After Germany abandoned MAB in favour of MARC 21 there is just one 
European country left which uses a non-MARC cataloguing format, the 
Netherlands. Both the Dutch and the Germans developed their national 
formats in late 60s / early 70s; at least in the Netherlands the 
solution was meant to be an intermediate one.

The Dutch national cataloguing format is not much of a problem for the 
libraries which are using the Pica system, since the data is stored 
internally in Picamarc, from which it is possible to produce both MARC 
21 and the national format.

There has been quite a few national MARC-based cataloguing formats in 
Europe. UKMARC started the trend, and after that there were countries 
who used UKMARC as the basis for their national formats. FINMARC, which 
is still in use in some libraries although MARC 21 has been the national 
cataloguing format for years, is an example of this. Mid-70s, when 
FINMARC was built, we compared USMARC and UKMARC, and chose the latter 
for all the usual reasons (no punctuation embedded in data, for instance).

Some of these national formats are still alive and kicking, danMARC 
being perhaps the prime example. There are also a few European countries 
where UNIMARC is popular.

Regarding Will's question, an integrated library system that cannot 
ingest or export data in some variant of MARC would not and should not 
become popular anywhere in the world. It is probably impossible to make 
an exhaustive list of systems which support MARC one way or another, or 
estimate the number of libraries that utilize MARC-based systems.

Best regards,


On 8.8.2012 3:56, J. McRee Elrod wrote:
> Amy Turner asked:
>> Is MARC less common on the other side of the pond?
> Based on our experience with British clients, MARC21 is gradually
> replacing UKMARC.  Our only remaining UKMARC client just cancelled. We
> have an Irish client who still wants 440, but we are declining.
> While some systems we support do not use MARC internally, we have had
> only one client since 1979 whose system could not import MARC.  We did
> a crosswalk for them to their nonMARC system, e.g., all authors (100,
> 700s) were in one field with demarcations between them; ditto
> subjects.
>     __       __   J. McRee (Mac) Elrod ([log in to unmask])
>    {__  |   /     Special Libraries Cataloguing   HTTP://
>    ___} |__ \__________________________________________________________


  Juha Hakala
  Senior advisor, standardisation and IT

  The National Library of Finland
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