LC Cataloging Newsline

Online Newsletter of the Cataloging Directorate, Library of Congress

Volume 4, No. 5, ISSN 1066-8829, April 1996


Implementation of Final Phase of Format Integration at LC

Core Level Cataloging Experiment

MARC Alignment

New York (N.Y.) as a Geographic Subdivision

Updates to USMARC Format for Classification Data and

USMARC Format for Authority Data

Implementation of Final Phase of Format Integration at LC

Staff cataloging serials and working in the OCLC database began to apply the last phase of format integration on March 4, 1996. The major impact of this phase of format integration on the cataloging of serials is that serials will now be cataloged according to the physical form of the item. In those cases in which that form is not print or microform, the fixed field data relating to seriality will now be given in a 006 field (Fixed- length data elements Additional material characteristics). Printed or microform serials will continue to be cataloged as previously. The 007 field (Physical description fixed field) can now be provided on an expanded basis for all forms of material. With respect to serial practice, a 007 field will routinely be given for microforms and computer files.

Staff cataloging monographic material and working in the LC database began to apply the last phase of format integration on March 18, 1996. The impact of this implementation will be minimal, since LC does not plan to supply 006 fields in records for monographic materials except in rare cases. Neither does LC plan to expand use of control field 007 beyond previous practice: some cartographic materials; microforms; sound recordings; visual materials. The most significant change in practice for monographic materials applies to the fixed fields for type of date codes and for dates of publication (008/06-14). Missing digits in dates in the 260 field will now be represented in the fixed fields by the letter u. Such date situations will no longer be indicated by 008/06 code q per se nor will they be stated as a range of dates covering the period based on the missing digit(s). Use of code q will diminish, use of code s will increase, and the treatment of dates with missing digits is simplified. In addition, code t will now be used to indicate the presence in 008/07-14 of a publication date and copyright date instead of code c.

Other changes to note:

Leader/06 (Type of record)

Value t (Manuscript language material) will be used for any single manuscript or material in typescript (usually a thesis) in records added to LC's books file.

Value t (Manuscript language material) will be used for records added to the National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections unless there is clear evidence that the material is mixed, in which case value p (Mixed material) will be used.

Value e (Cartographic material) will be used for atlases. Tentative plans are to make this change in synchronization with the movement this summer of records for atlases from LC's internal books file to its maps file. Records for atlases are one instance in which an 006 field (that for books) will also be supplied when appropriate.

Leader/08 (Type of control)

Value a (Archival control) will be used for records added to the National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections.

Fixed field 008/22 (Target audience)

Codes a (Preschool), b (Primary), c (Elementary and junior high) and d (Secondary (senior high)) will be assigned by catalogers in the Children's Literature Team for items in scope for the Annotated Card Program to indicate the intellectual level of the primary audience in those cases in which this information is readily available.

Staff working in the RLIN database will begin implementation no later than April 22, 1996. These include staff who catalog items in Japanese, Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Persian, Hebrew, and Yiddish, and the Manuscript Collections.

No attempt is being made to update the existing LC machine catalog either by means of program or staff activity to reflect the content designation conventions being implemented with the last phase of format integration. There is no policy requirement to change an already completed data element. This includes data elements in the following categories of records:

  1. an existing completed record, including a record in a CIP state (encoding level = 8); ose who prepare records for the National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections
  2. a pipeline record in which an aspect, usually the descriptive aspect, has been completed;
  3. a record being used for copy cataloging;
  4. a record COPIED from PREMARC under the NEW INPUT procedure.

However, the Library of Congress will apply the new conventions if data elements related to the format integration changes are newly added to such records. Some records will contain a mixture of old and new practice.

will apply the new conventions to any aspect of a record that has not yet been completed and to newly created LC original cataloging records.

Core Level Cataloging Experiment

As a member of the Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC), the Library of Congress has decided to explore the use of core- level records for its original cataloging. Such records would be characterized by a base level of elements sufficient for use in a cooperative environment. Core-level would exceed that of minimal- level cataloging but would not necessarily equal that of full-level cataloging. (Descriptions of the core-level record standards are available through the PCC web site (

An experiment on the creation and use of core records by LC staff has been drafted and approved. The experiment will begin on April 29, 1996 and last for six months. Each of the Cataloging Directorate's five monographic cataloging divisions will set up a temporary Core Cataloging Team composed of staff from the various cataloging teams. Each of the five teams will prepare a minimum of 200 core level records for items selected from those previously slated to receive minimal-level cataloging. The experiment will test three PCC core-level standards: books, music scores, and non- roman script materials.

The purpose of the experiment is to compile sufficient data to allow LC to evaluate the effectiveness of the core-level record. The Cataloging Directorate will gather statistical data for evaluation. Comparisons of core level and full level records for the same items may also be used in the evaluation of the experiment. Participating staff will be asked to share their observations about the experiment, including workflow, selection, data elements, and advantages/disadvantages of core level record creation.

The Serial Record Division is also planning an experiment with core-level serial records.

MARC Alignment

On December 14, 1995, representatives from the British Library, the National Library of Canada, and the Library of Congress agreed to develop a single version of the MARC format for the distribution of their bibliographic and authority records. The representatives celebrated the endorsement of a process and timetable to harmonize the three formats (CAN/MARC, UKMARC, and USMARC) currently used by the three agencies after more than a year of analysis on the essential elements of each format that must be retained in the unified format. A number of factors led to the decision to use a single format, including the increased flexibility in sharing data among the libraries and their many cooperative partners, the desire to eliminate costly and cumbersome conversion programs, and the economic advantages of curtailing the development and maintenance of three separate, but related, formats.

The meeting participants developed an ambitious schedule for community approval and implementation. Since the USMARC and CAN/MARC formats closely resemble each other, the National Library of Canada and the Library of Congress expect to converge their versions of the MARC format by January 1997 and to implement the aligned format by January 1998. Because the UKMARC format varies more significantly, the British Library expects to achieve alignment by January 1999.

After approval of the recommendations, the Library of Congress will issue a change notice and revised MARC documentation at least six months before implementation. Sally McCallum, chief of the Library of Congress's Network Development and MARC Standards Office, predicts that most of the changes envisioned will generate no more programming or retraining than an annual USMARC update. Ross Bourne, assistant director, Planning and Standards, British Library National Bibliographic Service, notes that the task of reviewing the formats for harmonization will be part of the BL's Corporate Bibliographic Programme, intended to replace its existing automated bibliographic processing systems. McCallum and Bourne will serve with Ingrid Parent, director for Acquisitions and Bibliographic Services, National Library of Canada, as the parties responsible for coordinating the technical aspects of review and implementation.

For more information about this project, contact: Sally McCallum (, Ross Bourne ( or Ingrid Parent (

New York (N.Y.) as a Geographic Subdivision

As part of an ongoing effort to simplify subject cataloging practice, the Library of Congress has eliminated the exceptional treatment for New York (N.Y.) as a geographic subdivision. The city of New York is now assigned as a geographic subdivision through New York (State) rather than directly after topics, as in the following example:

                    Arts--New York (State)--New York
             not    Arts--New York (N.Y.)

This change does not affect the subject headings New York Metropolitan Area, New York Region, and New York Suburban Area, since these headings encompass the tri-state area consisting of parts of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. These headings will continue to be assigned directly after topics, as in the following example:

                    Housing--New York Metropolitan Area
             not    Housing--New York (State)--New York
                         Metropolitan Area

Also unaffected is the treatment of New York City boroughs, counties, and city sections as subject headings.

To reflect this change in practice, the following instruction sheets will be updated in the fifth edition of the Subject Cataloging Manual: Subject Headings, scheduled for publication in 1996: H 830, H 836, H 1250, H 1334.5, H 1360, H 1427, H 1558, H 1925, H 1955, and H 2230.

The Library is also in the process of updating its existing bibliographic records to conform to this changed practice.

Updates to USMARC Format for Classification Data and USMARC Format for Authority Data

Update no. 1 (July 1995) to the USMARC Format for Classification Data and Update no. 1 (July 1995) to the USMARC Format for Authority Data are available from the Cataloging Distribution Service of the Library of Congress. Update no. 1 to the USMARC Format for Classification Data is the first since 1990; Update No. 1 to the USMARC Format for Authority Data is the first since 1993.

Update no. 1 to the USMARC Format for Classification Data includes all the new and changed USMARC data elements resulting from format development work during the conversion of Library of Congress Classification (LCC) schedules to machine-readable form. Among other significant changes, the update includes new input conventions for LCC numbers and new definitions of a separate field for table identification and of field 856 for electronic location and access when a resource related to the schedule exists. The update deletes the separate subfield for the class schedule to which a table belongs and includes definitions of several data elements simultaneously defined in USMARC Format for Bibliographic Data.

Update no. 1 to the USMARC Format for Authority Data adds several field-level data elements for genre/form terms and subdivisions. The new fields make it possible to differentiate between genre/form terms and other types of terms within a USMARC authority record. Other new data elements include fields for government classification/call numbers and indicators in two classification number fields that allow identification of the source of a number. The bulk of the Update deals with the addition of subfield $v (Form subdivision) in the heading (1XX), tracing (4XX/5XX) and linking entry (7XX) fields. On the first page of each revised field description is included a list of valid content designators to minimize the need to refer to a corresponding "General Information" section. Finally, a revised Appendix A (National Level Record Requirements) is shorter and more simply presented.

Update no. 1 to the USMARC Format for Classification Data (July 1995) sells for $20 (North America) and $21 (outside North America). Update no. 1 to the USMARC Format for Authority Data (July 1995) sells for $21 (North America) and $22 (outside North America). Order directly from Library of Congress, Customer Services Section, Cataloging Distribution Service, P.O. Box 75720, Washington, D.C. 20013-5720; telephone 1-800-255-3666 (U.S. only) or (202) 707-6100; fax: (202) 707-1334; TDD: (202) 707-0012; Internet:

LC CATALOGING NEWSLINE (ISSN 1066-8829) is published irregularly by the Cataloging Directorate, Library Services, Library of Congress, and contains news of cataloging activities throughout the Library of Congress. Editorial Office: Cataloging Policy and Support Office, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. 20540-4305. Editor, Robert M. Hiatt; Editorial Advisory Group: John Byrum, Roselyne Chang, Eugene Kinnaly, Angela Kinney, Albert Kohlmeier, John Mitchell, Susan Morris, Geraldine Ostrove, Regina Reynolds, David Smith, Richard Thaxter, and David Williamson. Address editorial inquiries to the editor at the above address or (eMail), (202) 707-5831 (voice), or (202) 707-6629 (fax). Listowner: David Williamson. Address subscription inquiries to the listowner at

LC CATALOGING NEWSLINE is available in electronic form only and is free of charge. To subscribe, send a mail message to with the text: subscribe lccn [firstname lastname].

All materials in the newsletter are in the public domain and may be reproduced, reprinted, and/or redistributed as desired. Citation to the source is requested.

Go to the Library of Congress Home Page

Library of Congress

Library of Congress Help Desk (06/22/96)