Press Contact: Jeff Pines (202) 707-9216

July 29, 1994

Library of Congress Publishes New Edition of USMARC for Bibliographic Data

The 1994 format integrated edition of the USMARC Format for Bibliographic Data: Including Guidelines for Content Designation is now available from the Library of Congress's Cataloging Distribution Service. It is the new standard for representing and exchanging bibliographic data in machine-readable form in the United States. The 1994 edition integrates the specifications for seven categories of bibliographic items for the first time. The format integration not only expands the data elements available for use in any bibliographic record type (fields and subfields are no longer limited to certain types of material), but it also eliminates the inconsistencies and redundancies found in earlier editions.

USMARC for Bibliographic Data supersedes all earlier editions and updates to the USMARC bibliographic format. It defines all the content designators used in USMARC bibliographic records (tags, indicators, subfield codes and coded values) and incorporates changes resulting from proposals considered by the ALA/ALCTS/LITA/RASD Machine-Readable Bibliographic Information Committee at meetings held from January 1992 through February 1994. The many editorial changes incorporated into this new edition are designed to make it easier to use.

As part of the redesign of this new edition, its size was reduced to two volumes. This reduction was done without eliminating the helpful information and examples users expect in USMARC documentation. The format applicability columns, typical of the last two editions have been eliminated in the format integrated edition. The National Level Requirements have now been moved to a separate appendix, where they are located with the Minimal Level Requirements. Information relating to fields 007 and 008, previously found in appendices, has been moved to the general field descriptions, where more users expect to find it.

The 1994 edition of the USMARC for Bibliographic Data has been designed to be used more effectively with local systems implementations of the bibliographic format. A special divider, with tab, has been supplied at the end of Volume 1 for local system information, such as fixed field information. This will allow format users to insert local systems supplements into the published format binder.

The price of USMARC for Bibliographic Data has been reduced by more than 40 percent off the previous edition. It costs $60 in North America, and $70 outside North America. Order from the Library of Congress, Cataloging Distribution Service, P.O. Box 75640, Washington, D C 20013-5640. Or call toll-free in the U.S.: (800)-255-3666, or (202) 707-6100; fax: (202) 707-1334; TDD (202) 707-0012.

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PR 94-122
ISSN 0731-3527

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