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The Bibliographic Framework Initiative was started in 2011 in order to define a successor to the aging MARC format. BIBFRAME, as it became known, is now in its second iteration and continues to be expanded and developed by many groups. The Library of Congress has announced that it will officially adopt BIBFRAME as their next encoding standard. 

MARC Format

MAchine Readable Cataloging is an encoding standard developed in the 1960s to take advantage of the rise of computers. It uses various codes and markup to give instructions that computers can use to “understand” and manipulate records, including things like what to display and how to index certain fields. There are several “flavors” of MARC used across the world, including MARC21 in North America and UNIMARC in Europe. 

  • BIBCO: Monographic Bibliographic Record Program of the PCC
    Includes information about training to create BIBCO standard bibliographic records, Library of Congress cataloging practices, and BIBCO documentation. Provides access to the approved BIBCO standard record profiles.
  • Bibliographic Formats and Standards
    OCLC's guide to MARC field tags, subfields, and coding, now in its fourth edition. Also includes chapters on online cataloging, special cataloging guidelines, when to input a new record, and quality assurance.
  • Cataloger's Reference Shelf
    Access to MARC21 data formats, MARC21 code lists, subject cataloging manuals, and other resources.
  • CONSER: Cooperative Online Serials
    A part of the Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC), CONSER provides an authoritative source for bibliographic serial records, documentation (such as the CONSER Standard Record), and the Serials Cataloging Cooperative Training Program (SCCTP) training materials.
  • Library of Congress MARC Standards
    Access to the Library of Congress standards for MARC21 formats and codes with updates and change announcements – including changes made to accommodate RDA.
  • NACO: Name Authority Cooperative Program of the PCC
    Members of the NACO program contribute authority records for names, uniform titles, and series to the Library of Congress Name Authority File. The site includes training information and cataloging documentation for NACO participants.
  • PCC Provider-Neutral E-Resource MARC Record Guidelines
    Guidelines for creating or revising records for e-resources according to Program for Cooperative Cataloging standards.
  • SACO: Subject Authority Cooperative Program of the PCC
    Program members of SACO provide a means for libraries to submit proposals for subject headings and classification numbers to the Library of Congress. The site includes training materials (such as the 2007 edition of the SACO Participants' Manual) and links to the new subject heading and classification number lists, which are updated weekly.

MARC Codes

  • Countries
    A list of places and their associated two- or three-character lowercase alphabetic codes. Used in the Fixed Field (008) element for the place of publication and MARC field 044 (Country of Publishing/Producing Entity Code).
  • Geographic Areas
    A list of geographic areas and their associated one- to seven-character codes. Used in MARC field 043 (Geographic Area Code).
  • Languages
    A list of languages and their associated three-character alphabetic codes. Used in the Fixed Field (008) element for Language, in MARC field 040 ‡b (Language of Cataloging), and in MARC filed 041 (Language Code).