MARC Advisory Committee (MAC) Annual Meetings, June 28-30, 2021
Report by Karen Peters (Library of Congress), Chair, Encoding Standards Subcommittee
(Recordings of the meetings are available here).
Meeting #1, June 28, 2021, 10:30-12:30 EST
Chair Matthew Wise opened the meeting and explained the protocols for this set of virtual meetings, which were held via WebEx. After the MAC members introduced ourselves, minutes from the January 2021 meetings were approved.
No fast-track proposals have been approved since the last meeting.
Proposal No. 2021-11, “Defining Subfields $y and $z for Incorrect/Canceled ISSNs in Field 490 of the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format,” was introduced by Jay Weitz on behalf of OCLC. While field 490 permits the entry of ISSNs in subfield $x, there is currently no means of reflecting the status or accuracy of this information, if known. The proposed addition of the subfields is intended to provide a situation similar to that of field 022 (International Standard Serial Number), which provides subfields for incorrect and cancelled ISSNs. The proposal passed.
Discussion Paper No. 2021-DP07, “Recording Cluster ISSNs in the MARC 21 Bibliographic, Authority, and Holdings Formats,” was introduced by Regina Reynolds on behalf of the ISSN Review Group. Cluster ISSNs—identifiers intended to provide a mechanism for grouping various categories of related continuing resources—are a new concept. The first of these, the ISSN-L, which is used to link together the various media versions of a continuing resource, is currently recorded in Field 022, but as the Cluster ISSN is distinct from the medium-specific ISSN, it should be provided with a MARC field of its own. The paper will return as a proposal.
Proposal No. 2021-12, “Designating an Introductory Statement in Field 672 of the MARC 21 Authority Format,” was introduced by Reinhold Heuvelmann on behalf of the German National Library Committee on Data Formats. Field 672 may be used in authority records to cite a source related to the entity represented by that record, and the German practice is to record an introductory statement that explains the relationship of the cited source. The proposal would add a new subfield $i to the field, permitting this statement to be separated from the citation itself, thus allowing for the indexing of the citation titles. The proposal passed, with an amendment to change the label of the new subfield to “Relationship information” (rather than “Explanatory text”) and to make the subfield repeatable.
Proposal No. 2021-13, “Broadening Scope of Field 034 for Geographic Coordinates in the MARC 21 Bibliographic and Authority Formats,” was introduced by Pat Riva on behalf of the Canadian Committee on Metadata Exchange. The proposal would permit the use of geographic coordinates for resources other than cartographic resources when appropriate. The proposal passed, with some modification of the proposal’s changes to the Field definition and scope.
Meeting #2, June 29, 2021, 10:30-12:30 EST
Proposal No. 2021-14, “Defining a New Subfield for Original Sound Capture and Storage in Field 344 of the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format,” was introduced by Jodi Williamschen on behalf of NDMSO; note that MLA was consulted on the proposal prior to its finalization. The proposal would provide a new subfield $j for indicating an audio recording’s original capture and storage technique, analogous to Field 007, byte 13 and thus facilitating conversion between MARC and BIBFRAME. MLA requested, and others agreed, that the proposed subfield $j definition match that of the new 007/13 definition being proposed in No. 2021-15 (which follows). Further concern was expressed by some that the labels used in this field needed rationalization (that is, each label should include an appropriate capture term and an appropriate storage term), but it was agreed that any needed changes could be made editorially after passage of the proposal. The proposal passed “with editorial changes to be made.”
Proposal No. 2021-15, “Updates to Definitions in 007/13 for Sound Recordings in the MARC21 Bibliographic Format,” was introduced by Jodi Williamschen on behalf of NDMSO; note that MLA was consulted on the proposal prior to its finalization. The proposal passed subject to editorial review of the labels (see No. 2021-14 immediately above).
Proposal No. 2021-16, “Recording the Type of Binding for Manifestations in the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format,” was introduced by Thurstan Young on behalf of the MARC/RDA Working Group (MRWG). The original intention of the discussion paper that preceded this proposal was to accommodate RDA “type of binding” by the addition of a new subfield $l to the 340 field; but after the rare books and art communities expressed the desire to employ other vocabularies besides the RDA VES in the proposed new field, the MRWG was directed by MAC to broaden the field’s use. The art and rare books communities expressed general satisfaction with the results, and the proposal passed with two editorial revisions.
Discussion Paper No. 2021-DP08, “Cleaning Up Redundancies Related to Fields 34X in the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format,” was introduced by Jay Weitz on behalf of OCLC; note that MLA was consulted on the discussion paper prior to its finalization. While the paper seeks to clean up a number of redundancies, one such that is of particular interest to the music community would remove the option to record an audio recording’s playing speed in Field 340, subfield $f, restricting such information to Field 344, subfield $c. Other redundancies to be treated include the recording of reduction ratio, moving image projection speed, moving image aspect ratio, digital file encoded bitrate, and format of digital image. The paper will return as a proposal.
Discussion Paper No. 2021-DP09, “Recording Record Equivalent Relationships in the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format,” was introduced by Hong Cui on behalf of the Canadian Committee on Metadata Exchange, Library and Archives Canada, and OCLC. The paper explores ways to link equivalent records, such as the equivalent English and French records made by Library and Archives Canada. Note that the solutions explored are not intended for linking parallel language of cataloging records. The paper will return as a proposal.
Discussion Paper No. 2021-DP10, “Recording Data Provenance in the MARC 21 Formats,” was introduced by Thurstan Young on behalf of the MARC/RDA Working Group (MRWG). Aside from Germany, which is already doing something along these lines in practice and would welcome MARC accommodation, initial general sentiment was that the overall solutions proposed in this paper for the recording of RDA data provenance were generally too complex, potentially problematic, and expensive to be considered—especially so when MARC is expected to be replaced by BIBFRAME and other linked data implementations at some point. As far as Germany’s needs were concerned, it was initially suggested that the German community could come up with a discussion paper that addressed these needs through its preferred Option, 5, which would involve the use of a subfield (probably subfield $7, at least in most cases) “to the same purpose across different fields, as described in section 2.3.3, in combination with the technique of coded values, as described in section 2.3.5.” Instead, however, a straw poll was taken to gauge general support for further investigation of Option 5 by the MRWG. The straw poll indicated a wide margin of support for this idea. As a result, Option 5 is to be developed in a further discussion paper (subsequent developments suggest, however, that it may instead return as a proposal) that will address some of the issues raised, including the difficulty of inputting and maintaining this information in MARC, and avoidance of widescale disruption to communities that chose not to record this information.
Discussion Paper No. 2021-DP11, “Recording Non-Cartographic Scale Content in the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format,” was introduced by Hong Cui on behalf of the MARC/RDA Working Group. This paper seeks to broaden the definition and scope of Field 507 (Scale Note for Graphic Material) to better align with the RDA definition of scale. The paper will return as a proposal.
Discussion Paper No. 2021-DP12, “Recording Representative Expressions in the MARC 21 Authority and Bibliographic Formats,” was introduced by Thurstan Young on behalf of the MARC/RDA Working Group. The paper proposes a number of options for encoding RDA representative expression elements, and a series of straw polls were taken at the meeting to determine which option should be pursued in a future proposal. In the end, preference was expressed for a combination of Option 4 (section 3.4), which would define a new Field 387 for encoding all representative expression elements (one each per subfield, with the possibility of adding links) with Option 5 (section 3.5), which would permit the addition of new indicator values to fields already used to encode work and expression elements. The paper will return as a proposal pursuing this combination of options, but with the stipulation that Option 5 be applied only to Field 382, essentially a concession to our community recognizing that it is not possible to express the entirety of field 382 in a single subfield, as would be necessary under option 4 (subsequent developments, however, suggest that the limitation to field 382 only may be reconsidered).
In closing, Sally McCallum noted that Matthew Wise will be rotating off as Chair of the MARC Advisory Committee and praised the work that he has done in that role. Sally then announced that Cate Gerhart (University of Washington) will replace Matthew as MAC Chair.
BIBFRAME Update Forum at ALA Annual (Virtual), June 28, 2021, 1:00-2:00
(The recording and presentation slides are available here)
The program includes a progress report by Beacher Wiggins and Sally McCallum of the Library of Congress on BIBFRAME 100, which aims to have almost all of LC’s cataloging staff working exclusively in BIBFRAME by the beginning of 2022; a report on BIBFRAME data exchange planning by Melanie Wacker (Columbia University and Chair of the Program for Cooperative Cataloging); a presentation on the PCC data pool and LD4 by Philip Schreur (Stanford University); and an update on BIBFRAME vocabulary, including future plans, by Kevin Ford (NDMSO, Library of Congress).