AALL MARBI Representative Report
Prepared by: George Prager
New York University Law Library
pragerg [at] exchange.law.nyu.edu
July 7, 2010
The Machine-Readable Bibliographic Information Committee (MARBI) is an interdivisional joint committee of three units within the American Library Association. It is primarily responsible for the development of the MARC 21 formats. MARBI holds meetings twice a year, during ALA's Annual and Midwinter conferences. MARBI consists of nine voting members and three interns. The meetings are also attended by ex-officio representatives of national libraries and OCLC, and several dozen non-voting liaisons from ALA units and from non-ALA organizations with an interest in library automation standards. As the AALL representative to MARBI in 2010, I attended the MARBI meetings in Boston held during ALA Midwinter on January 16-17, 2010, as well as the meetings held in Washington, D.C., on June 26-27, 2010, during the ALA Annual Meeting.
Several proposals and discussion papers relate to the mapping of RDA to MARC 21. Proposal No. 2010-03 added new subfields to bibliographic fields 033 and 518 for recording place and date of event. Proposal No. 2010-04 added new fields and subfields to both the Bibliographic and Authority formats for works and expressions: new subfields to 046, as well as the new fields 380-384. This proposal complements last year's proposal No. 2009-01/1, which added the new fields 370-377 to the Authority Format, for RDA attributes relating to persons, families, and corporate bodies. Discussion Paper No. 2010-DP02 related to Encoding URIs for controlled values in MARC records, but will not be brought back as a proposal.
Several MARBI papers relate to the encoding into MARC 21 of new or draft international standards used in global identification systems. 2010-DP03, 2010-DP04, and Proposal No. 2010-06 discuss the International Standard Name Identifier (ISNI) and the International Standard Text Code (ISTC).
International participation in MARC by non-English speaking countries continues to grow. The German and Spanish MARC communities have been sending representatives to the MARBI meetings for several years. The German National Library presented a discussion paper and a proposal relating to ISBD punctuation in the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format, 2010-DP01 and Proposal No. 2010-07. Several revisions were approved to the codes used in Leader/18 Descriptive cataloging form.
New fixed field codes have been approved in the MARC Bibliographic Format to differentiate between online and direct access electronic resources, chiefly in Form of item 008/23 and 008/29 and related 006 fields (Proposal No. 2010-01).
The agenda for the 2010 ALA Midwinter MARBI meetings is available at:
The minutes for the 2010 ALA Midwinter MARBI meetings are at:
The agenda for the 2010 ALA Annual MARBI meetings is at:
Minutes and updated cover sheets for the 2010 Annual ALA MARBI meetings are not yet available as of July 7, 2010.
Summaries of all the 2010 discussion papers and proposals are given below, with links to the full papers. I have also included any changes made to the papers during the MARBI meetings, and subsequently by the Library of Congress' Network Development and MARC Standards Office. Following a summary of all the 2010 MARBI papers, I have discussed the 2009-2010 releases of Updates no. 10-11 to the MARC formats, and the latest OCLC, LC, and PCC plans for implementation of new MARC fields and subfields. "(R)" means that a field or subfield is repeatable; "(NR)" means that it is non-repeatable. The examples are given in MARC 21, except that extra spaces are added for legibility.
Summaries of 2010 MARBI Discussion Papers and Proposals
Proposal 2010-01: Defining codes for online and direct access electronic resources in 008/23 and 008/29 (Form of item)
This proposal originated with the PCC Provider-Neutral E-Monograph Record Task Group, a group which I co-chaired. It began life as 2009-DP-04, discussed at the 2009 ALA Annual Meeting, and summarized in my 2008/2009 AALL MARBI Representative Report. The proposal passed as amended at the 2010 ALA Midwinter Meeting. (The Maps and Visual Materials formats use 008/29 for Form of item; all other formats use 008/23; see also #3 below).
- Code "o" is defined for "online." This code will be used only on a record representing the online resource. It should not be used on a record for the print version that contains a link to the online version.
- Code "q" is defined for "direct electronic."
- "Form of item" 008/23 has been added to the Computer Files format.
- Code "s" "electronic" has not be made obsolete, but remains in the format, for those institutions that do not wish to make coding distinctions between types of electronic resources. Records coded as "pcc" should use the new codes. OCLC will convert code "s" to the appropriate new codes, both on a retrospective and ongoing basis.
- Codes "o" and "q" have been added to byte 008/22 in Form of original item, Continuing Resources.
- Codes "o" and "q" have also been added to the corresponding Form of item and Form of original item in field 006, Fixed length data elements - additional material.
Proposal 2010-02: Addition of $5 (Institution to which field applies) in the 80X-830 Series Added Entry Fields of the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format
This paper proposes the addition of $5 in series added entry fields for use in recording the name of a digital collection as a series in records for local and regional digital preservation projects, and projects of wider scope such as the Registry of Digital Masters (RDM). The proposal passed at the 2010 ALA Midwinter Meeting.
Proposal No. 2010-03: Recording Place and Date of Capture in the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format
Background: See discussion of 2009-DP06/2 in my 2008/2009 MARBI Representative Report. This proposal passed as amended.
033 - Date/Time and Place of an Event. Data in this field was formerly only in coded form, as a counterpart to the uncoded information in field 518. A new subfield has been added for Place of event, to accommodate specific locations such as recording studios, concert halls, etc. This data may be in controlled or uncontrolled form. The new subfields are:
$p Place of event (R)
$0 Record control number (for $p only) (R)
$2 Source of term (for $p only) (R)
518 - Date/Time and Place of an Event Note. Data in this field is eye-readable, but its content wasn't previously parsed into subfields. The data may now be parsed into the newly defined subfields (to help satisfy RDA requirements), or left unparsed.
If parsed subfields are used, the data may be in a controlled or uncontrolled form. Subfield "o" (the letter) will be used for Other event information (rather than $i for an introductory phrase). The changes made to field 518 are similar to the changes that were made in 2008 to field 502, Dissertation Note. The new subfields are:
$d Date of event (R)
$o Other event information (R)
$p Place of event (R)
$0 Record control number (for $p only) (R)
$2 Source of term (for $p only) (R)
Example: 518 $o Broadcast $p Colorado Convention Center, Room 601-603, Denver, Colo. $d 2010 July 12, 4:00-5:15 pm. EST
Proposal No. 2010-04: New data elements in the MARC 21 Authority and Bibliographic Format for works and expressions
Background: See discussion of 2009-DP06/3 in my 2008/2009 MARBI Representative Report.
The following new data elements have been approved in both the Bibliographic and Authority formats (see exception in #2 below). Until work and expression level records are created in the Bibliographic Format, these fields will be used only in the Authority Format.
380 - Form of Work (R)
Example (Bibliographic or Authority Format):
380 $a Play
046 - Special Coded Dates (R)
This field already existed in the Bibliographic Format, and most of the subfields were added to the Authority Format with the approval of Proposal No. 2009-01/1. Proposal 2010-04 adds two more subfields to 046 in the Authority Format:
$k Beginning or single date created (NR)
$l Ending date created (NR)
These new subfields will be used to help differentiate one work from another work, or one expression from another expression. The same information will still be seen in headings in authority and bibliographic records, especially in parenthetical qualifiers.
381 - Other Distinguishing Characteristics of Work or Expression (R).
Example (Authority Format -- Work):
130 #0 $a Working paper series (New York University. Salomon Center)
381 $a New York University. Salomon Center
"Other distinguishing characteristics" is deliberately a general term, which can encompass various sorts of information, dependent upon the nature of the resource cataloged. Such information is sometimes needed to break conflicts between headings, and is often lacking from the 670 field of authority records. It may be useful to add this information to the 381 field at the time the authority record is created, regardless of whether or not an actual conflict exists with the title of another work or expression.
382 - Medium of Performance (R)
Example (Authority Format):
382 $a soprano $a alto $a mixed voices $a orchestra
383 - Numeric Designation of a Musical Work (R)
384 - Key (NR)
A first indicator is defined for Key type: "#" Relationship to original unknown; "0" Original key; "1" Transposed key.
Proposal No. 2010-05: Adding $3 (Materials specified) to field 034 (Coded Cartographic Mathematical Data) in the MARC 21 Bibliographic and Authority Formats
http://www.loc.gov/marc/marbi/2010/2010-05.html Approved as written. Since field 034 may now be added to Geographic name authority records by NACO participants, some of us may have occasion to use this subfield. Proposal No. 2010-08 also discusses field 034.
Proposal No. 2010-06: Encoding the International Standard Name Identifier (ISNI) in the MARC 21 Bibliographic and Authority Formats
Discussion Paper No. 2010-DP03: Encoding the International Standard Name Identifier (ISNI) and the International Standard Text Code (ISTC) in the MARC 21 Bibliographic and Authority Format
The ISNI is a draft ISO Standard (ISO 27729). Its scope is "the identification of Public Identities of parties: that is, the identities used publicly by parties involved throughout the media content industries in the creation, production, management, and content distribution chains." The ISNI Registration Authority will be responsible for allocating public identity to an ISNI, and managing and maintaining the ISNI database. ISNI is at the Draft International Standard (DIS) stage, and received 100% approval in March 2010. The standard is expected to be published prior to April 2011.
One of the ways that libraries will get ISNIs is through publishers' bibliographic metadata, so ISNIs will need to be recorded in MARC bibliographic records. Recording it in both the bibliographic and authority records will assist in the rights management process. "ISNIs can be assigned to any entity that is or was either a natural person, a legal person, a fictional character, or a group of such entities." (www.isni.org; last viewed July 5, 2010). In the MARC Bibliographic Format, ISNIs would be appropriate in main entry fields, subject access fields, added entry fields, and series added entry fields. In the MARC Authority Format, ISNIs could be used in "See also from" tracing fields (4XX), Heading linking entry fields (7XX), and Other standard identifier (field 024). It was clarified at the June 2010 MARBI meetings that ISNIs would not be used in the Authority heading fields (1XX fields); field 024 would be used for that purpose. To record ISNIs in authority fields 5XX and 7XX, $0 would be used. It would be difficult to record the ISNI in a consistent manner in all of the above fields, since few alphabetical or numerical subfields are available.
The discussion paper and proposal recommended using and augmenting the definition of $0 Authority record control number in both the Bibliographic and Authority formats so that ISNIs could be given in this subfield. Code "isni" was suggested for inclusion in the list of Standard Identifier Source Codes (available at: http://www.loc.gov/standards/sourcelist/standard-identifier.html; last viewed July 5, 2010). The code "isni" should be given in parentheses and precede the standard number recorded in $0. The proposal was approved at the 2010 ALA Annual MARBI meeting.
Some examples of ISNIs:
(Bibliographic Format): 100 1# Rendell, Ruth, $d 1930- $0 ISNI 8462 8328 5653 6435
In the Authority Format, field 024 could be used to record an ISNI to help identify the entity recorded in a 100, 110, 111, 150, or 151 field. Code "isni" needs to be added to the MARC Code List for Relators (available at: http://www.loc.gov/marc/relators; last viewed July 6, 2010). Example:
024 7# $a ISNI 8462 8328 5653 6435$2 isni
100 1# $a Rendell, Ruth, $d 1930-
The International Standard Text Code was only briefly discussed at the January 2010 MARBI meetings, because some issues regarding how best to record it in bibliographic and authority records remained unresolved. A further discussion paper was written on the ISTC. (See below under Discussion Paper No. 2010-04).
MARC Proposal No. 2010-07: ISBD Punctuation in the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format
Discussion Paper No. 2010-DP01: ISBD punctuation in the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format
Germany and Austria have recently joined the MARC 21 community. They previously used the MAB format, which omitted ISBD punctuation when content designation identified an element type. They wish to continue this practice in their MARC 21 records as well. In support of this practice, institutions that implement RDA will not need to follow ISBD punctuation conventions, since ISBD punctuation is optional for record displays in RDA. As a result of the discussions at the 2010 ALA Midwinter MARBI meetings, it was decided to narrow the use of Leader/18 to ISBD punctuation conventions. In conjunction with this change, it was also decided to make "040 $e (Description conventions)" repeatable. This has already been done, since a repeatable 040 $e was needed for RDA testing.
The subsequent proposal was brought forward at the June 2010 MARBI meetings. A new code "c" has been added:
c - ISBD punctuation excluded when redundant
The label for code "a", currently "ISBD/AACR" will be changed to "AACR", and the scope note will be revised.
The scope note for "i - ISBD" will also be revised; this code will only indicate that ISBD punctuation conventions are being followed. (the preexisting definition was "Descriptive portion of the record is formulated according to the descriptive and punctuation provisions of ISBD ...").
A record cataloged according to RDA and using ISBD punctuation would use: 008/18 "i" and 040 $e rda.
A record cataloged according to RDA not following ISBD punctuation conventions would use: 008/18 "#" and 040 $e rda.
MARC Proposal No. 2010-08: Encoding Scheme of Coordinate Data in Field 034 (Coded Cartographic Mathematical Data) of the MARC 21 Bibliographic and Authority Formats
This field has been used in both the MARC Bibliographic and Authority formats for cartographic mathematical data, such as scale, projection, and coordinates, which are given in coded form. Different methods are used to express coordinates, but the particular method has not been given in this field. This paper proposes a new $7 (Coordinate encoding scheme). The code used would be from Coordinate Scheme Source Codes. The proposal engendered a great deal of discussion at the 2010 ALA Annual MARBI meetings. Several technical issues regarding the proposal came up that could not be resolved. For this reason, the proposal was not approved; it may be brought back as a revised proposal at a future meeting.
MARC Proposal No. 2010-09: Addition of Subfield $u to Field 561 (Ownership and Custodial History) to the MARC 21 Bibliographic and Holdings Formats
Field 561 includes information about the ownership and custodial history of the resources described "from the time of their creation to the time of their accessioning". This information may be quite lengthy, and may be available from an external source or sources. Subfield "u" has already been added to many other 5XX Bibliographic fields, and would be useful here as well. The proposal passed as amended at the June 2010 MARBI meetings, with the only change being that the new $u was made repeatable.
Discussion Paper No. 2010-DP02: Encoding URIs for controlled values in MARC records
http://www.loc.gov/marc/marbi/2010/2010-dp02.html Background: See discussion of No. 2009-DP01/1 and 2009-DP06/1 in my 2008-2009 MARBI Representative Report. This DP proposes recording Uniform Resource Identifiers (URIs) for controlled values and headings in the subfield appropriate to the value itself, distinguished by angle brackets around the Uniform resource identifier (URI). URIs would most likely not be keyed into records, but added via automation. This discussion paper will not be brought forward as a proposal. Rather, the Library of Congress and perhaps some other institutions or individuals will experiment with URIs by using some of the techniques described in this paper.
Discussion Paper No. 2010-DP04: Encoding the International Standard Text Code (ISTC) in the MARC 21 Bibliographic and Authority formats
The International Standard Text Code (ISO 21047) is "a global identification system for textual works that is primarily intended for use by publishers, bibliographic services, retailers, libraries and rights management agencies to collocate different manifestations of the same title under a work-level record ... The standard was formally published in March 2009 and the International ISTC Agency has started implementing the standard."
The discussion paper presents several options in how the ISTC should be recorded in the MARC 21 formats "so that the potential benefits of the ISTC can be tested and exploited." It is hoped that other standards of a similar nature that identify the content rather than the carrier, such as the International Standard Work Code (ISWC), can also be handled in the same manner in MARC 21.
A major distinction is made in the ISTC standard between the concepts of "original work" and "derivations" or "derived works". Eleven types of derivation are defined, including abridged, annotated, critical, excerpt, etc.
In all likelihood, the ISTC will be imported into MARC records through the conversion of ONIX for Books product descriptions to MARC-the main reason why ISTCs need to be recorded in the Bibliographic Format, not just the Authority Format.
The discussion paper presents several options for recording ISTCs in MARC 21. Option 2 was supported by MARBI at its June 2010 meetings. It requires no changes to the format:
Record ISTCs for works contained in the manifestation in bibliographic field 024 - Other standard identifier and record ISTCs for source works not contained in the manifestation in bibliographic field 787 subfield $o Other item identifier. 787 subfield $i Relationship information could be used to record introductory text. There may be a preference not to display the 787 because the ISTC may not be resolvable and there will be no additional descriptive metadata. ... This option would be extensible, through the use of $i Relationship information and/or $4 Relationship code, should the type of relationship become explicit in future.
If the type of the relationship is known or becomes known, other linking fields may be more appropriate than 787 $i, such as field 765 "Translation of".
Here is one of the simpler examples from the DP:
An adaptation of Animal farm:
024 7# $a 0A42010111177788 $2 istc [ISTC for the work "George Orwell's Animal farm"]
100 1# $a Wooldridge, Ian.
245 10 $a George Orwell's Animal farm / $c adapted by Ian Wooldridge.
700 1# $a Orwell, George, $d 1903-1950. $t Animal farm.
787 18 $i Related source work $o ISTC 0A3200912B4A1057 [ISTC for the work "Animal farm"]
Discussion Paper No. 2010-DP05: Language Coding for Moving Images in Field 041 of the MARC Bibliographic Format
This paper considered what changes could be made to the MARC format that would improve access to the various types of language information found on videos and other moving image materials. It suggests the following revisions to the coding of these materials:
- Creating a distinction between spoken/sung/signed versus written language in fields 008/35-37 (Language) and 041 $a and $j. The current distinction is between "main" language and "subsidiary" language (such as subtitles and captions). This distinction is problematic for DVDs because sometimes 008/35-37 and 041 $a contain the "main" spoken language, and sometimes they contain subsidiary alternate soundtracks.
- Distinguishing between original language and language of intermediate translations. Both are currently coded in subfield 041 $h.
At the 2010 ALA Annual MARBI meetings, it became readily apparent how complicated it would be to make all the desirable distinctions in language coding. Questions on the implications of this paper for other formats were also raised. This DP may come back as a proposal.
Other MARC News and Events
MARC 21 Update No. 10 and No. 11 available online
MARC 21 Update No. 10 (October 2009) was made available online in mid November 2009 from the MARC Standards home page (http://www.loc.gov/marc/; last viewed July 6, 2010). Changes to the documentation resulted mainly from MARBI proposals that were approved at the ALA Midwinter and ALA Annual Meetings in 2009.
Although the MARC updates are usually issued annually in October or November of each year, Update No. 11 (February 2010) was made available in early March 2010, in anticipation of the upcoming testing of RDA. That documentation included changes resulting mainly from MARBI proposals that were approved at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in January 2010. Both updates have been integrated into the documentation for each of the Online Full and Concise formats that are maintained on the MARC website.
The changes are indicated in red in Update 11. Update 10 changes have also been kept in red. Appendix G of the Bibliographic Format gives a list of all the changes made in Update 10, as well as a separate list for Update 11. Appendix F of the Authority Format gives separate lists of all the changes made in Update 10 and in Update 11. Update No. 12 will most likely be published in October or November of 2010, and will not involve major changes to the formats.
RDA in MARC (May 2010)
"RDA in MARC" is a list of all changes which have been approved to the MARC formats to support RDA. Hotlinks are provided to MARC 21 descriptions of all the fields that have already been added to the formats. This list has been compiled by Sally McCallum. (available at: http://www.loc.gov/marc/RDAinMARC29.html; last updated May 24, 2010; viewed July 6, 2010).
OCLC -MARC Format Changes in 2010
On May 23, 2010, OCLC implemented most of the changes related to the OCLC-MARC Bibliographic, Authority, and Holdings Formats Update 2010. This included MARC 21 Update No. 10 and most of Update No. 11, MARC Code List changes since July 2009, and user and OCLC staff suggestions. A detailed list of the changes is given in OCLC Technical Bulletin 258 (available at: http://www.oclc.org/support/documentation/worldcat/tb/258/default.htm).
Here are the major changes to the Bibliographic 21 Format:
- Form of item (008/23 & 006/06): new codes "o" online; "q" direct access.
- 490 Series statement, $x is now repeatable, to enable recording of ISSNs for both main series and subseries.
- 588 Source of description note (LC and PCC will not use for simple Source of title notes, preferring to continue using 500 in these cases).
Changes specifically for RDA:
- New 040 subfield $e code "rda" (repeatable)
- 336-338: RDA phrases and codes for content, media, and carrier (replacing $h GMD in RDA records)
- 518 and 033: Date/Time/Place of an Event; new subfields
- 700, 710, 711, 730: New subfield $i for Relationship information
- 76x-78x Linking entry fields: New subfield $4 Relationship code; subfield $i renamed: Relationship information (formerly: Display text)
Changes to the Authority Format:
All the MARC changes to the Authority Format described above have been implemented by OCLC. However, LC and the PCC have asked all NACO participants not to use the new authority fields and elements until October 1, 2010, the date on which the RDA test begins.
MARC Formats Interest Group (MFIG) Meeting June 26, 2010
The topic of the meeting was: How Have the MARC 21 Formats Been Adapted to Accommodate RDA and How Is This Being Implemented?
First Richard Greene, OCLC, spoke about OCLC's recent implementation of MARC 21 changes to accommodate RDA and to support the testing of RDA. He reported that OCLC's recent implementation of MARC/RDA changes involved 129 pages in OCLC documentation. Each MARC update is reviewed by about sixty people.
OCLC has issued "OCLC Policy Statement on RDA Cataloging in WorldCat for the U.S. Testing Period" (available from" http://www.oclc.org/us/en/rda/policy.htm; last viewed July 6, 2010). Catalogers may start adding RDA bibliographic records, once they are familiar with the content and use of RDA rules. As of June 26, 2010, a few RDA bibliographic records had already been added to OCLC. RDA records in OCLC may now be searched in a new index called Descriptive conventions (code dx); use "rda" in the search. This index searches codes found in 040 $e.
Rebecca Guenther of the Network Development and MARC Standards Office, Library of Congress, then discussed the RDA-related MARC 21 format changes and their implementation in LC's Voyager Integrated Library System. During the RDA test, The Library of Congress will use relator terms $e in headings' fields, but will not use relator code $4 in headings or in linking fields. It will also not use $0 ("zero') for adding authority control numbers to headings' fields, but will wait until systems can supply them automatically. National libraries will be allowed to use $0 in 7XX linking authority fields during the RDA test.
These informative talks were followed by a question and answer session. Then the current chair of the MFIG group, Gene Dickerson, asked for a volunteer to take on the chairing of the MARC Formats Interest Group, as his term has ended. Unfortunately, no one else volunteered to become the new chair of the group, so the fate of the MFIG is uncertain. It would be a shame if it dissolved, as its meetings are quite informative.