Home Library Cataloguing

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Theological Books

Puritan Board Freshman
This definitely goes in the theological section, me thinks. Regardless, it should be here *AND* in General Discussion.

I have found *THE BEST* software program that catalogues one's entire library. The name of it is Collectorz.com Book Collector 4.3 Pro. It is absolutely phenomenal. I wish I would have found this 2 years ago for my bookstore... man. I recommend everyone who has an extensive--or growing--library to download a free trial version. With a coupon (which I received with my trial download), the download software is $34.95, and it is worth EVERY penny.

For example, in order to catalogue a book you own, simply go to "Add Book by Searching Info Sources..." in the "Edit" menu, or use the shortcut on the top left (the icon is a closed book with a blue cross on the top of the book). Enter the ISBN and it will search a variety of online sources. Personally, I found the Library of Congress combined with Amazon US to be the best. If your book is keyed into the library of congress by the ISBN (not all books can be found in the library of congress by ISBN; e.g. Herman Ridderbos' commentary on John published by Eerdmans).

The search engine retrieves all the information available from any website listed to search. From the LoC you get the Call/Location Number and the Dewy Decimal number (if you want to organize your library in a more efficient manner). From Amazon US you retrieve the price, the rating, the photo image, the number of pages, the author, the publisher, the year published, and any notes included in the Amazon US website. It is simply AMAZING! If I would have had this for my business I would have saved SO MUCH TIME AND MONEY!!!! I'm so angry I just now found it. Once the information is retrieved, it transfers all the information into your catalogue with the click of a button. It is amazing.

Also, your library list of books can be imported to a .txt format that can be opened in MS Word. You can export the complete list to a .txt file in any variety of creation: LoC number, author, title, year published, publisher, etc., and in any combination and order. So, if you wanted to print LoC Call/Location Numbers and put them on the spines of your books, you can easily export all the LoC numbers (in the order you desire; i.e. in ascending order, or in relation to the author's alphabetical number, or alphabetical title, etc.). I'm telling you, this thing does it ALL!

Now, I've downloaded and tried about 10 different software programs similar to this one (i.e. visit www.downloads.com and search their software). The closest comparison is the software program BookCat. However, not only is this software more expensive, but the searches in the LoC did not yield any information on any titles that Book Collector 4.3 Pro yielded in its search of the LoC webpage/database. For some reason BookCat just didn't find the info Book Collector 4.3 Pro could in the LoC. These reasons--price and inability to find information as does Book Collector--is why I finally sided with Book Collector 4.3 Pro.

BUY IT AND USE IT!!!! If you have an extensive (and expensive) library, these are great records for insurance. Not only does Book Collector get information about the publisher and such, but it *ALSO* downloads the *PRICE* of the book for your own records (I believe it is the full SRP, not Amazon.com's sale price, which is better for your records). You can store all your books on the database, back it upon a file, or print it, and keep in a fire-safe box. IT IS AMAZING! I've definitely found my next house-keeping project with this bad boy. And, for you married gentleman, your wife can finally go into your study, touch your books (i.e. shelve them after picking up the book piles from the bathroom, the living room, and the side of your bed, and all the books slewn across your study floor) and shelve them without misplacing them (assuming you do tag them with the LoC Call/Location number, which I plan to do). I suggest spending a hundred bucks or so and getting vellum (sp?), or see-through covers as dust jackets. You can cover all your books in this material and place the LoC Call/Location Number on the vellum rather than the binding or the dust-jacket, which protects its value. Me, I don't have much concern for that since my books are thoroughly marked with pencil, pen, highlighters, etc. The only resale value my books will have is if I become famous and appreciated in the theological/academia world some 200 years after my death and my family still has my books, but I ain't holding my breath for that.

GET THIS SOFTWARE, NOW!!! Seriously, the puritanboard.com ought to let me write a review and advertisement of this software on their webpage to help out people with growing libraries.
 

NaphtaliPress

Administrator
Staff member
Sounds pretty good and I think I'll check it out. I assume manual entry is allowed? I have more antiquarian and pre ISBN titles in my library than modern titles with ISBN. Does the program allow barcode scanning for ISBN entry?
 

kceaster

Puritan Board Junior
Yes, Chris. Manual entry is perfectly fine, and you can scan barcodes into the ISBN fields.

KC
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
I agree with Mr. Myers. This program is excellent. There are also excellent "sibling" programs for music and movies.
 

NaphtaliPress

Administrator
Staff member
Book Collector

Originally posted by kceaster
Yes, Chris. Manual entry is perfectly fine, and you can scan barcodes into the ISBN fields.

KC
I finally picked this up and do not regret it. Very nice. I also picked up the portable ISBN scanner but have not even opened it up yet--I'm not nearly done but got most of the antiquarian stuff logged which has taken several weeks. Embarrassed to say, I now see that I bought some titles twice!. Another reason to have such a program!:up: Thanks to those recommending it. http://www.collectorz.com/book/support.php
 

NaphtaliPress

Administrator
Staff member
My brother in law runs a K-12 school that has a library of about 1000-2000 books, is there a better choice than trying to use Book Collector for a PC based card catalog; doesn't seem an exact fit but I really do not know what all they want to be able to do either. It does allow you to make lending notations but this is a big part of a school library's activities and I wonder if it is robust enough? Any ideas or suggestions?
 

NaphtaliPress

Administrator
Staff member
After talking to Arnie more, I guess what they need is something on the order of an automated card catalog or pc based card catalog. But it needs to be pretty low cost (I mean to 1000s of dollars).
 

rmwilliamsjr

Puritan Board Freshman
since this thread is about cataloging a library, and the people reading it ought to be knowledgable about the field. i'd like to ask a related question:

i've looked at a number of php-sql based open source library programs in the search for something that we can run on the church website and use to catalog everyone's libraries and make them available for borrowing. i have yet to find such an animal, any learning curve that others have on the issue would be helpful. it needs to run on a linux box, be open source and php-mysql based.

thanks.
 

ChristopherPaul

Puritan Board Senior
Collectorz.com is running a special through 3/21/07 where you can choose any three of the professional cataloging programs (Music, Movie, Book, Comic, Game, MP3, or Photo) including the Backup CD, one year of Premium Support, shipping and the Collectorz.com barcode scanner all for $199.65.

I eventually would like to get the book catalogue system, but the Photo and MP3 programs may be worth it as well.
 
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