DATE: May 26, 1995

NAME: MARC Format Alignment

SOURCE: National Library of Canada, Library of Congress, British Library

SUMMARY: This paper discusses the work on alignment of USMARC, CAN/MARC and UKMARC that is under discussion by the national libraries to increase interchange opportunities that are currently inefficient because of format differences.




5/26/95 - Forwarded to USMARC Advisory Group for discussion at the June 1995 MARBI meeting.

6/26/95 - Results of USMARC Advisory Group discussion - Concern was expressed about the possibility of numerous changes, just as we complete format integration. Implementors would like to see a period of less change. The question was asked if the Authority format is also involved in the discussions.

DISCUSSION PAPER NO. 90:  Format Alignment


In November of 1994 representatives from the British Library (BL),
the Library of Congress (LC), and the National Library of Canada
(NLC) met in Washington, DC, to discuss the alignment of USMARC,
CAN/MARC, and UKMARC.  A press release was issued after that
meeting and posted on several lists, including the USMARC Forum. 
It stated the reasons for an attempt being made to completely align
the formats for the US, Canada, and the UK:

     "Motivating the meeting was the prospect of the benefits the
     three national libraries and their constituencies would
     realize through the reconciliation of differences inherent in
     their respective formats.  Chief among the advantages foreseen
     by the group was the potential for reducing the cost of
     cataloging, as the elimination of key differences would
     facilitate copy cataloging and record sharing.  In turn, this
     would allow libraries to redirect the savings gained to
     cataloging of unique materials, thereby increasing the
     coverage of the world's bibliographic output.  The records
     would be available in a more timely fashion since they would
     require less mediation by catalogers, and they would no longer
     be subject to a record format conversion process.  By
     obviating the need for such conversion, the three agencies
     would optimize their resources.  The number of total
     conversion programs the agencies would need to write to
     convert from other national formats would be reduced, and the
     maintenance of those programs as well as the maintenance and
     documentation of the common MARC format would be beneficially
     In addition to helping catalogers and those responsible for
     maintaining the format, format alignment would significantly
     improve other library functions.  For example, by facilitating
     timely record sharing, alignment of the formats would assist
     collection developers who would have earlier and more accurate
     access to the bibliographic records representing recently
     published works.  Reference librarians and other online
     searchers would profit from enhanced international cross-
     catalog searching.  Libraries in general would encounter
     additional options for systems as vendor competition would
     increase by virtue of having an expanded market they could
     serve with a single format, rather than three variant formats.
     Finally, building on the successful implementation of format
     integration, MARC format developers would have a solid,
     unified foundation on which to propose augmentation."

There were two major areas to be treated in the alignment process: 
the arrangements for control and maintenance of the joint format
and the actual changes to content designation that might be
proposed to effect alignment.  An ambitious timeline was set forth
that called for an issues paper on the maintenance mechanisms and
significant work to be complete on the content designation by the
end of May so they could be shared with the user groups in the
three countries.  Below is a summary of papers on content
designation submitted by NLC and discussions held between LC and
the BL in May 1995 on format differences.  It provides a good
overview of possible format changes.  A more detailed document is
being created on which the USMARC community will be asked to
analyze cost and impact of proposed changes, in preparation for
further discussions by the national libraries.

It should be noted that Australia is becoming a USMARC user in 1996
and New Zealand has been using USMARC for a number of years.  They
have not been a formal part of the alignment initiative, as they
were considered to be "not different".  The National Library of
Australia is a member of the USMARC Advisory Group.  There is close
collaboration between the National libraries in Australia and New
Zealand as they are jointly developing a new system for their
respective institutions.  They will continue to be informed and
participate in this discussion through the USMARC Advisory Group.


In looking at alignment, account has been taken of the fact that
the USMARC constituency (and also the CAN/MARC users) went through
an in-depth review of the format in the format integration process. 
At that time a number of simplification proposals were considered,
along with changes required for integration.

Differences between CAN/MARC and USMARC

The USMARC and CAN/MARC specifications are very close already as we
have had a long history of cooperation with Canada on format
development.  In the last 5-10 years, format changes have been
virtually simultanious and almost identical.  The following
differences would need to be dealt with to accommodate CAN/MARC. 
If a data element is in USMARC but different it is noted.  If it is
not in USMARC and there are no conflicts for the value of code,
then nothing is stated about USMARC.

      CAN/MARC                       USMARC

LDR/05 - Record Status
  a   Previously partial record   a  Increase in encoding level

LDR/17 - Encoding Level
  --------                        #  Full with item
  0   Full level with item        --------
  3   Abbreviated record          --------
  5   Partial record              5  Partial/prelim. record
  6   Minimal level               --------
  7   Preliminary record          7  Minimal level

007 - Globe // 01 - Specific material designation
  d   Satellite globe             --------
  e   Lunar globe (earth moon)    --------
  u   unknown                     --------

007 - Globe // 02 - Original vs. reproduction aspect
  Undefined                       Defined (not used)

007 - Sound Recording // 09 - Kind of disc, cylinder, or tape
  t   Test pressing               --------

008 - All // 38 - Modified record code
  r   Romanized record            r  Completely romanized/printed
                                     cards romanized
  --------                        o  Completely romanized/printed
                                     cards in script

008 - All // 39 - Cataloging source
  #   National Library of Canada  #  Library of Congress
  --------                        a  NAL
  --------                        b  NLM

  c   Cooperative cataloging      c  Library of Congress coop.
                                     cat. program
  d   Another nat. lib. cat.      d  Other
  l   LC cataloging               --------
  --------                        n  Report to NST
  o   Other                       --------             
  r   Reporting library, MARA     --------

008 - All // 40 - Fill character usage
  Cp defined                      Cp not defined
  0   Fill char. not used
  1   Fill char. used in control fields
  2   Fill char. used in variable fields
  9   Fill char. used in control and var. fields

008 - Books // 24-27 - Nature of Contents
  j   Patents                     --------
  k   Official standards          k  Discographies
  m   Thesis                      --------
  q   Examination papers          q  Filmographies
  --------                        t  Technical reports
  x   Technical reports           --------
  z   Treaties                    --------
  3   Discographies               --------
  4   Filmographies               --------

008 - Books //  33 - Fiction 
  #   Non-fiction                 --------
  c   Comic strip                 --------
  d   Drama                       --------
  e   Essays                      --------
  f   Fiction                     --------
  h   Humor, satire, etc.         --------
  i   Letter                      --------
  j   Short stories               --------
  m   Miscellaneous info.         --------
  p   Poetry                      --------
  s   Speeches                    --------
  --------                        0  Not fiction
  --------                        1  Fiction

008 - Maps //  18-21 - Relief 
  c   Gradient tints              c  Gradient tints, color
  h   Color                       h  color [obsolete]
  u   Unknown                     --------

008 - Maps // 22-23 - Projection
  az  Azimuthal, other type       --------
  bz  Cylindrical, other          --------
  cz  Conic, other type           --------

008 - Maps // 24-25 - Prime meridian
  CANMARC has 39 prime meridian values, using 2 character
  positions for them.  USMARC has only 7 values, in cp 24.  Six
  of the 7 USMARC merdians are also in the CAN/MARC list. 
  USMARC uses cp 25 for Type of cartographic material. 

008 - Maps // 30 - Narrative text
  Cp defined                      Cp not defined
  0   No text present
  1   Text on cartographic item
  2   Text accompanies cartographic item

008 - Maps // 31 - Index
  1   Index on item               1  Index present
  2   Index accompanies item      --------

008 - Music // 18-19 - Form of Composition
  bd  Ballads                     --------
  rp  Rhapsodies                  --------
  sd  Square dance music          --------

008 - Music // 24-27 - Accompanying textual material
  Cp 24-27 used                   Cp 24-29 used
  l   Biography of arranger       --------
      or transcriber

008 - Music // 28 - Government publication
  Cp defined                      Cp used for acc. mat.
  CAN/MARC has the usual values for government publication.

008 - Music // 29 
  Cp not defined                  Cp used for acc. mat.

008 - Serials // 24 - Nature of entire work
  --------                        k  Discographies
  --------                        q  Filmographies
  t   University calendars        t  Technical reports
  x   Technical reports           --------
  3   Discographies               --------
  4   Filmographies               --------

008 - Serials // 25-27 - Nature of contents
  --------                        k  Discographies
  --------                        q  Filmographies
  t   University calendars        t  Technical reports
  x   Technical reports           --------
  3   Discographies               --------
  4   Filmographies               --------

008 - Visual Materials // 23 - Form of item
  Cp defined for form of item     Cp used for acc. mat.
  #   None of the following       #  No accompanying mat.
  a   Microfilm                   --------
  b   Microfiche                  --------
  c   Microopaque                 --------

008 - Visual Material // 24-27 - Accompanying material
  Cp 24-27 used                   Cp 23-27 used
  a   Language material, printed  --------
  c   Music, printed              --------
  d   Diorana                     --------
  e   Map, printed                --------
  f   Filmstrip                   --------
  g   Game                        --------
  h   Microform                   --------
  i   Sound rec., non-musical     --------
  j   Sound rec., musical         --------
  k   Picture                     --------
  l   MRDF                        l  Stills
  m   Motion picture              m  Script material
  n   Chart                       --------
  o   Flash card                  o  Posters
  p   Microscope slide            p  Pressbooks
  q   Model                       q  Lobby cards
  r   Realia                      r  Instructional materials
  s   Slide                       s  Music
  t   Transparency                --------
  v   Videorecording              --------

009 - Cartographic Material
  Field defined                   Field not defined

016 - National Library of Canada Record Control Number
  Field defined                   Field not defined

024 - Other Standard Identifier // Ind 2 - Difference indicator
  --------                        #  No information provided
  0   Eye readable                0  No difference
  1   Scanned if different from   1  Difference

028 Publisher Number for Music // Ind 2 - Note controller
  0   Print a note                0  No note, no added entry
  1   Do not print a note         1  Note, added entry
  --------                        2  Note, no added entry
  --------                        3  No note, added entry

034 - Coded Cartographic Mathematical Data // $a Category of
  c   Other type of scale         z  Other type of scale

046 - Type of Date Code
  $6  Linkage                     --------

050 - Library of Congress Call Number // Ind 2 - Source of call
  #   Information not provided    --------

060 - National Library of Medicine Call Number // Ind 2 - Source
of call number
  #   Information not provided    --------

082 - Dewey Decimal Call Number // Ind 2 
  Ind 2 not defined               Ind 2 - Source of call number
                                  0  Assigned by LC
                                  4  Assigned by agency other
                                     than LC

084 - Other Class Number
  --------                        $6 Linkage

086 - Government Document Classification Number // Ind 2 <no
  Ind 2 defined                   Ind 2 not defined
  #   when Ind 1 is not "1"
  0   IC cat. no.
  1   Cat. IC no.
  2   QP cat. no.
  3   Cat.IR no.
  4   DSS cat. no.
  5   Cat. MAS, no Ind = #

087 - Report Number
  Field defined                   Field content in 088

088 - Document Shelving Number (CODOC)
  Field defined                   Defined as 008 - Report Number

300 - Physical Description
  $d  Accompanying material       --------
  --------                        $e Accompanying material
  --------                        $f Type of unit

440 - Series Statement/Added Entry - Title
  $h  General material desig.     --------
583 - Action Note
  $8  Link and sequence no.       --------

654 - Subject Added Entry - Faceted Topical Terms
  --------                        $y Chronological subdivision
  --------                        $z Geographical subdivision

751 - Geographic Name/Area Name Entry
  Field defined                   Field not defined
  Ind 1 - undefined
  Ind 2 - Type
  0   Primary geographic/area entry
  1   Secondary geographic/area entry
  2   Analytical geographic entry
  $a  Geographic name or area element
  $b  Element following entry element
  $6  Linkage

886 - Foreign MARC Information Field
  Ind 1 - undefined               Ind 1 - Type of field
                                  0  Leader
                                  1  Control fields(002-009)
                                  2  Variable fields(010-999)
  $c  Control field (002-009)     --------
  $d  Variable field(010-999)     --------
  --------                        $2 Source of data
9XX - Equivalence, Cross-References and History Notes
  Fields defined                  Field not defined

Differences between UKMARC and CANMARC/USMARC

As is indicated below there are numerous detail differences between
USMARC and UKMARC content designation, yet since the cataloging
traditions have been closely aligned for a number of years, much of
the data is very consistent with the data found in USMARC records. 
This consistency will probably be enhanced in the future.  As part
of an initiative to have the BL become a partner in NACO, LC's CPSO
is working closely with BL cataloging staff on cataloging
differences, especially related to the formulation of headings. 
The BL is also in the process of re-adopting LCSH for subject
access to its records.

The BL is discussing with the UKMARC community the alignment with
USMARC and CAN/MARC, while identifying some fields that appear in
UKMARC that are not in USMARC.  The UKMARC format is primarily
focussed on book material and was not been fully or consistently
enhanced for other forms of material.  The fullness of USMARC is
seen as an advantage and would avoid duplicate development and
expansion of UKMARC.  The following roughly indicates the
differences between UKMARC and USMARC.

General differences
  UKMARC does not carry ISBD punctuation at the subfield boundries,
  resulting in more subfielding than in USMARC.  USMARC is designed
  for use by various groups using cataloging rules of their choice,
  some of which are ISBD-based and but others are not; therefore
  the ISBD punctuation is carried within fields when it is
  UKMARC uses 0 frequently in indicator positions where USMARC
  would use a blank, for example, if the indicator is not defined
  the value 0 is used.
  The UKMARC character set is not exactly the same as USMARC,
  although it incorporates ASCII and most of the extended ANSEL
  characters.  The superscripts and subscripts are not defined.

  Differences in values used.
  Not currently defined in UKMARC.
  Only a Books 008 (with a few non-book cps) currently defined in
  UKMARC.  A few cps need to be examined.  Fiction indicator,
  Target audience, prime meridian, and government publication cps
  have some differences in values.
  A number of USMARC fields are not defined in UKMARC.  The ISBN
  uses 021 instead of 020.  The BL system control number is in 024. 
  UKMARC 031 and 032 have special cartographic data.  UKMARC 081
  is used for DDC numbers from "old" editions.
1XX/4XX/6XX/7XX/8XX heading fields
  Differences in cataloging need to be reconciled before the format
  is aligned (work underway).  Major differences in subfielding.
  Differences in cataloging need to be reconciled before format is
  aligned (work underway).  UKMARC 248 used for second and
  subsequent level titles.  Edition and publisher statements have
  additional subfielding in UKMARC.
  Physical description statement has additional subfielding in
  UKMARC.  Most other fields not defined in UKMARC.
  UKMARC has additional subfielding.
  Different tags used for same notes.  Further examination needed.
  Not presently in UKMARC.
  Not presently in UKMARC.

Next Steps

The differences noted above will be reviewed by the CAN/MARC and
UKMARC communities during the June-July time period.  The Library
of Congress, National Library of Canada, and the British Library
will then meet to formulate more precise proposals.  These will be
circulated to the respective communities by the end of 1995 for
impact and cost assessment to be made by format users.  In the
U.S., the proposals should be ready for discussion of impacts at
the Jan./Feb. 1996 MARBI meeting.

Go to:

Library of Congress
Library of Congress Help Desk (09/03/98)