Encoding Standards Subcommittee: MLA Report 2019

Summary of the Encoding Standards Subcommittee Meeting

MUSIC LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, St. Louis, Missouri, February 21-23, 2019



Encoding Standards Subcommittee

Minutes of the Business Meeting held

Thursday, February 21, 2018, 3:30-4:45 p.m.

New York Central/Illinois Central Rooms, Union Station Hilton, St. Louis, MO

Submitted March 17, 2019 by Felicia Piscitelli

ESS Membership as of MLA 2019: James Soe Nyun (Chair, appointed 2015), Anne Adams (2015),Margaret Corby (2018), Matthew Ertz (2017), Chelsea Hoover (2018), Nancy Lorimer (2016), Thom Pease(2015), Karen Peters (2015), Felicia Piscitelli (2017), Tomoko Shibuya (2018), Amy Strickland (2018),Kimmy Szeto (2018), Hermine Vermeij (2015), Damian Iseminger (LC Representative), Jay Weitz (OCLCRepresentative)

1) Welcome and introductions:

The Chair welcomed the Subcommittee members and observers, and Subcommittee members introduced themselves.

2) Adjustments to agenda:


3) ESS Chair’s report (Soe Nyun)

a. ALA Liaison Reports

  • Annual 2018 (Chicago)
  • Midwinter 2019 (Seattle)

b. Thanks to outgoing members:

  • The Chair acknowledged and thanked ESS members who would be rotating off: Thom Pease, Hermine Vermeij, Kimmy Szeto (resigning early), and (very briefly) Karen Peters, who will return immediately to become the new Chair of ESS.

c. Call for new members:

  • The Chair pointed out the impending vacancies on the Subcommittee and encouraged prospective members to communicate their interest to CMC Chair Tracey Snyder by the next day (February 22).

d. Introduction of new chair (Soe Nyun introduced Karen Peters)

4) Library of Congress Liaisons report (Iseminger)

Damian Iseminger reported that there were not many new MARC proposals. Instead, LC is doing a lot of testing in BIBRAME, preliminary testing of the Performed Music Ontology (PMO), and entering non-Roman scripts. LC is also testing BIBFRAME to MARC conversion, sort of a reverse process,because they have to create records in both formats. This process would enable them to maintain the MARC database while developing BIBFRAME without having to catalog everything twice.

5) Updates on MARC development this year (Soe Nyun)

MLA responses to MARC proposals and discussion papers to be discussed at ALA

Details on some papers and proposals of special interest

  • Proposal No. 2019-02 : Defining Source for Names and Titles in the MARC 21Bibliographic Format and Discussion Paper No. 2018-DP07: Designating Sources for Names in the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format ( This proposal and the related discussion paper propose defining $2 for source vocabulary in the 100, 110, 111, and 130 Main Entry fields, the 240 Uniform Title field, the 700, 710, 711, 730, and 758 Added Entry fields, and the 800, 810, 811, and 830Series Added Entry fields in the Bibliographic Format. MLA is especially concerned about how this would affect the 700 $t; it may result in conflicts concerning works versus expressions, and how headings are controlled. Nevertheless, it passed.
  • Discussion Paper No. 2019-DP02 : Subfield Coding in Field 041 for Intertitles and Transcripts in the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format This paper (also OLAC Paper 7e) proposes adding two new subfields in field 041(Language Code) for the language of film intertitles and the language of accompanying transcripts for audiovisual materials. The matter of librettos concerns music catalogers;so, Cate Gerhart is working on language that distinguishes librettos from transcripts.

6) ESS review of ISBD-removed test records (Soe Nyun)

ISBD-Removed test records: The Chair noted that there were no major concerns with the OCLC test records, but that the sample of music records (18) was very small, and a more representative sampling would likely have revealed more problems than the testers saw, i.e., concerning subfielding of access points. The test records retained the ISBD-like punctuation in notes, and specifications for removing ISBD punctuation for OCLC’s, LC’s and NLM’s record sets in general left notes alone. A large portion of MLA’s concerns noted in our January response document concerned the loss of semantics if ISBD punctuation were removed from several standard notes. These concerns would be rendered moot if any future transformations to remove ISBD punctuation were to leave the punctuation intact within the body of the notes.

Institutions participating in the Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC) may adopt either Option 1(retain ISBD punctuation—no change from current practice) or option 2 (drop “terminal” ISBD punctuation at the ends of descriptive fields only) for BIBCO records by March 31. Option 3 (drop all ISBD punctuation) is still on the table.

7) ESS discussions of Atomized Medium of Performance (Soe Nyun)

In January 2018 the ESS brought up the possibility of restructuring the 382 to allow for URIs to be assigned for individual instrument terms. This would require a separate 382 for each instrument or performance medium, but there’s already precedent, as the German-language libraries assign separate 382s already. ESS members who responded liked the idea of the proposal from the standpoint of linked data, but felt that there should be an automated method of “breaking up” 382fields.

8) Ongoing project: Maintaining and Developing Music Metadata Resources (Soe Nyun)

With no updates and very little activity on this site, plus with a new CMC website going up, it was suggested that the ESS consider either retiring it or transferring responsibility for its maintenance to another group within MLA, such as the Digital Humanities Interest Group.

9) MADS update project status

Waiting for the new RDA Toolkit to go be stabilized in April 2019, as the RDA element fields seem to be the main issue involved. There is also talk of a possible RDA-MARC Working Group that may affect who should be responsible for this project.

10) New Business

The subject of redundancy in MARC cataloging was brought up. While some argued that the coding in question doesn’t necessarily or always represent redundancies, Damian Iseminger suggested that cataloging might be made more efficient through the use of macros and such, and that perhaps the ESS should take the lead on looking into this issue.

The use of the MARC 758 (Resource identifier) field was brought up. While this is something that is not in general use by music catalogers, it was suggested that ESS should perhaps look into the field to see if we ought to be using it.

11) Adjournment