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Perhaps more of a cataloging question than a coding one, but I appreciate any and all responses.

Prior to my tenure at MPOW, all media was cataloged in a FileMaker Pro database and patrons used printed lists to 'browse' the collection. I pushed to get all AV cataloged in the library db instead. Due to legacy habits, our patrons and my colleagues would still like a printed list of dvds in the collection, including director and title.

It seems to me that to produce this, someone might need to put a local (sometimes repeating) field in the record with Director & preferred title. Can you think of any way I can get around locally altering thousands of records and still generate a simple list of director/title?


asked Apr 04 '12 at 11:53

lagina's gravatar image


edited Apr 04 '12 at 11:53

Can you give a sample record to see how you are cataloguing the resources?

Can you get the director/title string from elsewhere and record a location for the external data in your local record? (e.g. from Freebase?)

(Apr 04 '12 at 12:44) ostephens

All of our videos are browseable in a local interface we call VCat (http://dla.library.upenn.edu/dla/vcat/index.html). To generate the facets for directors, producers, etc., our bib records have $4 relator codes (http://www.loc.gov/marc/relators/) in the 7xx fields. For example: Director = $4 drt Producer = $4 pro Actor = $4 act

Additionally, some of the director and other responsibility information is found in 508 field (creator/production credit) and the 511 field (participant/performer) in the bib records. These are unfortunately both free text note fields, with no prescribed data entry format, so pulling out the preferred info will be hit and miss. It's also not required so depending on the fullness of your records you may not even have the data in the first place.

As for preferred title, there is no way to do that without specifically entering 246 fields for commonly known titles, other titles, etc.

Our non-print cataloger has put together a very thorough set of procedures and documentation to ensure all our video records have the required information. But it does require local editing and maintenance both by herself and her support staff to make it happen.


answered Apr 04 '12 at 13:13

slmcdanold's gravatar image


Is VCat a scoped interface for part of your library database?

(Apr 04 '12 at 13:26) lagina

Yes. It's scoped to just the visual materials based on coding in the LDR/06 (type = g). It's not actually part of our OPAC, but a separate interface but we pull the data directly from our catalog (hence the availability info). [I think...there may be other limits involved but the LDR type should be the primary one.]

(Apr 04 '12 at 13:33) slmcdanold

Can you give a sample record to see how you are cataloguing the resources?

Can you get the director/title string from elsewhere and record a location for the external data in your local record? (e.g. from Freebase?)


answered Apr 04 '12 at 12:44

ostephens's gravatar image


Sure, most of our dvds are copy cataloged from OCLC, so they are common marc records.

Problem 1. how to extract the director's name from the record. It's not always the first 700 field, and it does not always have a relator code indicating which 700 field contains the director's name.

record for 3:10 to Yuma (In this case, I might be able to pull 245|a + the 700 with .|4drt) http://bit.ly/HUvHSO

Problem 2. One marc record might represent multiple feature films.

record for The rare films of Gloria Swanson. Ideally, my colleagues would love to have each feature represented, but there is no way(?) with the current data to parse which title belongs with which director. http://bit.ly/HUx4B3

Linking & pulling from data held elsewhere might work. But I think someone would still have to create those linking fields. Not sure if that could be done programmatically. Does anyone know if there is a way to take UPC/publisher#/ISBN and return descriptive info from a reliable source.

Thanks for the freebase mention, I'll take a look.

I know that the simple answer is show people how to search in the library catalog, where they can see films by director, etc. But I'm trying to be responsive to patron/colleagues requests and not dismiss them without some investigation.


answered Apr 04 '12 at 13:21

lagina's gravatar image


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Asked: Apr 04 '12 at 11:53

Seen: 4,835 times

Last updated: Apr 04 '12 at 13:33

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