Support and Access Rights


For information about the contents and use of the union catalogues, e-mail melinda-posti(at)

Access rights

Searching and copy cataloguing from the Union Catalogues (Melinda and ARTO) is free of charge.

Background and General Information

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.

Reference Database of Finnish Articles (ARTO), National Bibliography of Finland (FENNICA) and National Discography of Finland (VIOLA) use Aleph library management system. This document provides technical information for Z39.50 implementors that is necessary in order to access the Z39.50 servers for these databases. This document assumes a general familiarity with Z39.50.

The Union Catalogue of Finnish Libraries (Melinda) uses Aleph library management system. This document also provides the addresses for the LINDA Z39.50 Server.

We ask that you not use the Union Catalogues (ARTO and Melinda), FENNICA or VIOLA production databases with Z39.50 connection until you have successfully tested your client with a test database.

To learn more about Z39.50, see:


Any questions or enquiries should be sent to melinda-posti(at)

Z39.50 services supported

The server supports the following services:

SRU Protocol Support

All the Z39.50 servers also support the SRU protocol (v1.1) at the same address and port as the Z39.50 service. The SRU protocol is used over HTTP. Searches are made using the CQL language. The SRU service can return an "explain" response describing the supported search fields and record formats. Records are normally available in Dublin Core, MARCXML (i.e. MARC 21 in XML format, see the Finnish MARC 21 pages and The Library of Congress MARC 21 pages) and MODS formats.

Internet Addresses, Databases and Hours of Availability

Melinda - Union Catalogue of University Libraries
Domain name:
Port: 210 (see Present service)
Database name: fin01
Availability: 24 hours/day, 7 days/week, except for about 15 minutes daily unavailability from 22:00 to 22:30 (EET/EEST) caused by routine maintenance.

Z39.50 Configuration

Initialisation Service

Protocol Version
Z39.50-1995 (Version 3)

Options supported

Preferred message size
Server will negotiate Client down to 32,768 bytes if requested size exceeds 32,768 bytes, and accept Client proposal if it is less than 32,768 bytes.

Maximum record size
Server will accept Client proposal.

ID authentication
User ID and password are not required by the server. Access is based on IP addresses. Access to Melinda database is not restricted by IP address. Please contact melinda-posti(at)

Search Service

Result set name
Only "default" is supported (case insensitive)

Database names (case insensitive)

Use "fin01".

Type-1 only is supported.

Attribute set ID
Bib-1 only is supported.

The Result Set ID (i.e., "default") cannot be used in the Operand.
Qualifying searches are not supported.

Operators supported:

Result set maximum is 10,000 records.

Session inactivity timer
3 minutes

Current Service

Record syntaxes and character sets supported

- port 210

* MARC21 UTF-8 (OID = 1.2.840.10003.5.10)
* FINMARC ISO6937/2 (OID = 1.2.840.10003.5.15)

Element set names supported
"F" -- Full (MARC and OPAC records)

Use Attributes Supported

Value description
----- -------------------------
1 Personal name
2 Corporate name
3 Conference name
4 Title
5 Series title
6 Uniform title
12 Other number
13 Dewey classification
16 LC call number
17 NLM call number
20 Other call number
21 Subject heading
31 Date of publication
33 Title -- key
41 Title -- variant
42 Title -- former
43 Title -- abbreviated
51 Number -- music publisher
59 Place of publication
1003 Author
1007 Standard Identifier
1009 Subject (personal name)
1016 Any (keyword)
1018 Name of publisher

Relation Attributes Supported

Value description
----- ---------------
3 Equal

Position Attributes Supported

Value description
----- ---------------
1 First in field
3 Any

Structure Attributes Supported

Value description
----- ---------------
1 Phrase

Truncation Attributes Supported

Completeness Attributes Supported

Value description
----- --------------------
1 Incomplete subfield

Required and Default Attributes

Requirements and defaults: The Use attribute is REQUIRED.

For the other attributes, if an attribute type and value are not supplied by the client, the following defaults are applied at the National Library of Finland:

RELATION: -- Equal (value=3)
POSITION: -- Any (value=3)
STRUCTURE: -- Phrase (value=1)
TRUNCATION: -- Do not truncate (value=100)
COMPLETENESS: -- Incomplete subfield (value=1)

Search Term Processing in the System

Keyword searches (i.e., Position attribute = "any-position-in-field"):
- Keyword search terms can appear anywhere in the field.
- If multiple words appear in the same search term, the search term will be processed as a phrase (ordered, adjacent word list).
- If the words appear in separate operands (ANDed together), they can appear in different fields in the same record.
- Personal name keywords: A keyword search term can be the first, middle or last name. If more than one name appears in the search term of a keyword search, the order is significant. Last name should precede first name.
- Keyword indexing does not include phrases that cross subfield boundaries. If the search term contains a phrase that may cross subfield boundaries, use a left-anchored (right-truncated) search. (In other words, Position attribute = "first-in-field"; Truncation attribute = "right truncation".)

Phrase searches (i.e., multiple-word search terms):
- Phrase search terms can appear anywhere in the field.
- Phrase searches that include the "First-in-field" Position attribute should begin with the first significant word in the field.
- Personal name phrase searches: The order in which the names appear in the search term is significant. In other words, the surname should appear first (with or without a comma) in order to match against entry fields in the database indexes.

Number searches (ISBN, ISSN etc.):
- Use a hyphen in all ISSN search terms (e.g., 1234-5678).
- Use hyphens also in ISBN search terms.

Qualifying searches:
- Searches are not supported against previous result sets.

Wild card/truncation:
- The question mark ("?") is supported as a truncation character.

Sort order:
- Keyword searches:
Records in keyword search result sets are in order by the Voyager control number (MARC field 001).
- Left-anchored searches:
Records in left-anchored search result sets are sorted by the field being searched (e.g., title, subject etc.).