[February 15, 2000] A communiqué from Dick Miller reports on the availability of XMLMARC 'MARC to XML' software developed as part of the Medlane Experiment for "restructuring serial, circulation, and traditional bibliographic data for deployment in changing digital environments." According to the announcement: "Lane Medical Library at Stanford University released XMLMARC software on December 29, 1999, for free, non-commercial use. This Java client/server program converts MARC to XML based on flexible maps and simplified, yet detailed DTDs for bibliographic and authorities formats. It resulted from the experimental Medlane Project, which is exploring alternative methods of utilizing cataloging information -- considered at risk due to its segregation from mainstream web resources. XMLMARC was designed to accommodate changes in MARC and mapping decisions without the need for reprogramming. Lane has used the program to convert over 250,000 MARC records to XML. Lane's experiment includes a distillation of much of Marc. As a feasibility demonstration, we have attempted to retain most Marc informational content, while reducing its complexity. Some such simplification of Marc is necessary if it is to survive in the Information Age. Our map is unidirectional, although a bidirectional map could be devised by inclusion of additional elements. For example, main entry is supported partially by "primary" personal names, corporate names, etc., which technically permits one of each type. Many expedient decisions would need to be revisited before a more stable version of the DTDs could be advanced. Details and downloading instructions are available at the Web site. This release concluded Phase I of the Project. We are now exploring access to our XML data via search engines/Oracle 8i, display using XSL style sheets, and interface development. We hope that the availability of XMLMARC will spark further exploration of the potential of using XML for a web-oriented version of MARC." Further documentation and project DTDs are provided in the document "DTDs and Maps for Bibliographic Works and Authorities."
Using the software: "The XMLMARC program reads MARC records and converts them to an XML format (defined by a DTD - Data Type Definition) utilizing a map (also in an XML format). Each MARC record becomes a separate XML file with the filename based on a record's control no. (001). DTDs and maps for both bibliographic and authority records as defined by Lane Medical Library accompany the software; these may be altered or replaced to reflect different preferences. The map file is an XML document with its own DTD. It utilizes targets (Marc tags, subfields, indicators, byte positions, etc.) and maps them to XML elements, attributes, and IDrefs as defined by a companion XML DTD. Note that a target may appear only once in the map; however, the same MARC tag can be referenced in multiple places in the map. The targets are not in order and the maps are very lengthy to accommodate a large percentage of MARC. To check all places a tag is references, open the file in an ascii editor and find occurrence(s) of the desired tag..."
Dick R. Miller
Head of Technical Services & Systems Librarian
Lane Medical Library, L109
Stanford University Medical Center
Stanford, CA 94305-5123
(650) 725-4615 (work)
(650) 725-7471 (fax)