PICA::Tutorial - A documentation-only module for PICA::Record usage


 perldoc PICA::Tutorial


What is PICA?

PICA+ is the internal data format of the Local Library System (LBS) and the Central Library System (CBS) of OCLC PICA. Similar library formats are the MAchine Readable Cataloging format (MARC) and the Maschinelles Austauschformat für Bibliotheken (MAB). In additionally to PICA+ there is the catalouging format Pica3 which can losslessly be convert to PICA+ and vice versa.

OCLC PICA is an European library cooperative which originated from a cooperation of the Dutch Pica foundation (Stichting Pica) and the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC).

What is PICA::Record?

PICA::Record is a Perl package that provides an API for PICA+ record handling. The package contains a parser interface module PICA::Parser to parse PICA+ (PICA::PlainParser) and PICA XML (PICA::XMLParser). Corresponding modules exist to write data (PICA::Writer and PICA::XMLWriter). PICA+ data is handled in records (PICA::Record) that contain fields (PICA::Field). There is also the experimental interface PICA::Server to fetch records from databases via SRU and parse them afterwards with PICA::SRUSearchParser.

Here are some use cases of PICA::Record:

Convert from PICA+ to PicaXML and vice versa
Process PICA+ records that you have downloaded with WinIBW
Download records from an PICA OPAC in its native PICA+ format via SRU

To get an insight to the API have a look at the examples and tests included in this package. This document will be expanded to a full Tutorial for users of PICA::Record. Feedback is very welcome!

The examples in the bin directory include: - remove duplicate records - parse PICA+ records


At CPAN there are the modules MARC::Record, MARC, and MARC::XML for MARC records. The deprecated module Net::Z3950::Record had a subclass Net::Z3950::Record::MAB for MAB records (you should now use Net::Z3950::ZOOM).


Full Unicode support needs more testing and probably some bugfixes. The PICA XML format is not standardized yet so it may change in the future. The SRU interface to fetch PICA+ records is very experimental.


Jakob Voss <>


Copyright (C) 2007 by Verbundzentrale Goettingen (VZG) and Jakob Voss

This library is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself, either Perl version 5.8.8 or, at your option, any later version of Perl 5 you may have available.

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