MARBI Meeting Minutes

ALA Midwinter Meeting
Boston, MA – January 15-16, 2005

MARBI members:

Adam Schiff, Chair            ALCTS                        University of Washington
Karen Coyle RUSA Independent Consultant
Patricia French, Intern LITA University of California, Davis
Helen Gbala LITA Addison Public Library
Wei Jeng-Chu RUSA Worcester Public Library
Bruce Rennie RUSA Kansas City Public Library
Jacqueline Samples ALCTS North Carolina State University
Marc Truitt LITA University of Houston
Martha Yee ALCTS UCLA Film and Television Archive

Ex-Officio Members:

Alan Danskin                          British Library
Sally McCallum                        Library of Congress
Bill Leonard                          Library and Archives Canada

MARC Advisory Committee Representatives and Liaisons:

Everett Allgood           CC:DA       New York University
Joan Aliprand             RLG         Research Libraries Group
John Attig OLAC Pennsylvania State University
Paul Cauthen MLA University of Cincinnati Sherman Clarke VRA New York University
Bonnie Dede SAC University of Michigan Eugene Dickerson NLM National Library of Medicine John Espley AVIAC VTLS, Inc.
David Goldberg NAL National Agricultural Library
Rich Greene OCLC OCLC, Inc.
Rebecca Guenther LC Library of Congress
Robert Hall PLA Concord Free Public Library
Kris Kiesling SAA University of Texas, Austin Maureen Killeen AG AG-Canada, Ltd.
Gail Lewis MicroLIF Coughlan Publishing
Susan Moore MAGERT University of Northern Iowa
Elizabeth O'Keefe ARLIS/NA Pierpont Morgan Library
Karen Selden AALL University of Colorado Law Library


Jacqueline Radebaugh      LC         Library of Congress

Other Attendees:

Rich Aldred                          Haverford College
Karen Anspach Karen Anspach Consulting
Amy Armitage Harvard University
Colleen Cahill Library of Congress
Prudence Cendoma Brodart
Richard Cramer New York Public Library
Mary Jane Cuneo Harvard University
Carroll Davis Library of Congress
Shi Deng University of California at San Diego Andrea DesJardins Harvard University
Betsy Eggleston Harvard University
Lynn El-Hoshy Library of Congress
Lynnette Fields Lewis and Clark Library System
Michael Fox Minnesota Historical Society
Deborah Fritz The MARC of Quality
Cathy Gerhart University of Washington
Kathy Glennan University of Southern California
Jane Grawemeyer Sirsi Corporation Shelby Harken University of North Dakota
V. Heidi Hass Pierpont Morgan Library
Diane Hillmann Cornell University
Stephen Hearn University of Minnesota
Charles Husbands Harvard University
Qiang Jin University of Illinois at Urbana
William Jones New York University
Nancy Kandoian New York Public Library
Sara Shatford Layne University of California, Los Angeles
Robert Lesh Northwestern University
Elizabeth Lilker New York University
Amy Lucker Harvard University
John Maier New York University
Margi Mann OCLC Western
Giles Martin OCLC
Christina Meyer University of Minnesota
Susan Milster Harvard University
Mark Needleman Sirsi Corporation
Maria Oldal Pierpont Morgan Library
Allison Powers Harvard University
Barbara Rapoport California Institute of Technology
Naomi Roven Harvard University Law
Janet Rutan Harvard University
Ann Sitkin Harvard University Law
Gary Smith OCLC
Gary Strawn Northwestern University
Hugh Taylor University of Cambridge
Molly Delle Teze Harvard University
Alex Thurman Columbia University
David Van Hoy Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Robin Wendler Harvard University
Mary Dabney Wilson Texas A&M University


Saturday, January 15, 2005

Adam Schiff, MARBI Chair, opened the meeting by asking committee members, representatives, and liaisons to identify themselves. The proposed agenda was adopted and the minutes of the previous meeting ( were accepted by a voice vote.

Proposal 2005-03: Definition of Subfield $2 and Second Indicator value 7 in Fields 866-868 (Textual Holdings) of the MARC 21 Holdings Format

Rebecca Guenther (LC) introduced the paper which proposes defining subfield $2 (Source of notation) and the second indicator value 7 (Type of notation) in fields 866-868 (Textual holdings statement) of the MARC 21 holdings format to indicate the source of the notation used in the holdings statement. These changes will ensure that the United States Newspaper Program (USNP) guidelines may be used in a textual holdings statement.

Everett Allgood (CC:DA) stated that there are some leading characters with which he is unfamiliar (e.g., in the 1st example, "s=" ; in the 4th example, "m,s=") in the first and fourth examples at the beginning of subfield $a in the proposal. He wondered whether these are typos, or if they represent USNP-specific designations. Rebecca Guenther (LC) answered that the examples came straight from the USNP guidelines and are not typos.

Everett Allgood (CC:DA) also stated that he is curious about the first indicator value 5 (Holdings level 4 with piece designator) in the 866-868 block of holdings tags. The 866-868 block is generally used to create summary holdings statements, which in most situations do not necessarily lend themselves to item or piece designations. He realized that there are guidelines within the documentation for linking 866-868 textual holdings statements with piece designations recorded in the 852 (Location) or 87X fields (Item information), but he wondered if the presence of the first indicator value 5 (Holdings level 4 with piece designator) in this block of tags represents actual practice. Rebecca Guenther (LC) answered that the first indicator was defined to include all of the levels in the block of fields which are defined in the Leader/17 position (Encoding level). She was not sure if value 5 has actually been used. The block is often used for summary statements in situations where people are retrospectively converting holdings. Here catalogers often use fields 866-868 for textual statements from retrospective holdings and then code fields 863-865 (Enumeration and chronology) for prospective holdings. But using the coded fields is not a requirement. Ms. Guenther (LC) supposed that it is conceivable that someone would have piece designations, but not want to use the coded fields.

Diane Hillmann (Cornell) asked how angle brackets (< >) would be displayed if the holdings record is expressed in XML. Rebecca Guenther (LC) answered that entity attributes would be used. Diane Hillmann (Cornell) suggested that directions using angle brackets in XML be issued.

Karen Coyle (RUSA) motioned to accept the proposal as written. Helen Gbala (LITA) seconded the motion. The vote was 8-0 in favor of the proposal as written.

Proposal 2005-04: Hierarchical Geographic Names in the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format

To begin the discussion, Adam Schiff (ALCTS, Chair) passed out an example of an “Online Full Record Display” from the Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names and an example from a lesser known thesaurus called “”

Rebecca Guenther (LC) introduced the paper which proposes defining subfields to be used in field 662 (Subject Added Entry - Hierarchical Place Name) to allow for a hierarchical approach to subject-oriented geographic coverage. She asked the group whether the subfields in fields 662 and 752 (Added Entry - Hierarchical Place Name) should be identical.

Sherman Clarke (VRA) stated that field 752 is coded for production and its current state is not directly relevant to field 662. John Attig (OLAC), however, asked whether consistency between the fields was good. Robin Wendler (Harvard) answered yes. The group agreed. Overall, the committee favored parallel 662/752 fields. Those using field 752 for place of publication /production would probably not use the new subfields.

John Attig (OLAC) also asked whether a single authority file could control terms in both fields if the subfields are different. Currently, an authority is not defined for these fields, but MARBI should leave the fields open so one can code them using any thesaurus.

Karen Coyle (RUSA) suggested that MARBI develop fields 662 and 752 based on the LC name authority file. Other communities could then come forward with their individual needs. Joan Aliprand (RLG) did not favor limiting the fields to the LC name authority file. Colleen Cahill (LC) agreed.

Joan Aliprand (RLG) echoed RLG’s comments by stating that MARBI should require that a new field 662 be published only after there has been an attempt to code place hierarchies from several widely used schemes. It would be unfortunate if a new field 662 is published and it was discovered that it could not accommodate a widely-used place name scheme. She also stated that none of the examples in the paper use the proposed subfield $2 for source. She wondered whether subfield $2 is optional. She felt that it is also very important that the MARC documentation use real examples of headings from several place name hierarchy schemes that include the use of subfield $2 (Source).

Joan Aliprand (RLG) thought that the definitions of the subfields are not clear. For example, the definition of subfield $a (Country or larger) seems to allow for regions larger than country, but subfield $f (Region, islands area) is also defined for region. The examples in section 2.3 of the paper show that subfield $f is subordinate to subfield $a, but this is not clear from the proposed definition of subfield $f. Colleen Cahill (LC) stated that defining region is tricky. She suggested that the documentation include many examples of coded regions. Reconsideration of the definition of subfield $f to eliminate jurisdictions was also requested.

Jacqueline Samples (ALCTS) suggested that indicators be defined to distinguish between local features and jurisdictions in subfield $f (Region, island areas). Sherman Clarke (VRA) questioned whether indicators would build ambiguity in the fields. Colleen Cahill (LC) predicted that indicator use would be rare. John Attig (OLAC) stated that the use of either indicators or subfields reflects coding differences in the record.

Karen Coyle (RUSA) stated that one cannot predict what geographic level is described in subfield $a because it is defined unclearly. Rich Greene (OCLC) stated that the FAST project could use the newly defined subfields, however, this is not possible until one presently determines what hierarchical level subfield $a describes.

Colleen Cahill (LC) stated that currently LC usage is that city is qualified by country and is based on the LC name authority file in field 752. She suggested that subfields $c (County, regions, island areas) and $d (City) remain defined as they are named in fields 662/752. She added that other authority files may have different coding requirements and needs. Further work is required to define the proposed subfields for the fields.

Rebecca Guenther (LC) stated that subfield $a is a hierarchical subfield. It is repeatable to allow for more than one level to be coded. She suggested that guidelines be written that outline how to code subfield $a. Jacqueline Samples (ALCTS) stated that repeating subfield $a depends on how the thesaurus used is structured. Susan Moore (MAGERT) stated that repeatability is important for organizations wanting to code hierarchical data using a MARC field. The group agreed that subfield repeatability clarification is needed.

Amy Lucker (Harvard University) asked whether the fields will include latitude and longitude information. Colleen Cahill (LC) stated that the fields are meant for indexing and thus, will not display coordinates.

Everett Allgood (CC:DA) asked about what issues need to be reworked in a new proposal. Adam Schiff (ALCTS, Chair) answered: 1) Opening the fields up to vocabularies beyond the LC name authority file; 2) Making subfields repeatable to indicate hierarchical relationships; 3) Considering indicator values or another mechanism to distinguish between local features and jurisdictions in subfield $f; 4) Providing clearer definitions and more examples.

Diane Hillmann (Cornell) suggested adding subfield $w (Record control number) to link a record to an authority term from an external thesauri. Other participants agreed.

Proposal 2005-02: Definition of Subfield $y in Field 020 (International Standard Book Number) and Field 010 (Library of Congress Control Number) in the MARC 21 Formats

Deborah Fritz (The MARC of Quality) introduced the paper which proposes defining a new subfield $y for non-unique/non-applicable ISBN/LCCNs in fields 010 (LCCN) and 020 (ISBN), respectively.

Susan Moore (MAGERT) stated that the proposal is needed because publishers reuse ISBNs for different forms of titles. John Attig (OLAC) agreed.

Karen Coyle (RUSA) asked why code ISBNs in records if they are not applicable. John Attig (OLAC) stated that the AACR2 directs catalogers to transcribe what is on the item. Karen Coyle (RUSA) suggested that libraries not follow this rule when encoding ISBNs for different forms of items. Deborah Fritz (The MARC of Quality) stated that the Library of Congress rigidly follows AACR2 practice.

Regina Reynolds (LC) stated that the ISSN Center codes field 022 (ISSN) subfields $y (Incorrect ISSN) and $z (Cancelled ISSN). Subfield $y is a good access point for the retrieval of an item. She suggested coding field 776 (Additional physical form entry) subfield $z (ISBN) for the ISBN in a different physical form that is on the item.

Karen Coyle (RUSA) agreed with coding field 776. Deborah Fritz (The MARC of Quality) stated that field 776 is for related work/Other physical form, not non-unique/non-applicable ISBNs. She felt that the lowest common denominator to coding ISBNs should go in the 0XX fields, not the 77X fields. Diane Hillmann (Cornell) suggested that MARBI not encourage catalogers to code inappropriate ISBNs in two different places.

Gene Dickerson (NLM) stressed that fields 010, 020, and 022 should contain the same subfields. However, the definition of field 022 subfield $z (Canceled ISSN) does not match the definition of field 020 subfield $z (Canceled/Invalid ISBN). He was concerned that field 022 is not mentioned in the proposal. Regina Reynolds (LC) stated that ISSNs coded in field 022 subfield $y are numbers that were formally correct, but are now cancelled. Paul Cauthen (MLA) stated that the definition of field 024 (Other standard identifier) should also match the definitions of fields 010, 020 and 022.

Regina Reynolds (ISSN Center) stated that field 022 subfield $z (Canceled ISSN) is only used when an ISSN is canceled by another number. She asked the group not to change the definition of the 022 field for it is heavily used by the ISSN Center. Thus, there may be no way to have consistent subfield definitions because of historical usage.

Adam Schiff (ALCTS, Chair) stated that the proposal rests on coding either fields 020 or 776 for non-unique/non-applicable ISBNs. The proposal should also extend to field 024. Deborah Fritz (The MARC of Quality) suggested that no one matches on field 024, however, Rich Greene stated that OCLC has matched on it since November 1, 2004.

Helen Gbala (LITA) motioned to approve subfield $y in fields 010, 020, and 024. Karen Coyle (RUSA) amended the motion by stating that standard numbers for other editions should be coded in the 77X fields. Rebecca Guenther (LC) asked whether the 77X field would be used for other editions and other forms. Non-unique publisher errors and typos could be coded in the 0XX fields subfield $y. Deborah Fritz (The MARC of Quality) stated that field 776 should be used for other manifestations and Carroll Davis (LC) agreed that the practice of using fields 77X should be further explored.

David Goldberg (NAL) asked about how to code 10 and 13-digit ISBNs. Rebecca Guenther (LC) stated that LC had issued an announcement instructing people to put both numbers in repeating 020 fields. Karen Anspach (Anspach Consulting) stated that coding the 10 and 13-digit ISBN is a different issue and should not be confused with the definition of subfield $y.

Adam Schiff (ALCTS, Chair) asked if the group wanted to consider coding field 020 subfield $z with non-unique/non-applicable ISBNs, and not define subfield $y. If so, there needs to be a revised definition of field 020 subfield $z when it contains a non-unique/non-applicable number.

January 16, 2005

The discussion was suspended and resumed the following day. At that time, because there seemed to be no reason to search incorrect ISBN/LCCNs that would go in a new subfield $y from those in subfield $z, Deborah Fritz (The MARC of Quality) suggested withdrawing the proposal in favor of using subfield $z. Thus, a straw poll was taken: the entire group voted not to define subfield $y and to alter the definition of subfield $z in fields 010 and 020 to allow for non-unique/non-applicable ISBN/LCCNs.

Marc Truitt (LITA) made a motion to revise the language for subfield $z in fields 010 and 020. Karen Coyle (RUSA) seconded the motion. The Library of Congress will work on a revised definition of subfield $z in consultation with Deborah Fritz (The MARC of Quality) and will clarify possible use of field 776 to link to another physical form where appropriate.

The vote was 8-0 to reject the proposal.

Proposal 2005-01: Definition of Field 766 in the MARC 21 Classification Format

Rebecca Guenther (LC) introduced the paper which proposes the definition of field 766 for secondary table information in the MARC 21 classification format. The field will be used to indicate whether a secondary table is applied in breaking down the number or span of numbers contained in field 153 subfield $a (Classification number – single number or beginning number of span) or field 153 subfields $a-$c (Classification number--single number or beginning number of span – ending number of span) of a classification table record, and if so, to characterize the entity in field 153 subfield $j (Caption) so that the appropriate secondary table can be selected.

The proposal suggests making field 766 repeatable since it is not clear how other classification systems, such as the Dewey Decimal Classification system and the Universal Decimal Classification system, might use it. It is unlikely to be repeated using the Library of Congress Classification system.

Marc Truitt (LITA) motioned to accept the proposal as written. Jacqueline Samples (ALCTS) seconded the motion. The vote was 8-0 in favor of the proposal as written.

Proposal 2005-05: Change of Unicode mapping for the Extended Roman "alif" character

Sally McCallum (LC) introduced the paper which presents changing the mapping for the Alif character in the Extended Latin set from MARC-8 to Unicode. The new mapping is more compatible with the diverse use and typical representation of the Alif character. According to Ms. McCallum (LC), the mapping of the Ayn was changed in 1999 and now RLG, OCLC and LC would like to change the mapping of the Alif, as well.

Marc Truitt (LITA) motioned to approve the proposal as written. Karen Coyle (RUSA) seconded the motion. The vote was 8-0 in favor of the proposal as written.

Business Meeting

Library of Congress Report

Sally McCallum (LC) provided the group with the Library of Congress Report. According to Ms. McCallum (LC), Understanding MARC Authority Records is now available online at: Update No. 5 to all five MARC 21 formats will be made available during the first part of 2005. Moreover, the Preservation & Digitization Actions: Terminology for MARC 21 Field 583 is now available online at:

The code “natgazfid” (for National Gazetteer) has been recently approved for use in field 024 (Other standard identifier) and not in field 042 (Authentication code), as was first announced.

On February 1, 2005, the Library of Congress will begin enriching bibliographic records with scanned table of contents data in field 505 (Formatted contents note). It will add information that was previously available only using a link in field 856 (Electronic location and access). Field 505 data will be generated from the table of contents information and supplied by a computer program. It will be preceded by the legend: "Machine-generated contents note:" Field 505 indicators for these machine-generated notes will be set to '8' (No display constant generated) and blank (Basic; single occurrence of subfield $a).

CC:AAM Proposal

The chair of CC:AAM (Cataloging and Classification: Asian and African Materials), Shi Deng, introduced the motion to expand the Character Repertoire to include the Unicode Universal Character Set (UCS) beyond what is currently included in the MARC-8 subset. This will encourage the rapid and widespread implementation of Unicode among the diverse library automation communities and groups. John Attig (OLAC) asked about what is in place to spread this rapid and widespread implementation of Unicode. Karen Coyle (RUSA) answered that MARC 21 can already do this. For example, MARBI added CAS (Canadian Aboriginal Syllabics) a few years ago. She wondered whether changing the official MARC character set is an AVIAC issue. John Espley (AVIAC) stated that AVIAC members would like to implement Unicode in their systems as soon as possible.

Sally McCallum (LC) stated that many systems have begun or are on the verge of supporting full Unicode. Full Unicode was adopted for MARC 21 ten years ago, but in the interim getting systems ready has focused on the MARC-8 subset rather than the full. The ramifications for a change in the interchange environment to Unicode will be presented in a paper issued at the annual 2005 ALA meeting in Chicago. The paper presented to MARBI in June will address problems related to interconnectivity.

Rich Greene (OCLC) stated that because OCLC is moving to a new Unicode platform, it cannot fully support the motion at the present moment. Gail Lewis (MICROLIF) stated that there is a lot of work to be done in public schools so that they may be able to implement Unicode. Sally McCallum (LC) stated that the MARC community needs to develop tools to help the MICROLIF group work successfully in the Unicode environment.

Marc Truitt (LITA) suggested that MARBI express its support for CC:AAM’s motion and ensure that there are processes to support Unicode already in hand, such as the paper that will be presented in June. Adam Schiff (ALCTS, Chair) suggested that he will draft a letter explaining this to the CC:AAM community.

Handling of MARBI Interns

Adam Schiff (ALCTS, Chair) asked about what purpose MARBI Interns pose. Sally McCallum (LC) stated that an internship provides good background experience to people who eventually will serve on MARBI. Marc Truitt (LITA) agreed by stating that interns observe the MARBI process, become familiar with the issues and gain some level of comfort from interacting with MARBI members.

Sally McCallum (LC) explained that MARBI began hosting interns about ten years ago. Not every ALA unit has the same philosophy behind elevating interns to full MARBI members, however. For example, some interns never serve on MARBI.

AACR3 Impact

Adam Schiff (ALCTS, Chair) introduced the possibility of having a joint meeting with CC:DA during the annual 2005 ALA meeting to discuss the ramifications that AACR3 will have on MARC 21. Everett Allgood (CC:DA) asked whether there might be a progress report on AACR3 to be discussed during the annual MARBI meetings. John Attig (OLAC) reported that Matthew Beacom (Yale University) will investigate the impact that AACR3 may have on MARC 21 if that can be determined at this stage.

Adam Schiff (ALCTS, Chair) stated that there will be a MODS program during the same time as the Monday MARBI meeting. If there is a need for a joint meeting, the CC:DA discussion could occur during the Sunday MARBI meeting so that MARBI members can also attend the MODS program.

Discussion Paper 2005-DP01: Subject Access to Images

Elizabeth O’Keefe (ARLIS/NA) introduced the paper which discusses the possibility of changing MARC coding to distinguish between indexing terms for both intellectual content and visual depictions.

Martha Yee (ALCTS) stated that a separate image index for moving images is useful because searching for moving images is as complicated as searching for still images. The moving image situation is complicated by the fact that creators who appear before the camera (actors, performers, etc.) are also “depicted.” Thus, 6XX fields contain some people who are “depicted,” some people who are the subject of biographical documentaries (which usually depict them as well), and some people who are discussed, but do not appear on film. However, many people who are “depicted” (actors and performers) occur only in field 700 (Added entry – Personal name) (e.g., Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca).

Bruce Rennie (RUSA) asked if using relator codes would distinguish between indexing terms for both intellectual content and visual depictions. Rebecca Guenther (LC) reiterated Helena Zinkham’s (LC) e-mail message by stating that among the options mentioned in the subject access paper to highlight "depicted" content, the relator term "depicted" seems the most promising avenue for organizations that have users who want distinctions made between "of" and "about." Since relator terms already exist as an optional technique for many 6XX subject fields, adding subfields $e (Relator term) to the remaining subject fields (e.g., fields 630 (Subject added entry – Uniform title) and 651 (Subject added entry – Geographic name)) and subfield $4 (Relator code) to fields 630 (Subject added entry – Uniform title), 650 (Subject added entry – Topical term), and 651 (Subject added entry – Geographic name)) seems to be a practical way to allow for the designation of "depicted" topics in subject index displays. The technique might even be expanded to other situations, such as visual symbols. For example, when a dove appears as a symbol for peace, a heading and relator term, such as "650 #0 $aDoves, $esymbolic role," might be useful to indicate a specific type of visual information. Martha Yee (ALCTS) expressed support for the relator term approach and suggested that subfield $3 may be used to bring out the part of the item to which it applies. Bonnie Dede (SAC) also stated that SAC endorses the designation of type of material using relator codes. The cost of creating new fields for this information, as proposed in the paper, is simply too high.

John Attig (OLAC) asked about what the functional requirements are for changing MARC coding to distinguish between indexing terms for both intellectual content and visual depictions. Michael Fox (Minnesota Historical Society) stated that the retrieval of records is the reason to distinguish between these indexing terms.

Gene Dickerson (NLM) asked whether there is a way to use form subdivisions to make these distinctions. Catalogers of films try to distinguish between about-ness and of-ness using pictorial subject heading form subdivisions such as “aerial photographs,” and “caricatures and cartoons,” when they exist. It was suggested that greater granularity in form subdivisions might help. Also use of AAT terms could be considered since they cut across is-ness, of-ness, and about-ness.

A straw poll was taken of the group. No one voted for the creation of new fields, however, a large amount of people supported the use of relator codes. If relator codes are used, subfields $e and $4 will need to be defined in some 6XX (Subject access) fields.

Adam Schiff (ALCTS, Chair) asked if a proposal or discussion paper should come back at the annual meeting in June. Rebecca Guenther stated that the use of relator codes should be considered and presented in a proposal to define subfields $e and $4 where needed. A discussion of functional requirements on the MARC Forum Listserv ( may also bring out how these distinctions might be used differently.

Respectfully submitted,

Jackie Radebaugh

Network Development and MARC Standards Office, Library of Congress

Go to:

Library of
Congress Library of Congress
Library of Congress Help Desk ( 07/01/2005 )