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DATE: December 12, 2018

NAME: Subfield Coding in Field 041 for Intertitles and Transcripts in the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format

SOURCE: OLAC Catalogers Network

SUMMARY: This paper proposes adding two new subfields in field 041 (Language Code) for the language of film intertitles and the language of accompanying transcripts for audiovisual materials.

KEYWORDS: Field 041 (BD); Language Code (BD); Intertitles (BD); Transcripts (BD)

RELATED: 2018-02

12/12/18 – Made available to the MARC community for discussion.

01/26/19 – Results of MARC Advisory Committee discussion: Concerns raised in the previously submitted comments on the MARC listserv were addressed in introducing the paper, namely reaffirming the desire to limit subfield $i solely to silent film intertitles, not additional textual language content present in other types of film. The paper will return as a proposal that will include examples of audio resources with transcripts. The proposal will also address the concerns raised by MLA regarding how 041 subfield $e would be affected by the scope of new subfield $t; at present the latter makes no reference to accompanying librettos.  Lastly, the reference to printed text in the context of $t will be reconsidered; this currently makes no provision for texts belonging to online resources.

Discussion Paper No. 2019-DP02: Subfield Coding in Field 041 for Intertitles and Transcripts


Field 041 is currently defined in the Bibliographic format as follows:

Currently intertitles are coded in $j with subtitles and captions.  This coding is misleading and not helpful for retrieval purposes because intertitles are in no way subtitles.  Intertitles are more like captions because they provide access to the entire language content of the resource. Captions were recently removed from $j and put in their own subfield for this reason as well as others (See Proposal 2018-02). 

In silent films intertitles are the filmed, printed text edited into the midst of the photographed action of a motion picture.  Mostly in use in the era of the silent film, they were called subtitles at the time which makes it more confusing.  In modern films this technique is used rarely and when it is used it is most often some kind of epilogue to explain what happened after the conclusion of the film.  Intertitles are not equal to modern subtitles which either indicate what is being said in the film, or translates what is being said and often it is not all of the dialogue. For example, it is typical for videos not to use subtitles for segments spoken in English in a film that is otherwise in French with English subtitles. Since the potential usefulness of intertitles and subtitles for accessibility is different, they should be encoded separately.

Similarly, transcripts are very different from subtitles since they do not appear on the screen as the film plays, but are separately printed and can be read through without watching the film.  It has become common for streaming video vendors to provide interactive transcripts with their videos. Some tangible videos also come with transcripts. For accessibility uses, it would be helpful to be able to identify these separately from other accompanying material.  Separately printed librettos and lyrics would continue to be codes in $e for musical films and recordings. A transcript will be for spoken words printed separately as text, not any sung words.  If a musical film has the entire screenplay printed separately and the libretto for all the songs also printed separately, both of these codes would be used.  A film like Sound of Music where there is significant spoken word and songs, would be an example where you might need both, although in general the use of transcripts is nearly always in documentary, non-fiction films.

As we move to more granularity in our coding of the 041 field it would be beneficial to our users to be able to clearly define what is available.


2.1. Proposed Additional Subfields

We propose adding two new repeatable language subfields to 041 that clarify the language attributes of moving pictures.  These codes will enhance the ability of our catalogs to correctly retrieve our patron requests.

$i - Language code of intertitles (R)
For silent films, the language code(s) of the intertitles or title cards. Intertitles are filmed text that is shown between the scenes of a silent film to provide dialogue or narrative context.

$t - Language code of accompanying transcripts for audiovisual materials (R)
For non-musical audiovisual works, the language code(s) of the printed text of the spoken content of the work. For musical audiovisual works, the language code(s) of the printed text of the sung content of the work should be recorded in $e.

2.2. Proposed Changes to Other Subfields

In addition, some edits will need to be made to other subfields.  In the $g it needs to be made clear that printed scripts for projected still images remain in the $a and the title would need to be clarified that it does not include librettos and transcripts.

$g - Language code of accompanying material other than librettos [and transcripts]
Language code(s) of significant accompanying material other than summaries (subfield $b) or librettos (subfield $e).
Includes such items as program notes, prefaces, commentaries, manuals, codebooks, user instructions, etc. For visual materials, subfield $g is used for all accompanying material, except for accompanying printed script, [for projected still images], or accompanying sound (which are recorded in subfield $a).

A similar change to the title and definition of $m would need to be made:

$m - Language code of original accompanying materials other than librettos [and transcripts]
Language code of original language(s) of subsidiary materials other than librettos [and transcripts]. The subfield follows the related subfield $b or $g.


The new subfields will enable MARC to convey more accurately accessibility information. Intertitles, like captions, provide access to the entire language content of the resource. The first example came up when a search was done for German silent films.  It is not a German silent film, it is a French silent film with German subtitles.

Example 1: DVD with intertitles in French and subtitles in English and German

041 1#  $i fre $j eng $j ger
245 00  $a Aubonheur des dames / $c Le Film d’Art ; scénario de Noël Reynard ; réalisation de Julien Duvivier.
264  #1 $a [Issy les Moulineaux] : |b Arte France ; |a Paris : |b Lobster Films, $c [2009]
300 ##  $a 1 videodisc (89 min.) : $b sound, black and white ; $c 4 3/4 in.   
546 ##  $a Silent film with musical accompaniment, intertitles in French with optional subtitles in English and German.  French, English and German menu options.

Example 2: DVD with intertitles in Japanese with optional English subtitles

041 1#  $i jpn $j eng
245 00  $aHogaraka ni ayume
264 #1  $a [Irvington, New York] : $b The Criterion Collection, $c [2015]
300 ##  $a 1 videodisc (96 min.) : $b sound, black and white ; $c 4 3/4 in.
546 ##  $a Silent film with Japanese intertitles; optional English subtitles and added music score.

Example 3: DVD with German intertitles and optional English, French and Russian subtitles

041 1#  $i ger $j eng $j fre $j rus
245 00  Das alte Gesetz : $b ein Film aus den sechzier Jahren = The ancient law : a film from the Sixties / $c von Paul Reno ; Regie, E.A. Dupont ; reconstructed and restored by Deutsche Kinemathek Museum für Film und Fernsehen.
264 #1  [California?] : $b Flicker Alley, $c [2018?]
300 ## 1 videodisc (135 min.) : $b sound, black and white (tinted) ; $c 4 3/4 in.
546 ##  Silent film with German intertitles and optional English, French, or Russian subtitles, and newly commissioned scores: Ensemble score by Donald Sosin and Alicia Svigals and orchestral score by Philippe Schoeller.

Example 4 : Online resource (originally DVD) in English

041 0#  $a eng $a haw $j eng $t eng
245 04  $a The tribunal / $$c produced by Na  Nā Maka o ka ʻĀina.
264 1#  $a [Honolulu] : $b Nā Maka o ka ʻĀina, $c [1994]
300 ##  $a 1 online resource (1 video file (84 min.)) : $b sound, color with black and white sequences
546 ##  $a Some proceedings in Hawaiian.
500 ##  $a Includes captions and rolling transcript in English.

Example 5: Online resource for an oral history with transcript

041 0#  $a eng $t eng
245 00  $a Nick Hanauer.
264 #1  $a [Seattle, Washington] : $b Seatac-Seattle Minimum Wage History Project, Labor Archives of Washington, University of Washington Libraries Special Collections : $b Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies, University of Washington, $c [2015]
300 ## $a 1 online resource (1 video file (56:16), 1 transcript (11 pages))
588 ## $a Online resource; title from PDF transcript (UW Libraries, viewed on September 5, 2018).

Example 6: DVD with transcripts on disc in Word format

041 0#  $a eng $t eng
245 10  Legacy of freedom movement / $c Mridula Mukherjee ; presented by Anhad ; produced & directed by Gauhar Raza. Secularism as a constitutional right / Mihir Desali ; presented by Anhad ; produced & directed by Gauhar Raza.
264 #1 [India] : $b Act Now for Harmony and Democracy, $c [2003?]
300 ##  1 videodisc (26, 24 min.) : $b sound, color with black and white sequences ; $c 4 3/4 in.
500 ##  Each disc contains transcripts of the lectures in Word .rtf format.
538 ##  System requirements: international DVD player, or PC/MAC with software to play VCD.


The new codes can be incorporated into the language element in BIBFRAME with an indication of the parts to which the language applies.


5.1. Is the need for defining new subfields for intertitles and transcripts in Bibliographic field 041 sufficiently demonstrated by the paper?

5.2. If this discussion paper needs to return as a proposal would MAC prefer it to be two proposals, one for each subfield?

5.3. Does the definition of $t need more instructions about what to do with musical films?  An attempt was made to make it clear what to do and music catalogers will probably not have a problem, but is there a need for more instructions for others?

5.4. Are there any alternative format solutions to what is being proposed?

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