Recommendations for managing a book collection

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gryle
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Recommendations for managing a book collection

Post by gryle »

My better-half and I are in the process of joining households and we're looking for some open-source software to help us manage our home library. Between the two of us we have somewhere around 500-some-ought hard-copy books (we both have an addiction to used book shops) in addition to my meagre comic book collection. This will undoubtedly grow as the years go on.

From the research I've done thus far, I have three broad categories of options:
1) Basic spreadsheet / database in something like LibreBase or LibreCalc.
2) More specialized database software, such as either Tellico or Alexandria. Having used both way back when, I preferred Alexandria by a small margin for the ability to pulled everything about a book based on the ISBN. However, the page for Alexandria hasn't had a news update since 2011 and as best I can tell is no longer being maintained.
3) Integrated Library System (ILS) packages such as Koha, OpenBibloio, or Evergreen. These are intended for larger community lending libraries and they seems a bit like overkill. However if they're the best tool for the job, I'll take the time to set the software up on one of our towers.

How do other folks with large numbers of books manage their collections? Any particular recommendations in terms of software?

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vortex59
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Re: Recommendations for managing a book collection

Post by vortex59 »

For managing scientific articles I use Mendeley ("free reference manager and PDF organizer"):
https://www.mendeley.com/
"A scientist is someone whose curiosity survives education's assaults on it". Sir Hermann Bondi

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BenTrabetere
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Re: Recommendations for managing a book collection

Post by BenTrabetere »

I was in a similar situation, only it was for a music collection of 500+ LPs and 300+ CDs. I started by creating a LO Base database but quit early on because the thought entering the information by hand made my head hurt ... and I discovered Tellico.

I like Tellico. It suits my needs, and I have no complaints.
the ability to pulled everything about a book based on the ISBN
I was impressed at how well it pulled information off ISBNdb.com. It found The Southern Redneck: A Phenomenological Class Study and High Weirdness by Mail by ISBN, and it pulled up Hitchcock's New and Complete Analysis of the Holy Bible with a title search. I figure if it can find books that obscure, it could find just about anything. The Hitchcock was printed in 1869.

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phd21
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Re: Recommendations for managing a book collection

Post by phd21 »

Hi gryle & better half,

In addition to "Tellico" or "Alexandria", I have provided some web links below. What's wrong with "Tellico" which is being updated and maintained? FYI, just because a program like Alexandria has not been updated, or currently being maintained, does not necessarily mean it won't continue to work for you. Apparently, it is also being re-written by "Palatina Project" and they would like some feedback from people...

Palatina Project - Palatina is a program for managing your book catalogue.
http://palatin.as/

"GCstar" is a free open source application for managing your collections. Detailed information on each item can be automatically retrieved from the internet and you can store additional data, such as the location or who you've lent it to. You may also search and filter your collection by many criteria.

Books, Comic books, Music, Numismatic, Wines, Board games, Movies, Video games,
TV shows episodes, Stamps, Periodicals, Mini vehicles, Smart cards, TV shows (series), Computer software,
& User defined collections

http://www.gcstar.org/


* in the Software Manager or Synaptic Package Manager (SPM): "bibshelf", Tellico, etc ...

The unique "Readerware" ($40) auto-catalog feature lets you feed in a list of books, enter the ISBN, LCCN or just scan the barcode. Readerware does the rest, searching the web and cataloging your books for you. Readerware can merge information from multiple sites to build the most complete database possible, with cover art. Automatically and effortlessly.
http://www.readerware.com/index.php/pro ... ks_details


6 of the Best Free Linux Collection Managers
http://www.linuxlinks.com/article/20091 ... agers.html

The best Linux collection managers compared
http://www.tuxradar.com/content/best-li ... s-compared

e-Book Collection Management on Linux
http://penguininside.blogspot.com/2010/ ... linux.html

Free Library Software: LibLime KOHA, Openbiblio
http://lislinks.com/forum/topics/free-l ... openbiblio

A list of 50 sites similar to koha.org
http://www.similarsitesearch.com/altern ... o/koha.org

Hope this helps ...
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gryle
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Re: Recommendations for managing a book collection

Post by gryle »

phd21 wrote:What's wrong with "Tellico" which is being updated and maintained?
Nothing's wrong with it. I've used it in the past for managing other collections. This thread was looking for other people's recomendations and experiences. After re-reading my initial post, I conclude that I didn't express myself clearly enough.

phd21 wrote:Apparently, it is also being re-written by "Palatina Project" and they would like some feedback from people...

Palatina Project - Palatina is a program for managing your book catalogue.
http://palatin.as/
I hadn't run across that in my search. Thanks for the information.

gryle
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Re: Recommendations for managing a book collection

Post by gryle »

BenTrabetere wrote:I was impressed at how well it pulled information off ISBNdb.com. It found The Southern Redneck: A Phenomenological Class Study and High Weirdness by Mail by ISBN, and it pulled up Hitchcock's New and Complete Analysis of the Holy Bible with a title search. I figure if it can find books that obscure, it could find just about anything. The Hitchcock was printed in 1869.
Last time I used Tellico (about 7 years...ish?), that feature wasn't available. Thanks for the information!

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phd21
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Re: Recommendations for managing a book collection

Post by phd21 »

Hi gryle,

After you posted this the last time, I decided to test Tellico and GCstar regarding book collections. I found that Tellico was easier and more intuitive than GCstar for books, at least to me. And, as user "BenTrabetere" mentioned, Tellico was able to easily and quickly update book information that I entered in from various web sources. I was very impressed with Tellico. I like GCstar too, and it could update book information from various web sources too, but not as easily as Tellico and not quite as accurately.

I do love the name "Alexandria" for a book collection manager for the obvious historical references, and I hope that someone resurrects a good book collection manager program using the name "Alexandria", or perhaps another book collection manager could rename theirs to "Alexandria", if they can get permission.
Last edited by phd21 on Sun Sep 06, 2015 12:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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jimallyn
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Re: Recommendations for managing a book collection

Post by jimallyn »

The local library here uses Koha, and it works well. But as you say, it might be a bit of overkill for a small collection.
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gryle
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Re: Recommendations for managing a book collection

Post by gryle »

We've decided to go with Tellico for now, but I'll definitely keep an eye on the Paladin project. Thanks for everyone's input!

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