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Date added 4 October 2006
Last edited 17 November 2009
MARC is a standard for the representation and communication of bibliographic information in computer-readable form. It is widely accepted as the standard format for the interchange of bibliographic records and is used by 69% of European library systems. There are several different versions being used in different countries, of which MARC 21 is one.
ISO 2709 defines the tape exchange format that MARC records conform to. ISO 2709 files start with a fixed length record label followed by variable length records containing a directory map, a record identifier, MARC reserved fields and MARC bibliographic fields. The ISO 4873 IS2 and IS3 codes are used as field and record terminators respectively.
MARC 21 consists of five specifications, namely: -
- Format for Bibliographic Data
- Format of Authority Data
- Format of Classification Data
- Format of Community Information
- Format of Holdings Data
Within these formats, each MARC 21 record is composed of three elements: -
- Record structure, which provides the implementation of ISO 2709
- Content designation, which comprises a set of tags and codes that further characterise data elements
- Record content, which is based on standards outside the format itself such as cataloguing rules and classification
An XML Schema for the management of MARC21 records (MARCXML) was published in 2002. An alternative Metadata Object Description Schema (MODS) identifies a subset of MARC that can be expressed in XML using language-based rather than numeric tags.
Standards Developing Organisations
- International Organization for Standardization
- Network Development and MARC Standards Office
- Network Development and MARC Standards Office of the Library of Congress
- Standards, IMO, LAC
- Standards, Intellectual Management Office, Library and Archives Canada
- Bibliographic Development Department, BL
- Bibliographic Development Department at the British Library
No information available.
- Access, Use and Reuse
- Create or Receive
- Description and Representation Information
- Digital Archive Standards
- Digital Repository Standards
- Metadata Content Standards
- Metadata Structure Standards
- 17 July 2009 - MARC 21 Format 2009 [external]
Alternative Current Versions
- Canadian version of MARC superseded by MARC 21. Source documentation is no longer available.
- Harmonised with CanMARC in 1997 to produce MARC 21. Source documentation no longer available.
- ISO 2709:1996 Information and Documentation - Format for Information Exchange