TO: Members of Cataloging Advisory Committee

FROM: Liz O'Keefe


Report on MARBI meeting, ALA Midwinter Meeting, 1998

Proposal 98-1: Redefinition of Field 210 (Abbreviated Key Title)

Proposal from the NLM and CONSER to broaden the field to include not just abbreviations created by ISSN centers but also abbreviations created by abstracting and indexing services. Users often look for titles in the form cited in indexes; NLM itself creates special abbreviations for use in MEDLINE. Such abbreviations may or may not match the ISSN-supplied abbreviation; there is a need to provide access to these abbreviations, and the 210 seems the logical place. Indicators will be used to distinguish between the ISSN-provided abbreviations, and abbreviations supplied by other sources.

Result: Proposal approved with slight change in the definition.

Proposal 98-2: Definition of fields 541, 561, and 562 in the USMARC Holdings Format.

Proposal to define for the USMARC Holdings Format copy-specific notes on immediate source of acquisition (541), provenance (561), and copy and version identification (562).

The proposal came from Harvard, which needs the fields defined in the Holdings format in order to facilitate communication of copy-specific data. There was general agreement that the fields would have to continue to be valid for the bibliographic format , since not everyone uses the USMARC Holdings format yet. So the fields will continue to be valid in bib records; which is fine, up to a point-except that notes in the bib record have to be taken as referring to all your copies (there is no way for the machine to match the note on "Copy 2" with the holdings format data on "Copy 2"). Some one suggested that if your system can't support the holdings format, then maybe you shouldn't try to be so copy-specific (alternatively, you might use the rare book cataloguers' dodge of creating a separate record for each copy). There was some discussion about using a linking field $8 in the bib format as a way to make the link between the bib record and the holdings fields that refer to a particular copy. But no huge enthusiasm. The RLG representative said that the $8 field was defined now for note fields in the bib record--was it valid for other fields? Did we want it defined for all fields? Would people go wild with links? Would links be made only at the 852 level, or would it be possible to link to other fields, e.g. the 863? This seemed to open an abyss which no one was willing to venture near; the committee decided to approve the first part of the proposal only (i.e. defining the fields in the Holdings Format). The second part of the proposal (defining a link code "h" for holdings to be used in subfield $8) was deferred.

Footnote: I didn't raise the topic of defining other copy-specific notes (e.g. 585 for Exhibition History) for the Holdings format. I got the impression from the person introducing the proposal that they wanted to focus on these fields alone, and not consider other fields which might also be copy-specific. It should be possible to raise it at another meeting (it will probably be easier to pass, having established the basic principle). Another proposal for us to consider (having been snubbed about anonymous artists).

Proposal 98-03 Expanding the use of field 028 (Publisher number)

Proposal to modify the definition of field 028 (Publisher Number for music) so that it can be used not just for sound recordings, music videos, and printed music, but for music related material in other formats (e.g. a libretto issued by a music publisher). This was passed with some minor rewrites. The notion of adding a $i subfield a la the 246 to allow cataloguers to handle things like "no. 3456" and "#3456" and "pl. no. 3456" was burked, on the grounds that these decisions are best left up to the cataloguer's judgment.

Proposal 98-04 Elimination of tag conflicts in the USMARC Bibliographic, Community Information, and Holdings formats

Proposal relates to fields 004, 046, and 551, which are defined differently in the Community Information and the Bib and Holdings formats. In order to bring the different formats into synch, it was proposed that field 004 in Community information, currently used to give the date of an event or program, be redefined as field 046. Changing this field in Community Information would cause far less disruption than redefining the 004 field in the Holdings format, where it has functioned for many years as the field used to link bib and holdings records. The 046 field in the Bib format is currently used only for B.C. dates, and not a lot of libraries are cataloguing B.C. artifacts just at present (PML is, but we're weird). 046 in the Bib format will continue to be valid for B.C. dates, but some additional subfields will be added to define Community Information type dates. The committee might also explore other ways to use the 046 field for difficult dates of various kinds.

Field 551 is defined in the CI format for budget information. This is fairly important information within the CI context, so it was decided to tinker with the bibliographic format instead. Field 551 in the Bib format, defined for Entity and Attribute Information, is not extensively used, so a change would have little impact. Therefore, 551 will become field 552 in the Bib format.

Proposal 98-5 Additional definition of field 080 (UDC)

Proposal to define subfields for field 080 to indicate edition and subdivisions of UDC numbers.

This was passed without much discussion, I suspect because most people were as bemused as I was by the details (I had heard of the UDC, but just barely). The Committee also agreed to tidy up loose ends by defining the new subfields for the Community Information and Holdings formats.

Proposal 98-06 Definition of value "s" (electronic) in 008 character positions

Proposal to add a code in the 008 to indicate that the carrier of an item is electronic. Various methods of doing this were proposed; Option 1 prevailed. As a result, a new value, "s" (electronic) has been defined for an existing character position in Books, Serials, Music, and Mixed Materials, 008/23 (Form of item). A new character position, 008/29, "Form of item," was defined for Maps and Visual Materials; like the 008/23 for Books, etc., this will allow you to indicate whether an item is microform, large print, a regular print reproduction, or electronic (value "s").

Discussion Paper 104 Defining Field 007 for Tactile Materials

The National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped submitted this paper, which discusses defining an 007 field to indicate the physical characteristics of tactile material. Tactile material can be characterized in several different ways, including specific material designation, grade level of braille, primary code of braille, braille music format, and production and physical characteristics. Defining an 007 field would make it much easier to retrieve material. Consensus was that such a field would be useful, though it was agreed that it was better to use multiple 007 fields rather than try to fit all the possible permutations and combinations into a single 007.

Discussion Paper 105 Reading Program Information

The MicroLIF Committee submitted this paper on solutions for handling information related to interactive multimedia reading programs that involve relationships with published materials. Basically, they want to define a new field, 526, to provide access to or from specific published titles intended to be read by a student as part of a Reading Program module (CD-ROM based programs that are meant to be used in conjunction with published works).

This gave rise to a very interesting discussion, because a number of speakers questioned whether this was just a case of a user group wanting to define a MARC field to answer what is really a systems implementation issue. The question arose: why can't you just put this data in a linking field such as the 787, and have your vendors index it for local use; do we really need to define a separate field? But the MicroLIF Committee rep fought his corner, and the committee ended up saying that the proposal should be studied further within the context of defining a more generalized field that could be used for educational programs, distance learning, and the like (Sherman suggested that one possible use would be to relate Janson slide sets to Janson).

Discussion Paper 106 New Type of Date Code

RBMS submitted this paper discussing establishing a new type of date code to provide access to incorrect publication dates appearing on items. Books, especially those produced in the era of hand composition, often contain incorrect dates. These can be recorded in the 260$c, but only one can be recorded in the 008/7-10, so that searches for the incorrect date do not retrieve the record.

This provoked a lively discussion. Some thought that it would lead to trouble, if people started using such a field for almanacs and such that appear before the year with which they are associated. Others disliked the idea of tinkering with a fixed field which is pretty straightforward at the moment; we should use a variable field instead. The sense of the meeting was that the issue should be revisited in a wider context of problematic dates of various kinds: e.g. dates of exhibitions as opposed to publication dates of catalogs, conference dates versus publication dates, other calendars (Islamic, Jewish, etc.). The 046 field would be the logical place to put this information.

Discussion Paper 107 Defining Field 856 field for authority records

Again, a very lively discussion, with people feeling quite strongly on one side or the other. For example, NLM was enthusiastic about the potential for corporate names; they have local databases with lots and lots of information, and a link would allow the user access to these further sources. Someone else argued that we are finally arriving at a point when technology can make our local storehouses of data accessible, and let's for goodness' sake exploit it. A cataloger in a small library thought it would be wonderful for catalogers to have access to additional data; it might help clarify relationships between subdivisions of a corporate body, or it might be a way to establish a relationship between two persons with the same surname (e.g. my Mary Blenkinsop turns out to be the sister of their Joe Blenkinsop).

But there were major objections: URL brevis, vita longa, and who is going to keep these links updated? But someone else retorted that the same thing was true for 856's in bib records, and that hadn't stopped people. The authority record purists felt that it was a misuse of the format; the authority record is for justifying how you establish a name form, and providing variants, not for shoehorning in biographies or corporate histories. But someone else said that the authority records could be more succinct if people could bop from the authority record to the URL. Another objection: many different uses and many different types of relationships between authority record and linked file are possible. The nature of the relationship will be somewhat murky if only one field is used to provide the link. So you may be linking users to a resource whose scope, purpose, relationship to the name is not clear. Again, how different is that from what happens when you click on an 856 in a bib record? Well, lots of issues, no resolution, but enough people thought it was an interesting idea that we will probably hear of it again.

Business Meeting:

The new bibliographic update is out. It will be the last until the US/CANMARC integration update is issued. They plan to reissue all formats within two years.

The new relators list will soon be on the Web. New Language, Country, and GAC lists are due out soon. Attendees urge LC to issue country codes first, since they are the most useful.

The new lists will be available in marked up form (but also in ASCII, because people use the ASCII version for validation). Someone suggested, to general acclaim, that hyphens be included in the GAC's, so that users of the list will input the GAC's correctly.

The 583 Action note in the concise Bib format available on the LC Web site is now hot-linked to several short lists of ALA-developed preservation terms. Just click...

Organization codes (NUC) will be available externally. LC is open to suggestions for new codes. The file will have a search engine (it is a database).

Name Authority file records will continue to include first indicators with a value of 2. They couldn't process the files to fix them. This anomaly will persist until they have a new system (ca. Fall 1999, they are projecting). Exceptions to this rule: British Library records and Dance Heritage records will not use first indicator 2's. Asked why LC can't at least dump the "2" for new records, we are told (apologetically) that the Director of LC doesn't want to, therefore ... So NACO libraries are required to continue to use the 2. Everyone disgruntled.

There is an upgrade of the user interface for MARCmaker, making it friendlier to data. This is used a lot outside the US for test data.

A discussion paper is due on Year 2000 issues (ahh, who's counting, the world will have ended by then). The CPSO is working on guidelines for Electronic Resources.

There is a new GAC list with new codes for TCTUTBPOSU (the countries that used to be part of Soviet Union).

A discussion paper on non-filing indicators is in the works, will resurface next summer.

P.S. Daniel, I would like to continue to serve on the CAC as MARBI rep. May I submit an item for the meeting in Philadelphia: whither the Anonymous artist proposal? The last word from Rebecca Guenther, when she turned it down, was that it came in too late, and besides, they felt it involved cataloguing issues as well as MARC issues. I think we would stand a better chance of getting something done if we could resolve the uncertainty about how to set up the names of anonymous artists, and then proceed to consider whether a new field is needed. Some trails to pursue: how do the VRA people handle these names? (Ask Elisa Lanzi if she has considered this in the RLIN slide project). How does the Getty's ULAN handle followers and pupils? How do museum systems handle in indexing?