Z39.50

Search and retrieve information from a database

The collective catalogue of the bibnet.lu library network is searchable via the Z39.50 protocol.
To use this service, it is necessary to have a Z39.50 client or a tool that supports this protocol (for example an Integrated Library System).

What is Z39.50?

Developed in the 80s, Z39.50 is a protocol used for searching and retrieving information form a database. It meets the ISO 23950 standard and is widely used in library environments. Thus, many Integrated Library Systems support this protocol.

ISO 23950 – “Information and documentation — Information retrieval (Z39.50) — Application service definition and protocol specification”
How does Z39.50 work?

Z39.50 is a client-server protocol that is implemented on the application layer, which means that it works only over TCP/IP computer networks and does not make use of the HTTP protocol. The protocol is not intuitive to use, but supports search, retrieval, sort and browse functionalities.

BnL Z39.50 Server

How to connect?

If you have a Z39.50 client, you can connect to the BnL Z39.50 server using the parameters shown in the table.

There exist several clients that support the Z39.50 protocol.

For developers, there is Yaz (provided by Index Data). Then, there is BibData (for Windows only) that provides a graphical user interface.

YazBibData

Query Attributes

You can query BnL’s Z39.50 server using any of the following available attributes:

Value – Use

1 – Author

4 – Title

5 – Collection

7 – ISBN

8 – ISSN

21 – Subjects

30 – Year

59 – Publication place

1016 – Word

1018 – Publisher