Friday, October 8, 2010

Vacation, catalog maintenance

Wow, it's been almost a month and a half since my last post.  My vacation had a little to do with that, but the rest was just...pre-vacation near burn-out, maybe?

My vacation went great. It took me a while to get comfortable with my niece, since I've never really been around babies before, but now I find I feel sad that I won't get to see her very often. At the very least, everyone in her family but her mom and dad is going to miss out on her first birthday - so sad!

Being back at work feels a little weird, but that'll wear off. With SCUUG only a week away, I've been reminding myself how to use MARCEdit for catalog maintenance by working on a project I started looking into right before my vacation. An unknown number of name headings in our catalog are messed up, with subfield d coming before subfield q, rather than after. I had been ignoring this problem, but now it's starting to interfere pretty significantly with my batch authority searching and loading process.

An example of the problem:
Babcock, C. J. $d 1894- $q (Clarence Joseph),

Should be:
Bacock, C. J. $q (Clarence Joseph), $d 1894-

In the past, I occasionally fixed these by hand as I came across them. However, this is annoying, and also bad for my wrist. Global editing is a good thing, and this looked like something that should be fixable globally. I just wasn't sure how.

It turns out it's possible with MARCEdit, and I figured out how to do it all on my own. Woohoo! I'm planning on running the fix for all the oldest records in our catalog (nearly 200,000 I think) over the course of a few weeks. That should take care of most, if not all, of the problem, and then I can get back to batch searching and loading authority records.

While playing with all of that, I also learned the first few steps for a new tool in MARCEdit that allows you to extract certain records from a larger file, edit the smaller file of records, and (in theory) re-insert the edited records back into the larger file. This will be great for all kinds of projects, once I figure out how to get the reinsertion part to work.

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