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DATE: June 12, 2009

NAME: Changes to field 257 (Country of Producing Entity) for use with non-archival materials in the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format

SOURCE: Online Audiovisual Catalogers, Cataloging Policy Committee

SUMMARY: This paper proposes broadening the use of field 257 (Country of producing entity for archival films) of the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format to include non-archival materials by renaming it Country of producing entity. It also proposes making field 257 and its subfield $a repeatable. Additionally, it recommends adding subfield $2 (Source) to indicate a controlled list of terms from which information has been taken.

KEYWORDS: Field 257 (BD); Country of producing entity for archival films (BD)

RELATED: 2009-DP03

06/12/2009 - Made available to the MARC 21 community for discussion.

07/11/2009 - Results of the MARC Advisory Committee discussion - Approved as amended. The committee decided to drop the designation, "for archival films", from the subfield $a title, in addition to the field 257 title, resulting in "Country of Producing Entity" as the title for both field and subfield. The second bullet point in "Section 3: Proposed Changes" should have the words "films" and "film" replaced with "resources" and "resource", respectively. It needs to be clear what producing entity means if it applies to resources other than film. Errors and punctuation in the examples need to be amended. New examples, with and without punctuation, for comparative purposes, are also needed.

08/05/2009 - Results of LC/LAC/BL review - Agreed with the MARBI decision.

Proposal No. 2009-08: Changing field 257 (Country of Producing Entity) for use with non-archival materials in the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format


Information about the country of origin of films and other moving images is widely defined as being based on the country of production. Many users are interested in this information during the process of finding and selecting moving image materials. However, in non-archival cataloging, there currently is no standard place to record this information. Most non-archival bibliographic records for moving image materials include no explicit information about country of origin. In order to provide this information for patrons and to include this information in a standard format for shared cataloging and machine manipulation, the Online Audiovisual Catalogers Group (OLAC) proposes that the restriction on use of the existing MARC field 257 for archival cataloging be removed and that a few enhancements be made to the field.

The MARC Advisory Committee discussed this issue in a previous paper, Discussion Paper No. 2009-DP03, at its Midwinter 2009 meetings. A reason for opening up field 257 for this purpose is because the guidelines for constructing LC genre/form headings coded in Field 655 (Index Term--Genre/Form) do not allow for including geographic subdivisions, although subfields for them are defined in the MARC field. Although some participants in the meeting preferred use of field 655 for the information, it was felt that including the information in field 257 would be useful. It is expected that the field would continue to be used for moving images because of the different functions of production and distribution for those materials and the importance of the country of production in particular. If other communities are interested in using it for countries of production, it may be necessary in the future to add something like an indicator to specify the field use.


2.1. Current definition of Field 257

Field 257 (Country of Producing Entity for Archival Films) is currently defined in the MARC 21 Format for Bibliographic Data as follows:

2.2. Using field 257 for non-archival materials

Although AACR2 does not provide guidance on including information about country of production in bibliographic records, OLAC suggests that non-archival catalogers follow the guidelines in AMIM (Archival Moving Image Materials) for populating field 257 except for the punctuation. Although AMIM prescribes the use of semi-colons between country names and a period at the end of the 257 field, these are not necessary, nor probably desirable, for machine processing and display. The semi-colons could be generated for display when the subfield is repeated. It might be desirable to have some way to show, perhaps with an indicator, that a 257 field does follow AMIM punctuation. Alternatively, punctuation could be included.

Because many non-archival bibliographic records, particularly for DVDs, describe more than one film, OLAC suggests that field 257 be made repeatable so that the countries of origin of each film may be listed separately.

Examples (includes addition of $2, see below):

1 film on 1 DVD, U.S./Italian co-production:

       257 ## $a United States $a Italy $2 naf

2 films on 1 DVD, 1 U.S. production, 1 Italian production:

       257 ## $a United States $2 naf
       257 ## $a Italy $2 naf

Many moving images are multi-country productions so more than one country would be listed in 257. In order to make multiple countries more amenable to machine manipulation, it is proposed that 257$a be made repeatable.


A French/German/Italian co-production

       257 ## $a France $a Germany $a Italy $2 naf

In order to make this data available for effective computer-generated displays and limits, a method for indicating which standard list of terms has been used to populate 257 is needed. This could be done by defining a subfield $2 to indicate the source of list, as is done in a number of other MARC fields. In the MARC formats, value 7 often specifies that the source of the data may be found in subfield $2, but this is when other values are already defined for other sources in the indicator. Thus, it is not proposed to define an indicator for this purpose. At this time, the controlled list that OLAC anticipates using is the LC/NACO authority file, but other groups may wish to use different lists.

257 ## $a United States.
257 ## $a [S.l.].

[These two examples constructed per AMIM rules]

257 ## $a Unknown

[Might be useful to be able to explicitly say unknown]

257 ## $a Czech Republic $2 naf
257 ## $a Russia (Federation) $a Japan $2 naf

There are differences in practice between archival and non-archival cataloging, such as the number of records created for multiple moving images on a DVD and the relationship between field 257 and 008/15-17 ( Place of publication, production, or execution) ,which may influence the use of this field. It is likely that the changes proposed will only affect the non-archival use of the field and not archival practices.

If multiple films are on a DVD, it may be necessary to associate field 257 with a particular title. Subfield $8 (Link and sequence number) could be used to make the linkage. Use of subfield $8 in the bibliographic format calls for using a code to specify the nature of the link. There is already a link code defined for “constituent item” that is used in a record for a collection, or a single item consisting of identifiable constituent units, to link the fields relating to the constituent units. This could be used to associate field 257 with another field in the record, such as title.


2 films on 1 DVD, 1 U.S. production, 1 French production

       245 00 $a Two Audrey Hepburn films.
       257 ## $8 1\c $a United States $2 naf
       257 ## $8 2\c $a France $2 naf 
       505 0# $a My fair lady -- Nous irons à Monte Carlo.
       730 0# $8 1\c $aMy fair lady.
       730 0# $8 2\c $aNous irons à Monte Carlo. 


In the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format:

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