Sunday, August 28, 2011

MARC21 as Data: A Start

The forty-five-year-old MARC format, currently at version MARC21, is an obvious barrier to the provision of library services in a web-based environment. There is a growing consensus that the time has come for libraries to move to a new format. We cannot, however, decide on a new data format until we at least have an inventory of the data elements that are carried in our current one. Listing those data elements is not simple: over the years this record format has undergone constant change that has pushed the limits of the record structure and introduced inconsistencies in the way that data is coded. This article describes one person’s attempt to decode the content of MARC21. Read full article


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