on what MARC must be have kept me from helping to fix the problems that stem from what it actually is.Read More →

On the Open Library General Discussion List, Edward Betts recently posted that, while tidying author records in Open Library, he found 248 authors-as-spirits. Not unknown ghosts or muses, but the spirit of a particular person listed as a spirit. He included the examples below in the post and the full list on his website. $a Abraham $c (Spirit) $a Churchill, Winston $c Sir $d 1874-1965 $c (Spirit) $a Doyle, Arthur Conan $c Sir $d 1859-1930 $c (Spirit) $a Jesus Christ $c (Spirit) $a Shakespeare, William $d 1564-1616 $c (Spirit) For all those fascinated by dead (and undead) media, this is wonderfully rich. Not only doRead More →