As you now know I began my tenure as the interim Curator for Literature and Rare Books by trying to get more familiar with cataloged items in Rare Books and Special Collections by creating a spreadsheet that would give me an overview of the collection as a whole. Technical Services provided me with a MARC file containing the complete MARC records for every item in these collections and pointed me to MARCedit to be able to create a customized report about the collections. Previously I explained how I used MARCedit in Revealing La Revolution: The Environmental Scan & MARCedit, Part 1. Now I’m going to share how I imported and set up my data in Microsoft Excel so that it revealed the contents of Rare Books and Special Collections to me.
I began by opening a new workbook in Microsoft Excel and went to the “Data” Menu Ribbon.
In the furthest left column I choose to import my data “from text” and directed the request box to the correct file.
The Import Wizard then allowed me to choose how to import the file. I chose “delimited” because that was the type of file I created and left “Start import at row” to its preset of “1”. In order to keep the diacritics and special characters from foreign languages I had to change the “File origin:” to match my file type “Unicode (UTF-8)”.
For Step two I chose “tab” to match my previous file.
And in Step 3 I choose “Text” because I didn’t want Excel thinking it was smarter than me and assuming that what might be a combination of numbers and letters is something other than it is and changing it. You know Excel likes to do this!
Finally I told excel that I wanted it to use the current worksheet to display the data. And after the import was complete I saved my new excel file!
Finally, because I wanted to sort my data I choose to “Format as Table” from the “Home” Menu Ribbon.
And now I have a very useful excel table with all currently cataloged Rare Book and Special Collections items.
This file is so much more useful than browsing the stacks for projects like the environmental scan for Revealing La Revolution. It is also a great help to me as I update the webpages about our collections and reach out to instructors with resources for their classroom. Hopefully the information on how I created this report is useful to you, too.
See Revealing La Revolution: The Environmental Scan & MARCedit, Part 1 to learn more about using MARCedit to read how I used MARCeditor to define the fields for my Excel spreadsheet.