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pymarc is a python library for working with bibliographic data encoded in MARC21. It should work under python 2.x and 3.x. It provides an API for reading, writing and modifying MARC records. It was mostly designed to be an emergency eject seat, for getting your data assets out of MARC and into some kind of saner representation. However over the years it has been used to create and modify MARC records, since despite repeated calls for it to die as a format, MARC seems to be living quite happily as a zombie.
Below are some common examples of how you might want to use pymarc. If you run across an example that you think should be here please send a pull request.
Most often you will have some MARC data and will want to extract data from it. Here's an example of reading a batch of records and printing out the title. If you are curious this example uses the batch file available here in pymarc repository:
from pymarc import MARCReader with open('test/marc.dat', 'rb') as fh: reader = MARCReader(fh) for record in reader: print(record.title())
The pragmatic programmer : from journeyman to master / Programming Python / Learning Python / Python cookbook / Python programming for the absolute beginner / Web programming : techniques for integrating Python, Linux, Apache, and MySQL / Python programming on Win32 / Python programming : an introduction to computer science / Python Web programming / Core python programming / Python and Tkinter programming / Game programming with Python, Lua, and Ruby / Python programming patterns / Python programming with the Java class libraries : a tutorial for building Web and Enterprise applications / Learn to program using Python : a tutorial for hobbyists, self-starters, and all who want to learn the art of computer programming / Programming with Python / BSD Sockets programming from a multi-language perspective / Design patterns : elements of reusable object-oriented software / Introduction to algorithms / ANSI Common Lisp /
pymarc.Record object has a few handy methods like
title for getting at
bits of a bibliographic record, others include:
really, to work with MARC data you need to understand the numeric field tags
and subfield codes that are used to designate various bits of information. There
is a lot more hiding in a MARC record than these methods provide access to.
For example the
title method extracts the information from the
b. You can access
245a like so:
Some fields like subjects can repeat. In cases like that you will want to use
get_fields to get all of them as
pmarc.Field objects, which you can then
interact with further:
for f in record.get_fields('650'): print(f)
Here's an example of creating a record and writing it out to a file.
from pymarc import Record, Field record = Record() record.add_field( Field( tag = '245', indicators = ['0','1'], subfields = [ 'a', 'The pragmatic programmer : ', 'b', 'from journeyman to master /', 'c', 'Andrew Hunt, David Thomas.' ])) out = open('file.dat', 'wb') out.write(record.as_marc()) out.close()
Updating works the same way, you read it in, modify it, and then write it out again:
from pymarc import MARCReader with open('test/marc.dat', 'rb') as fh: reader = MARCReader(fh) record = next(reader) record['245']['a'] = 'The Zombie Programmer' out = open('file.dat', 'wb') out.write(record.as_marc()) out.close()
JSON and XML
If you find yourself using MARC data a fair bit, and distributing it, you may make other developers a bit happier by using the JSON or XML serializations. pymarc has support for both. The main benefit here is that the UTF8 character encoding is used, rather than the frustratingly archaic MARC8 encoding. Also they will be able to use JSON and XML tools to get at the data they want instead of some crazy MARC processing library like, ahem, pymarc.
You'll probably just want to use pip to install pymarc:
pip install pymarc
If you'd like to download and install the latest source you'll need git:
git clone git://github.com/edsu/pymarc.git
You'll also need setuptools. Once you have the source and setuptools run the pymarc test suite to make sure things are in order with the distribution:
python setup.py test
And then install:
python setup.py install
The pymarc developers encourage you to join the pymarc Google Group if you need help. Also, please feel free to use issue tracking on Github to to submit feature requests or bug reports. If you've got an itch to scratch, please scratch it, and send merge requests on Github.
If you start working with MARC you may feel like you need moral support in addition to technical support. The #code4lib channel on Freenode is a good place for both.
Copyright (c) 2005-2014 Gabriel Farrell, Mark Matienzo, Geoffrey Spear, Ed Summers