Working with MARC
MARC stands for Machine Readable Cataloging, and many folks in the code4lib community find themselves working with MARC records at some point. This page is meant to be a round-up of the tools for working with MARC. If you want a general introduction to the standard, the Wikipedia article is a good place to start. MARC data is usually expressed either in ISO 2709 ("binary") form or MARCXML form.
- Library of Congress MARC Standards Pages (covers MARC21; formerly USMARC)
- British Library UKMARC Pages
- IFLA UNIMARC Pages
- OCLC MARC Pages
- C# MARC Editor: is a simple and light weight MARC Editor for Windows
- Showmarc: is a DOS program that will show all the MARC fields used and how many times each is used.
- MARC Record Translation Program (MARC RTP) is a command line utility that shows fields and subfields used in a collection of MARC records and then converts, and selectively imports, into databases built with general-purpose applications.
- The FRBR Display Tool takes a file of MARC records and creats XML and HTML files arranged using the Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records principles.
- MarcXGen is a Marc URL extractor and HTML generator. Useful for link checking MARC records.
- MARCMaker and MARCBreaker are DOS programs by the Library of Congress for converting MARC records to a text format and back.
- USEMARCON is a multi-platform rule-based MARC record manipulation program. It is a command-line utility but there is also a GUI for it.
Getting Marc Indexed for Search Engines
MARC in Solr
- SolrMarc https://github.com/solrmarc/solrmarc
- Catmandu http://librecat.org (provides also loading into ElasticSearch, MongoDB and others)
MARC in Zebra
- Getting Started with Zebra http://wiki.code4lib.org/index.php/Getting_Started_with_Zebra
MARC Programming Libraries
|Fork of MARC4J
|Umbrella project; see also CPAN
|PEAR package; sanctioned fork of PHP-MARC
|Abandoned(?); served as basis for File_MARC
|Convenience methods for ruby-marc
|Very alpha code
|MARC Library (SobekCM)
|Implemented in .NET 4.0 with LINQ and streams with Z39.50 support
|Based upon File_MARC Pear packaged for PHP, but restyled for use in .NET
|basic start, not thoroughly 'real world' tested
|http://www.pusc.it/bib/mel/marc_record.js (dead link)
|Part of MARC Editor Lite (dead link)
|A rule-based MARC record conversion library
|Basic MARC21 and Aleph500 sequential export parser
|Read/transform/write records with Node stream api. Handles MARC8 and UTF8.
|Command line to parse MARC files
|MARC 21 library for Go
A feed of commit messages and release announcements from many of the projects listed above can be found at http://pipes.yahoo.com/gmcharlt/marctoolchanges.
Utilities and Frameworks
|Bibliographic Similarity Analysis Framework
|An ETL-framework to extract, transform and load MARC (and other formats) from/to various databases, indexes
Getting Sample Data
One common question is where to get sample MARC records for testing or playing around with. If you work at a library, chances are good that you can get some records out of your ILS (go ask your systems librarian if you don't know how to do this yourself). If you don't work in a library, you can get MARC bibliographic records from the Internet Archive.
You can also get MARCXML data for titles in HathiTrust through OAI-PMH.
There is a nascent movement within the code4lib community to establish a test set of problematic MARC records, especially records that are representative of the kinds of weirdness that is encountered in real libraries. It is hoped that this could eventually become a test corpus against which to run various MARC processing implementations. For more information, watch Simon Spero's excellent talk from Code4LibCon 2010.
MARC records for authority data are more common. The Getty Vocabularies makes both the The Art & Architecture Thesaurus (AAT) and The Union List of Artist Names (ULAN) freely available. The Guidelines On Subject Access To Individual Works Of Fiction, Drama, Etc. records are available from Northwestern University. The Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) are available in many formats, one of them being MARC.
Reporting on How MARC Has Been Used
MARC Usage in WorldCat - A site that reports on how MARC has been used within the 300 million record WorldCat database