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MARC PROPOSAL NO. 2020-04

DATE: May 29, 2020
REVISED:

NAME: Defining a New Subfield for Illustrative Content in Field 340 of the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format

SOURCE: Network Development and MARC Standards Office (NDMSO), Library of Congress

SUMMARY: This paper proposes adding a new repeatable subfield to Field 340 (Physical Medium) in the MARC21 Bibliographic Format to record the illustrative content of resources.

KEYWORDS: Field 340 (BD); Physical Medium (BD); Illustrative Content (BD)

RELATED: 2020-DP03, 2017-05

STATUS/COMMENTS:
05/29/20 – Made available to the MARC community for discussion.


Proposal No. 2020-04: Defining a New Subfield for Illustrative Content in Field 340

1. BACKGROUND

This proposal was originally presented at the January 2020 MAC meeting as Discussion Paper No. 2020-DP03. At that time, there was broad support for recording illustrative content using URIs and controlled terms; the use case described within the paper clearly indicates a need.

Field 340 is currently defined in the Bibliographic format as follows:

In MARC Proposal No. 2017-05, a subfield to record color content was added to this field on the basis that RDA defined color content as a separate element and provided a controlled vocabulary to use. This proposal also enhanced the definition and scope of field 340, which is now defined as: “Physical description information for an item that requires technical equipment for its use, and/or more granular description information of an item's material properties to facilitate access and discovery or to support collection management.”

RDA continued this type of definition and usage in RDA 7.15, Illustrative Content. The instructions for recording this element include controlled vocabulary terms which can be used and assigned URIs, and it encourages use of the terms in a linked data environment, e.g. Illustrative Content: illustrations, portraits, maps.

To support the automated manipulation of illustration-related information, this proposal suggests a new repeatable $p subfield be created in MARC field 340. This element also falls under the definition and scope of field 340 as Illustrative Content provides more granular description information of an item's material properties.

2. DISCUSSION

Illustrative content information is currently recorded in field 300 (Physical Description) $b (Other physical details) and field 008/18-21 (Books). Most elements traditionally recorded in field 300 $b may also be recorded in separate subfields of field 340. For instance, color content is recorded in $g and base material is recorded in $a.

Storing this information in field 340 will also facilitate data conversion between MARC and BIBFRAME as the standard identifier or URI of the Illustrative Content term can be retained along with the term’s label.

Both color and illustrations encode aspects of the content of a resource. The remaining subfields in field 340 encode aspects related to the carrier of the resource. In an ideal setting, the elements for content and carrier could be assigned to different MARC fields. However, the limited number of available MARC fields in the Bibliographic format, particularly in the 34X block, does not facilitate such a split.

3. PROPOSED CHANGES

In field 340 (Physical Medium) of the MARC21 Bibliographic Format, define the following new subfield:

$p – Illustrative content (R)
Presence of illustrations in the content of a resource which may be specified by type.

4. EXAMPLES


340 ## $p photographs $0 http://id.loc.gov/vocabulary/millus/pht

340 ## $p portrait $0 http://rdaregistry.info/termList/IllusContent/1012

340 ## $g color $p illustrations

340 ## $g one color $p maps

340 ## $a polyester $g black and white $o positive $p illustrations
            [If URIs are included, the above example could be represented as follows:]
340 ## $a polyester $0 http://rdaregistry.info/termList/RDAMaterial/1030 $2 rdamat
340 ## $g black and white $0 http://id.loc.gov/vocabulary/mcolor/blw
340 ## $o positive $0 http://id.loc.gov/vocabulary/mpolarity/pos
340 ## $p illustrations $0 http://id.loc.gov/vocabulary/millus/ill

Field 340 could be used in combination with field 300 $b:
300 ## $a 1 poster : $b color illustrations ; $c
340 ## $g color $p illustrations

5. BIBRAME DISCUSSION

BIBFRAME Work or Instance: bf:illustrativeContent (property), bf:IllustrativeContent (class), accommodating either a designation of the illustrative content as a URI from a list or as a literal. The current MARC-to-BIBFRAME data conversion generates illustrative content triples from MARC 008/18-21 (books).

Using field 340 to record this information will facilitate the conversion of data between BIBFRAME and MARC as the URIs will be preserved.

6. SUMMARY OF PROPOSED CHANGES

In Field 340 (Physical Medium) of the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format, add the following new subfield:

$p - Illustrative content (R)


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