Get help now

The Important of Marc in Information Retrieval and Storage

  • Pages 13
  • Words 3010
  • Views 765
  • dovnload



  • Pages 13
  • Words 3010
  • Views 765
  • Academic anxiety?

    Get original paper in 3 hours and nail the task

    Get your paper price

    124 experts online


    Information does not exist in a vacuum but it is being used by man in the context of its surroundings. Without the correct identification, capture, organization, management, utilization and archiving or storage of information, one especially students would be hard pressed to make any decisions whether in business, personal, or governmental involve. In order to properly manage information, it is necessary to understand the way in which information will be used, by whom, and for what purpose. The value of any information is determined by the three factors of context such as the purpose of the information, the information content and user (the audience).

    In information management, it is important to note that the value of information is variable. In order to arrange all the valuable information in one place, it is needed for an organization to make it standardization. As for the title ‘The importance of MARC in information retrieval and storage’ will be discussing about the using of MARC as one of the standardization method use to keep the information. Through the reading, I will briefly point out the importance of using MARC, the history of MARC, types and the using of MARC Format.


    MARC is the abbreviation term taking from the words Machine-Readable Cataloging. It is known as the MARC standards which consist of the MARC formats, which are exactly the standards for the representation and communication ob bibliographic and related information in machine – readable form. “Machine-readable” in MARC means that one particular type of machine, a computer, can read and interpret the data in the cataloging record, while “Cataloging” means a bibliographic recording, or recording information in a catalog card.

    History of Marc

    MARC (Machine Cataloging) standards are digital formats for the description of bibliographic items developed by the US Library of Congress during the 1960s to facilitate the creation and dissemination of cataloging between libraries. The Library of Congress decided that computers were very compatible with cataloging. Their goal was to create a program that could encode all of the information needed in a cataloging record, and make that information available to any user. Originally the Library of Congress program was called LC MARC. Changes and adjustments have been made to the original MARC format to reflect changes in newer editions of AACR2, and to reflect current practices and needs in libraries.

    By 1971, MARC formats had become the national standard for dissemination of bibliographic data and the international standard by 1973. There are several versions of MARC in use around the world, the most predominant being MARC 21, created in 1999 as a result of the harmonization of U.S. and Canadian MARC formats, and UNIMARC, widely used in Europe. The MARC 21 family of standards now includes formats for authority records, holdings records, classification schedules, and community information, in addition to the format for bibliographic records. The current database of MARC records that is maintained by the Library of Congress, and added to by libraries all over the country, has become a union catalog of much greater proportions than was probably envisioned when this project began.

    The Importance of Marc in Information Retrieval and Storage

    Approximately two centuries, bibliographic cataloging has had quite a tremendous development. It was originally the book style catalogs such as those of the British Library. Next came the card catalogs that comprised thousands of drawers’ at large institutions. Then the microfilms (and microfiche), which are micro reproductions of documents in form of reels (and flat sheets) used for transmission, storage, reading, and printing of information. Thereafter, came the Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC) is an online database of materials held by a library or group of libraries and used for searching a library catalog to locate books, periodicals, audio/visual materials or other items under control of a library. Lastly and presently we have the World Wide Web or The Web. Starting from the time computers came into being, precisely in the 1960s, bibliographic data format started being developed to catalog bibliographic information online. Consequently, this format was made machine-readable so that compatible computers can read and interpret the information. Therefore, the method of cataloging became known as Machine-Readable Cataloging (MARC).

    The MARC standards consist of the MARC formats, which are standards for the representation and communication of bibliographic and related information in machine-readable form. It defines a bibliographic data format that was developed at the Library of Congress in the 1960s and provides the protocol by which computers exchange, use, and interprets bibliographic information. Its data elements make up the foundation of most library catalogs used today. Moreover, MARC is an electronic format in which people able to place information derived from the cataloging process. Creating a MARC record can be done at the same time as the cataloging process, but the two are not same.

    Marc Record Necessary

    MARC is one of the most important in the world of librarianship and in this knowledge era. The necessary of using MARC can be seen as below.

    • Guide data- The computer cannot read card catalog and the information from a catalog card cannot simply be typed into a computer to produce an automated catalog. The computer needs a means of interpreting the information found on a cataloging record. The MARC record contains a guide to its data, or little “signposts,” before each piece of bibliographic information. 4.2.2 Characters- The place provided for each of these pieces of bibliographic information (author, title, call number, etc.) is called a “field.” The records in simpler computer files sometimes have a fixed number of fields, and each field contains a fixed number of characters.
    • Flexibility- allow proper cataloging of books and other library items, the best file structure allows for records with an unlimited number of fields and unlimited field lengths. This flexibility is necessary because not all titles are the same length (The robe versus Alexander and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day). Some books are part of a series, requiring a field for that information, while others have no series statement. And audiovisual items have much longer physical descriptions (5 filmstrips: sd., col.; 35 mm. + teaching manual) than do most books (403 p.: ill.; 22 cm.).
    • Predefined standard- The computer cannot expect a certain type of information to begin and end at the same position in every bibliographic record. The statement of responsibility will not always begin with the 145th character of the record and end at the 207th position, for example. Therefore each MARC record contains a little “table of contents” to the record, according to a predefined standard.
    • One standard- Using the MARC standard prevents duplication of work and allows libraries to better share bibliographic resources. Choosing to use MARC enables libraries to acquire cataloging data that is predictable and reliable. If a library were to develop a “home-grown” system that did not use MARC records, it would not be taking advantage of an industry-wide standard whose primary purpose is to foster communication of information.
    • Manage library operations- Using the MARC standard also enables libraries to make use of commercially available library automation systems to manage library operations. Many systems are available for libraries of all sizes and are designed to work with the MARC format. Systems are maintained and improved by the vendor so that libraries can benefit from the latest advances in computer technology. The MARC standard also allows libraries to replace one system with another with the assurance that their data will still be compatible.

    Information Contain in Marc

    MARC records contain much information, but usually include:

    • A description of the item
    • Main entry and added entries
    • Subject headings
    • The classification or call number.

    5.2 Table 1 below shows the explanation of types of information use in MARC Record. TYPES OF INFORMATION| EXPLANATION|

    1. Description The description of the item in MARC record is shown in the paragraph sections of a catalog card. It includes the title, statement of responsibility, edition, material specific details, publication information, physical description, series, notes, and standard numbers. 2. Main Entry and Added entries The main entry and other added entries are the access points, which are the retrieval points in the library catalog where patrons should be able to look up the item. 3. Subject Headings (or subject added entries) The librarian uses some list of standard subject headings to select the subjects under which the item will be listed. Use of an approved list is important for consistency, to ensure that all items on a particular subject are found under the same heading and therefore in the same place in the catalog. 4. Call Number The Dewey Decimal or Library of Congress classification schedule is used to select the call number for an item. The purpose of the call number is to place items on the same subject together on the same shelf in the library. Most items are sub-arranged alphabetically by author. The second part of the call number usually represents the author’s name, facilitating this sub arrangement. Table [ 1 ]: the explanation of the information use in MARC

    Marc Terms and Its Definitions

    MARC record is dealing with what the librarians use in using library automation. They will see and need to understand on their computer screens when adding, editing, or examining records. The emphasis will be on those areas usually used in cataloging for schools and small public libraries, for example books and audiovisual materials. The implemented of MARC 21 have added changes to the MARC record. MARC 21 bibliographic format have the same concepts of Format Integration. “Format Integration” means that the same “signposts” are used to mark data in records for all types of publications, rather than having different sets of “signposts” for each type. More technically, under Format Integration, one group of tags is used for records of all types of materials rather than having a tag set defined for each type.

    Fields Are Marked by Tags in Marc Record

    The definition and use of fields can be seen as in the table 2 below


    Field * Each bibliographic record is divided logically into fields. There is a field for the author, a field for title information, and so on. These fields are subdivided into one or more “subfields.” As previously noted, the textual names of the fields are too lengthy to be reproduced within each MARC record. Instead they are represented by 3-digit tags. (Though online catalogs may display the names of the fields, the names are supplied by the system software, not by the MARC record.) Tag * Each field is associated with a 3-digit number called a “tag.” A tag identifies the field — the kind of data — that follows. Even though a printout or screen display may show the tag immediately followed by indicators (making it appear to be a 4- or 5-digit number), the tag is always the first 3 digits. Table [ 2 ]:

    termenology of fields and tag and their use

    The tags used in most frequently in the MARC record as shown in the table 3 below.

    010 tag * the Library of Congress Control Number (LCCN) 020 tag * International Standard Book Number (ISBN)
    100 tag * a personal name main entry (author)
    245 tag * title information (which includes the title, other title information, and the statement of responsibility) 250 tag * edition
    260 tag * publication information
    300 tag * physical description (often referred to as the “collation” when describing books) 490 tag * series statement
    520 tag * annotation or summary note
    650 tag * topical subject heading
    700 tag * personal name added entry (joint author, editor, or illustrator) Table [ 3 ]: The tags used most frequently in MARC record

    An example of a field.

    100 1 #$a Pirsig, Robert M.
    Example 1:

    Explanation: the number 100 is the tag, defining it as a personal name main entry (author) field.

    300 ## $a 675 p. : $b ill. ; $c 24 cm.

    Example 2:

    Explanation: the field for a book’s physical description (defined by the tag 300) includes a subfield for the extent (number of pages), a subfield for other physical details (illustration information), and a subfield for dimensions (centimeters):

     General Rules in Marc 21

    There are some general rules that help define what all the numbers used as field tags mean. Please note that in discussions of MARC 21 tags, the notation XX is often used to refer to a group of related tags. For example, 1XX refers to all the tags in the 100s: 100, 110, 130, and so on.

     Tags divided by hundreds. The basic divisions of the MARC 21 bibliographic record are:

    0XX Control information, numbers, codes
    1XX Main entry
    2XX Titles, edition, imprint (in general, the title, statement of responsibility, edition, and publication information ) 3XX Physical description, etc.
    4XX Series statements (as shown in the book)
    5XX Notes
    6XX Subject added entries
    7XX Added entries other than subject or series
    8XX Series added entries (other authoritative forms)
    9XX Have been left for locally-defined uses, such as local barcode numbers. Local libraries, vendors, or systems can define and use them for attaching other types of information to records. (X9Xs in each of these groups — 09X, 59X, etc. — are also reserved for local use, except 490.)

    Table [ 4 ]:Basic divisions of the MARC 21 bibliographic

     Types of International Marc

    MARC 21
    A MARC 21 format is a set of codes and content designators defined for encoding machine-readable records. Formats are defined for five types of data: bibliographic, holdings, authority, classification, and community information. These formats explanation are:

    • Format for Bibliographic Data: This contains format specifications for encoding data elements needed to describe, retrieve, and control various forms of bibliographic material. The MARC 21 Format for Bibliographic Data is an integrated format defined for the identification and description of different forms of bibliographic material. With the full integration of the previously discrete bibliographic formats, consistent definition and usage are maintained for different forms of material.
    • Format for Holdings Data: This contains format specifications for encoding data elements pertinent to holdings and location data for all forms of material.
    • Format for Authority Data: This contains format specifications for encoding data elements that identify or control the content and content designation of those portions of a bibliographic record that may be subject to authority control.
    • Format for Classification Data: This contains format specifications for encoding data elements related to classification numbers and the captions associated with them. Classification records are used for the maintenance and development of classification schemes.
    • Format for Community Information: This provides format specifications for records containing information about events, programs, services, etc. so that this information can be integrated into the same public access catalogs as data in other record types.

    MARC 21 record

    A MARC record involves three elements: the record structure, the content designation, and the data content of the record. These elements are:

    • The structure of MARC records: is an implementation of national and international standards, e.g., Information Interchange Format (ANSI Z39.2) and Format for Information Exchange (ISO 2709).
    • b) The Content designation: is the codes and conventions established to identify explicitly and characterize further the data elements within a record and to support the manipulation of those data; this is defined in the MARC 21 formats.
    • The content of most data elements: is defined by standards outside the formats, such as cataloging rules, classification schemes, subject thesauri, code lists, or other conventions used by the organization that creates a record. e.g., Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules, Library of Congress Subject Headings, National Library of Medicine Classification. The content of other data elements, e.g., coded data, is defined in the MARC 21 formats.

     Other International Marc

    Besides of MARC 21, there are many MARC in this world. Other types of MARC can be seen in the table below. INTERNATIONAL MARC NATIONAL
    USMARC * National MARC of the United States
    MARC 21 * “harmonization” of USMARC and CAN/MARC
    AUSMARC * MARC of Australia, published by the National Library of Australia in 1973; USMARC adopted in 1991 BIBSYS-MARC * Used by all Norwegian University Libraries, the National Library, all college libraries, and a number of research libraries. MALMARC * National MARC of Malaysia, now obsolete.
    CAN/MARC * National MARC of Canada
    CMARC * National MARC of the Republic of China, based on UNIMARC DANMARC * National MARC of Denmark, based on MARC21
    INTERMARC * MARC used by Bibliothèque nationale de France NORMARC * National MARC of Norway, based on MARC21
    UNIMARC * Created by IFLA in 1977, it is the official MARC in France

    Table [ 5 ]: Other types of international MARC


    As a conclusion that I can make in this assignment, bibliographic information is the information about a resource consulted during the process of a work and written in a standard bibliographic format. It is mainly represented in a machine-readable form for easy storage, access and utilization. This can be done using any of the Machine-Readable Cataloging (MARC) formats in use. In this whole world, it seems that there are many types of international MARC which has being used in the library. Also librarian in the library use the MARC record as one of their methods in keeping, storing, collecting and sharing and many more in order to make their task easier. Furthermore, using MARC is also as one of the standardization that need to be used as a librarian in an organization especially library. MARC is important to be use as it is worldwide, can be share with other library, make cataloging task much easier, standardization and etc.


    1. International MARC. Retrieved on April 4, 2013 from the World Wide Web:
    2. Understanding MARC Bibliographic. Retrieved April 4, 2013 from the World Wide Web:
    3. MARC: A Brief History. Retrieved April 15, 2013 from the World Wide Web:
    4. MARC standards. Retrieved April 15, 2013 from the World Wide Web:
    5. History of MARC. Retrieved April 15, 2013 from the World Wide Web:
    6. Marc Standard. Retrieved April 15, 2013 from the World Wide Web:

    [ 1 ]. MARC: A Brief History. Retrieved April 15, 2013 from

    [ 2 ]. MARC standards. Retrieved April 15, 2013 from

    [3]. Advance information storage and retrieval. Retrieved April 2, 2013 from [ 4 ]. Understanding MARC Bibliographic. Retrieved April 4, 2013 from [ 5 ]. International MARC. Retrieved April 4, 2013 from

    This essay was written by a fellow student. You may use it as a guide or sample for writing your own paper, but remember to cite it correctly. Don’t submit it as your own as it will be considered plagiarism.

    Need a custom essay sample written specially to meet your requirements?

    Choose skilled expert on your subject and get original paper with free plagiarism report

    Order custom paper Without paying upfront

    The Important of Marc in Information Retrieval and Storage. (2016, Aug 27). Retrieved from

    Hi, my name is Amy 👋

    In case you can't find a relevant example, our professional writers are ready to help you write a unique paper. Just talk to our smart assistant Amy and she'll connect you with the best match.

    Get help with your paper
    We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you’re on board with our cookie policy