CUNY Library Standard Number Lookup Service

CUNY Library Standard Number Lookup Service

This service provides an easy way to extract data from Aleph based on standard numbers combined with the various local and union search bases in the Aleph system. A number of of linking options and formats are available, the basic view will provide you with an HTML representation of the standard number search results. In addition to the default HTML view the following other two formats are available:

  • json
  • xml

The service pulls relevant information from the items bibliographic, holdings, and item records. More data can be added to the view if it is required upon request. The JSON or XML format is appropriate for use by a client application that might wish to use this information in some useful way. An example use case for this service would be a mobile library application that wish provide Aleph holdings and item status data for known items in a given set of search results.

The Office of Library Services plans to use this service to expose this information to two applications

  1. IDS Search @ CUNY
  2. ILLiad Add-ons for CUNY Libraries

Service parameters

  • The service provides a real-time check of circulation item status. This requires a unique query to the aleph system for each matching item in the result set.
  • With the exception of the title search option all lookups return all matched items.
  • When using the cun01 base in conjunction with widely held titles the service will return results slowly. This is a result of the attempt to provide a real-time availability status for each item.

The examples below present the various available standard number indexes and how to use them in conjunction with with the three available formats and the aleph local base indexes available. The actual searching is accomplished through the Aleph Search Retrieve URL (SRU) Service. For further documentation on local bases and the SRU server consult the following:

Aleph Bibliographic Identifier

This lookup uses the unique numeric aleph bibliographic system identifier. Since this number is unique the lookup will work in either the cun01 base or in the base of the campus library that actually owns the record in question. In the examples below "city" and "baruch" are the owning sub-libraries.

ISBN Number

Allows searching by ISBN number. This looks at the contents of the Aleph 020 MARC field. 10 or 13 digit ISBNs will both work.

ISSN Number

Allows searching by ISSN number for serial titles. This looks at the 022 MARC field.

OCLC Number

Linking Based on the OCLC number embedded in the MARC 035 Field. This application attempts to deal with the various permutations currently represneted in the Aleph system. These include:

  1. ocn
  2. ocm
  3. (OCoLC)
  4. (OCoLC)ocm
  5. (OCoLC)


Ebrary ID Number

Link based on Ebrary ID number stored in 035 field. This field has been input in different fashions. AL loaded records have used one prefix strategy for denoted Ebrary IDs, records loaded prior to 2009 used another:

  1. (Ebr)ebr10211345AL - for Central Records
  2. ebr10211345 - For Records loaded for Lehman, Baruch, Brooklyn, and Grad School of Journalism prior to 2009.

Serials Solutions ID Number

Serials Solutions MARC records for electronic journals all have a unique ID embedded in the 035 MARC field. The schematic used to denote Serials Solutions IDs in this field takes the following form (WaSeSS)ssj{ID Number}{Campus OWN Code}. Example 035 fields for Serials Solutions Records:

  1. (WaSeSS)ssj0003884AL - for Central Office CUN01 Records
  2. (WaSeSS)ssj0003884BC - for Brooklyn College
  3. (WaSeSS)ssj0003884SI - for College of Staten Island

Note: All three of the above records have the same Serials Solutions ID "0003884" but have a unique Aleph system number.

Item Barcode

Executes a search for an item barcode

Title Search

Keyword in title search is also available. Results are limited to 20 items by default. Retrieval of this particular index is slow for widely held titles when using the "cun01" base.

All Standard Numbers

This serves as a wildcard query that allows you to send a group of standard numbers of varying types to aleph and use an "or" query to see if any results are returned for the group of numbers.

Valid Standard Number Indexes

  • oclc
  • lccn
  • isbn
  • lccn