Library of Congress

ISMN

The Library of Congress > U.S. ISMN Agency > About the ISMN > Advantages of ISMN
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The ISMN is used world-wide, as a standard, unique identifier allowing precise communication across languages, scripts, cultures, borders.

The ISMN is a very mature system, having been introduced as an international standard in 1993.  It is widely used across European and elsewhere in the music publishing world.

The ISMN is administered in a straightforward, uniform way by the International ISMN Agency, in Berlin.  Thus it functions seamlessly and without confusion from one country to another.

The ISMN is a requirement in some markets.  Its presence on U.S. imprints opens doors to international commerce.

The ISMN Archive, maintained at the Library of Congress, ensures continuity of public access to information about U.S. music publications.

ISMN Archive data, provided by publishers themselves, is structured such that it can be re-purposed efficiently.

ISMN Archive data is re-purposed seamlessly into Library of Congress online catalog records.  Items with ISMN can be fast-tracked into the permanent collections of the Music Division of the Library of Congress.

The ISMN is used as a first search parameter by Library of Congress staff and many others, worldwide.

It's free. It's easy. It's good for business.