A few notes first...
1. I doubt that you will be able to easily upgrade from Access 97 to Access
2003. I have had this *** job several times and none of them have
2. Since the upgrade will not be easy, you may be better off, just porting
your tables to SQL directly and then porting your queries into views or
stored procs in SQL Server.
3. Rebuild your front-end using Access 2003 (I would suggest .NET
In the short-term this process will probably take a little bit longer, but
in the long term, it will be far easier for you.
MCT, MCSD, MCDBA