Jonathan, Marc4j does handle this case. It is not implemented in the AnselToUnicode class, instead it exists in the MarcPermissiveStreamReader (and is only enabled when the permissive reading is enabled) I'm not sure there is a good reason that it is done there instead of in the AnselToUnicode class. It will even match some slightly broader patterns (such as ‏%x; or Èf ) both of which I have encountered in data in our system. The corresponding UnicodeToAnsel converter relies on this feature to ensure data is roundtrip-able. -Bob Haschart On 11/5/2013 4:04 PM, Jonathan Rochkind wrote: > Do you do sometimes deal with MARC in the MARC8 character encoding? > Do you deal with software that converts from MARC8 to UTF8? > > Maybe sometimes you've seen weird escape sequences that look like HTML > or XML "character references", like, say "‏". > > You, like me, might wonder what the heck that is about -- is it > cataloger error, a catalgoer manually entered this or something in > error? Is it a software error, some software accidentally stuck this > in, at some part in the pipeline? > > You can't, after all, just put HTML/XML character references wherever > you want -- there's no reason "‏" would mean anything other > than &, #, x, 2, etc, when embedded in MARC ISO 2709 binary, right? > > Wrong, it turns out! > > There is actually a standard that says you _can_ embed XML/HTML-style > character references in MARC8, for glyphs that can't otherwise be > represented in MARC8. "Lossless conversion [from unicode] to MARC-8 > encoding." > > http://www.loc.gov/marc/specifications/speccharconversion.html#lossless > > Phew, who knew?! > > Software that converts from MARC8 to UTF-8 may or may not properly > un-escape these character references though. For instance, the Marc4K > "AnselToUnicode" class which converts from Marc8 to UTF8 (or other > unicode serializations) won't touch these "lossless conversions" (ie, > HTML/XML character references), they'll leave them alone in the > output, as is. > > yaz-marcdump also will NOT un-escape these entities when converting > from Marc8 to UTF8. > > So, then, the system you then import your UTF8 records into will now > just display the literal HTML/XML-style character reference, it won't > know to un-escape them either, since those literals in UTF8 really > _do_ just mean & followed by a # followed by an x, etc. It only means > something special as a literal in HTML, or in XML -- or it turns out > in MARC8, as a 'lossless character conversion'. > > So, for instance, in my own Traject software that uses Marc4J to > convert from Marc8 to UTF8 -- I'm going to have to go add another > pass, that converts HTML/XML-character entities to actual UTF8 > serializations. Phew. > > So be warned, you may need to add this to your software too.