ALCTS - Association of Library Collections & Technical Services

CC:DA/MARBI Rep/1999/2

June 24, 1999

Committee on Cataloging: Description and Access

Report of the MARBI Representative to CC:DA
Annual 1999


Provided below is a brief synopsis of the proposals and discussion papers to be considered by MARBI at ALA Annual, 1999 in New Orleans. The complete MARBI documentation, from which this information is excerpted, can be found on the web page for the MARC Advisory Committee: http://lcweb.loc.gov/marc/marcadvz.html


Discussion Paper No. 114: Seriality and MARC 21

Source: Library of Congress, CONSER Program

Summary: Presents three areas of MARC 21 that could potentially be affected by the introduction of seriality-related changes to AACR2.

MARBI Action Taken: N/A – discussion only. Note: Agreement that ultimate implications for MARC 21 will be determined by what seriality changes are made to AACR2.



Proposal No. 99-08: Defining URL/URN Subfields in the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format

Related MARBI Documents: DP 112 (1/99)

Source: Library of Congress CONSER Program; ALCTS Preservation and Reproduction Section, Intellectual Access Committee; Society of American Archivists’ Technical Subcommittee on Descriptive Standards

Summary: Suggests the definition of subfields to contain URLs and URNs in bibliographic format fields other than field 856: 555, 583, 76X-78X.

MARBI Action Taken: Approved repeatable $u for 555 and 583 fields. Deferred consideration of defining a subfield for 76X-78X linking fields. Agreed to following guidelines for establishing ULR/URN subfields in MARC 21:

  • MARBI will only consider specific requests submitted with justification and examples.
  • A single subfield will established in any given field to house both the URL and URN.

Agreed to the following guideline for indicating when the URL/URN should be included in field 856 and when in the more specific field:

  • If the URL is a link to the resource itself that is described in field 245 of the record, then field 856 should be used. If it is to a related resource that is covered by another field (e.g. a link to a finding aid, a link to an action note), it is used in the specific field.


Proposal No. 99-09: Making field 852 subfields $k and $m repeatable in the MARC 21 Holdings Format

Source: Library of Congress

Summary: Proposes making subfields $k (Call number prefix) and $m (Call number suffix) in field 852 (Location) repeatable in the Holdings Format. This would allow for recording more than one call number prefix or suffix and being able to parse them in situations where there are two pieces of information to record about the location of an item within a call number run.

MARBI Action Taken: Approved.



Discussion Paper No. 116: Bound-With Relationships in the MARC 21 Holdings Format

Related MARBI Documents: 99-02 (1/99)

Source: Cornell University

Summary: Suggests a technique for linking together separate bibliographic entities that are bound together. Involves using Item Information fields 876-878 subfield $p (Piece designation) in separate holdings records instead of the previously proposed technique of repeating field 004 in a single holdings record.

MARBI Action Taken: N/A – discussion only. Note: although some libraries/vendors have implemented the “single holdings record with multiple 004s” for handling “bound-withs,” the alternative technique described in this DP requires no changes to MARC 21.



Discussion Paper No. 115: Anonymous Artist Relationships in the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format

Source: Art Libraries Society of North America, Cataloging Advisory Committee

Summary: Discusses several options for handling anonymous artist relationships: using subfield $c (qualifier), using field 720 (Uncontrolled Name), or defining a new subfield.

MARBI Action Taken: N/A – discussion only. Note: General agreement that:

  • The data is valuable.
  • A new, separate subfield would be the best option for storing the data.
  • Some institutions may want to exercise authority control for this data; some may not.
  • Subfield should be defined more broadly to allow for inclusion of other data in addition to anonymous artist relationships.


Discussion Paper No. 117: Coding non-Gregorian dates in the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format

Related MARBI Documents: DP 106 (1/98); 98-07 (6/98)

Source: Research Libraries Group

Summary: Considers the need to code publication dates from non-Gregorian calendars when they appear on items and various coding requirements and options.

MARBI Action Taken: N/A – discussion only. Note: General sense that this was a solution in search of a problem. Efforts will be made to seek out a constituency for whom this change to MARC 21 would be beneficial.



Discussion Paper No. 118: Nonfiling characters in MARC 21 using the control character technique

Related MARBI Documents: DP 102 (6/97); 98-16 (6/98); 98-16R (1/99)

Source: USMARC electronic list

Summary: Discusses the use of the control character technique to block off nonfiling characters. Considers whether the technique should be allowed in any field, rather than a restricted list of fields, and whether it can be applied anywhere in a field/subfield, rather than only at the beginning.

MARBI Action Taken: N/A – discussion only. Note: General agreement that:

  • Control character technique should be made available in all fields.
  • Technique should be used for initial articles.
  • Technique should be used for corrections/cataloger interpolations.

Mark R. Watson,
MARBI Representative to CC:DA