BA Launches Online Version of MARC 21 Format for Community Information in Arabic

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The Bibliotheca Alexandrina has launched the online versions of MARC 21 Format for Community Information in Arabic.MARC 21 Format for Community Information provides information on different time-span events, programs, organizations, individuals, etc.

The online Arabic version is accessible via the Arabic Library Standards website. It is a free version that provides Arab catalogers with a selection of the core MARC 21 Format for Community Information fields, and adopts a tailored field description structure.

The aforementioned version covers until Update 19, featuring the complete Format Summary of the format, and core fields. MARC 21 Format for Community Information in Arabic is highly functional as a directory, allowing catalogers to provide patrons with more details on the sought pieces of information concerning a certain event, person, or corporate. Moreover, this format acts as an efficient means of documentation for ethnological tracing.

The online Arabic version also introduces the release of the full print edition of the mentioned format, that will be published in one volume. Intended to be available for acquisition by patrons and institutions, the print edition is a complete Arabization of the original MARC 21 Format for Community Information as published by the Library of Congress.

It is worth mentioning that MARC 21, with its five formats, is a standard by which bibliographic, authority, holdings and classification data, and community information is documented in a machine–readable form, and is one of the most important systems in data creation and sharing between libraries. It is also the most widely supported encoding standard by integrated library systems, meeting the needs of both libraries and patrons.

Hence, came the importance of this project of translating and Arabizing the five formats of MARC 21, aiming to cope with the international library and cataloging standards and tools. This project benefits the Arab catalogers, providing them with an international standard in their mother tongue.

The formats of MARC 21 resulted from merging the formats of the United States and the Canadian MARC (USMARC and CAN/MARC) in 1997. They are maintained and continuously updated by the Library of Congress to cope with latest developments in bibliographic control and the latest emerging cataloging rules.

For further details on the Arabic edition of MARC 21 Formats, please click here.