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MARC Format Overview

This page provides summary status information relating to the MARC 21 formats and related code lists published by the Network Development and MARC Standards Office.

Official version. The Full online format is the Official standard for the format. It integrates all Updates (designated by number, month, and year) into the current base edition. The Full online format is updated twice annually. Format changes occuring since the last format update should not be used in records until three months after they are published in the Full online MARC format documentation.

Other versions. The online Concise version is updated at the same time as the Official (Full online) and the field lists are updated shortly thereafter. In case of any differences, the Official (Full online) is the standard. The PDF Concise version consists of the bibliographic, authority and holdings formats and is generally issued later than the online Concise update. The Lite bibliographic format is available only online and is updated with the Full and Concise.

Code lists. The Official version of the code lists are the online ones available online. These are maintained continuously. Code additions or changes may be used in MARC records as indicated in the announcement published on the MARC Website.


Bibliographic Format Documentation

MARC 21 Format for Bibliographic Data (online). Official English version with full descriptions, examples, and guidelines. The online version integrates the following updates.

MARC 21 Concise Formats: Bibliographic Data section (online) (Downloadable PDF from 2012). Concise version with examples and brief descriptions. Includes Updates integrated.

MARC 21 Bibliographic Format Field List. Electronic list of fields, subfields, and values only. Includes all data elements in Official version and obsolete fields, indicators, subfields, and values.


Authority Format Documentation

MARC 21 Format for Authority Data (online). Official English version with full descriptions, examples, and guidelines. The online version integrates the following updates.

MARC 21 Concise Formats: Authority Data section (online) (2012 PDF). Concise version with examples and brief descriptions. Includes Updates integrated.

MARC 21 Authority Format Field List. Electronic list of fields, subfields, and values only. Includes all data elements in Official version and obsolete fields, indicators, subfields, and values.


Holdings Format Documentation

MARC 21 Format for Holdings Data (online). Official version with full descriptions, examples, and guidelines. The online version integrates the following updates.

MARC 21 Concise Formats: Holdings Data section (online) (2012 PDF). Concise version with examples and brief descriptions. Includes Updates integrated.

MARC 21 Holdings Format Field List . Electronic list of fields, subfields, and values only. Includes all data elements in Official version and obsolete fields, indicators, subfields, and values.


Classification Format Documentation

MARC 21 Format for Classification Data (online). Official version with full descriptions, examples, and guidelines. The online version integrates the following updates.

MARC 21 Concise Format: Classification Data section (online). Concise version with examples and brief descriptions. Includes Updates integrated.

MARC 21 Classification Format Field List. Electronic list of fields, subfields, and values only. Includes all data elements in Official version and obsolete fields, indicators, subfields, and values.


Community Information Format Documentation

MARC 21 Format for Community Information (online). Official version with full descriptions, examples, and guidelines. The online version integrates the following updates.

MARC 21 Concise Formats: Community Information Data section (online). Concise version with examples and brief descriptions. Includes Updates integrated.

MARC 21 Community Information Format Field List. Electronic list of fields, subfields, and values only. Includes all data elements in Official version and obsolete fields, indicators, subfields, and values.


Country Code List Documentation

MARC Code List for Countries (online). Listings by country name with cross references and by code.


Language Code List Documentation

MARC Code List for Languages (online). Listings by language name with cross references and by code.


Geographic Areas Code List Documentation

MARC Code List for Geographic Areas (online and print). Listings by country name with cross references and by code.


Organization Code List Documentation

MARC Code List for Organizations (online). Searchable Web-based database. Listings by organization name with cross references and by code. Supersedes and continues the 14th edition of the Symbols of American Libraries (1992).


Relator Code and Term List Documentation

MARC Code List for Relators (online). Listings by relationship term with cross references and by code.


Additional Value List Documentation

Value Lists for Codes and Controlled Vocabularies (online). Several smaller value lists, for codes and controlled vocabularies (in addition to the ones described above for countries, languages, geographic areas, organizations, and relators).


Source Code List Documentation

Source Codes for Vocabularies, Rules, and Schemes (online). Source Codes contains value lists of controlled vocabularies of terms (e.g., subject terms), codes (e.g., language codes), identifiers (e.g., standard identifiers), or for specific data formulation rules (e.g., RDA) or schemes (e.g., DDC). Access provided by list type or through MARC field index.


MARC 21 HOME >> MARC Formats

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