Allow myself to introduce... myself. I work for a non-profit Canadian
literacy organization called the National Adult Literacy Database
(http://www.nald.ca/). Basically, we provide (often times free of
charge) internet services (web sites, databases, etc) for literacy
groups in Canada, among other thing.
We sometimes deal with organizations which have catalogues of books on
the subject of literacy. Two of these organizations wish for us to
provide mechanisms to allow their catalogs to be searched from the web.
Before I continue, I must mention that I know basically nothing about
how libraries catalogue items or what software they use. Also, in my
searches, I've not yet seen any software that currently suits my needs.
The process, we imagine, would start with the organizations providing us
with a dump of their database in MARC format (which I happen to already
have from them). We would then grab limited set of clearly identifiable
fields and / or subfields (ex: Author -> 245) in order to create an
easily web searchable online catalogue.
Currently, we have three RDBMS options available: MS SQL 2000 (our
primary RDB), as well as MySQL and PostgreSQL (on our newly installed
linux box). Also, given that I'm quite comfortable with perl, I've been
able to scrounge through the inner depths of the supplied MARC records
using MARC::Record (along with an online MARC reference to give me their
I've asked each organization to give me a list of field numbers and
"english" representations so I can write a perl script to import the
data. It turns out that these lists vary quite significantly. For
instance, with regards to "subject", one organization gave me "690 #t =
English, 690 #l = French", and the other: "600, 610, 611, 630, 650, 651,
So, perhaps my first question should be: Does it make sense to try to
import the MARC record data into an RDBMS? Assuming the answer is yes,
can someone provide me with a list (or reference, or some sort of hint)
of fields and their english equivalents that I could set as a
requirement for my import script.
I know I could ask about a dozen more questions, but I just need to get
the ball rolling. If anyone has any suggestions on software that I could
be using, or how to go about this project, I would be eternally
Looking forward to hearing from you all,
-Brian Cassidy (brian at nald dot ca)
http://www.gordano.com - Messaging for educators.