Working with MARC
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.
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 importes, into databases built with general-purpose applications.
Getting Marc Indexed for Search Engines
MARC in Solr
MARC in Zebra
Getting Started with Zebra http://wiki.code4lib.org/index.php/Getting_Started_with_Zebra
MARC Programming Libraries
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 at http://www.archive.org/details/marcrecords.
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.