MARC21 Terms

Table of Contents:

Take a look at the following example of MARC format. Note the different colors. Then, look carefully at the terms below. Do you see how each color is associated with a term? Now compare them within context of the MARC format.

100 1   Chute, Marchette Gaylord, d 1909-
245 10 Stories from Shakespeare / c Marchette Chute.
260     New York : b Meridian, c c1976 (1993 printing)
300     319 p. ; c 21 cm.

    field         tag           indicator     delimiter     subfield code

The terms you just reviewed define the important elements (or components) of the MARC format. It is important to know these terms in order to read and understand a MARC bibliographic record.

Fields and Tags:

Each bibliographic MARC record is divided into fields. There is a field for the author, a field for the title information, and so on. Each field is marked by a 3-digit tag. For example, the number 100 is a tag which marks the personal name main entry (author) field:

100 1 Chute, Marchette Gaylord, 1909-

Some tags are more frequently used than others. In the MARC 21 standard, only a small percentage of the tags are used over and over. Go to the next page to see the most frequently used MARC 21 tags. It is highly recommended that you memorize each tag with its related field.

It is highly recommended that you memorize each tag with its related field.

      010    Library of Congress Control Number (LCCN)

      020    International Standard Book Number (ISBN)

      100    Personal name main entry

      245    title information

      250    edition

      260    publication information

      300    physical description

      440    series statement/added entry

      520    annotation or summary note

      650    topical subject heading

Test your knowledge: Quiz 2

Indicators:

Between a tag and the bibliographic data, there are two character positions often used for indicators. Each indicator has value from 0 to 9. (Note: Even though two indicators together may look like a 2-digit number, they really are two separated numbers) Indicators of different value have different meanings. Look at this example:

100 1 Chute, Marchette Gaylord / ‡d 1909-
245 10 Stories from Shakespeare / ‡c Marchette Chute.
260 New York : ‡b Meridian, ‡c 1976.

The two single digits next to the tag 245 -- 1 and 0 -- are indicator values. 1 is the first indicator. It indicates that this is an title added entry. (A first indicator value of 0 would mean that a title main entry is involved.)
0 is the second indicator. The second indicator for the title field displays the number of non-filing characters at the beginning of the field. It indicates that the title, in this case Stories from Shakespeare, begins with 0 non-filing character.

In a typical USMARC record, indicators are only present in certain fields. When an indicator position is not used, that indicator is referred to as "undefined", the position is left blank. Let's look at the complete USMARC record of Stories from Shakespeare :

                                                010    93-33372//r97  
            040    DLC ‡c DLC  
            020    0452010616 : ‡c $9.95 ($12.99 Can.)  
            050 10 PR2877 ‡b .C53 1993  
            082 00 823/.52 ‡2 20  
            100 1  Chute, Marchette Gaylord, ‡d 1909-  
            245 10 Stories from Shakespeare / ‡c Marchette Chute.  
            260    New York : ‡b Meridian, ‡c c1976 (1993 printing)  
            300    319 p. ; ‡c 21 cm.  
            500    Includes index.  
            600 10 Shakespeare, William, ‡d 1564-1616 ‡v Adaptations.  
            650  0 English drama ‡y Early modern and Elizabethan, 1500-1600 ‡v Adaptations.
            

As you notice, fields 050, 082, 245, 600 have two indicators; field 100 only has the first indicator (1_); field 650 has the second indicator (_0); all the other fields don't have indicators at all. The positions are left blank.

As mentioned before, indicators of different values have different meanings. Let's study the example again: Please click on the indicators in field 050, 082, 100, 245, 600, and 650 to find out their meanings:

                                                Example 1
            010     93-33372//r97  
            040     DLC ‡c DLC  
            020     0452010616 : ‡c $9.95 ($12.99 Can.)  
            050 10  PR2877 ‡b .C53 1993  
            082 00  823/.52 ‡2 20  
            100 1   Chute, Marchette Gaylord, ‡d 1909-  
            245 10  Stories from Shakespeare / ‡c Marchette Chute.  
            260     New York : ‡b Meridian, ‡c c1976 (1993 printing)  
            300     319 p. ; ‡c 21 cm.  
            500     Includes index.  
            600 10  Shakespeare, William, ‡d 1564-1616 ‡v Adaptations.  
            650  0  English drama ‡y Early modern and Elizabethan, 1500-1600 ‡v Adaptations.
            

Subfields and Delimiters

Most fields contain several related pieces of data. Each type of data within the field is called a subfield, and each subfield is preceded by a subfield code. Subfield codes are one lowercase letter (occasionally a number) preceded by a delimiter.

A delimiter is a character used to separate subfields. Each subfield code indicates what type of data follows it.

In the following example, the field for a book's publication information is defined by the tag 260. This field includes 3 subfields with subfield codes "a", "b", "c".

260 New York : ‡b Meridian, ‡c c1976.

Subfield "a" is for the publisher's location (New York). The symbol "‡a" usually does not show. The subfield "b" is for the publisher (Meridian), and subfield "c" is for the publication or copyright date--c1976.

Test your knowledge: Quiz 3


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