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Q: Making a Small Library Database ( Answered,   1 Comment )
Subject: Making a Small Library Database
Category: Computers > Software
Asked by: viseu-ga
List Price: $7.00
Posted: 06 Feb 2005 05:33 PST
Expires: 08 Mar 2005 05:33 PST
Question ID: 469828
I need to catalogue my library of about 2000 books.  I was wondering
if there are any open-source/freeware or inexpensive programs (an XML
web application would be nice) that I could use.  Best of all would be
if I could enter an ISBN or title and get the whole MARC record from
the Library of Congress, which I know supplies them for free. 
Basically I want to do this as efficiently as I can.  I've heard about
something from the OpenOffice people called MODS but as far as I can
tell it's still under development.  Thanks for any help you can give

Clarification of Question by viseu-ga on 06 Feb 2005 05:34 PST
Sorry, I realized I didn't specify that I want a database I can search
by author or title or keyword or whatever I'm thinking of.  I have a
classification scheme (though locations are not a problem,
everything's in one room).  Thanks.

Request for Question Clarification by efn-ga on 06 Feb 2005 08:05 PST
On what operating system do you want the software to run?

Would you be willing to build software from source code, or would you
want to rule out programs that require that?

Clarification of Question by viseu-ga on 06 Feb 2005 13:35 PST
Thanks for the question.  I use Windows but I think the most
sustainable solution would be a web-based application (Java?) so that
I could keep using it through IE or Firefox no matter what my
operating system is in the future.  I don't mind compiling source code
if there are directions how to do so.

Request for Question Clarification by efn-ga on 06 Feb 2005 16:41 PST
Thanks for the clarification.

If your question is whether there are free or inexpensive personal
library cataloging programs, the answer is yes, with varying
combinations of the attributes you seek.  I can offer you:

--references to pages that list commercial products, typically costing $30-$40.

--a reference to a page that lists open standards and software for
bibliographies and cataloging.  It has just a few programs that might
interest you.

--a reference to a page that lists open source systems for libraries. 
Again, just a few will be relevant to your needs.

--a reference to a specific open source program that can retrieve MARC
records and has a web user interface.

Does this look like a satisfactory answer to your question?  If you
are looking for a more specific recommendation, I would need more
information about your level of technical knowledge and the relative
importance of the various criteria.



Clarification of Question by viseu-ga on 07 Feb 2005 02:21 PST
As long as you're pretty sure something among those options will work
for me (or if not, that there's nothing out there), I'll be satisfied.
 Look forward to your answer.  Thanks.
Subject: Re: Making a Small Library Database
Answered By: efn-ga on 08 Feb 2005 23:24 PST
Hi viseu,

In accordance with your statements, I will not recommend a specific
program for you, but will point you to resources where you can review
what's available.

There are lots of personal library management programs, typically
shareware for about $30-$40.  Some of them can retrieve records
on-line, and some can even work with bar-code readers to save typing. 
I expect one of these would probably be the easiest for you, but it
probably wouldn't satisfy your other open source/web/XML goals. has a page on Automating and Organizing
Solutions that lists many programs. has a shorter list.

Many shareware sites have pages listing software for managing various
kinds of collections, such as this one from tucows.

From there, I found the free program eLibPro.  I haven't used it, but
it looks pretty good for the price.

There are lots of open source programs for libraries, some of which
might be useful to you.  One place to look is a page on open standards
and software for bibliographies and cataloging on

Another is the Projects page on the oss4lib (open source systems for
libraries) website.

From the SourceForge page, I found a system called Tyrannio (or
Tyrannioware) that is free, open source, has a web user interface, and
can retrieve MARC records.  It doesn't use XML as far as I can tell. 
It uses Python, CGI scripts, and the PostGreSQL database management

I am confident that at least one of the programs listed on these pages
will work for you.  If you need any more information, please ask for a
clarification, and I will do my best to help.


Subject: Re: Making a Small Library Database
From: havoyan-ga on 13 Mar 2005 10:29 PST
look at - Apache Xindice is a database
designed from the ground up to store XML data or what is more commonly
referred to as a native XML database.

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