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MARC Standards

MARBI Meeting Minutes

ALA Annual Meeting
Chicago, IL – June 25-26, 2005

MARBI Members:
Adam Schiff, Chair  ALCTS    University of Washington
Karen Coyle         RUSA     Independent Consultant
Helen Gbala         LITA     Addison Public Library
Wei Jeng-Chu        RUSA     Worcester Public Library
Bruce Rennie        RUSA     Kansas City Public Library
Jacqueline Samples  ALCTS    North Carolina State University
Marc Truitt         LITA     University of Houston
Martha Yee          ALCTS    UCLA Film and Television Archive
Ex-officio Members:
Corine Deliot       BL       British Library
Sally H. McCallum   LC       Library of Congress
Margaret Stewart    LAC      Library and Archives Canada
MARC Advisory Committee Representatives and Liaisons:
Everett Allgood     CC:DA    New York University
Joe Altimus         RLG      Research Libraries Group
John Attig          OLAC     Pennsylvania State University
Paul Cauthen        MLA      University of Cincinnati
Sherman Clarke      VRA      New York University
Bonnie Dede         SAC      University of Michigan 
Eugene Dickerson    NLM      National Library of Medicine
John Espley         AVIAC    VTLS, Inc.
Rich Greene         OCLC     OCLC, Inc.
Rebecca Guenther    LC       Library of Congress
Robert Hall         PLA      Concord Free Public Library
Deirdre Kiorgaard   NLA      National Library of Australia
Gail Lewis          MicroLIF Coughlan Publishing
Susan Moore         MAGERT   University of Northern Iowa
Elizabeth O'Keefe   ARLIS/NA Pierpont Morgan Library
Karen Selden        AALL     University of Colorado Law Library
Tina Shrader        NAL      National Agricultural Library
Jacqueline Radebaugh  LC       Library of Congress
Other Attendees:
Jim Agenbroad                Retired, Library of Congress                       
Joan Aliprand                n/a
Karen Anspach                Karen Anspach Consulting
Kathleen Ash                 Southwest Minnesota State University
Lisa Bodenheimer             Clemson University
Colleen Cahill               Library of Congress
Jack Cain                    Trylus Computing
Prudence Cendoma             Brodart
Carroll Davis                Library of Congress
Jackie Dooley                University of California, Irvine
Lynn El-Hoshy                Library of Congress
Cheri Folkner                Boise State University
Kathy Glennan                University of Southern California
Ruth Haas                    Harvard University
Diane Hillmann               Cornell University
Stephen Hearn                University of Minnesota
Charles Husbands             Harvard University
Vince Jenkins                University of Wisconsin
George Johnston              University of Cincinnati
William Jones                New York University
Judy Kuhagen                 Library of Congress
Pat Kuhr                     H.W. Wilson Company
Jennifer Lang                Princeton University
Sara Shatford Layne          University of California, Los Angeles
Bill Leonard                 Library of Archives Canada
Elizabeth Lilker             New York University
Kristin Lindlan              University of Washington
Rebecca Marck                Brodart
Giles Martin                 OCLC
Kelley McGrath               Ball State University
Luiz H. Mendes               University of California, Los Angeles
Barbara Rapoport             California Institute of Technology
Regina Reynolds              Library of Congress
Ann Sitkin                   Harvard University Law
Gary Smith                   OCLC
Barbara Story                Library of Congress
Hugh Taylor                  University of Cambridge
Seanna Tsung                 Library of Congress
Mitch Turitz                 San Francisco State University
Jay Weitz                    OCLC
Matthew Wise                 New York University

Saturday, June 25

Adam Schiff, MARBI Chair, opened the meeting by asking committee members, representatives, and liaisons to identify themselves. The proposed agenda was adopted. John Attig (OLAC) reported that the Midwinter 2005 minutes ( contained misspellings in the names of Qiang Jin and Jane Grawemeyer. Marc Truitt (LITA) moved to accept the minutes and Helen Gbala (LITA) seconded the motion. The vote passed unanimously.

Proposal 2005-07: Revision of subfield $b in field 041 in the MARC 21 Format for Bibliographic Data

John Attig (OLAC) introduced Proposal 2005-07: Revision of subfield $b in field 041 in the MARC 21 Format for Bibliographic Data. This paper proposes changing the coding convention of field 041 (Language code) subfield $b (Language code of summary or abstract/overprinted title or subtitle) for audiovisual materials by removing the phrase "when they [the languages of subtitles] differ from the language of the soundtrack". It also proposes changing the terminology used for subtitles and clarifies that captions are covered in the definition of subfield $b.

Everett Allgood (CC:DA) maintained that captions are different than summaries. He suggested coding captions in a new subfield. Gene Dickerson (NLM) agreed. John Attig (OLAC) stated that this would be difficult to do because retrospective records would contain both summaries and captions in the same subfield. Rich Greene (OCLC) agreed stating that implementers cannot retrospectively change older records.

Elizabeth O'Keefe (ARLIS/NA) asked about how to code content in different languages. Helen Gbala (LITA) stated that using separate subfields for summaries and captions would bring out multilingual aspects of the data.

Sally McCallum (LC) suggested coding captions in subfield $g (Language code of accompanying material other than librettos). Subfield $g contains "the language of significant accompanying material other than summaries (subfield $b) or librettos (subfield $e)."

Adam Schiff (ALCTS) agreed with Everett Allgood's (CC:DA) suggestion written to the MARC Forum that indicated renaming subfield $b as "Language code of summary, abstract, or subtitles".

Marc Truitt (LITA) moved to accept the proposal including Mr. Allgood's suggestion to rename subfield $b as "Language code of summary, abstract, or subtitles." Martha Yee (ALCTS) seconded the motion. The vote was 8-0 in favor of the motion. OLAC may discuss the impact of possibly defining a new subfield for subtitles and caption titles at a future meeting.

Proposal 2005-04/R: Hierarchical Geographic Names in the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format

Rebecca Guenther (LC) introduced proposal 2005-04/R: "Hierarchical Geographic Names in the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format." This paper suggests expanding the definition of field 752 (Added Entry - Hierarchical Place Name) by adding new subfields. It also suggests making some current subfields repeatable to enable a hierarchical approach to subject-oriented geographic coverage.

Karen Coyle (RUSA) asked about what the purpose was for maintaining the same subfields in fields 662 (Subject Added Entry - Hierarchical Place Name) and 752 (Added Entry - Hierarchical Place Name). Rebecca Guenther (LC) answered that there would be problems with validating against authority records if these fields were not parallel in form.

Adam Schiff (ALCTS) suggested adding subfields $e (Relator term) and $4 (Relator code) to fields 662 (Subject Added Entry - Hierarchical Place Name) and 752 (Added Entry - Hierarchical Place Name) for depictions. Rebecca Guenther (LC) stated that if subfield $e (Relator term) was added to fields 662 (Subject Added Entry - Hierarchical Place Name) and 752 (Added Entry - Hierarchical Place Name), the subfields in field 662 (Subject Added Entry - Hierarchical Place Name) would have to be changed because subfield $e is already defined as "City subsection" in field 662 (Subject Added Entry - Hierarchical Place Name).

Elizabeth O'Keefe (ARLIS/NA) asked whether oceans would be coded in subfield $a (Country or larger entity) or subfield $f (Other geographic regions or features) in field 662 (Subject Added Entry - Hierarchical Place Name). Colleen Cahill (LC) stated that LC's Geography and Map Division would code oceans in subfield $a (Country or larger entity). Adam Schiff (ALCTS) stated that subfield $f (Other geographic regions or features) should be coded for entities below the country level. Joe Altimus (RLG) maintained that there is an obvious ambiguity between subfields $a (Country or larger entity) and $f (Other geographic regions or features) in field 662. This will need to be clarified in the documentation.

The question arose as to whether all parts of the hierarchy of extraterrestrial bodies should be coded in subfield $g. Most agreed that this was not useful and regions might be coded in subfield $f.

Colleen Cahill (LC) stated that subfields $a (Country or larger entity) and $g (Extraterrestrial area) should remain defined in field 662. Thesauri should drive which subfields to code. Joe Altimus (RLG) agreed. Guidelines will need to be issued with policies of specific thesaurus.

Helen Gbala (LITA) moved to accept the proposal with the following changes:

Marc Truitt (LITA) seconded the motion. The vote was 8-0 in favor of the motion as outlined.

Proposal 2005-08: Changes to accommodate IAML coded data in bibliographic fields 008/18-19, 047 and 048

Paul Cauthen (MLA) introduced the proposal which discusses the changes needed to incorporate IAML (International Association of Music Libraries, Archives, and Documentation Centers) form, genre and medium of performance codes in MARC 21.

The question was asked whether indicators should be defined in fields 047 (Form of musical composition code) and 048 (Number of musical instruments or voices codes) to accommodate IAML codes. For example, code blank (#) would be defined as "MARC code" and code 7 would be defined as "Source specified in subfield $2", as indicated in the proposal.

Marc Truitt (LITA) suggested that as stated in section 2.1.2 (Revised definition for music 008/18-19) of the proposal, two fill characters (||) in field 008/18-19 (Form of composition) would ambiguously indicate an alternative code list. Rebecca Guenther (LC) stated that the original proposal suggested that the code "zz" indicate an alternative code list. Some participants thought that use of "zz" would also make the meaning of field 008/18-19 (Form of composition) ambiguous because "other" implies no appropriate codes are available and there is no field 047. Rich Greene (OCLC) agreed that both fill characters and code "zz" might be ambiguous considering how they have been used in other applications.

Sally McCallum (LC) suggested that a separate proposal come back that discusses how to code field 008/18-19 (Form of composition) to indicate a three-character IAML code in field 047 (Form of Musical Composition Code). This will investigate other situations (e.g., 041) that allow for a non-MARC code in a variable field, but also has coding in field 008. The group agreed.

Adam Schiff (ALCTS) asked the group if it approved of the 048 (Number of musical instruments or voices code) portion of the paper. This section proposes defining the first indicator value as "Source of code" and a non-repeatable subfield $2 (Source of code) to contain the source of the code in subfield $a (Performer or ensemble) or $b (Soloist) when the first indicator value is 7. The code found in subfield $2 will be listed in the MARC 21 Code Lists for Relators, Sources, Description Conventions.

Marc Truitt (LITA) moved to approve the 048 (Number of musical instruments or voices codes) portion of the proposal for the IAML codes for medium of performance since they are incompatible with the MARC 21 codes and thus a subfield $2 (Source) is needed in the field to differentiate between MARC and IAML codes. Karen Coyle (RUSA) seconded the motion.

The vote was 8-0 in favor of the motion. A paper will come back at the Midwinter 2006 meeting that deals with the use of IAML codes in field 047 (Form of musical composition code). The group felt that it would be preferable to simply validate the IAML codes for use in field 047 (Form of musical composition code). The use of fill characters in 008 positions when additional information is coded in variable fields should also be further investigated (008/18-19 and 047).

Business Meeting

LC Report

Sally McCallum (LC) reported that Update No. 5 to all five MARC 21 formats is available from the Cataloging Distribution Service (CDS). MODS version 3.1 will be made available shortly. It will coordinate with MADS version 1.0.

Sally McCallum (LC) also reported that the Unicode version of LC's Endeavor Voyager system will be made available to the public by the middle of November, 2005.

CDS (Cataloging Distribution Service) intends to offer the option of receiving MARC 21 records in UTF-8 starting in January, 2006. This will complement CDS MARC files that are currently distributed in MARC-8 and MARCXML.

The National Library of Australia has requested GAC and country codes for first-level political jurisdictions. It used codes for first-level political jurisdictions in AUSMARC before implementing MARC 21.

Response to CC:AAM Motion

Adam Schiff (ALCTS) asked for comments to the letter to CC:AAM responding to its motion to include the entire Unicode character set in MARC records (online at: [PDF: 66208 bytes]). Giles Martin (OCLC) reported that Shi Deng, Chair of ALCTS/CCS CC:AAM could not be present at the MARBI meeting because it conflicted with a CC:AAM meeting. No other comments were made.

Report from the CC:DA Representative

Everett Allgood (CC:DA) reported on the progress of RDA (Resource Description and Access), which is the successor to AACR2. A formal report is available online at: [PDF: 92464 bytes] John Attig (OLAC) stated that there will be a program about RDA on Sunday, June 26 at 8:30 A.M. It is entitled, "The Next Big Thing in Cataloging, or Moving on up to RDA." Everett Allgood (CC:DA) stated that the JSC (Joint Steering Committee for Revision of Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules) will distribute drafts of RDA documentation more widely in the near future so that MARBI may review it. Adam Schiff (ALCTS) suggested that a task force be created to report back to MARBI about RDA and how it will impact MARC after the first draft is available.

ALA 2006 Conference Schedule

Adam Schiff (ALCTS) reported that beginning the Midwinter 2006 meeting, ALA will constitute new meeting times. These are:

8:00 am-10:00 am
10:30 am-12:30 pm (Midwinter)
10:30 am-noon (Annual)
1:30-3:30 pm
4:00-6:00 pm (Sat.- Mon. of Midwinter)
4:00-5:30 pm (Fri. of Midwinter, Sun.- Mon. of Annual)
4:00-5:00 pm (Sat. of Annual)

If time slots are combined, there must be a half hour break between them.

John Attig (OLAC) suggested having three two-hour meetings. Rebecca Guenther (LC) suggested using different times for the Midwinter and Annual meetings. Karen Coyle (RUSA) suggested conducting the meetings on Sunday and Monday afternoons.

The group decided that the Midwinter meeting in San Antonio will be conducted at the following times:

Saturday: 10:30-12:30
Sunday: 1:30-3:30 and 4:00-6:00
Monday: 1:30-3:30

Resolution for ALA Membership Meeting by James Agenbroad on "Equal Access to Nonroman Resources"

James Agenbroad (LC, retired) introduced the resolution that urges libraries to update MARC to allow for all characters of all languages in library collections and to change cataloging rules to allow for the creation of headings with these characters for the authors and titles of nonroman resources. Doing so should create equal access to nonroman resources.

Karen Coyle (RUSA) stated that a section in the resolution is needed to explain how to create equal access to nonroman resources for ALA does not have a coordinated standards effort. Specific proposals are needed to make this happen.

The ALA council ultimately sent the resolution back to the membership for revision.

Miscellaneous Announcements

John Espley (AVIAC) stated that AVIAC plans to submit a formal proposal to MARBI to create a new subfield in field 020 (International Standard Book Number) for the 13-digit ISBN.

Adam Schiff (ALCTS) announced that he plans to step down as MARBI chair after the Annual 2005 meeting. He will, however, remain on the MARC Advisory Committee as an ALCTS representative. Martha Yee (ALCTS) will take over as MARBI chair starting at the Midwinter 2006 MARBI meeting.

Sunday, June 26

Proposal 2005-06: Addition of Subfields for Relator Terms/Codes for Subject Access to Images

Rebecca Guenther introduced the paper which proposes defining subfield $e (Relator term) in fields 630 (Subject Added Entry - Uniform Title) and 651 (Subject Added Entry - Geographic Name) and subfield $4 (Relator code) in fields 630 (Subject Added Entry - Uniform Title), 650 (Subject Added Entry - Topical Term), and 651 (Subject Added Entry - Geographic Name) in order to use relator codes and terms to enhance the retrieval of visual materials.

Elizabeth O'Keefe (ARLIS/NA) stated that there is an increasing importance of relator terms in general to more specifically give information about the relationship between an entity and the work described. RDA also will have increased use of designating relationships.

Adam Schiff (ALCTS) suggested not defining a subfield for relator term in field 611 (Subject Added Entry - Meeting Name). Sherman Clarke (VRA) disagreed suggesting that people may want to code the relator term in field 611 (Subject Added Entry - Meeting Name). Some applications or thesaurus may not use codes, but only use terms. Everett Allgood (CC:DA) felt that both subfields for relator term and relator code should be defined. Subfield $e is currently defined as "Subordinate unit" in field 611 (Subject Added Entry - Meeting Name) and thus, another subfield would have to be defined for "Relator term" in field 611 (Subject Added Entry - Meeting Name).

Rebecca Guenther (LC) summarized the issues that must be resolved in the paper. These are whether to include a subfield for relator term in field 611 (Subject added entry - Meeting name); and if so, reuse subfield $e or define a new subfield. In addition, under discussion may be whether to adjust the definition of "depicted" since it now states that it is only a person or organization; and whether the relator list needs to include other terms depicting "ofness" and "aboutness".

Jacqueline Samples (ALCTS) suggested reusing subfield $e for relator terms since it has been seldom used. Rebecca Guenther (LC), however, stated that it has been a MARC principle not to reuse obsolete data elements.

Sherman Clarke (VRA) suggested using thesauri when supplying relator terms. He proposed adding a subfield $2 (Source) to the fields. Rebecca Guenther (LC), however, stated that usually subfield $2 (Source) refers to the content of an entire field, not just a subfield, although exceptions could be made.

Marc Truitt (LITA) moved that MARBI defines subfield $e (Relator term) in fields 630 (Subject Added Entry - Uniform Title) and 651 (Subject Added Entry - Geographic Name) and subfield $4 (Relator code) in fields 630 (Subject Added Entry - Uniform Title), 650 (Subject Added Entry - Topical Term), and 651 (Subject Added Entry - Geographic Name) in order to use relator codes and terms to enhance the retrieval of visual materials. The definition of "depicted" needs to be revised since it now states that it only describes a person or organization. Other relator terms/codes that are needed should be submitted and considered, as appropriate. MARBI will consider defining a relator term subfield in field 611 in a future proposal.

Jacqueline Samples (ALCTS) seconded the motion. The vote was 8-0 in favor of the motion.

Report: Using MARC 21 with FRBR: Record Configurations

Sally McCallum (LC) introduced the report. Its purpose is to (1) clarify the difference between exchange records and internal record configurations, and (2) begin to identify any changes to the MARC 21 formats needed to support FRBR-based activities. Ms. McCallum (LC) noted that since IFLA issued the Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR) conceptual model in 1998, there have been various FRBR application projects. Some include: the VTLS "FRBR version" of Virtual, OCLC's Fiction Finder, Australia's AusLit, and numerous studies, including the Norway/Finland data mining study. There have also been many other studies and projects which have not been as widely reported. Tom Delsey mapped the entire corpus of MARC 21 data elements to FRBR entities for the Network Development and MARC Office (NDMSO) at LC. NDMSO also developed the "FRBR Display Tool" that takes a result data set and "FRBRizes" it. The "FRBR Display Tool" makes it easy for institutions to experiment and see how their data reacts.

Barbara Tillet (LC) explained that there was an IFLA FRBR Workshop at OCLC that discussed models for FRBR. Model A describes using authorities for Work/Expression records and Model B describes using bibliographic data for Work/Expression Uniform Title records were presented at that workshop.

Elizabeth O'Keefe (ARLIS/ NA) stated that FRBR will definitely have an impact on the bibliographic community. However, it is difficult to relate art objects to FRBR. Barbara Tillet (LC) stated that FRBR can work for all types of material. Its main emphasis is to enhance basic users' tasks. John Espley (VTLS) stated that there has been an emphasis on using FRBR with literary items. But it has also been used with art materials, especially with reproductions. Karen Coyle (RUSA) stated that it is hard to apply FRBR to only 5% of records. It should affect all records.

Sally McCallum (LC) suggested that people continue to experiment with FRBR. Experimentation will help the bibliographic community know what it needs to do to make bibliographic data more adaptable to FRBR. Rebecca Guenther (LC) stated that experimentation will help create a more solid definition of expression. Jacqueline Samples (ALCTS) is doing a research study on applying FRBR to serials. Adam Schiff (ALCTS) suggested that people use the MARC Listserv to report their experimentation efforts to other MARC users.

Report: Assessment of Options for Handling Full Unicode in Character Encodings in MARC 21 -- Part 2: Issues

Sally McCallum (LC) introduced the report which is a companion to a report written by Jack Cain. That report, Part 1 : New Scripts, discussed the new scripts and new characters in existing scripts that have been introduced via Unicode. It also described various techniques for handling those scripts in existing MARC-8 environments, along with display and font issues. Part 2 : Assessment of Options for Handling Full Unicode in Character Encodings in MARC 21 was prepared by Sally McCallum (LC), along with the collaboration of Joan Aliprand, Joe Altimus, Jack Cain, Charles Husbands, and Gary Smith.

The report discusses the following four areas for bibliographic use of full Unicode encoding: 1) Clarification of normalization in the Unicode environment and understanding of the tools that support different aspects of normalization; 2) Techniques for reducing the Unicode set to MARC-8 and/or inclusion of Unicode characters in MARC-8 records; 3) Clarification of the use of MARC 21 field 880 (Alternate Graphic Representation) in the Unicode environment; 4) Standardization of the library use of Unicode by deprecating the 61 Private Use Area characters.

Ms. McCallum (LC) also explained that LC has set up a Listserv ( for the technical discussion of Unicode so that system builders may share and discuss information for implementation and normalization. Ultimately, its goal is to arrive at consensus on some of the issues discussed in Part 1 and Part 2 of the reports. John Espley (AVIAC) suggested that the MARC community discuss Unicode further after the Listserv has come up with some conclusions.

The Part 2 report reviews the various task groups and resulting decisions that have been made over the past decade, such as use of UTF-8 encoding, restriction of positionally defined data to ASCII, expression of lengths in octets, etc. The Report also describes some salient characteristics of Unicode.

Sally McCallum (LC) reviewed the Part 2 section on normalization, noting its importance for some record sharing applications. She noted that normalization per se is not part of the MARC 21 specifications, however, Unicode has normalization tools that need to be studied further and understood better. Joan Aliprand stated that the MARC community needs to look carefully at the Unicode normalization. Joe Altimus (RLG) stated that there are different solutions to normalization based on local needs. Joan Aliprand suggested that the MARC community go to the Unicode web site ( and read up on normalization issues.

Sally McCallum (LC) then reviewed the section on record distribution. There are several character set transformations that might be standardized for MARC 21 record exchange. Ms. McCallum asked what controls, if any, on the expansion of the characters used in Unicode need to be considered by the group. According to Gail Lewis (MicroLIF), this is an area of concern for the MicroLIF group. Most of its records are in English and thus, MicroLIF members must convert Unicode records back to MARC-8. It does not care how different scripts are transmitted. Joan Aliprand requested more information about this issue from Ms. Lewis (MicroLIF). Gail Lewis (MicroLIF) stated that only around one half of MicroLIF vendors support some part of Unicode.

Sally McCallum (LC) then reviewed Multiscript Records. She explained that in Model A records, regular fields may contain data in different scripts. Fields 880 are used when data needs to be duplicated to express it in both the original vernacular script and transliterated into one or more other scripts. In Model B records, all data is contained in regular fields and script varies depending on the requirements of the data. Repeatability specifications of all fields should be followed. Although the Model B record may contain transliterated data, Model A is preferred if the same data is recorded in both the original vernacular script and transliteration.

Sally McCallum (LC) then reviewed the PUA (Private Use Area) characters. Only 61 characters remain in the PUA. She suggested that these characters be deprecated. Joan Aliprand agreed.

Sally McCallum (LC) then described the three Annexes in the report. Annex A describes ways to identify Latin sets in Unicode. There are over one thousand Latin characters, 438 inherited characters and ten thousand common characters. Annex B describes conversion of characters to a MARC-8 output stream. This should be discussed further on the Unicode-MARC Listserv. Annex C describes the characters that should not be included in a MARC record.

Sally McCallum (LC) moved to deprecate the 61 PUA characters. MARC Truitt (LITA) seconded the motion. The motion passed 8-0.


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