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A Python module for working with 10- and 13-digit ISBNs

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pyisbn - A module for working with 10- and 13-digit ISBNs


pyisbn is a GPL v3 licensed module for working with various book identification numbers. It includes functions for conversion, verification and generation of checksums. It also includes basic classes for representing ISBNs as objects.

See the doc directory for installation instructions and usage information, you can also view the content online.


pyisbn does not depend on any modules that aren't included in Python's standard library, and as such should run with Python 2.4 or newer(including Python 3) [1]. If pyisbn doesn't work with the version of Python you have installed, open an issue and I'll endeavour to fix it.

The module have been tested on many UNIX-like systems, including Linux and OS X, but it should work fine on other systems too.

[1] The module may work with older Python versions, but it has only been tested with v2.4 and above.


The simplest way to show how pyisbn works is by example, and here goes:

>>> import pyisbn
>>> Permutation_City = "1-85798-218-5"
>>> pyisbn.validate(Permutation_City)
>>> pyisbn.convert(Permutation_City)
>>> print("ISBN %s" % Permutation_City)
ISBN 1-85798-218-5

or to process ISBNs using the object pattern use:

>>> Permutation_City = pyisbn.Isbn10("1-85798-218-5")
>>> Permutation_City.validate()
>>> Permutation_City.convert()
>>> print(Permutation_City)
ISBN 1-85798-218-5

All independent functions and classes contain (hopefully) useful docstrings.

API Stability

API stability isn't guaranteed across versions, although frivolous changes won't be made.

When pyisbn 1.0 is released the API will be frozen, and any changes which aren't backwards compatible will force a major version bump.


I'd like to thank the following people who have contributed to pyisbn.


  • Christopher Wells

Bug reports

  • James Gaffney
  • hbc (bcho)
  • Wen Heping
  • Max Klein (notconfusing)
  • Matt Leighy
  • Randy Syring (rsyring)
  • Stephen Thorne


  • Kevin Simmons

If I've forgotten to include your name I wholeheartedly apologise. Just drop me a mail and I'll update the list!


If you find any problems, bugs or just have a question about this package either file an issue or drop me a mail.

If you've found a bug please attempt to include a minimal testcase so I can reproduce the problem, or even better a patch!

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