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Topic: Quick - and free - method to cross-reference (or convert) LCCN to ISBN?

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Subject: Quick - and free - method to cross-reference (or convert) LCCN to ISBN?
Date Posted: 4/17/2013 1:09 PM ET
Member Since: 4/11/2007
Posts: 833
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I was recently given a box of books from the era before the ISBN became the accepted standard. Many of these books have the older LCCN. I have wasted the last hour trying to find a database that I can use to convert or cross reference these numbers to ISBN. While I've found a few websites, none are free and only a couple offer a free trial. Thinking the LOC's website would be helpful, I quickly realized that while there's a lot of info there, it isn't all that easy for a casual user to navigate through.

So, anyone have a good, reliable and free resource to share?

Date Posted: 4/17/2013 2:46 PM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2009
Posts: 706
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What you want to do, can't be done.  These books were not published with ISBN's.  To post them, you should use the selection for "Books without an ISBN."

Date Posted: 4/17/2013 3:39 PM ET
Member Since: 4/11/2007
Posts: 833
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"What you want to do, can't be done.  These books were not published with ISBN's."

Really? I've already found at least one published in 1971 with an LCCN that is also in the ISBN database...

Date Posted: 4/17/2013 3:49 PM ET
Member Since: 10/22/2009
Posts: 1,452
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Ed--While you may be able to cross reference the LCCN to an ISBN for each book, since the ISBN is not actually printed on the copy of the book you have, per PBS rules the books are required to be posted without ISBNs as Diane suggests.

Date Posted: 4/17/2013 4:05 PM ET
Member Since: 4/11/2007
Posts: 833
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Well, okay, then... I guess that explains why there are several copies of one of these books with a short "ISBN" number. Does the PBS system generate those numbers for every copy of discrete edition entered without an ISBN? 

I will admit that I have tended to stay away from posting books without ISBNs, primarily because I don't get very many of them and it's easier (to me) to just donate them to the local library, or send them elsewhere (like the local hospital or regional jail). However, I find myself with a fairly large pile of them.



Last Edited on: 4/17/13 5:19 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/17/2013 4:06 PM ET
Member Since: 4/11/2007
Posts: 833
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Okay, out of curiosity, just how does a person wishlist a book that has no ISBN, but has not yet been posted?

Date Posted: 4/17/2013 4:55 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,178
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Okay, out of curiosity, just how does a person wishlist a book that has no ISBN, but has not yet been posted?

You really can't. There isn't a way. Although I think it's silly myself, apparently short ISBNs generated by PBS are not to be re-used (although I don't relly see any way it's different from re-using a regular ISBN. If your info matches all the points, then what's the difference?)

If you have a bunch of books that have no other copies posted, you might want to try making a post in the Book Bazaar about them. It's pretty heavily used, you may find some people that will want the books.

Date Posted: 4/17/2013 7:28 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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LCCN do not convert to ISBN.  Some earlier editions were re-issued later with ISBN, but unless it's printed in/on the book itself there's no way of confirming it's the right book.

I agree with Sara about re-using short ISBN's if all points match, but PBS requests that each book be posted individually and a new site number generated.

Date Posted: 4/18/2013 1:12 PM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2007
Posts: 4,410
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It's sad that the PBS generated ISBNs can't be reused because apparently some people don't know that they're 'fake ISBNs' and will WL a book with the PBS ISBN, and there's no way that they're ever going to get it with that ISBN.  Pat

Date Posted: 4/19/2013 8:22 AM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,276
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Actually, when a PBS short ISBN is issued, it should stay with that book as long as it is in the system. In other words, when I request a book with a short ISBN and then repost it, I can and do repost it under that short ISBN. That number is tied to that specific copy so if someone does wish for that copy when it is reposted, it does go to them as a WL book. But the key is that that short ISBN is tied to only that book, so non-ISBN books should not be posted to a short ISBN unless it is that specific copy that is tied to that number.

Date Posted: 4/19/2013 1:32 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,178
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But the key is that that short ISBN is tied to only that book, so non-ISBN books should not be posted to a short ISBN unless it is that specific copy that is tied to that number.

The rules do imply that.

It just seems unlikely to me that PBS has built an entirely different set of programming logic around short ISBNs. It makes much more sense from a programming perspective to treat a short ISBN exactly like a long ISBN in terms of how the site works. So, logic tells me that that is how it actually works, regardless of how they say they want us to use the short ISBNs.

Could I be wrong? Sure. But logically it does not make sense that they would expend precious programming time and resources making one type of unique number (short ISBN) work differently than a different unique number (long ISBN). I could be wrong (cause God knows people program things that don't make logical sense all the time) but it just seems unlikely to me.