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Subject: Preparing microfilm targets

Preparing microfilm targets

From: Pete Jermann <pjermann>
Date: Thursday, March 14, 1991
At St. Bonaventure University we have been involved in several large
brittle book microfilming projects.  We created a customized database
for microfilm processing which allowed us to track titles through the
many steps involved in microfilm preparation and to identify where any
given book was at any given time.  Every title had a worksheet and every
worksheet had a computer assigned serial number.  The record for any
book could be searched by the serial number or the books call number.
Once a book was selected for microfilming a brief bibliographic record
(author, short title, place of publication and date of publication) was
entered into the computer.  From this information we not only pulled
information for targets, but labels to put on quality control forms,
microfilm box labels, and a reel by reel catalog of microfilm produced.

Though the program was on the campus mini-computer, targets were printed
using a basic sign program, an ibm compatible PC and a dot matrix
printer. Serial numbers of items to be targeted were queued onto the
computer. The master program on the mini-computer read the que,
retrieved the relevant bibliographic information and and created an
ASCII batch file readable by the sign program.  The batch file was
downloaded and processed by the PC, producing the necessary targets.

Though this was a custom programmed application the ability to produce a
batch file for targeting is easily handled by most any database program
with a mail merge capability.  As the commands in such a batch file are
simply repeated for each target, these commands need only be defined
once and written out in an file with variables where the bibliographic
information goes.  As with form letters, where the computer merges names
and addresses with the same letter body, so it will merge bibliographic
fields into your prepared batch file.

At an institution where I recently interned, I was able to help add this
type of targeting capability to a database they had created on the IBM
PC using PC File, a shareware database program.  A flag field (a one
character field denoting yes or no) for targeting was added to all
records on the database.   Records that needed targets were simply
marked "y" in the flag field.  When the time came to produce targets all
flagged records were merged into a target batch file. This batch file
was then processed by their sign program.  Once the targets were
successfully printed, a global change command cleared all of the flags
in the original database.

Pete Jermann
St. Bonaventure University

                  Conservation DistList Instance 4:48
                 Distributed: Thursday, March 14, 1991
                        Message Id: cdl-4-48-005
Received on Thursday, 14 March, 1991

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