Importing Marc21 records

Posted on 2006-03-21
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2011-10-03
I have set up a library database for small libraries (up to about 25,000 items) using MS access.  I would like to install a feature to import Marc21 records from data sources so the entry person doesn't have to enter all of the book data for new books.  I really don't know where to begin though.  Does anyone have any experience with this and could anyone provide me with come guidance on this?  Thank you in advance.
Question by:tomfish
LVL 42

Expert Comment

ID: 16248936
The File, Get External File, Import menu will lead you to an import wizard that allows you to load tables from common external sources.  Generally, the process would go like:

1. Prepare a logical data model for your application
2. Design and construct tables to support the logical data model
3. Import data sources to temporary staging tables.  
4. Manipulate the staging tables as desired with queries, VBA, or gridview
5. Match/merge the staging tables into your final tables
6. Drop the staging tables

Re-reading your quesion, it sounds like maybe you want to somewhat automate that functionality off a button or menu pick in your application. In that case, you can accomplish the same kinds of things using macros VBA to tie together some queries and procedural code.  Start at step 3. Check out the TransferText and TransferSpreadsheet actions for the import. Steps 4 and 5 can be done with Append queries.

Author Comment

ID: 16259392
Yes I should be more clear in my question.  Let me try again.

What I would like to have happen is:
The librarian scans the isbn number on the book.  
The system will search a or several Marc21 databases for a match using the internet.
If it finds a match it will display the book properties (Title, author, publisher....)
If the librarian determines it is correct information, he/she accept the data and adds it in the table as another inventory record.

That is the plan.  What i dont know is:
1.  where the marc21 databases are located
2.  How to talk to these databases
3.  how to import the data

Basically I need to find someone who has done this before and can show me the way.  Has anyone in EE world constructed a Marc21 record retrieval system?  I have seen some other tools out there, but nothing I could use in my access DB.


Author Comment

ID: 16262523
How about this.  When accessing these databases, you are to use Z39.50 protocol.  I don't know how to use this.  has anyone else had experience in this?
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LVL 44

Expert Comment

ID: 16265962
YES, I wrote my own MARC record analysis program for a library, using assembly language, because all MARC programs could not deliver the data in the setup I needed to import and export.  But for you, my experience is, no, you will not find a commercial program that lets you manipulate the raw data, they plan it that way, because they want to keep you locked into using their overpriced software.  If you use a HEX editor, or even a sophisticated wrodprocessor that can analyze different data structures, you will see that a MARC record is nohting more than a header, followed by data, for each record entry.  It is similar to a database, but the structure is interleaved with the data, rather than the structure first, then the data, as you see in a normal database file.  When I did this some years back, there was nothing like it on the planet.  I dont know what happens today, have not looked at MARC records for about 2 years, but I think you find that no commercial program do what you want, by design.  Sorry for this appraisal, but it true.

Author Comment

ID: 16742644
All due respect scrathcyboy, but your appraisal off base and incorrect.  By my own detective work I was able to find active X dll which does do exactly what i wanted.  It is called vbzoom.
The original VB ZOOM was developed for a project called ZMARCO as part of the Open Archives Initiative Metadata Harvesting Project at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, funded by the Andrew Mellon Foundation. Continuing work on this and the ZMARCO project is being funded from The Yellow Brick Roads Project by Library Services and Technology Act grant from the Illinois State Library. This software and documentation is distributed under the University of Illinois/NCSA Open Source License.
If anyone should ask again, please point them to this software as it works PERFECTLY!  I highly recommend it.
This failure to answer this and other questions of mine have caused me to close my membership to E.Exchange.  I will not be rewarding anyone points for this question.

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