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Accessing the LC Online Catalog

  1. What are LCCN Permalinks?
  2. How can I use LCCN Permalinks?
  3. How do I bookmark an LCCN Permalink record display?
  4. Does LCCN Permalink indicate whether an item is available at the Library of Congress?
  5. Does LCCN Permalink display non-Roman data found in LC Online Catalog records?
  6. I have a valid LCCN. However, LCCN Permalink reports that the LCCN I submitted was not found in the LC Online Catalog. Why am I receiving this error message?

Technical Questions About LCCN Permalink

  1. How does LCCN Permalink work?
  2. How do I link directly to the MARCXML, MODS, MADS, or Dublin Core formats of LCCN Permalink?
  3. Are MARC21 records available from LCCN Permalink?
  4. How does LCCN Permalink normalize LCCNs?
  5. My LCCN Permalink display contains some strange characters, such as boxes. Why?

More Questions?

  1. What does the Find It! button do?
  2. What should I do when I receive a system error message?
  3. What are the permissible rates for accessing LCCN Permalink?
  4. How do I obtain an LCCN for my publication?
  5. Where can I go for help if this FAQ does not resolve my question or problem?

General Questions About LCCN Permalink

  1. What are LCCN Permalinks?

    LCCN Permalinks are persistent URLs for bibliographic records in the Library of Congress Online Catalog and authority records in Library of Congress Authorities. These links are constructed using the record's LCCN (or Library of Congress Control Number), an identifier assigned by the Library of Congress to bibliographic and authority records.

  2. How can I use LCCN Permalinks?

    LCCN Permalinks offer an easy way to cite and link to bibliographic records in the Library of Congress Online Catalog and authority records in LC Authorities. You can use an LCCN Permalink anywhere you need to reference an LC bibliographic or authority record — in emails, blogs, databases, web pages, digital files, etc.

  3. How do I bookmark an LCCN Permalink record display?

    Just right-click on the LCCN Permalink web page and select appropriate options in your browser to copy the link, bookmark the page, or add the page to your favorites list.

  4. Does LCCN Permalink indicate whether an item is available at the Library of Congress?

    From the LCCN Permalink display for bibliographic records, you can easily check the availability status of the item in the Library's collection by clicking on View record in: LC Online Catalog in the left-navigation panel of the record display. This link will take you directly to the bibliographic record and item status information in the LC Online Catalog.

  5. Does LCCN Permalink display non-Roman data found in LC Online Catalog records?

    Yes, LCCN Permalink displays all non-Roman in MARC authority and bibliographic records.

  6. I have a valid LCCN. However, LCCN Permalink reports that the LCCN I submitted was not found in the LC Online Catalog. Why am I receiving this error message?

    LCCN Permalink retrieves and displays bibliographic records found in the LC Online Catalog and authority records in LC Authorities. Not all LCCNs assigned by the Library of Congress, however, resolve to an LC record. The Library of Congress began assigning LC control numbers in 1898. Some LCCNs may have been deleted from the Catalog, some LCCNs from older printed catalog cards may not yet have online records. LCCNs are also assigned before publication to items which the Library may subsequently decide not to add to its collections — including items cataloged by the National Library of Medicine or the National Agricultural Library, many large-print books, serials cataloged through the cooperative CONSER program, and items which received preassigned control numbers (PCNs). While LCCN Permalink may not find a bibliographic record in the LC Online Catalog, these LCCN may be represented in other library databases.

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Technical Questions About LCCN Permalink

  1. How does LCCN Permalink work?

    LCCN Permalinks are constructed using the following syntax:

    https://lccn.loc.gov/  followed by the  normalized LCCN
    Examples:  https://lccn.loc.gov/2003556443  or  https://lccn.loc.gov/n79018774

    These identifiers use the Library of Congress Online Catalog's Z39.50/SRU gateway to retrieve records formatted in MARCXML. The LCCN query (based on the Bath Profile syntax) searches both valid and cancelled LCCNs (MARC 21 fields 010a and 010z). Retrieved records are processed by XML stylesheets to create an LCCN Permalink display based on the Full Record display in the LC Online Catalog or LC Authorities. LCCN Permalink also presents bibliographic records in MARCXML, MODS, and Dublin Core formats; and authority records in MARCXML and MADS. In addition, name and subject authority records are linked to LC Authorities & Vocabularies. Where possible, name authorities are also linked to the Virtual International Authority File (external link) VIAF). LCCN Permalinks for bibliographic records reflect daily updates; name and subject authority record links are updated weekly.

  2. How do I link directly to the MARCXML, MODS, MADS, or Dublin Core formats of LCCN Permalink?

    LCCN Permalink provides a qualified URL syntax to support direct persistent links to MARCXML, MODS, MADS, or Dublin Core-formatted bibliographic records. The qualifier must be added to the end of the LCCN Permalink URL. For example: https://lccn.loc.gov/2003556443/mods

    The following LCCN Permalink qualifiers are currently supported:

    MARCXML     /marcxml
    MODS     /mods
    MADS     /mads
    Dublin Core     /dc
  3. Are MARC21 records available from LCCN Permalink?

    LCCN Permalink bibliographic record displays provide a link to the MARC21 UTF-8 record in the LC Online Catalog. Clicking on this link triggers browser-dependent options for locally saving the MARC21 record.

  4. How does LCCN Permalink normalize LCCNs?

    LC Permalink uses info:lccn (external link) URI specifications to normalize the standard LCCN syntax. Each LCCN has three components: a prefix, year, and serial number. Prefixes may be blank, or they may contain from one to three lowercase alphabetic characters (maintained in a controlled list). Year information is either two or four digits — two digits for LCCNs assigned through 2000, four digits for LCCNs assigned 2001 and later. LCCN serial numbers contain six digits.

    The info:lccn normalization removes hyphens, left-fills serial numbers with zeros, and removes spaces in LCCN prefixes. The resulting LCCNs may look different from LCCNs appearing in the MARC 010 fields of bibliographic records, in Cataloging-in-Publication data, or on printed catalog cards.

    If you are looking for ...Enter the LCCN as ...
    LCCN 89-45689000456
      (no prefix)
      (assigned before 1/1/2001)
      -- Omit spaces and hyphens
      -- Make sure your LCCN is 8 characters long:
         Two numbers (representing a year) followed by six serial numbers
         Add leading zeros if there are fewer than six serial numbers
    LCCN 2001-11142001001114
      (no prefix)
      (assigned after 12/31/2000)
      -- Omit spaces and hyphens
      -- Make sure your LCCN is 10 characters long:
         Four numbers (representing a year) followed by six serial numbers
         Add leading zeros if there are fewer than six serial numbers
    LCCN gm 71-2450gm71002450
    LCCN n 79-18774n79018774
    LCCN sh 85026371sh85026371
      (1-3 character alphabetic prefix)
      (assigned before 1/1/2001)
      -- Omit spaces and hyphens
      -- Make sure your LCCN is 9-11 characters long:
         Two numbers (representing a year) followed by six serial numbers
         Add leading zeros if there are fewer than six serial numbers
    LCCN sn2006058112sn2006058112
    LCCN n 2011033569n2011033569
    LCCN sh2006006990sh2006006990
      (1-2 character alphabetic prefix)
      (assigned after 12/31/2000)
      -- Omit spaces and hyphens
      -- Make sure your LCCN is 11-12 characters long:
         Four numbers (representing a year) followed by six serial numbers
         Add leading zeros if there are fewer than six serial numbers
  5. My LCCN Permalink display contains some strange characters, such as boxes. Why?

    While bibliographic records retrieved from the LC Online Catalog and authority records from LC Authorities will display correctly for most languages without changing your preferred browser settings, you may see boxes or incorrectly formatted characters if your browser is set to display mainly English language web pages. Information on Unicode in the LC Online Catalog is available on the LC Online Catalog FAQ. LCCN Permalink displays are best viewed using Unicode fonts and the most current browser and operating system software.

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More Questions?

  1. What does the Find It! button do?

    Find It! at the Library of Congress is a research tool that simplifies your efforts to find full text for books and journal articles. LCCN Permalinks for textual material in the LC Online Catalog include a Find It! button. Clicking on the Find It! button activates the Library of Congress Find It! OpenURL resolver service. A new browser window or tab will open containing links to full text or other suggestions for locating the item described by the LCCN Permalink citation. Some full text resources can only be viewed when you are onsite at the Library, while other resources are freely available. If you have access to a different OpenURL resolver, LCCN Permalink also contains enbedded COInS metadata, which can be activated by various browser plug-ins.

  2. What should I do when I receive a system error message?

    If LCCN Permalink is temporarily unavailable, please first try to refresh the display in your browser. If problems persist, please send a problem report to the Library through Ask a Librarian.

  3. What are the permissible rates for accessing LCCN Permalink?

    As an SRU-based web service supporting the LC Online Catalog metadata, LCCN Permalink must ensure that access to the Catalog's SRU/Z39.50 gateways remain accessible to all Library patrons. Current LCCN Permalink guidelines do not permit robots and recommend that software programs submit a total of no more than 10 requests per minute, regardless of the number of machines used to submit requests. The Library reserve the right to terminate programs that require more than 24 hours to complete and to block IP addresses that fail to honor the LCCN Permalink's robots.txt file. See https://www.loc.gov/legal/#security

  4. How do I obtain an LCCN for my publication?

    The Library of Congress offers U.S. book publishers the service of assigning LCCNs to their prepublication titles through the Electronic Preassigned Control Number Program. Qualified publishers may also receive an LCCN as part of CIP data issued by the Cataloging in Publication Program. LCCNs are also assigned by the Library of Congress to items added to the Library's collections or cataloged as part of the cooperative CONSER program. As noted in FAQ Question 6, the assignment of an LCCN by the Library of Congress does not automatically ensure that a publication will be selected for Library's collections.

  5. Where can I go for help if this FAQ does not resolve my question or problem?

    If you are a researcher in a Library of Congress reading room, please ask the reference librarian on duty for help. You may also report problems by contacting the Library of Congress through Ask a Librarian.

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