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DATE: December 22, 2020

NAME: Terms and Definitions in Field 007/13 for Sound Recordings in the MARC21 Bibliographic Format

SOURCE: Network Development and MARC Standards Office (NDMSO), Library of Congress, in consultation with the Music Library Association (MLA)

SUMMARY: This paper proposes an update to the definitions of the terms used in MARC 007/13 (Capture and storage technique) for Sound Recordings in the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format. An additional term in 007/13 is also proposed.

KEYWORDS: Field 007/13 (Sound recording) (BD); Sound capture and storage technique (BD)

RELATED: 2021-DP04

12/22/20 – Made available to the MARC community for discussion.

01/28/21 – Results of MARC Advisory Committee discussion: Though MAC was generally supportive of updating the value definitions in field 007/13, there was a difference of opinion regarding the definition of proposed value "s - Direct Stream Digital" (i.e., pulse-density modualtion) and differentiating it from the updated definition of value "d - Digital capture and storage" (i.e., pulse-code modulation). As it was observed that catalogers, both generalist and specialist, might not be able to determine the specific modulation technique in use for a specific resource, some MAC members felt that the current "d" value should be retained for general, unspecified digital coding, with the addition of a further value specific to pulse-code modulation (PCM) rather than redefining "d" specifically for PCM use. Regarding "s", if a new value is proposed for pulse-density modulation (PDM), it should be defined in terms of PDM rather than using proprietary or trademarked terms such as "Direct Stream Digital". Also, caution was expressed against getting too deep in the weeds with highly specific and possible ephemeral formats as occurred with tangible audio carriers.  The paper will return as a proposal, with reference back to 2021-DP04 and the need to resolve confusion regarding techniques and definitions of "capture and storage."

Discussion Paper No. 2021-DP05: Terms and Definitions in Field 007/13 for Sound Recordings


Field 007/13 for Sound Recordings is currently defined in the Bibliographic format as follows:

13 - Capture and storage technique
How the sound was originally captured and stored. Re-releases of recordings should be coded for the original capture and storage technique, even though such re-releases may have been enhanced using another technique.

a - Acoustical capture, direct storage
Usually a disc or cylinder recording, captured using an acoustical horn and diaphragm and stored directly on a master surface. Most acoustical recordings date from before 1927/29 when electrical recording equipment became available.

b - Direct storage, not acoustical
Disc recordings captured using electrical equipment and stored directly on a master surface. All recordings made with microphones and other electrical equipment prior to the availability of magnetic recording techniques in the late 1940s used direct storage.
Commercial recordings marked "direct to disc" or some equivalent phrase also use this technique.

d - Digital storage
Sound recordings which were captured electrically and stored using digital techniques.
Such recordings are normally identified as "digitally recorded" or some similar phrase on the label or package. "Digital remaster" or "digital mixing" does not imply original digital storage. Note: Digital storage and digital playback should not be confused. The need for digital playback should be recorded in 007/12 (Special playback characteristics).

e - Analog electrical storage
Sound recordings which were captured using electrical techniques and stored as modulations and pulses on a magnetic surface. Most recordings made from the late 1940s until early 1980s are analog electrical recordings.

u - Unknown
Capture and storage technique are not known.

z - Other
None of the other codes is appropriate.

| - No attempt to code

Correspondence with MLA members regarding 2021-DP04 also led to a reexamination of the definitions of the valid values in 007/13, which are listed above. Amongst MLA members who responded to NDMSO’s query about this data, there was a mix of opinions ranging from "I understand them" to "I don’t understand them" to "These have long needed updating."


Although any final terminology will necessitate additional consultation with MLA, there appear to be two courses of action.

Option 1: Make no changes to the definitions at this time.

Option 2:


BIBFRAME Instance: bflc:CaptureStorage (subclass of bf:SoundCharacteristic), accomodates a designation of original sound capture and storage as a URI from a list or as a literal. The current MARC-to-BIBFRAME conversion generates sound characteristic triples from MARC 007/13 (sound recording).


4.1. Do you agree that the current definitions and valid values in this field should be updated?

4.2. Which of the options do you prefer?

4.3. Is the creation of the new code "s" in Option 2 necessary?

4.4. Are there any potential consequences this paper does not address?

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