DATE: November 15, 1997

NAME: Defining Field 007 (Physical Description Fixed Field) for Tactile Materials in the USMARC Bibliographic and Holdings Formats

SOURCE: National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped

SUMMARY: This paper explores the possible definition of a field 007 to indicate physical characteristics for tactile material, or material intended to be read by touch. Characteristics include specific material designation, grade level of braille, primary code of braille, braille music format, and production and physical characteristics. The field is requested to aid in retrieval and limiting of material.

KEYWORDS: Field 007; Physical Description Fixed Field; Tactile Materials; Braille



11/15/97 - Forwarded to USMARC Advisory Group for discussion at the 1998 Midwinter MARBI meetings.

1/11/98 - Results of USMARC Advisory Group discussion - There was general interest in seeing this paper return as a proposal at the next meeting. Specific suggestions included adding a code for combined in /05 and changing the definition of code a in /08 to single- sided, non-interpoint. It was also suggested that the field be repeated for combinations rather than attempt to relate the grade to the appropriate scheme. In order to internationalize the proposal, expertise might be brought in from the Canadian National Institute for the Blind and the European Union initiatives. In addition, the cartographic community might consider it more closely to see that it fits the needs of tactile maps.

DISCUSSION PAPER NO. 104: Defining Field 007 
(Physical Description Fixed Field) for Tactile Materials


     The National Library Service for the Blind and Physically
Handicapped of the Library of Congress (NLS) provides free loan
of recorded and braille books, magazines, and music scores in
braille and large print to U.S. residents who are unable to read
or use standard print material because of visual or physical
impairment.  The Service maintains records for these items which
it currently makes available on the Internet in an LC system and
through a CDROM catalog distributed to network libraries.  In the
future NLS intends to begin record distribution in MARC to
network libraries that collect braille and other tactile
materials.  Note that the term tactile material refers to a
category of material that is intended to be read by touch;
braille is the most common form of tactile material although
others exist.

     NLS records include information about the production and
physical format of the material in addition to bibliographic
information.  Details about the specific material, the primary
code of braille and the format for braille music may be currently
indicated in a note.  Details about the production of the item
may be included in the collation. 

     NLS is interested in defining a new field 007 for coded
information about the physical aspects of the tactile material in
order to limit searches or otherwise use for retrieval.  There
are some types of tactile material that users may prefer for
various reasons, including quality or their ability to use them. 
For instance a production method called print/braille includes
both eye-readable print with interleaving or embossed braille,
intended to be used together.  There are different braille code
schemes and braille items may be understandable only to certain
users.  It is preferable to put such information in a coded form
for ease of retrieval and limiting.

     Currently in the bibliographic format a record may indicate
that an item is braille in 008/23 (Form of item) code f, for
Books, Music, and Serials, and in  008/33-34 (Special format
characteristics) code m, for Maps.  Field 007/01 for Text also
contains code "c" to indicate braille.  However, there are no
further distinctions made about the type of braille, and there is
no way to indicate other types of tactile coding (such as music)
that may be important to the blind or physically handicapped

     This paper explores the possible definition of a new field
007 for tactile materials.  In cases where there are two aspects
of an item, such as a tactile map, an 007 for map and another 007
for tactile material might be used.  

2.   007 elements

007 (Tactile materials)

00   Category of Material
This code indicates that the material is intended to be read by
   f  Tactile material

01    Specific material designation
A one character code that indicates to what class of tactile
material the item belongs.
   a  Moon 
      This is an abstraction of the print.
   b  Braille
   d  Tactile, with no writing system
   c  Combination
   z  Other
02    Not used

03-04           Primary code of braille
The code scheme that indicates which dots represent which letter. 
This position is also used for the code used for the text labels
of cartographic or graphic items. Up to two schemes may be
   a  Literary braille 
   b  Format code braille
   c  Mathematics (Nemeth) braille
   d  Computer braille
   e  Music braille
   m  Multiple code schemes
      Used when there are multiple and none predominate.
   n  Not applicable
   u  Unknown
   z  Other

05    Grade of braille
The grade of braille depends upon the encoding rules and whether
contractions are used.
   a  Grade 1 braille
      For example, English uncontracted braille
   b  Grade 2 braille 
      For example, standard English braille, the code for
      contracted braille of the Braille Authority of the United
      Kingdom and English Braille, American ed., the code for
      contracted braille of the Braille Authority of North
   c  Grade 3 braille
   n  Not applicable
   u  Unknown
   z  Other

06-07           Braille music format
Used for the braille music format of the item.  Up to two formats
may be indicated, left justified in order of predominance with
blank fill.
   a  Bar over bar
   b  Bar by bar
   c  Line over line
   d  Paragraph
   e  Single line
   f  Section by section
   g  Line by line
   h  Open score
   i  Melody chord system
   j  Short form scoring
   k  Short form scoring (American system)
   l  Vertical score
   n  Not applicable
   u  Unknown
   z  Other

08    Production, physical characteristics
Used for the production method of the item.
   a  Handcopied
      These are manually produced, generated one copy at a time.
   b  Press (interpoint) 
      Plain braille.
   c  Print/braille 
      Eye-readable print with braille interleaved or embossed.
   d  Jumbo braille 
      Used for braille students and braille readers with reduced
      tactile sensitivity.  
   n  Not applicable
   u  Unknown
   z  Other


1. A monograph in English braille, American edition, produced by
braille press.

   007     fb|ba|||b

2. A handcopied raised line map with Standard English braille

   007     fb|a|b||a

3. A press braille score with piano part in bar over bar and
vocal part in line by line with text in English braille, American

   007     fb|e|bacb


1.  How can these codes be internationalized? What other
language-based types of braille are there that may need to be

2.  Is the specificity under Braille music format necessary?

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