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Announcement on non-Latin characters in name authority records

The major authority record exchange partners (British Library, Library
of Congress, National Library of Medicine, and OCLC, Inc., in
consultation with Library and Archives Canada) have agreed to a basic
outline that will allow for the addition of references with non-Latin
characters to name authority records that make up the LC/NACO Authority
File.

While the romanized form will continue to be the authorized heading
(authority record 1XX field), NACO contributors will be able to add
references in non-Latin scripts following MARC 21*s *Model B* for
multi-script records.  Model B provides for unlinked non-Latin script
fields with the same MARC tags used for romanized data, such as
authority record 4XX fields. 

Using Model B for authorities is a departure from the current
bibliographic record practice of many Anglo-American libraries where
non-Latin characters are exported as 880 fields (Alternate Graphic
Representation) using MARC 21*s  *Model A* for multiscript
records. 

For the initial implementation period, the use of non-Latin scripts
will be limited to those scripts that are represented in the MARC-8
repertoire (Japanese, Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Persian, Hebrew, Yiddish,
Cyrillic, and Greek).  Although the exchange of authority records
between the NACO nodes will be in UTF-8, LC*s Cataloging Distribution
Service will continue to supply the MDS-Authorities weekly subscription
product in both UTF-8 and MARC-8 for some period of time.  It is
expected that the use of non-Latin scripts beyond the MARC-8 repertoire
will be implemented in the future.

Guidelines for use by catalogers in formulating non-Latin references
for authority records are still in progress.  System vendors should be
prepared to handle authority records with non-Latin data no earlier than
April 2008.  Test files will be made available prior to that time.

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