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Banner: AMICUS
Canadian National Catalogue
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Z39.50 is an information retrieval standard supported by libraries and software vendors to access information resources independent of the database location or the hardware/software used.

  • NLC Z39.50 enables you to search and retrieve records from the National Library of Canada database using Z39.50 software connected to the Internet. The NLC collection is a portion (approximately 10%) of the entire AMICUS database. This service does not require registration.

  • AMICUS Z39.50 enables you to search and retrieve records from the entire AMICUS database using Z39.50 software connected to the Internet. This service requires that you register for an AMICUS account.

Getting Started with Z39.50

Read these sections first to set up your Z39.50 client software to use our services.

  • Initialize: How to connect to our Z39.50 server
  • Search: How to send a search query to AMICUS
  • Scan: How to browse an AMICUS index to view a list of terms
  • Present: How to display records in a specific format (eg. MARC)

Use the table below to identify key elements about AMICUS in your Z39.50 client software. For detailed information, see our Z39.50 Guide.

  NLC Z39.50 AMICUS Z39.50
Server name/description NLC AMICUS
Server address amicus.collectionscanada.ca amicus.collectionscanada.ca
Port number 210 210
ID authentication No password authentication Requires registration for a free AMICUS username and password; a password is valid for 6 months
Availability 24 hours a day, 7 days a week 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
Protocol versions 3, 2 3, 2
Services supported Initialize, Search, Present, Delete_Result_Set,
Initialize, Search, Present, Delete_Result_Set, Scan, Close
Databases NL ANY, UC, NL, LC, FS, NA, NFB, SE, AU
Query types supported 1, 101 (RPN) 1, 101 (RPN)
Attribute set BIB-1 BIB-1
Record syntaxes MARC21 (formerly USMARC & CANMARC), SUTRS, GRS-1 MARC21 (formerly USMARC & CANMARC), SUTRS, GRS-1
Search term charset ISO 8859-1 ISO 8859-1
Record charset ASCII with ANSEL (ANSI Z39.47) & MARC21 (formerly USMARC & CANMARC) extensions ASCII with ANSEL (ANSI Z39.47) & MARC21 (formerly USMARC & CANMARC) extensions
Record composition B - BRIEF F - FULL