Arabic Library Standards


MARC 21 Format for Bibliographic Data in Arabic

Key Features of the Format

  • MARC 21 Format for Bibliographic Data is designed and continuously updated to describe in greatest details all types of materials including books, serials, manuscripts, music, maps, sound and video recordings, visual materials in print and electronic formats.
  • The documentation allows the catalogers to better understand how MARC records work, eventually, leading to a high quality cataloging process.
  • The content is defined by international cataloging and classification standards such as International Standard Bibliographic Description (ISBD), Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules (AACR2), Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH), Dewey Decimal Classification System (DDC), as well as other subject thesauri, and classification schemes used by organizations that create records.
  • The format covers the most recent updates in cataloging practices, including updated fields and newly created ones relating to Resource Description and Access (RDA); like 336 (Content Type), 337 (Media Type ) and 338 (Carrier Type ) fields, making it highly compatible with RDA.

Arabic Edition Highlights


The Arabic Edition of the MARC 21 Format for Bibliographic Data is a faithful translation of the original English documentation with the original arrangement, layout and features.


Presents the format in its entirety, not just a selection of the most commonly used fields, with more than 90 fields introduced for the first time in the Arab World.


The documentation is adapted to meet Arabic cataloging rules, augmented with examples emphasizing Arabic practices and featuring Arabic Personal and Corporate Names, Subject Headings, etc.


Arabic examples are selected from different Arab library catalogs, authority files, Subject Heading and Name Headings Lists, to ensure the widest coverage.

Optimized to RDA

Optimized to the new cataloging standards, implementing all the new provisions for RDA with examples specifically built by BA specialists to reflect the new cataloging practices.

New Terminology

Brand new Arabic library terminology is introduced for the first time to the Arabic-speaking specialized community in fixed fields 007 and 008 specific terminology, and the the controlled vocabulary content of 380388 RDA fields.