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MARC PROPOSAL NO. 2016-04

DATE: May 27, 2016
REVISED:

NAME: Broaden Usage of Field 257 to Include Autonomous Regions in the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format

SOURCE: Online Audiovisual Catalogers (OLAC)

SUMMARY: This paper proposes broadening the usage of field 257 (Country of Producing Entity) to include autonomous regions so that regions with strong film cultures can be used in this field.  This will involve changing the name of the field and changing the field definition and scope.

KEYWORDS: Field 257 (BD); Country of producing entity (BD)

RELATED: 2016-DP07

STATUS/COMMENTS:
05/27/16 – Made available to the MARC community for discussion.

06/25/16 – Results of MARC Advisory Committee discussion: The use of the terminology, "autonomous regions", was considered problematic. The paper will be reworked and will return as another proposal.

08/10/16 - Results of MARC Steering Group review - Agreed with the MAC decision.


Proposal No. 2016-04: Broaden Usage of Field 257 to Include Autonomous Regions

1. BACKGROUND

Field 257 is currently defined in the Bibliographic format as follows:

Field Definition and Scope:
Name or abbreviation of the name of the country(s) where the principal offices of the producing entity(s) of a resource are located.

Entity(s) in this instance is the production company(s) or individual that is named in the statement of responsibility (subfield $c) of field 245 (Title Statement).

Current definition of subfield $a:

$a - Country of producing entity
Name or abbreviation of the name of the country(s) where the principal offices of the producing entity(s) of a resource are located.
May contain the abbreviation [S.l.] when the country is unknown.

Field 257 is used heavily by the film and video cataloging community to bring out the country where the production companies associated with a film are located.  This information is an important part of film culture and is important information to communicate to library users. Information about the country of origin of films is commonly included in reference sources. For example, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Lists_of_films_by_country_of_production and http://www.imdb.com/country/.

There are a few entities that are not technically countries, which are generally included in lists of films by country. The most common examples are Hong Kong and Palestine. Hong Kong has a long film tradition that is distinct from that of mainland China. Users would also like to distinguish Palestinian films from Israeli films. Both the Wikipedia and IMDb lists referenced above include Hong Kong and Palestine in their “country” lists. Macau or Northern Ireland could be additional examples.

Prior to 2010, field 257 was used only in archival cataloging based on information required by AMIM (//www.loc.gov/catdir/cpso/chapter3.html). Therefore, most libraries used subject and later genre fields to bring out this information. Because this practice was “local,” catalogers had more flexibility to include autonomous regions.  Now that the 257 has taken the place of these local conventions, catalogers would like to be able to record these autonomous regions in 257. 

At this point we know of no other cataloging community using this field for identifying the country of production.  In the future if additional usage is made of this field, the inclusion of autonomous regions will likely benefit them as well. 

2. DISCUSSION

Very few changes to the format would be needed in order to allow these regions to be valid.  The title would need to be changed to “Country or Autonomous Region of Producing Entity”.  The “Field Definition and Scope” and name/definition of subfield $a would also need to be changed to include this phrase.  There would be no cost associated with the change other than updating the documentation and any institution that did not wish to record autonomous regions in 257 would be free not to. Institutions or communities of practice may wish to decide under what conditions they would choose to include autonomous regions as well as which ones they would use, but it is not necessary for the MARC format to specify this.

3. EXAMPLES

Example 1

257 ## $a Hong Kong. $2 naf

Or

257 ## $a Hong Kong (China). $2 naf

One is valid before 1997 and one after.

Example 2

257 ## $a Palestine. $2 naf

4. BIBFRAME

No impact

5. PROPOSED CHANGES

In field 257 of the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format:

5.1. Change name of field and definition to:

257 - Country or Autonomous Region of Producing Entity
Field Definition and Scope:
Name or abbreviation of the name of the country(s) or autonomous region(s) where the principal offices of the producing entity(s) of a resource are located.
Entity(s) in this instance is the production company(s) or individual that is named in the statement of responsibility (subfield $c) of field 245 (Title Statement).

5.2. Change subfield $a name and definition to:

$a – Country or autonomous region of producing entity
Name or abbreviation of the name of the country(s) or autonomous region(s) where the principal offices of the producing entity(s) of a resource are located.
May contain the abbreviation [S.l.] when the country or autonomous region is unknown.

5.3. Add example under subfield $a:

257 ## $a Hong Kong (China). $2 naf


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