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TECHNICAL NOTICE (December 6, 2011)

Additions to the MARC Country and Geographic Area Code Lists

Network Development and MARC Standards Office


On October 10, 2010, the Netherlands Antilles was dissolved, resulting in two new constituent countries within the Kingdom of the Netherlands: Curaçao and Sint Maarten (Aruba seceded from the Netherlands Antilles in 1986 to become a separate country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands). The remaining islands of the Netherlands Antilles–Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba (or the "BES islands")–joined the Kingdom of the Netherlands as three special municipalities collectively administered by the National Office for the Caribbean Netherlands. As the result of the Netherlands Antilles being dissolved, new country and geographic area codes are being defined for use in MARC records.

The coding for Netherlands Antilles, country code na and GAC nwna, will remain valid only for items prior to December 2011.

1. MARC country code changes

The new country codes are:

Both Curaçao and Sint Maarten (previously called Saint Martin, Southern, on the country code list) were previously coded na for Netherlands Antilles before December 2011. Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba were previously coded na for Netherlands Antilles before December 2011 and will now collectively be coded ca for Caribbean Netherlands.

2. MARC geographic area code changes

The new geographic area code is:

Sint Maarten was previously coded nwst for Saint Martin (West Indies) before December 2011. Code nwst will now apply only to the French collectivity of Saint-Martin. Current geographic area codes assigned to the islands of the former Netherlands Antilles remain unchanged: nwaw for Aruba, nwco for Curaçao, nwbn for Bonaire, nwsd for Saba, and nweu for Sint Eustatius.


On July 15, 2007, the French island communes of Saint-Barthélemy and Saint-Martin separated from the French overseas region of Guadeloupe to become two separate overseas territorial collectivities of France. As the result of this separation, new country and geographic area codes are being defined for use in MARC records.

1. MARC country code changes

The new country codes are:

Both Saint-Barthélemy and Saint-Martin (previously called Saint Martin, Northern, on the country code list) were previously coded gp for Guadeloupe before December 2011.

2. MARC geographic area code changes

The new geographic area code is:

Saint-Barthélemy was previously coded nwgp for Guadeloupe before December 2011. Saint-Martin will retain the code nwst, but the geographic area code name on the list will change from Saint Martin (West Indies) to Saint-Martin. Code nwst will now apply only to the French collectivity of Saint-Martin. Sint Maarten, a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, will be coded nwsn (see above).

Subscribers can anticipate receiving MARC records reflecting these changes in all distribution services not earlier than February 6, 2012. Questions regarding the country and geographic area codes should be directed to:

Policy and Standards Division
Library of Congress
Washington, DC 20540-4305
(202) 707-4380
[email protected]


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( 12/06/2011 )
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