Standards for Archival Description: A Handbook
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CHAPTER 3: INFORMATION INTERCHANGE FORMATS (Data Structure Standards)

In the late 1970s, after considerable internal struggle and debate, the archival profession in the United States coalesced around the goal of facilitating the exchange of information about archival holdings and institutions through the use of automation. Archivists realized that this information exchange would require agreement at two levels: (1) a common communication format (data structure standard) that would carry the data they sought to exchange, and (2) common sets of rules (content standards) that would govern how the information was going to be entered into the format.

The development of these structure and content standards has dominated the descriptive efforts among U.S. archivists since the late 1970s. As a result, two entire chapters of this handbook are devoted to the standards that have resulted from this effort and to the library-based standards from which they have evolved.

The primary standards used for the exchange of information about archives and manuscripts are the structure provided in the USMARC Format for Archival and Manuscripts Control (USMARC AMC) and the associated cataloging rules provided in Archives, Personal Papers, and Manuscripts: A Cataloging Manual for Archives, Historical Societies, and Manuscript Libraries (APPM). Both are based on work begun in the library community that now is almost universally employed as the means for exchanging bibliographic data among institutions via automated national and international networks. But it is important to understand how and why the archival interpretations and applications have diverged from their library-based cousins and how the two are being described and accessed in integrated systems.

The structure standards relating to the USMARC formats are covered in this chapter. Cataloging rules based on the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules, 2nd ed. (AACR 2) are discussed in Chapter 4, Cataloging Rules.

USMARC and its relatives

For most archivists, as for most librarians, the concept of "data exchange format" has come to be almost synonymous with MARC, an acronym derived from "MAchine Readable Cataloging." MARC provides a uniform structure within which to organize information about library holdings which in turn allows libraries to exchange information with each other through automated systems. The strengths and weaknesses of MARC are a continuing source for discussion and controversy among librarians as well as among newer groups of users like archivists. But, as Hagler asserts, "MARC works. Whether or not its design is perfect for its purpose is now immaterial: interlibrary bibliographic cooperation depends totally on it and it will never be replaced by anything significantly different."1

The original MARC format was developed at the Library of Congress in the mid-1960s and now has an entire family of standards that has received wide acceptance in the U.S. and internationally. USMARC, originally known as "LCMARC," is the U.S. implementation of the generic standard for the construction of communication formats, Bibliographic Information Exchange (ANSI Z39.2-1985), whose international equivalent is Format for Bibliographic Information Interchange on Magnetic Tape (ISO 2709:1981). Other countries, including Canada and Great Britain, have developed their own national MARC formats (CANMARC and UKMARC).

The national MARC formats are different and numerous enough to have prompted the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) to support the development of UNIMARC, a common, cross-national MARC format intended to facilitate international exchange. It serves as an intermediary, receiving MARC data from one country and translating it into the MARC format used by any other country.2 Another related international effort, based on ISO 2709 but not on MARC, is the Common Communication Format (CCF). CCF was developed by Unesco/UNISIST and is being implemented primarily in developing countries where MARC does not have such a strong foothold.3

Even within the U.S., MARC users and automated system vendors have developed individualized implementations. They may employ system-specific conventions and/or user-defined fields (which MARC allows); or they may impose system-specific constraints such as limits on field length and record size. OCLC MARC is not exactly the same as RLIN MARC.4

In addition to the USMARC Format for Bibliographic Data, LC has developed other formats for authorities, holdings, classification and community information data. All but the classification format could have some useful application in archival description, although these have not been investigated in depth.5

Development of USMARC AMC

During the late 1960s and early 1970s the Library of Congress issued a series of individual MARC formats for different kinds of materials--books, periodicals (serials), maps, manuscripts, and others. The Manuscripts format, released in 1973, never saw wide acceptance in the archival community. Its orientation toward description at the item level failed to reflect adequately the descriptive needs of most archives. In the meantime, archivists began to explore the idea of a national database of archival materials and to look for systems upon which to build it.

In 1977 the Society of American Archivists (SAA) created a National Information Systems Task Force (NISTF) which determined that no single system could serve the needs of all archival users. Instead, it advocated a common format for archival information so that archives could exchange data between systems.6

One of NISTF's first achievements was the compilation of a data elements dictionary.7 The dictionary identified and defined each of the separate elements of information that archivists used to describe their holdings, independent of any particular descriptive structure, i.e., the elements could be used in any combination to build catalog entries, inventories, guides, or any other type of finding aid and were equally applicable to automated or manual systems. The data elements dictionary, although no longer in print nor maintained, remains one of only three documents ever formally recognized as a description standard by SAA.8

Using these data elements as a foundation, NISTF went on to work closely with the Library of Congress to develop the USMARC Format for Archival and Manuscripts Control (USMARC AMC). USMARC AMC was approved in late 1982 and early 1983 by the SAA Council, the Library of Congress, and the American Library Association's ALCTS/LITA/RASD Committee on the Representation in Machine-Readable Form of Bibliographic Information, commonly known as MARBI.9 The final version of the AMC format was made available for general distribution early in 1985 as part of MARC Formats for Bibliographic Data, Update No. 10. The Library of Congress has since published a much improved edition of the format documentation.

As a result of a separate but comparable project, the USMARC VM (Visual Materials) format was also "re-engineered" from the former Films format during the 1980s. Evans and Will (1988) analyze the use of both the VM and AMC formats by archivists dealing with visual materials.10

Format integration

In 1988 MARBI voted to integrate all the separate formats (books, serials, visual materials, archival and manuscripts control, computer files, maps, and music) into a single format. Format integration, actually a return to the original intent of MARC, will not be implemented until at least 1995. When it is, all the fields in the integrated format will be available for use in descriptions of any types of material.11 It will be important for archivists to consider the implications of format integration as the process unfolds. SAA has formally endorsed USMARC AMC but not the integrated format, per se.

Role of MARC in archival description

The USMARC format is fully capable of handling data from archival description at any level and in manual as well as automated descriptive systems. In practice it has been used almost exclusively for series- or collection-level data and primarily for online information storage and retrieval.

In most cases, online catalog records are only one part of a larger descriptive system within a repository. More extensive information about archival holdings is often recorded in other types of data structures, such as inventories or registers that cover single record groups or collections, or perhaps guides to materials on particular subjects. Manual card catalogs, which often used to provide subject access to lengthy typescript or printed finding aids, have been supplanted in a growing number of repositories by online catalogs that use USMARC-compatible data.

Public demand for online access to all kinds of bibliographic and nonbibliographic data is increasing and archives cannot afford to be out of this mainstream. Just as important, it is unlikely that any new commercial archival information systems will be developed without AMC capability. An archives using the format or able to convert records to the format has "data insurance." Not only can it share data with other (external) systems, it can transfer data to new internal systems (a process often called "data migration").

USMARC, even considering the authorities, holdings, and classification formats, is still designed to handle bibliographic data. Several archivists have articulated the need for improved data structures for information on the contexts of archival record creation (e.g., agency histories, forms of material), and for information on archival management actions.12 These types of data are now handled in rudimentary form in the USMARC AMC format (although agency history information has some features in common with the USMARC authorities format). Weber discusses the potential for applying the USMARC authorities and holdings formats in archival description.13

Both the records that archives hold and the information they compile to describe those records are now being generated in electronic form. The need to communicate nonbibliographic data (e.g., full text and multimedia data) using methods other than magnetic tape (e.g., CD-ROM) will also require the use of standards designed specifically to carry those types of data. It is possible that archival descriptive data (as well as the archival record) could appear in any (or several) of the standard structures being developed for business and industrial applications.

Two of these standards are discussed in some detail in entries in Chapter 5. They include the Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML) (ISO 8879:1986), a document markup language, an implementation of which (ANSI/NISO Z39.59) is widely employed by the U.S. publishing industry, and EDI (ANSI X12 standards for Electronic Data Interchange) which is used to process vast numbers of transactions for financial institutions, businesses, and others. Our colleagues in the museum community, represented on the Computer Interchange of Museum Information Committee (CIMI), are actively considering use of these two standards for exchange of data about such things as holdings and loan agreements.

Other data structure standards are being developed or implemented in a variety of contexts. They include but are not limited to ODA/ODIF (Office Document Architecture/Office Document Interchange Format, ISO 8613), DDF (Data Descriptive File for Information Interchange, ISO 8211), MACDIF (Map and Chart Data Interchange Format), FTAM (File Transfer and Access Method), DTAM (Document Transfer and Access Method), and DSSSL (Document Style, Semantics, Specification Language). A full discussion of each of these standards is beyond the scope of this handbook, but many are covered by the authors cited in Chapter 2.14

Further reading

American Library Association. Committee on Representation in Machine-Readable Form of Bibliographic Information (MARBI). The USMARC Formats: Background and Principles. Washington, DC: Library of Congress, 1989.

Avram, Henriette D. MARC: Its History and Implications. Washington, DC: Library of Congress, 1975.

Bearman, David. "Can MARC Accommodate Archives and Museums?" In Beyond the Book: Extending MARC for Subject Access, edited by Toni Petersen and Pat Molholt, 237-245. Boston: G.K. Hall, 1991.

Crawford, Walt. MARC for Library Use: Understanding Integrated USMARC. Boston: G.K. Hall, 1989.

Gredley, Ellen, and Alan Hopkinson. Exchanging Bibliographic Data: MARC and Other International Formats. Chicago: American Library Association, 1990.

Hagler, Ronald. The Bibliographic Record and Information Technology. 2nd ed. Chicago: American Library Association, 1991, 245-249.

Hedlin, Edie, and Thomas E. Weir, Jr. The MARC Format and Life Cycle Tracking at the National Archives: A Study. Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Administration, 1986.

Hickerson, H. Thomas. "Archival Information Exchange and the Role of Bibliographic Networks." Library Trends 36 (Winter 1988): 553-571.

Holmes, William M., Edie Hedlin, and Thomas E. Weir. "MARC and Life Cycle Tracking in the National Archives: Project Final Report." American Archivist 49 (Summer 1986): 305-309. [See also letter to the editor from David Bearman commenting on the article appeared in American Archivist (Fall 1986) with a response from Thomas E. Weir in American Archivist (Spring 1987).]

Library of Congress. Network Development and MARC Standards Office. Format Integration and Its Effect on the USMARC Bibliographic Format. 2nd ed. Washington, DC: Library of Congress, 1992.

Morton, Katherine D. "The MARC Formats: An Overview." American Archivist 49 (Winter 1986): 21-30.

Sahli, Nancy. MARC for Archives and Manuscripts: The AMC Format. Chicago: Society of American Archivists, 1985.

Smither, Roger. "Formats and Standards: A Film Archive Perspective on Exchanging Computerized Data." American Archivist 50 (Summer 1987): 324-337.

Weber, Lisa B. "Describing Microforms and the MARC Formats: A Discussion Paper." Archival Informatics Newsletter 1:2 (Summer 1987): 9-13.

Weber, Lisa B. "Record Formatting: MARC AMC." In Describing Archival Materials: The Use of the MARC AMC Format, edited by Richard P. Smiraglia, 117-143. New York: Haworth Press, 1990. Also published as Cataloging and Classification Quarterly 11:3/4 (1990).

Weber, Lisa B. "The 'Other' USMARC Formats: Authorities and Holdings, Do We Care To Be Partners in This Dance, Too?" American Archivist 53 (Winter 1990): 44-51.


ISO 2709:1981
Documentation--Format for bibliographic
information interchange on magnetic tape

1981.
Paper (5 p.).
See availability, below.


Development, approval, and maintenance:

Developed and maintained by the International Organization for Standardization, TC 46: Information and Documentation. The first version was published in 1973 and a second in 1981.

Scope and structure:

ISO 2709 is the international exchange format and was derived substantially from the original MARC format developed by the Library of Congress. It is more abstract than the USMARC format, however, since its intent is to provide a universally acceptable standard to which MARC formats from every country worldwide could conform.

Hagler notes that "it regulates only the essential structural features of MARC as a variable-field format and is not even limited to bibliographic records."

Like ANSI Z39.2, contains instructions for creating an information interchange format.

Related standards:

The U.S. equivalent is ANSI Z39.2-1985, which is under revision. Internationally, both the MARC-based UNIMARC and the non-MARC Common Communication Format are based on the structure specified in ISO 2709. All national implementations of MARC (e.g., USMARC, UKMARC, CANMARC) conform to ISO 2709 or to the standard which is its equivalent within the implementing country.

ISO 2709 requires the use of other international standards governing character sets and computer media, specifically ISO 646, 7-bit coded character set for information processing interchange (the international equivalent of ASCII) and ISO 1001, Information processing--Magnetic tape labelling and file structure for information interchange.

Archival applications:

Archivists generally will not use this standard directly unless they are involved in creating or revising an information interchange format based on it.

Publication format and availability:

Available in the U.S. from ANSI. Paper (5 p.). $25.00. Also published in ISO Standards Handbook 1: Documentation and Information, 3rd ed. (Geneva, Switzerland: International Organizations for Standardization, 1988), 524-528.

References:

Gredley, Ellen, and Alan Hopkinson. Exchanging Bibliographic Data: MARC and Other International Formats. Chicago: American Library Association, 1990, p. 52-63.

Hagler, Ronald. The Bibliographic Record and Information Technology. 2nd ed. Chicago: American Library Association, 1991, 245-249.


ANSI Z39.2-1985
Bibliographic Information Interchange

1985.
Paper (16 p.).
ISBN 0-88738-938-4.
Available from NISO. $25.00.


Development, approval, and maintenance:

The subcommittee that prepared the original version of this standard was organized in 1966 within the American National Standards Committee Z39 on Standardization in the Field of Library Work, Documentation, and Related Publishing Practices. The standard was approved by ANSI on 14 July 1970 and became ANSI Z39.2-1971, Bibliographic Information Interchange. Two revisions of the standard have been approved, in 1979 and 1985. A third is under consideration. The 1985 revision brought it into conformity with its international equivalent, ISO 2709. The 1992 revision removes Bibliographic from the title. The standard is maintained by Committee Z39's successor, the National Information Standards Organization (NISO).

Scope and structure:

The standard itself is very brief. It contains instructions for creating "a generalized structure designed specifically for the exchange of data between processing systems. It will accommodate data describing all forms of materials and can be used for the communication of records in all media."

Related standards:

Z39.2 is the basis for all USMARC formats, including those for bibliographic, authority, and holdings data. ISO 2709 is the international equivalent. The British equivalent is contained in BS 4748.

Archival applications:

Archivists generally will not use this standard directly unless they are involved in creating or revising a MARC format based on it. The Library of Congress, MARBI, and USMARC advisory group, for example, must always make sure that any USMARC revisions conform to Z39.2 or propose simultaneous revisions.

References:

Crawford, Walt. MARC for Library Use: Understanding Integrated USMARC. Boston: G.K. Hall, 1989, p. 31-44.

Gredley, Ellen, and Alan Hopkinson. Exchanging Bibliographic Data: MARC and Other International Formats. Chicago: American Library Association, 1990.


USMARC Format for Bibliographic Data:
Including Guidelines for Content Designation (UFBD)

Online version

Periodic updates.
Looseleaf (3 v.). ISBN 0-8444-0595-7.
Available from LC CDS.
$70.00 for 1992 cumulated edition.


Development, approval, and maintenance:

The designers of MARC envisioned a single format to cover all bibliographic material, but knew that resolving all the issues inherent in such a comprehensive standard would delay its development significantly. Instead they developed individual formats for specific types of materials. The first was for books (1970) and by 1976 it was joined by five more, including those for serials, music, and manuscripts. In 1980 LC published the separate formats in a combined form, MARC Formats for Bibliographic Data which was replaced in turn by the UFBD in 1988. The UFBD is maintained by the LC Network Development and MARC Standards Office, advised by MARBI (ALA ALCTS/LITA/RASD Committee on Representation in Machine-Readable Form of Bibliographic Information) and the USMARC Advisory Group. Proposed changes are published twice a year by LC's Cataloging Distribution Service ($42.00 for annual subscription).

The Library of Congress is working toward the integration of all individual formats into a single format. See discussion in the chapter introduction.

Scope and structure:

The complete documentation of the USMARC format consists of (in a single tag-number sequence) specifications for each field. Specifications include definition and scope, guidelines for applying content designation (with examples), a history of the field, and Library of Congress guidelines for use of the field. The entry for each field contains a table showing its validity in each of the medium-specific formats existing prior to format integration: books, archival and manuscripts control, computer files, maps, music, visual materials, and serials.

Related standards:

All USMARC formats are implementations of ANSI Z39.2. The other formats include those for authority data, holdings data, and classification data.

Archival applications:

The UFBD incorporates the fields applicable to archival and manuscripts control which constitute the USMARC AMC format.

References:

Avram, Henriette D. MARC: Its History and Implications. Washington, DC: Library of Congress, 1975.

Crawford, Walt. MARC for Library Use: Understanding Integrated USMARC. Boston: G.K. Hall, 1989, p. 21-145.

Morton, Katherine D. "The MARC Formats: An Overview." American Archivist 49 (Winter 1986): 21-30.


USMARC Format for Archival and Manuscripts Control
(USMARC AMC)

Periodic updates.
Not published separately;
AMC fields are contained within the UFBD.
See "Publication format and availability" below
for additional information.


Development, approval, and maintenance:

Developed by the National Information Systems Task Force (NISTF), Society of American Archivists, in cooperation with the Library of Congress, Network Development and MARC Standards Office. Approved by SAA Council on October 17, 1982. Maintained jointly by the Society of American Archivists (through the Committee on Archival Information Exchange) and the Library of Congress, Network Development and MARC Standards Office. In practice, however, this has meant only that SAA has a nonvoting liaison seat at MARBI meetings.

Scope and structure:

The USMARC AMC Format refers to the fields within the USMARC Format for Bibliographic Data (UFBD) that are applicable to descriptions of archives and manuscript materials under archival control. Archival control is usually characterized by collective description that includes information on the provenance of the material and on archival management actions applied to it. The AMC format has many fields in common with the other formats in the USMARC family, especially fields for access points (e.g., author, title, topical subject). Its principal differences from the other formats lie in the addition of numerous specific note fields. A guide to AMC fields was originally provided in Nancy Sahli's MARC for Archives and Manuscripts: The AMC Format (1985), but it has not been updated since 1987. Archivists should use the regular updates provided in the UFBD.

Archival applications:

Currently used primarily for descriptions of archival series or collections by archival institutions that are participants in RLIN, OCLC, or WLN, and by many others that maintain local automated systems.

The Report on Descriptive Practices for Government Records, prepared by the RLG Government Records Project, provides specific guidance for applying USMARC AMC and APPM standards to the description of government records in RLIN.

Introduction to the USMARC AMC Format for Archival and Manuscripts Control (1990) by Marion Matters, provides a useful introduction to the use of the format. Available from SAA. Paper (24 p.). Members $7.00; nonmembers $10.00.

Publication format and availability:

Not published separately; included as an integral part of USMARC Format for Bibliographic Data.

References:

Bearman, David. "Archives and Manuscript Control with Bibliographic Utilities: Opportunities and Challenges." American Archivist 52 (Winter 1989): 26-39.

Bearman, David. Towards National Information Systems for Archives and Manuscript Repositories: The National Information Systems Task Force (NISTF) Papers, 1981-1984. Chicago: Society of American Archivists, 1987.

Cloud, Patricia D. "The Cost of Converting to MARC AMC: Some Early Observations." Library Trends 36 (Winter 1988): 573-583.

Cloud, Patricia D. "RLIN, AMC and Retrospective Conversion: a Case Study." Midwestern Archivist 11 (1986): 125-134.

Crawford, Walt. MARC for Library Use: Understanding Integrated USMARC. Boston: G.K. Hall, 1989, 133-145.

Evans, Max, and Lisa B. Weber. MARC for Archives and Manuscripts: A Compendium of Practice. Chicago: Society of American Archivists, 1985.

Hensen, Steven L. "The Use of Standards in the Application of the MARC Format." American Archivist 49 (Winter 1986): 31-40.

Honhart, Frederick L. "The Application of Microcomputer-based Local Systems with the MARC AMC Format." Library Trends 36 (Winter 1988): 585-592.

Lytle, Richard H. "An Analysis of the Work of the National Information Systems Task Force." American Archivist 47 (Fall 1984): 357-365.

Ostroff, Harriet. "From Clay Tablets to MARC AMC: The Past, Present, and Future of Cataloging Manuscript and Archival Collections." Provenance 4 (Fall 1986): 1-11.

Roe, Kathleen D. "The Automation Odyssey: Library and Archives System Design Consideration." In Describing Archival Materials: The Use of the MARC AMC Format, edited by Richard P Smiraglia, 145-162. New York: Haworth Press, 1990. Also published as Cataloging and Classification Quarterly 11:3/4 (1990).

Sahli, Nancy. "Interpretation and Application of the AMC Format." American Archivist 49 (Winter 1986): 9-20.

Sahli, Nancy. MARC for Archives and Manuscripts: The AMC Format. Chicago: Society of American Archivists, 1985.

Stout, Leon J., and Janet Gertz. "The MARC Archival and Manuscripts Control (AMC) Format: A New Direction in Cataloging." Cataloging and Classification Quarterly 9:4 (1989): 5-25.

Weber, Lisa B. "Record Formatting: MARC AMC." In Describing Archival Materials: The Use of the MARC AMC Format, edited by Richard P. Smiraglia, 117-143. New York: Haworth Press, 1990. Also published as Cataloging and Classification Quarterly 11:3/4 (1990).


USMARC Format for Visual Materials
(USMARC VM)

Periodic updates.
Not published separately;
VM fields are contained within the UFBD.
See "Publication format and availability" below
for additional information.


Development, approval, and maintenance:

In 1982, the Library of Congress prepared a proposal containing changes to the 1970 MARC Films format to accommodate two-dimensional materials. During the course of the ensuing discussions and consultations with USMARC advisory groups and others, a number of additional fields were added. These included several especially useful for original and historical graphic materials that were proposed as part of the concurrent efforts to develop the USMARC AMC format. The resulting USMARC Format for Visual Materials was approved in 1984. In 1987 the VM format was extended once again to include three-dimensional materials. It now accommodates the cataloging needs of AACR 2, Chapter 7, "Motion Pictures and Videorecordings" and Chapter 8, "Graphic Materials." The format is maintained by the Library of Congress, Network Development and MARC Standards Office.

Scope and structure:

The USMARC VM Format refers to the fields within the USMARC Format for Bibliographic Data that are applicable to descriptions of visual materials. These are identified as (1) projected media, (2) two-dimensional nonprojectible graphic representations, (3) kits, and (4) three-dimensional artifacts and naturally occurring objects. The VM format has many fields in common with the other formats in the USMARC family, especially fields for access points (e.g., author, title, topical subject). Like the AMC format (see ), the VM format provides a means to describe groups of items together in a single record as well as the more traditional library cataloging approach of one item per record.

Archival applications:

Archivists wishing to catalog archival visual materials have a choice between the use of the AMC or VM formats. Those dealing with mixed media collections in repositories that primarily hold textual materials generally work in the AMC format, while repositories with substantial holdings of graphics are more likely to choose the VM format. With format integration, these distinctions may become less apparent. Each user group will define own rules for field values.

Publication format and availability:

Not published separately; included as an integral part of USMARC Format for Bibliographic Data.

References:

Crawford, Walt. "Visual Materials." Chap. 10 in MARC for Library Use: Understanding Integrated USMARC, 2nd ed. Boston: G.K. Hall, 1989.

Evans, Linda J., and Maureen O'Brien Will. MARC for Archival Visual Materials: A Compendium of Practice. Chicago: Chicago Historical Society, 1988.


USMARC Format For Authority Data:
Including Guidelines for Content Designation

Online version

Periodic updates.
Looseleaf (1 v.). ISBN 0-8444-0558-2.
Available from LC CDS.
$45.00 for cumulated edition through 1991.


Development, approval, and maintenance:

The first version of the authorities format was developed by the Library of Congress and used on a limited basis to distribute name authority records, 1976-1983. The format received increased attention as part of the Linked Systems Project (see the introduction to Chapter 2 for additional information on LSP). LC staff prepared a comprehensive revision for presentation to the USMARC Advisory Group which was approved and published in 1981. The LC Network Development and MARC Standards Office now maintains the format, advised by MARBI and the USMARC Advisory Group. It issued full revisions in 1987 and 1988, with periodic updates appearing approximately annually since then.

Scope and structure:

The authorities format is designed to carry authoritative information concerning the standard form of a heading, references to the standard form from other forms, and documentation concerning the information sources used to establish both the standard form and its references. Fields in headings authority records accommodate personal and corporate names, conference names, uniform titles, topical subjects, and geographic names of political and civil jurisdictions. The format documentation contains (in tag-number sequence) specifications for each field, including definition and scope and guidelines for applying content designation (with examples). It also includes "specifications for a National Level Authority Record and guidelines on how NACO program institutions and LC use the format."

Archival applications:

Archivists may encounter this format when using online versions of the LC name and subject authority files and the Art and Architecture Thesaurus (see entries for LCSH, LCNA, and AAT, in Chapter 6). But since archivists may also be interested in maintaining administrative history and biography records, which focus on persons and corporate entities as "bibliographic" units, archivists who participate in the design of archival information systems should be aware of the authorities format. Despite its focus on managing headings, it could prove useful for additional purposes as well.

References:

Bearman, David. "Archives and Manuscript Control with Bibliographic Utilities: Opportunities and Challenges." American Archivist 52 (Winter 1989): 26-39.

Bearman, David. "'Who About What?' or 'From Whence, Why and How?': Establishing Intellectual Control Standards to Provide for Access to Archival Materials." In Archives, Automation, and Access, edited by Peter Baskerville and Chad Gaffield, 39-47. Vancouver: University of British Columbia, 1986.

Clack, Doris H. Authority Control: Principles, Applications, and Instructions. Chicago: American Library Association, 1990.

Crawford, Walt. MARC for Library Use: Understanding Integrated USMARC. Boston: G.K. Hall, 1989, 147-159.

Dooley, Jackie M. "An Introduction to Authority Control for Archivists." In Archives and Authority Control, edited by Avra Michelson, 5-18. Archival Informatics Newsletter and Technical Report vol. 2, no. 2. Pittsburgh: Archives and Museum Informatics, 1988.

Matters, Marion. "Authority Work for Transitional Catalogs." In Describing Archival Materials: The Use of the MARC AMC Format, edited by Richard P. Smiraglia, 91-115. New York: Haworth Press, 1990. Also published as Cataloging and Classification Quarterly 11:3/4 (1990).

Szary, Richard V. "Technical Requirements and Prospects for Authority Control in the SIBIS-Archives Database." In Archives and Authority Control, edited by Avra Michelson, 41-44. Archival Informatics Newsletter and Technical Report vol. 2, no. 2. Pittsburgh: Archives and Museum Informatics, 1988.

Weber, Lisa B. "The 'Other' USMARC Formats: Authorities and Holdings; Do We Care To Be Partners in This Dance, Too?" American Archivist 53 (Winter 1990): 44-51.


USMARC Format for Holdings Data:
Including Guidelines for Content Designation

Online version

Periodic updates.
Looseleaf (1 v.). ISBN 0-8444-0700-3.
Available from LC CDS.
$40.00 for cumulated edition through 1991.


Development, approval, and maintenance:

Work on this format began among a group of eight southeastern research libraries under a Title IIC grant to develop a regional system for sharing serials. Working closely with LC, they developed a proposed "MARC Format for Holdings and Locations," presented to the USMARC Advisory Group in 1982. A draft format was published by the Library of Congress in 1984; the final version was published in 1990. Maintained by the Library of Congress, Network Development and MARC Standards Office, advised by MARBI and the USMARC Advisory Group.

Scope and structure:

The holdings format is designed to carry holdings and locations data for all forms of material, permitting users to attach information about a specific, locally-held copy to the generic information about a work contained in the bibliographic record. The format documentation contains (in tag-number sequence) specifications for each field, including definition and scope and guidelines for applying content designation (with examples).

LC and the bibliographic networks are working toward use of the Holdings Format to carry information about "multiple versions" of materials held by libraries. The clearest example is when books are microfilmed for preservation purposes. This approach will create a single bibliographic record linked to separate holdings records, one for each "version," in this case the original book and the preservation microfilm.

Archivists could probably capitalize on the implementation of the "multiple versions" concept, for like librarians they create preservation microfilm copies of collections and would be able to link the two in cataloging. It is also possible that the concept could be extended so that an author's original manuscript, held in an archival collection, could be linked with the corresponding published work.

Related standards:

This format is based on ANSI Z39.44, Serial Holdings Statements, and ANSI/NISO Z39.57, Holdings Statements for Non-Serial Items.

Archival applications:

See discussion under "Scope and structure," above. While the concept of local "holdings" attached to a generic bibliographic record for a "work" does not fit any archival model for description, archivists may be tempted to use local system implementations intended for control of holdings if they provide some capability for controlling archival information below the collection level. See Weber (1990) for a more complete discussion of this issue.

References:

Crawford, Walt. MARC for Library Use: Understanding Integrated USMARC. Boston: G.K. Hall, 1989, 161-170.

Multiple Versions Forum Report: A Report from a Meeting Held December 6-8, 1989, Airlie, Virginia. Washington, DC: Network Development and MARC Standards Office, Library of Congress, 1990.

Pope, Nolan F. "Developing a USMARC Standard for Holdings and Locations Data: The MARBI Review and Approval Process and the Interrelationships with Other NISO Standards." In Library and Information Technology Standards, LITA Monograph 1, edited by Michael Gorman, 20-29. Chicago: American Library Association, 1990.

Weber, Lisa B. "The 'Other' USMARC Formats: Authorities and Holdings; Do We Care To Be Partners in This Dance, Too?" American Archivist 53 (Winter 1990): 44-51.


USMARC Specifications for Record Structure,
Character Sets, Tapes

1990.
Paper (45 pp); with supplement.
ISBN 0-8444-0597-3.
USMARC Diskette Label Specifications
1991, paper (8 p.).
Available from LC CDS. $16.00.


Development, approval, and maintenance:

Developed and maintained by the Library of Congress, Network Development and MARC Standards Office, advised by MARBI and USMARC Advisory Group.

Scope and structure:

Contains technical information for those who design and maintain systems to exchange and process MARC records including detailed information on the use of ASCII and ANSEL for USMARC processing. Also includes tables for the characters unique to "ALA Extended ASCII" used by USMARC but not incorporated in the other two standards.

Related standards:

ANSI Z39.2 as well as various ANSI standards relating to character sets (including ASCII and ANSEL (see Chapter 7) and magnetic tape (these standards are listed or referred to in the specifications).

Archival applications:

Most archivists will have no need to use this standard directly. However, if they are involved in projects to translate data between MARC and non-MARC systems, they should know that technicians and programmers will require this standard.


ALSO OF INTEREST

Arranged by topic:

USMARC documentation

USMARC Standards page at the Library of Congress

USMARC Concise Formats for Bibliographic, Authority, Holdings and Classification Data. 1988, with updates through 1991. Library of Congress, Network Development and MARC Standards Office. Looseleaf (1 v.). Available from LC CDS. $28.00.

Update #2 completely replaces all pages previously issued in the base text and first update (March 1990). Update #3 due 1993. Contains a brief description for each field, with lists of valid indicators and subfield codes (no examples). Useful for ready reference for those already familiar with USMARC structure and content.

USMARC Format: Proposed Changes. Library of Congress, Network Development and MARC Standards Office. Available from LC CDS. Annual subscription (2 issues), $42.00.

Consists primarily of written proposals for additions or changes to the USMARC bibliographic, authority, and holdings formats, and for new format development. The proposed changes are circulated prior to the two annual meetings of MARBI so that interested parties have the opportunity to review and comment upon them.

Compendiums of practice

MARC for Archives and Manuscripts: A Compendium of Practice. 1985. Max Evans and Lisa B. Weber; Conference on Use of the MARC Format for Archival and Manuscripts Control. Published by the State Historical Society of Wisconsin. Looseleaf. ISBN 0-87020-232-4. LC 85-11457. Out of print.

MARC for Archival Visual Materials: A Compendium of Practice. 1988. Linda J. Evans and Maureen O'Brien Will; Conference on the Use of the MARC Format for Archival Visual Materials. Published by the Chicago Historical Society. Looseleaf. ISBN 0-913820-13-X. Out of print.

System-specific manuals

In addition to those listed below, other bibliographic utilities and local or union catalog systems also may have their own manuals which may specify local fields and other conventions.

Archives and Manuscript Control Format (OCLC). 2nd ed., 1986. Loose leaf, with periodic updates. Available from OCLC. $33.00 nonmembers.

Guide to USMARC content designation (tagging and coding) for archival and manuscript bibliographic records in OCLC. Defines the scope of each field; defines indicator values; describes the available subfields and gives examples; and specifies OCLC card printing and Online System indexing features. Used by OCLC members; might also be consulted by archives that anticipate participation in OCLC.

Bibliographic Input Standards. 4th ed., 1990. Looseleaf, with periodic updates. Available from OCLC. $16.00.

Standards for creation of bibliographic records in OCLC, especially when to create a new record, fixed field coding conventions, and data elements required for K (minimal) level and I (full) level records. Used by OCLC members; should also be consulted by archives that anticipate participation in OCLC.

RLIN Supplement to USMARC Bibliographic Format. 1989, with periodic updates. Looseleaf (2 v.). Available from Research Libraries Group, Inc. $50.00.

Guide to USMARC content designation (tagging and coding) for catalog records in RLIN, particularly the features specific to RLIN MARC (including input and display conventions). Used by RLIN members; might also be consulted by archives that anticipate participation in RLIN.


Footnotes

1 Ronald Hagler, The Bibliographic Record and Information Technology, 2nd ed. (Chicago: American Library Association, 1991), 245.

2 UNIMARC is not available as a stand-alone standards document, but is instead contained in a volume that is also an interpretative manual: B. Holt, UNIMARC Manual (London: IFLA International Programme for UBC, 1987). See Ellen Gredley and Alan Hopkinson, Exchanging Bibliographic Data: MARC and Other International Formats (Chicago: American Library Association, 1990), 182.

3 The CCF is published in Peter Simmons and Alan Hopkinson, CCF: The Common Communication Format, 2nd ed. (Paris: Unesco, 1988). The nature and development of UNIMARC, CCF, and other international communication formats are discussed at length in Gredley and Hopkinson, Exchanging Bibliographic Data. Hagler, The Bibliographic Record, also devotes a chapter to "Formats," 220-262.

4 Walt Crawford gives a good analysis of the varying degrees of MARC "compatibility" among system vendors and users in MARC for Library Use: Understanding Integrated USMARC, 2nd ed. (Boston: G.K. Hall, 1989), especially 263-289.

5 Lisa B. Weber, "The 'Other' USMARC Formats: Authorities and Holdings; Do We Care To Be Partners in This Dance, Too?," American Archivist 53:1 (Winter 1990): 44-51.

6 Richard H. Lytle, "An Analysis of the Work of the National Information Systems Task Force," American Archivist 47 (Fall 1984): 357-365. David Bearman, Towards National Information Systems for Archives and Manuscript Repositories: The National Information Systems Task Force (NISTF) Papers, 1981-1984 (Chicago: Society of American Archivists, 1987).

7 National Information Systems Task Force, "Data Elements used in Archives, Manuscripts, and Records Repository Information Systems: A Dictionary of Standard Terminology," published in Nancy Sahli, MARC For Archives and Manuscripts: The AMC Format (Chicago: Society of American Archivists, 1985). A more detailed description of the NISTF Data Elements Dictionary can be found in the entry on p. 24.

8 See further discussion in the introduction to Chapter 1 and the entry for the data elements dictionary. The other two formally approved standards are the USMARC Format for Archives and Manuscript Control, approved at the same council meeting, and Steve Hensen's Archives, Manuscripts, and Personal Papers: A Cataloging Manual for Archives, Historical Societies, and Manuscript Libraries, 2nd ed., approved by council in September 1989.

9 The Committee on Representation in Machine-Readable Form of Bibliographic Information (MARBI) is a joint committee composed of representatives from three American Library Association divisions: the Library Information Technology Association (LITA), the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services (ALCTS), and the Reference and Adult Services Division (RASD). MARBI's principal responsibility is to advise the Library of Congress Network Development and MARC Standards Office about MARC format revisions and other MARC-related issues. Closely related is the USMARC Advisory Group organized by the Library of Congress itself. The Society of American Archivists has a representative on this advisory group.

10 Linda J. Evans and Maureen O'Brien Will, MARC for Archival Visual Materials: A Compendium of Practice (Chicago: Chicago Historical Society, 1988).

11 Library of Congress, Network Development and MARC Standards Office, Format Integration and Its Effect on the USMARC Bibliographic Format, 2nd ed. (Washington, DC: Library of Congress, 1992).

12 David Bearman, "Archives and Manuscript Control with Bibliographic Utilities: Opportunities and Challenges," American Archivist 52 (Winter 1989): 26-39.

David Bearman, "Authority Control Issues and Prospects," American Archivist 52 (Summer 1989): 286-299.

David Bearman, Archival Methods. Archives and Museum Informatics Technical Report vol. 3, no. 1. (Pittsburgh, PA: Archives and Museum Informatics, 1989).

David Bearman and Richard Szary, "Beyond Authorized Headings: Authorities as Reference Files in a Multi-Disciplinary Setting," in Authority Control Symposium, ed. Karen Muller, Occasional Papers no. 6 (Tucson, AZ: Art Libraries of North America, 1987), 69-78.

Kathleen D. Roe, "The Automation Odyssey: Library and Archives System Design Consideration," in Describing Archival Materials: The Use of the MARC AMC Format, ed. Richard P Smiraglia (New York: Haworth Press, 1990), 145-162. Also published as Cataloging and Classification Quarterly 11:3/4 (1990).

Kathleen D. Roe, "From Archival Gothic to MARC Modern: Building Common Data Structures," American Archivist 53 (Winter 1990): 56-66.

13 Lisa B. Weber, "The 'Other' USMARC Formats: Authorities and Holdings; Do We Care To Be Partners in This Dance, Too?," American Archivist 53:1 (Winter 1990): 44-51.

14 See especially footnote 10, p. 30.


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