March 10, 1997 Library of Congress Publishes USMARC Code List for Languages

Contact: Guy Lamolinara (202) 707-9217

The USMARC Code List for Languages, 1996 edition, is now available from the Cataloging Distribution Service of the Library of Congress. The USMARC Code List for Languages contains a list of languages and their associated three-character alphabetic codes that allow for the designation of the language or languages in USMARC records. There are codes for individual languages and language groups. This revision of the 1989 edition contains all valid code and code assignments as of October 1996.

The revisions in the new edition of USMARC Code List for Languages include the addition of many languages that have been assigned group codes, new references and changes to reference and language names. In addition, 29 new language codes have been established.

The new edition of USMARC Code List for Languages also includes numerous references from unused to used forms of language names and from names of individual languages that are not given discrete codes to the language group to which they are assigned. The list contains 400 discrete codes, of which 53 are used for groups of languages. Many other of the changes in this edition are a result of the revision of the U.S. national language code standard, ANSI/NISO Z39.53, which was approved in September 1994.

USMARC Code Lists for Languages, 1996 edition, sells for $20 (North America) and $22 (outside North America). ISBN: 0-8444-0936-7. 138 pages, Softcover. Order it directly from: Library of Congress, Customer Services Section, Cataloging Distribution Service, P.O Box 75720, Washington, DC 20013-5720; telephone (800) 255-3666 (U.S. only) or (202) 707-6100; fax: (202) 707-1334. TDD: (202) 707-0012. Web address:


PR 97-039
ISSN 0731-3527