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PCCLIST Home

PCCLIST  February 2000

PCCLIST February 2000

Subject:

Re: Possible agenda item for BIBCO OpCo

From:

"Gary L. Strawn" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Program for Cooperative Cataloging <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 10 Feb 2000 07:11:58 -0600

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (54 lines)

At 06:31 PM 2/9/00 -0700, you wrote:
>There are a lot of systems out there that
>automatically flip 5XX fields into MARC order, which as we all know is NOT
>AACR2 X.7 order.

Putting things into strict order by tag is not "MARC" order.

The MARC specification for records has the following bit to say about the
order of elements in a record directory:

"Directory entries for control fields precede entries for data
fields.  Entries for control fields are sequenced by tag in increasing
numerical order.  Entries for data fields are arranged in ascending order
according to their first character of the tag, with numeric characters
preceding alphabetic characters."

In other words, the following is the order prescribed for directory entries
in a MARC record:

         001-009, in strict tag order
         010-099 in a clump
         1XX in a clump
         2XX in a clump
         3XX in a clump
         4XX in a clump
         5XX in a clump
         6XX in a clump
         7XX in a clump
         8XX in a clump
         9XX in a clump
         [alphabetic tags if any would go here]

For tags grouped into a clump, the format has nothing at all to say about
order.  For example, the format does not require that in the 2XX clump the
260 field come after the 250, and that both come after the 245.  This order
is merely a convention (and a fine one at that) many have adopted because
it makes the record easier to work with.  This convention (and one could
cite others) lives within the MARC standard, but is not required by it, and
is not part of it.

The MARC format most clearly does not require that the 5XX fields be sorted
in strict ascending tag order.  Indeed, as has been pointed out many times,
the convention for 5XX fields is that they are never to be sorted in tag
order.  If we have instituted systems that store, or display, the 5XX
fields in strict tag order, instead of our convention (store and display in
the order in which the fields are input), that is a matter for us to take
up with our vendors.  But don't blame the MARC format for the problem.


Gary L. Strawn, Authorities Librarian, etc.
Northwestern University, 1935 Sheridan Rd., Evanston IL 60208
e-mail: [log in to unmask]   voice: 847/491-2788   fax: 847/491-8306
Forsan et haec olim meminisse iuvabit.

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