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About the Z39

About the Z39.50 Gateway


Z39.50 is a national standard defining a protocol for computer-to-computer information retrieval. Z39.50 makes it possible for a user in one system to search and retrieve information from other computer systems (that have also implemented Z39.50) without knowing the search syntax that is used by those other systems. Z39.50 is an American National Standard that was originally approved by the National Information Standards Organization (NISO) in 1988.

The Z39.50 Maintenance Agency Page, includes documentation and information related to the development and ongoing maintenance of the Z39.50 standard.

Z39.50 Resources, maintained by Dan Brickley, Institute for Learning and Research Technology, and Z39.50 Resource Page, maintained by NISO, will provide hyperlinks to many Z39.50-related resources.

Using a Z39.50 client, it is currently possible to search the Library of Congress bibliograpic and authority files. Information that will be required to configure your Z39.50 client to search the LC server directly is provided in LC Z39.50 Server Configuration Guidelines. It is also possible to access the LC server by using the appropriate search forms listed under "Search Library of Congress Catalog" above.

This gateway makes use of an earlier version of the ISearch-CGI public domain software that is available from CNIDR. It should be noted that many search and retrieval capabilities that are available in the Z39.50 protocol are not implemented in this gateway. The Initialization, Search, and Retrieval facilities have been implemented.