This lesson is in the early stages of development (Alpha version)

PyMARC Basics

This lesson is an applied introduction to Python, MARC and PyMARC.

In this lesson you’ll learn how to engage with MARC binary files with Python. This includes read, editing, creating, and saving MARC records.

Anyone working on bibliographic records will have used any number of record editing tools to create/change/delete records. These are typically part of a libraries record management platform.

These tools can start to become cumbersome, or inefficient as the number of records being addressed grows.

In this lesson we’ll learn some tools and techniques that will allow us to process records in bulk. The sample record set used in the lesson is only 10 records.

All of these skills you’ll learn in this lesson will help you scale up towards processing the sort of numbers of records we see in large collections.

Imagine having the ability at your finger tips to work through hundreds of thousands of records with absolute precision, and be able to make surgically accurate changes in seconds…


It is strongly recommended you complete Python for Librarians or similar before starting this lesson

It is suitable for anyone who knows some basic Python

It is suitable for anyone who does not know anything about MARC records.


Setup Download files required for the lesson
13:00 1. Introduction and Setup
13:25 2. MARC basics
13:50 3. Parsing with PyMARC - Part One
14:50 4. Coffee Break Break
15:05 5. Parsing with PyMARC - Part Two
16:05 6. Changing a record with PyMARC
17:35 7. Saving MARC Files
17:55 Finish

The actual schedule may vary slightly depending on the topics and exercises chosen by the instructor.