ALCTS - Association of Library Collections & Technical Services

CC:DA/MARBI Rep/2006/2

June 15, 2006; rev. December 13, 2006

Committee on Cataloging: Description and Access

Report of the MARBI Representative to CC:DA
Annual Conference 2006


Provided below are summaries of the proposals and discussion papers considered by MARBI at the ALA 2006 Annual Conference in New Orleans. This report contains discussions which took place at the meetings regarding the MARBI proposals and discussion papers which may be of particular interest to CC:DA.

Complete text of the MARBI proposals and discussion papers summarized below is available from the MARC Advisory Committee web page: http://www.loc.gov/marc/marbi/marcadvz.html


Proposal No. 2006-07: Definition of subfield $u (URI) in Field 852 (Location) in the MARC 21 Bibliographic and Holdings Formats

Source: Prints & Photographs Division, Library of Congress

Summary: This paper proposes the definition of subfield $u in Field 852 to contain a URI to link to information about the repository identified in $a and $b.

Related MARBI Documents: None

MARBI action taken: The motion was approved with the concern expressed and to be clearly documented in the field description that this subfield $u is for the Holdings Location/Repository URL, not for the URL of the resource.



Discussion Paper No. 2006-DP08: Techniques for incorporation of Former Headings into MARC 21 Authority Records

Source: Program for Cooperative Cataloging, Task Group on the Function of the Authority File

Summary: This paper discusses the incorporation of former heading information into MARC 21 authority records, in cases where the former heading might not be considered a valid or useful reference, to facilitate the locating of instances of the former headings in bibliographic records that may need to be corrected. Several techniques are discussed for supporting this requirement to hold former headings in authority records.

Related MARBI Documents: Discussion Paper No. 2006-DP03 (January 2006)

Discussion: John Attig stated that for the types of examples presented in this paper other than the Warhol example with the added death date, some of these examples may be better handled as notes. Some of this data is information libraries would not like to display and that may make it difficult to process via machine manipulation. Adam Schiff and Sherman Clarke both disagreed, arguing that this data could and should definitely be processed via machine.

Rich Greene stated that OCLC is looking at this as something they would like to use for machine processing. Rich said that he prefers the 4XX option, but in that he does not work with authority records he does not know which of the options presented may be more technically viable.

Sherman Clarke asked Sally McCallum if LC has a preference for one of the options presented considering that LC/NAF actually represents LC’s daily authority file.

Instead of pursuing byte 0 of the subfield $w (as presented in Section 2.4.2), Adam Schiff preferred considering byte 2 of subfield $w currently defined as: “Earlier form of heading.”

MARBI action taken: The proposal that comes back to MARBI will focus on the 4XX field. The “processed date” will be entered in the explanatory text subfield. Code "j" will be entered in subfield $w byte 2.



Discussion Paper No. 2006-DP06: Defining separate subfields for language codes of Summaries/Abstracts and Subtitles/Captions in field 041 of the MARC 21 Bibliographic format

Source: Online Audiovisual Catalogers, Inc (OLAC)

Summary: Currently, the language codes of summaries, abstracts, subtitles and captions are all contained in subfield $b of field 041 (Language code) in the MARC 21 Bibliographic format. At the June 2005 MARBI meeting, however, it was pointed out that coding the language of summaries and abstracts in the same subfield as the language of subtitles and captions provided ambiguous language information.

Related MARBI Documents: Proposal No. 2005-07 (June 2005)

Discussion: Rich Greene and John Attig pointed out that with today’s ILMS systems most libraries will be unable to make much use of this change and subfield redefinition.

Adam Schiff countered that he could see some ILMS systems taking advantage of encoding this information in separate subfields though it would likely take place “behind the scenes.” Kelly McGrath agreed, stating that as libraries move forward, digital and streaming video will become more commonplace and subfielding this data separately will be valuable.

Martha Yee mentioned the prominent feature of DVDs allowing users to select the language or medium they prefer.

A straw poll vote indicated overwhelming support for changing 041 subfield $b to define these two very different forms of information.

John Attig suggested that MARBI make subfield $b obsolete and define two new subfields. OCLC could then distribute data in current records among the two new subfields. Adam Schiff and others preferred retaining 041 subfield $b for summaries and abstract information, and defining a new subfield for captions and subtitles. This makes sense as the majority of bibliographic records containing 041 subfield $b information are coded for summaries and abstracts.

OCLC reported that 91% of records containing an 041 $b are for textual materials. There are some records within OCLC wherein the 041 $b data is ambiguous, however, for the majority of materials by taking the format of the record and the material type, it is clear what the data in 041 $b refers to (i.e., summaries and abstracts or captions and subtitles).

MARBI action taken: The Discussion Paper will come back as a proposal preferring that use of 041 subfield $b be restricted to represent abstracts and summaries, and defining a new subfield for captions and subtitles.



Proposal No. 2006-09: Lossless technique for conversion of Unicode to MARC-8

Source: Unicode-MARC Forum and MARC Advisory Committee

Summary: This paper specifies a lossless technique utilizing Numeric Character References for converting unmappable characters when going from Unicode to MARC-8 for systems that cannot handle Unicode encoding. It is intended to be an alternative to the lossy technique approved in 2006-04. The MARC Advisory Committee recommended that both a lossy and a lossless technique be officially adopted.

Related MARBI Documents: Assessment of Options for Handling Full Unicode Character Encodings in MARC 21 - Part 1: New Scripts (January 2004); Assessment of Options for Handling Full Unicode in Character Encodings in MARC 21 - Part 2: Issues (June 2005); 2006-04 (January 2006)

MARBI action taken: The Proposal passed. The final paper will be edited to include revisions and refinements presented during the time since the paper was initially posted.



Discussion Paper No. 2006-DP04: Data elements needed to ascertain copyright facts

Source: California Digital Library

Summary: This paper analyzes the information that would be needed in a MARC 21 record to be able to ascertain facts concerning copyright status. This would facilitate the user to make a reasonable judgment about what use is allowed of the resource, and is particularly important in the digital world, where resources are accessed outside the context of the originating archive. It suggests using a single field to contain all copyright information, even if repeating other data somewhere else in the record, because of the complications.

Related MARBI Documents: None

Discussion: Rich Greene of OCLC asked: Based on the detailed level of data and the subfielding presented in this DP, is the intent that this data will be machine manipulated? Karen responded yes. Part of the reason for providing all of these subfields is to give people with detailed information a place to input it. The other is that whenever you do have multiple data elements, it is best to keep them separate.

It was asked if any thought had been given to also mapping this data into Electronic Resource Management Systems (ERMS)? Jackie Samples explained that even for licensing data within an ERMS system, librarians are still often dealing with copyright information. Karen responded that she had not previously thought about this, but could see the overlap and the value of being able to share this data between systems.

The question of somehow encoding the currency of this data was raised, as copyright holders sometimes change, and copyright law changes too.

Several questions were raised regarding copyright law and exactly what jurisdiction this data would apply to.

MARBI action taken: The paper will come back as a second Discussion Paper.

The second Discussion Paper needs to address: 1) Internationalization; 2) Separate formats; 3) Scope: what should the scope be? (Karen originally intended this for unpublished materials and manuscripts, but many of these concerns apply equally to web materials and born-digital resources); 4) Examples, and the need to bring the paper down to the concrete level; 5) Copyright law in separate jurisdictions and separate nationalities; and, 6) Sharing of data and minimizing duplicated effort.



Proposal No. 2006-08: Addition of subfield $r in field 865 to accommodate date of issuance for indexes in the MARC 21 Holdings Format

Source: Library of Congress

Summary: This paper proposes a change to the MARC 21 Holdings Format to allow for compatibility with ONIX for Serials. It proposes the addition of subfield $r in field 865 for date of issuance for indexes when date of coverage is recorded in the 865 chronology subfields.

Related MARBI Documents: Discussion Paper No. 2006-DP05 (January 2006)

MARBI action taken: The Proposal was approved with two minor revisions: 1) subfield $v will be used instead of subfield $r; and, 2) the field definition will be tightened to read: Subfield $v contains the date of issuance of an index.



Discussion Paper 2006-DP07: Recording set information for multipart cartographic materials

Source: ALA/MAGERT Holdings Task Force

Summary: This paper explores the historical methods of recording information for multipart cartographic materials, identifies relevant item specific information to record, and proposes several possible ways of recording the data using MARC 21 Bibliographic and/or Holdings Formats. This discussion is intended to lead to the establishment of standards for recording and sharing cartographic set data.

Related MARBI Documents: None

Discussion: A critical issue for the cartographic community is the ability to record the coordinates of individual sheets within multipart resources. Harvard University is trying to use the MARC 21 Holdings format to record holdings for these types of resources. Presently, the format is unable to meet their needs.

John Attig see two separate aspects of this situation: 1) traditionally, libraries have cataloged both multipart and continuing resources at the collective level. Now that more ILMS systems are implementing the MARC 21 Holdings format, libraries (and their users) are interested in a more detailed level of display. 2) the holdings question the issue of what an individual institution holds, coupled with the need to clearly describe everything that was published as part of the resource (i.e., the complete holdings).

MARBI action taken: The paper will come back as a second Discussion Paper.



Proposal No. 2006-06: Definition of field 034 for geographic coordinates in the MARC 21 Authority Format

Source: George A. Smathers Libraries (University of Florida) and ALA/MAGERT Cataloging and Classification Committee

Summary: This paper proposes the addition of field 034 to authority records for geographic coordinates associated with places. This field would eventually form the basis for coordinates-based retrieval of all cataloged records containing those geographic terms.

Related MARBI Documents: Discussion Paper No. 2006-DP01 (January 2006)

MARBI action taken: The Motion was approved with minor editorial changes. The following modifications will also be made to the bibliographic 034 field: subfields $r, $s, $y and $2 will be added.



MARBI also received a few updates and reports:

  1. MARC Content Designation Utilization (MCDU) Project

    The Project will hold a program at 2007 ALA Annual Conference describing their findings based on analysis of more than 57 million MARC records. ALCTS will be the primary sponsor, but MARBI will sponsor the program in name as well.

    Tentative Program title: “The Future of MARC: An Empirical Approach”

  2. Resource Description and Access (RDA) update from Jennifer Bowen

    Progress report on RDA: Chapters 6-7 (formerly known as Part 2) were released for constituent (and general) response just before the annual conference.

    There is an initiative underway to map RDA to MARC 21: Jennifer expects a Discussion Paper for MARBI consideration by 2007 Midwinter Conference.

    There is also an initiative between RDA and ONIX; this will include the JSC resolutions regarding General Material Designations (GMDs) and Specific Material Designations (SMDs). Jennifer expects a Discussion Paper for MARBI consideration by 2007 Midwinter Conference.

  3. Update report from the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek
    re: conversion of the German and Austrian libraries from MAB to MARC 21

    Regarding multipart monographs: Each volume will have an individual record as well as a separate set record. The Germans and Austrians will use 4XX/8XX combinations; will use 773 field with subfield $w to link back to the set record; will use the 245 subfields $a, $n, and $p. They will not use 505 fields.

    The German and Austrian conversion project has almost completed the bibliographic work, and will soon begin work on the necessary authority records.

    The Germans and Austrians have also been working on developing a direct mapping between MAB and MARC to determine where everything fits. In doing so, the German Library has identified several “loose ends.”


    Everett Allgood,
    MARBI Representative to CC:DA