[Koha] How does MARC work?
KZEMBOWE at jhuccp.org
Tue Jul 12 01:39:56 NZST 2005
Thank you, Stephen and Steven, for your responses to my earlier questions. I now have some questions on the basics of MARC, not so much the technicalities, but almost the philosophy.
If you're curious, you can see the superset of the collection in question at http://www.hcpartnership.org/mmc/mmc_search.php. I'm interested in importing the materials listed under Region = "Near East" into a 1.2.3 Koha system in Egypt. These materials are currently stored in a MySQL DB which we created without reference to any outside schema or organization.
Originally, I thought that I had two choices to electronically import these records. I could reverse-engineer the 1.2.3 Koha database and use perl and SQL to import them, or I could convert them to MARC records and import them using bulkmarcimport. In either case, I thought, the work that I did to import them would be of no further use to anyone but me.
>From a little bit more reading and pondering things, I wonder if I'm mistaken. If I go to the trouble of converting these records into MARC, could other collections with the same materials somehow use this information, instead of recreating them?
These are my MARC questions:
How does somebody become the authoritative source of MARC records for a material? Is it just the first collection that does the work? The producer of the publication?
Is there a central repository of MARC records? The Library of Congress gets mentioned a lot. Is this just for USA? Do they accept submissions from others, or originate all the work themselves?
It seems like the Z39.50 system allows for a distributed repository. How do collections know that my system might be the source of authoritative MARC records? Would setting up a Z39.50 server allow the folks in Egypt to get the information from me when they add the same items to their collection? Can they catalog items into MARC records and we in Baltimore get their information?
If all this is covered in a document on the web somewhere, please point it out to me. I've found plenty of documents on the technicalities of MARC, including concise definitions of all the fields, but I feel I'm missing the 'big picture.'
Thanks for your help, advice and suggestions.
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