Library of Congress>> Standards >> MARC >> Understanding MARC Authority Records
MARC 21 REFERENCE MATERIALS (continued)
Part XII: Sample Records
The examples of authority records in this booklet are based on records from the Library of Congress Name Authority File (LCNAF). Some of the information has been, however, slightly changed to illustrate the fields described in this booklet. The examples are first shown in a tagged display used by most data editing screens found in library systems. They are also shown in a formatted display that may be viewed by library patrons and librarians.
More examples of MARC 21 authority records are found in the MARC 21 Format for Authority Data or online at: www.loc.gov/marc/authority/examples.html
1. MARC 21 Communications Formatted Record
The block of data below is what the programmer sees when he looks at the contents of a MARC file. The tags do not appear before the fields, but a directory to the data tells which tags should be used and where each field starts (in other words, where each tag belongs).
Cracking the code, or, Interpreting the Directory: Usually, only the computer programmer and the computer come into contact with the record in the MARC 21 communications format. It is, however, interesting to understand how the Directory works.
The first 24 positions make up the Leader. In this example, the Leader fills approximately 1/3 of the first line and ends with "4500." Immediately following the Leader, begins the Directory. Tags have been underlined in this example. Each individual tag directory is 12 characters long. The first tag is 001. Following each tag, the next four positions show the length of the field. The data in the 001 field (control number) in this record is 8 characters long. The next 5 positions tell the starting point for this field within the data string that follows the Directory. The 001 field begins at the 00000 position (the first position is position 0). The next tag is 005, which is 17 characters long and begins at the 8th position (the length of the previous position -- 8 -- added to its starting spot -- 00000 -- equal 8). The next tag is 008. It is 41 characters long and begins at the 25th spot (8 + 17=25).
This directory tells us:
Field terminators (displayed as a ^ in this example) mark the end of the Directory and the end of each field that follows. Notice that the sums of the 2nd and 3rd columns in any row equal the number in the 3rd column in the next row. The starting point of one field plus its length equals the starting position of the next field.
This can be verified by counting the character positions within the data, remembering that spaces count, as do the field terminators (^). (Two character positions are always reserved for indicators at the beginning of a field.) A record terminator (displayed as a \ in this example) ends each authority record.
2. Authority Records in Display Forms
If a librarian uploaded a MARC 21 record into a library automation system, the data entry screen may look like the tagged displays below. The descriptors in the left-hand column are not stored in a MARC record. They are part of the software program's screen display. Most systems are designed so that records may be edited to add other fields containing local information.
Tagged Display: Most data editing screens are called "tagged displays" because they show the MARC 21 tags, inserted where they belong, as directed by the Directory. A computer program has been written to do this tagging.
Formatted Displays: The type of screens that OPAC patrons use are formatted, since MARC tags would be meaningless to the general public. Within each particular OPAC program is a routine that formats each record in the way the designers thought would best serve the public using the online catalog. One example of such a display is included for each authority record below.
Authoritative Heading Record -- Personal Name
Authoritative Heading Record -- Corporate Name
Authoritative Heading Record -- Uniform Title
Subject Authority Record
Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules. 2nd ed., 2002 revision. Chicago: American Library Association, 2002.
Crawford, Walt. MARC for Library Use. 2nd ed. Boston: G.K. Hall & Co., 1989. [Chapter 13 provides a good overview of authority records.]
Ferguson, Bobby. MARC/AACR2/Authority Control Tagging: A Blitz Cataloging Workbook. Westport, Conn.: Libraries Unlimited, 2005.
Maxwell, Robert L. Maxwell's Guide to Authority Work. Chicago: American Library Association, 2002.
Piepenburg, Scott. MARC Authority Records Made Easy: A Simplified Guide to Creating Authority Records for Library Automation Systems. San Jose, CA: F&W Associates, 2000.
Selected Library of Congress Cataloging Distribution Service Publications
Cataloger's Desktop. LC's most popular cataloging publications on one CD-ROM disc and on the World Wide Web by subscription.
Classification Web. LC Classification Schedules and Subject Headings on the World Wide Web by subsciption.
Free-floating Subdivisions: An Alphabetical Index. Annual. 1 vol.
Library of Congress Classification Schedules. Multiple vols. Irregular.
Library of Congress Subject Headings. Annual. 5 vols.
MARC Content Designation training manuals.
Name and Subject Authorities. On the World Wide Web at: http://authorities.loc.gov
Understanding MARC Bibliographic.
MARC 21 documentation
MARC Code List for Countries.
MARC Code List for Geographic Areas.
MARC Code List for Languages.
MARC Code Lists for Relators, Sources, Description Conventions.
MARC 21 LITE Bibliographic Format. [On the World Wide Web at: www.loc.gov/marc/]
MARC 21 Concise Formats.
MARC 21 Format for Authority Data.
MARC 21 Format for Bibliographic Data.
MARC 21 Format for Classification Data.
MARC 21 Format for Community Information.
MARC 21 Format for Holdings Data.
MARC 21 Specifications for Record Structure, Character Sets, and Exchange Media.
MARC 21 Content Designators: A Review
Part I: Authority record parts and "Signposts." Look at this sample line from a MARC 21 authority record (# indicates a blank space). Then fill in the blanks with letters representing correct answers. The number of times each answer will be used is given beside that answer.
1. The sample line represents one ___________________.
2. The number 100 is its __________________________.
3. There is one blank in the second __________________ position.
4., 5. What we see on the sample line is a ____________ that is made up of two _____________.
6. The characters of $a and $d are two examples of _____________________.
7., 8. In this field, the second ________________ has not been assigned meaning. In other words, the second _________________ in this field is undefined.
9., 10., 11. In MARC 21 records, there are 3 types of content designators: ____________________, _____________________, and _____________________.
12., 13. The 100 ______________________________ identifies this as the Heading -- Personal Name _________________________.
14. This field is divided into two ____________________: Personal Name, and Date.
15. In this field, $a is the __________________________ that identifies the personal name.
16., 17. Authority control assures (circle 2):
Part II: Authority record content. Includes authoritative headings (name, title, or subject) reference tracings and notes.
For the book, To the Lighthouse, written by Virginia Woolf, draw lines to the correct answers:
Pattern tags: The tags for headings and references follow a pattern.
21. If a book is written about Hayes, Helen, the authority record used contains a 1_ _ heading.
22. If a book is written about the Chrysler Corporation, the authority record used contains a 1_ _ heading.
23. If a book is written about Brazil, the authority record used contains a 1_ _ heading.
24. If a book is written about football, the authority record used contains a 1_ _ heading.
One final question:
25. For the name, "Gustaf V, King of Sweden, 1858-1950," the first indicator of the 100 tag should be set to ______.
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