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Convert CSV files into a SQLite database

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Convert CSV files into a SQLite database. Browse and publish that SQLite database with Datasette.

Basic usage:

csvs-to-sqlite myfile.csv mydatabase.db

This will create a new SQLite database called

containing a single table,
, containing the CSV content.

You can provide multiple CSV files:

csvs-to-sqlite one.csv two.csv bundle.db


database will contain two tables,

This means you can use wildcards:

csvs-to-sqlite ~/Downloads/*.csv my-downloads.db

If you pass a path to one or more directories, the script will recursively search those directories for CSV files and create tables for each one.

csvs-to-sqlite ~/path/to/directory all-my-csvs.db

Handling TSV (tab-separated values)

You can use the

option to specify a different delimiter. If you want to use a tab character you'll need to apply shell escaping like so:
csvs-to-sqlite my-file.tsv my-file.db -s $'\t'

Refactoring columns into separate lookup tables

Let's say you have a CSV file that looks like this:

Clark,1,President,,REP,John R. Kasich,5
Clark,2,President,,REP,John R. Kasich,0
Clark,3,President,,REP,John R. Kasich,7

(Real example taken from the Open Elections project)

You can now convert selected columns into separate lookup tables using the new

option (shortname:
) - for example:
csvs-to-sqlite openelections-data-*/*.csv \
    -c county:County:name \
    -c precinct:Precinct:name \
    -c office -c district -c party -c candidate \

The format is as follows:


If you just specify the column name e.g.

-c office
, the following table will be created:
CREATE TABLE "office" (
    "value" TEXT

If you specify all three options, e.g.

-c precinct:Precinct:name
the table will look like this:
CREATE TABLE "Precinct" (
    "name" TEXT

The original tables will be created like this:

CREATE TABLE "ca__primary__san_francisco__precinct" (
    "county" INTEGER,
    "precinct" INTEGER,
    "office" INTEGER,
    "district" INTEGER,
    "party" INTEGER,
    "candidate" INTEGER,
    "votes" INTEGER,
    FOREIGN KEY (county) REFERENCES County(id),
    FOREIGN KEY (party) REFERENCES party(id),
    FOREIGN KEY (precinct) REFERENCES Precinct(id),
    FOREIGN KEY (office) REFERENCES office(id),
    FOREIGN KEY (candidate) REFERENCES candidate(id)

They will be populated with IDs that reference the new derived tables.


$ pip install csvs-to-sqlite

now requires Python 3. If you are running Python 2 you can install the last version to support Python 2:
$ pip install csvs-to-sqlite==0.9.2

csvs-to-sqlite --help

Usage: csvs-to-sqlite [OPTIONS] PATHS... DBNAME

PATHS: paths to individual .csv files or to directories containing .csvs

DBNAME: name of the SQLite database file to create

Options: -s, --separator TEXT Field separator in input .csv -q, --quoting INTEGER Control field quoting behavior per csv.QUOTE_* constants. Use one of QUOTE_MINIMAL (0), QUOTE_ALL (1), QUOTE_NONNUMERIC (2) or QUOTE_NONE (3). --skip-errors Skip lines with too many fields instead of stopping the import --replace-tables Replace tables if they already exist -t, --table TEXT Table to use (instead of using CSV filename) -c, --extract-column TEXT One or more columns to 'extract' into a separate lookup table. If you pass a simple column name that column will be replaced with integer foreign key references to a new table of that name. You can customize the name of the table like so: state:States:state_name This will pull unique values from the 'state' column and use them to populate a new 'States' table, with an id column primary key and a state_name column containing the strings from the original column. -d, --date TEXT One or more columns to parse into ISO formatted dates -dt, --datetime TEXT One or more columns to parse into ISO formatted datetimes -df, --datetime-format TEXT One or more custom date format strings to try when parsing dates/datetimes -pk, --primary-key TEXT One or more columns to use as the primary key -f, --fts TEXT One or more columns to use to populate a full- text index -i, --index TEXT Add index on this column (or a compound index with -i col1,col2) --shape TEXT Custom shape for the DB table - format is csvcol:dbcol(TYPE),... --filename-column TEXT Add a column with this name and populate with CSV file name --no-index-fks Skip adding index to foreign key columns created using --extract-column (default is to add them) --no-fulltext-fks Skip adding full-text index on values extracted using --extract-column (default is to add them) --just-strings Import all columns as text strings by default (and, if specified, still obey --shape, --date/datetime, and --datetime-format)

--version Show the version and exit. --help Show this message and exit.

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