Report on MARBI meetings at ALA Annual 2012 from ARLIS/NA MARC Advisory Committee Liaison (formerly known as MARBI Liaison)*

The big news at the MARBI meetings was that MARBI is being dissolved by ALA as of ALA Annual 2013, although the MARC Advisory Committee will continue to meet. A new ALA Metadata Standards Committee will take on responsibility for creation and development of metadata standards for bibliographic information. This was quite a piece of news to start the meeting with, but the chair, Matthew Wise, gamely kept us to the agenda and all business was completed as planned.

*The amended title is actually the correct title for this position. The ARLIS/NA Liaison has always been affiliated with the MARC Advisory Committee, which acts as an advisor to the Library of Congress concerning MARC, rather than to MARBI itself, which consists of representatives from three ALA divisions that meet in tandem with the MARC Advisory Group. The two bodies, MARBI and MARC Advisory Committee, have hitherto been so intertwined that members of the Advisory Committee were often referred to as members of MARBI; but this is not the case.

Proposal No. 2012-02: Identifying Titles Related to the Entity Represented by the Authority Record in the MARC 21 Authority Format

There was a lot of discussion about this proposal, which grew out of a discussion paper on the same topic submitted by PCC. It became plain that the desire for a structured but fairly simple to use field for recording titles related to the entity described in the authority record conflicts with the complexity of titles and the desire to make this field more machine-actionable. If the title is distinctive, it's not a problem; but if it's not distinctive (think "Works"), you don't want a machine flipping name headings on the basis of this field. The expansion of the field to include titles whose primary access point is not the same as the entity in the authority record (because the person has a subsidiary responsibility, such as an editor, or someone who has a subject relationship to the title) complicates matters further. The proposal will be rewritten to eliminate rich coding (i.e. subfields from both the 240 and the 245) and substitute simple coding only.

Proposal No. 2012-03: Data Provenance in the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format

The type of data provenance discussed in this paper is the physical (i.e. machine) source, rather than the intellectual source, so it's not to be used to identify the cataloger who came up with a preposterous note or a wacky subject heading (too bad!). It deals with situations where, e.g. a classification number is machine generated or generated by some process other than direct human assignment. This affects decisions on data exchange or use. Option 2, the definition of a new field, the 883, was preferred over using existing fields, as more scalable and easier to align with emerging standards from other communities. There were some minor alterations to subfields, such as limiting $u to URIs, adding a $a subfield for the name of the process, and renaming the confidence level subfield $c instead of $1 (should be for name of process; and the new field was also defined for the authority and classification formats.

Proposal No. 2012-06: Defining Subfield $c (Qualifying information) in Field 028 (Publisher Number) in the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format

This was approved, with the substitution of $q for $c

Proposal No. 2012-07: Defining New Code for Vocal Score in Field 008/20 (Format of music) in the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format

Changes to the RDA definition of a vocal score required the definition of a new code value k for Vocal score and redefinition of existing codes for c (Accompaniment reduced for keyboard) and d (Voice score). This was approved.

Proposal No. 2012-05: Making the 250 Field Repeatable in the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format

This paper was written to accommodate edition statements for music and other formats when applying RDA, but it was not reviewed by the Music Library Association prior to submission. Music librarians have some issues with it, and the paper will be rewritten to reflect these. It will be interesting to see if the field could be put to other uses, e.g. for identifying different editions for a multi-volume set in which some volumes are from different editions.

Proposal No. 2012-04: New data elements in the MARC 21 Authority Format for Other Designation Associated with the Person and Title of the Person

This paper deals with encoding “other designators” for persons (a core element in RDA for personal names of saints and spirits) and titles of persons. There is currently no field on the authority record for defined for these attributes of persons, though there is an authority record field, 368, defined for “Other Corporate Body Attributes”. It was decided to broaden the definition of 368 to include both persons and corporate bodies, and add a new $d field for title of person. [Subfields $s and $t will also be added for earliest and latest date associated with the designation, and $u and $v for source of information. SC]

Discussion Paper No. 2012-DP02: Authority Records for Medium of Performance Vocabulary for Music
Discussion Paper No. 2012-DP03: Chronological Aspects in the MARC 21 Bibliographic and Authority Formats
Discussion Paper No. 2012-DP04: Recording Audience Characteristics of Works and Expressions in the MARC 21 Bibliographic and Authority Formats
Discussion Paper No. 2012-DP05: Recording Creator/Contributor Group Categorizations of Works, Expressions, and Persons in the MARC 21 Bibliographic and Authority Formats

These four discussion papers all grew out of implementation of the Library of Congress Genre/Form Terms for Library and Archival Materials (LCGFT), which will supersede LCSH as a vocabulary for form/genre terms (what a work is, as opposed to what it is about). LCGFT will provide terms only for genre and form; it will not include subdivisions and terms used in LCSH to express aspects such as chronology, intended audience, medium of performance, or creator attributes. These aspects are being decoupled from the genre terms, and new places will have to be found for them, or existing fields redefined to accommodate them. The discussion papers and session participants explored various ways to encode this information in the authority and bibliographic formats in coded and non-coded form. The issues covered at this meeting will be incorporated into follow-up proposals for the next MARBI meeting.

There was some discussion on the listserv prior to the meeting about whether the culture to which an artist belongs can be recorded in the same field/subfield as his or her nationality. Much of the time, nationality and culture are the same, but not always, since some artists lead peripatetic existences; it would also introduce anachronisms such as “Belgian” for a 12th-century woodcarver and be inadequate to describe artists associated with regions rather than specific countries. I would welcome further discussion on this point by the ARLIS Cataloging Advisory Committee and the VRA Data Standards Committee.

Submitted by Elizabeth O'Keefe, Morgan Library & Museum

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