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DATE: Dec. 15, 2006

NAME: Addition of subfield $5 (Institution to which field applies) in fields 533 (Reproduction Note) and 538 (Systems Details Note) in the MARC 21 bibliographic and holdings format

SOURCE: CONSER, CIC Heads of Cataloging, CIC Heads of Preservation, and ALA/PARS Intellectual Access to Preservation Data Interest Group

SUMMARY: This paper proposes the addition of subfield $5 in fields 533 and 538 for use in the Registry of Digital Masters. The data would indicate to which institution the reproduction note or system details note applies in records that are considered part of the registry, where the institution makes a commitment to preserve digital masters.

KEYWORDS: Subfield $5, in Field 533 (BD); Subfield $5, in Field 843 (HD); Subfield $5, in Field 538 (BD) (HD); Reproduction note (BD) (HD); System details note (BD) (HD); Institution to which field applies, in field 533 (BD); Institution to which field applies, in field 843 (HD); Institution to which field applies, in field 538 (BD) (HD)



12/15/2006 - Made available to the MARC 21 community for discussion.

01/20/2007 - Results of the MARC Advisory Committee discussion - Approved as amended. Subfield $5 will be also added to holdings fields 538 and 843.

05/04/07 - Results of LC/LAC/BL review - Approved


Proposal No.: 2007-03: Addition of subfield $5 in fields 533 and 538


The Registry of Digital Masters (RDM) is a joint project of the Digital Library Federation and OCLC, with participation from the European Register of Microform and Digital Masters (EROMM), which is establishing a service that registers the existence of persistent digitally reformatted and born digital book and serial publications. A registry record signals that an institution is committed to preserve the item and will lead one to a use copy (where applicable). Generally the existence of a record gives one confidence that a preservation master exists (although it does not guarantee that the preservation copy is generally accessible). The DLF Digital Registry working group has established a set of guidelines detailing information that will be in bibliographic records representing items that are considered part of the registry; the existence of “dlr” in field 042 identifies them as such.

For the past two years a group of CONSER members has been working on compatibility issues between the what CONSER calls the provider neutral record and DLF guidelines for the Registry of Digital Masters. CONSER allows for the creation of a record which is neutral about the provider of that resource. Thus such a record does not give details about individual digital versions of a particular serial. However, the purpose of the Registry of Digital Masters is to indicate that a particular institution holds digital objects for which it takes preservation responsibility. CONSER is interested in contributing records to the RDM to enable institutions to share information about items that have been digitized and for which there is a commitment to preserve them.

Provider neutral record policy. The provider neutral record refers to the CONSER policy of having only one e-serial record to represent all the various online versions of a particular serial that might now or in the future be distributed by many different providers/digitizers/aggregators, etc. The approach was taken because there could be (and was prior to implementation of this policy) a proliferation of records for the online version of a given print version serial, which differed mainly in the provider of the version, coverage, and sometimes variations in title presentation. These different provider records were consolidated by CONSER members and OCLC into one *online* version record in the CONSER database that could be used/customized locally by libraries in any way they see fit.

The provider neutral record does not include specifics from any particular version and is meant to be applicable to all, although certain variations like title variations shown in a particular package are noted. When consolidating the records, it was decided to keep all the URLs from the different providers on this record.


In Sept. 2005, a CIC Digital Resource Cataloging Task Group was formed with members from the CIC Heads of Cataloging and CIC Heads of Preservation groups. The task group's charge was to "Develop guidelines for cataloging materials which have been digitized locally, taking into account the Registry of Digital Masters Record Creation Guidelines and Preservation & Digitization Actions: Terminology for MARC 21 Field 583 [PDF Document; 900.11K]. If necessary, recommend changes to local policies for cataloging these materials." In addition, the ALA/PARS Intellectual Access to Preservation Data Interest Group is working on bibliographic control of and intellectual access to preserved and reformatted materials.

These groups are now working with CONSER, members of the DLF Registry of Digital Masters Working Group and staff from the Library of Congress and OCLC to try to establish some practices for cataloging serials and monographs which are digitized locally. The intention is to provide guidelines for both the separate record approach (separate records for the electronic and print versions) and the single record approach (adding digital registry information and access for the electronic version to the print version record.) A draft document is available at:

The group working on the document felt that it would be very helpful if subfield $5 (Institution to which field applies) could be used in field 533 (Reproduction Note) and field 538 (System Details Note) in the same way that it is used with field 583 (Action Note) to indicate the institution to which the note applies. These three fields will be added to the provider neutral serial record to give preservation details about locally digitized issues. They are important in the OCLC record, which becomes part of the RDM, so that institutions can decide whether to digitize particular issues. However, an institution using the record in their local catalog may consider the fields inappropriate for a national level record that intends to be provider-neutral. The subfield $5 would function as a signal to others to leave it in the shared cataloging record (i.e., it's really not an error), but would enable other libraries to easily recognize it and remove it for their local catalog where it may not be needed. Note that if multiple institutions digitize different volumes of a serial, there could be multiple 533, 538 and 583 fields for different institutions’ digitized versions. The data in subfield $5 could be matched to understand features about a particular institution’s version.

Copy specific information may be more appropriate in holdings records linked to the bibliographic description, but at the present time there are a number of issues in implementing the holdings approach. These include the fact that holdings records are often not indexed or easily integrated with bibliographic records, and that currently only bibliographic records are available for OAI harvesting, which is a goal for registry records. It is expected that at some point in the future, these limitations may be overcome, and holdings records may be able to be used. It would not be difficult to migrate to a holdings solution, particularly since the 533, 538 and 583 fields currently being used in the bibliographic record are also available in holdings records.

It may be considered whether the data in subfield $5, which is defined as a MARC organization code, is granular enough to appropriately group related fields. For instance, if one library has multiple digital copies recorded in separate 533 or 538 fields, the data in subfield $5 may not be sufficient to distinguish among the reproductions noted in 533 fields.

Following is an example of how subfield $5 would be used with 533 and 538. This shows an item for which different volumes have been digitized by different institutions. Note that in field 538 subfield $5 is repeated, since both institutions are using the same document to describe the technical details of the digital reproduction. In most fields in the bibliographic format, subfield $5 is not repeatable, although in most fields in the authority format where it is defined, it is repeatable. This paper proposes that it be repeatable in field 538, rather than have the redundancy of repeating the field with the same information.

Example (abbreviated record):

007/13 p [preservation]
007/13 a [access]
010 ## $a2001214619
022 0# $a1533-8290$y0002-1482
042 ## $alcd$adlr
130 0# $aAgricultural history (Online)
245 10 $aAgricultural history$h[electronic resource].
260 ## $aBerkeley, CA :$bUniversity of California Press,$c1927-
530 ## $aAlso issued in print.
533 ## $3v.1-39(1927-1965)$aElectronic reproduction.$bIthaca, NY :$cCornell University Library,$d2001$f(Core historical literature of agriculture)$5NIC
533 ## $3v.40-49(1966-1975)$aElectronic reproduction.$b[Chicago] : University of Chicago Library,$d[2006]$5ICU
538 ## $3v.1-39(1927-1965)$aFiles for the images of individual pages are encoded in Aldus/Microsoft TIFF Version 6.0 using facsimile- compatible CCITT Group 4 compression.$5NIC
538 ## $3v.1-49(1927-1975)$aMaster and use copy. Digital Master created according to Benchmark for Faithful Digital Reproductions of Monographs and Serials, Version 1. Digital Library Federation, December 2002.$u$5NIC$5ICU
583 1# $3v.1-39(1927-1965)$adigitized$c2001$fCHLA$hCornell University Library$lcommitted to preserve$zDigitization funded by Cornell University Class of 1956. Title selected from the series Literature of the agricultural sciences for the Core historical literature of agriculture.$2pda$5NIC
583 1# $3
v.40-49(1966-1975)$adigitized$c2006$hUniversity of Chicago Library$lcommitted to preserve$2pda$5ICU
776 0# $tAgricultural history$x0002-1482$w(DLC) 33020319$w(OCoLC)1478539
830 #0 $aCore historical literature of agriculture.
856 40 $u
856 40 $3v.1-39(1927-1965)$u
$x$zConnect to full text.
856 40 $3v.40-49(1966-1975)$u
856 40 $u$zAddress for accessing the journal using authorization number and password through OCLC FirstSearch Electronic Collections Online
856 40 $u; screen=info;ECOIP$zAddress for accessing the journal from an authorized IP address through OCLC FirstSearch Electronic Collections Online


In the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format:

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