I recall that this has been discussed before, but I don’t recall an outcome.


There are currently 1593 NARs in LC/NAF, in which the 375 subfield contains the $2 source code ISO5218. The $a contains terms such as “male” and “female”.


However, ISO5218 “specifies a uniform representation of human sexes for the interchange of information”, by the means of numerical codes. It is a source of codes for the data elements Not known, Male, Female and Not Applicable (Inconnu, Masculin, Féminin and Sans objet).


RDA says “Select a term from a standard list, if available”. DCM:Z1 says “prefer controlled vocabulary, such as LCSH, recording the source in subfield $2”. ISO5218 is neither a standard list of terms, nor a controlled vocabulary; it’s a source of codes for data interchange.







Richard Moore

Authority Control Team Manager

The British Library


Tel.: +44 (0)1937 546104                                  

E-mail: [log in to unmask]      



Experience the British Library online at www.bl.uk
The British Library’s latest Annual Report and Accounts : www.bl.uk/aboutus/annrep/index.html
Help the British Library conserve the world's knowledge. Adopt a Book. www.bl.uk/adoptabook
The Library's St Pancras site is WiFi - enabled
The information contained in this e-mail is confidential and may be legally privileged. It is intended for the addressee(s) only. If you are not the intended recipient, please delete this e-mail and notify the [log in to unmask] : The contents of this e-mail must not be disclosed or copied without the sender's consent.
The statements and opinions expressed in this message are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the British Library. The British Library does not take any responsibility for the views of the author.
Think before you print