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Library of Congress and British Library Consider MARC Modifications

Magazine article Information Today

Library of Congress and British Library Consider MARC Modifications

Article excerpt

Representatives from the Library of Congress (LC) and the British Library (BL) met recently to review principles for harmonization of the USMARC and UKMARC formats in an effort to increase compatibility of the formats.

The meeting was the first step in a continuous effort to develop a more simplified cataloging system that would decrease the redundancy of work required to create records and facilitate the sharing of bibliographic records. Presently both the LC and BL must maintain conversion programs to process each other's records.

The participants also proposed the inclusion of Canada's CANMARC in the integration process and discussed the relationship between the Anglo-American Cataloging Rules (AACR) and MARC formats.

Although USMARC and UKMARC are comparably constructed, some differences in labeling and treatment of punctuation make the two formats less compatible. Because changes to increase compatibility would force all MARC users in Britain and the U.S. to modify their systems, meeting representatives said both libraries would extensively consult with MARC users before considering any proposed changes. …

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