Monday, April 21, 2014

Project Gutenberg: eBooks and MARC records

My explorations of Machine-Readable Cataloging (MARC) records for eBooks led me to Project Gutenberg, which bills itself as “the first producer of free ebooks.” Its online selections include several categories in its Children’s Bookshelf, many of which are sure to be of value in elementary and middle-school collections.

Illustration from "The Queen of Hearts" by Randolph Caldecott
Illustration from The Queen
of Hearts
Randolph Caldecott
Among many other authors, Project Gutenberg features several works by English illustrator Randolph Caldecott, available to be read online or for download in several formats. In its excerpt from “Picture Books,” an entry on Wikipedia, Project Gutenberg acknowledges, “The Caldecott Medal, named for Randolph Caldecott, is given each year by the American Library Association to the illustrator of the best illustrated American book of that year.”

And records for all books in Project Gutenberg are available in MARC format.

“There is an automatically derived MARC product, generated nightly from the XML/RDF catalog. Find it at” And “Steve Thomas of the University of Adelaide has a script to generate MARC records from the XML/RDF catalog. Find it here: The records are updated approximately weekly, available at the same location.”

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