Web Version

[Last updated September 26, 2008]

MARC Code Lists for Relators, Sources, Description Conventions

Table of Contents

General Introduction

This document contains lists of codes intended for use in MARC 21 Authority, Bibliographic, Classification, Community Information, and Holdings records. The lists contain over 500 discrete codes, several of which are obsolete. Some codes may appear in more than one list. The document is arranged for use in seven main parts; a brief description of these parts follows.

Relator Codes.
Part I contains a list of relator terms and their associated codes. The purpose of this list is to allow the relationship between a name and a work to be designated by codes in the MARC record.
Category Code Sources.
Part II contains a list of works that are sources of codes that categorize a bibliographic item.
Classification Sources.
Part III contains a list of sources of classification schemes for government documents and other types of publications.
Term, Name, Title Sources.
Part IV contains a list of works that are sources of terms, names, and titles used as headings or for indexing of authors, subjects, etc.
Format Sources.
Part V contains a list of works that are sources of machine-readable cataloging formats.
Description Convention Codes.
Part VI contains a list of codes assigned to sources of conventions (that is, rules, manuals, guidelines, policies, etc.) used in the description of bibliographic items. The codes in this list identify the description conventions applied in a MARC record as a whole, or to specific MARC elements (e.g., particular fields).
Other Sources.
Part VII contains various lists of codes assigned to identify sources of data in MARC fields or to characterize the data in the MARC field. The codes are recorded in subfield $2 of the MARC variable field to which they apply. The code lists grouped here do not fit into any of the existing groupings of codes in Parts I-VI.

This Web document includes all MARC relator and source codes assigned by the Library of Congress as the result of an official request. For newly assigned codes only, a date is given before which the code should not be included in exchange records. The date represents a 60-day waiting period required to allow MARC implementers time to add newly assigned codes to any validation tables they may use to check the codes recorded in certain MARC data elements. MARC implementers may use newly assigned codes in their internal systems immediately as long as records containing new codes are not distributed until after the waiting period.

Structure of the Codes

Information about the structure of the codes for a particular list is presented at the beginning of the list. The MARC codes listed in this publication use only lower case alphabetic characters, and in some cases, numeric characters 0 through 9. No code exceeds the maximum of eight characters in length. Some codes are limited to less than eight characters (for example, relator codes are always three characters).

Code Maintenance

The Library of Congress is the maintenance agency for the lists in this document. Please send requests for the assignment of new codes and questions about existing code assignments to the: Network Development and MARC Standards Office, Library of Congress, 101 Independence Avenue, S.E., Washington, DC 20540-4402; Fax: +1-202-707-0115; Email: ndmso@loc.gov. Requests for the assignment of a new code should include a description of the term (for relator codes) or a full bibliographic citation of the source (for codes assigned to classification schemes, name/terms sources, description conventions, etc.).For printed sources, please include a copy of the title page. For online sources, please include the URL.

Notices announcing additions or changes to assigned codes and their related citations are made public prior to the date they should be used in records in the News and Announcements section of the MARC Standards site.

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