How MARC is Organized


If a library has a computerized catalog, then that library is almost certainly using MARC, whether or not the staff is aware of it. MARC is the standard used by computerized cataloging programs. The differences from one program to the next come in the detail of information allowed and in the type of input given to the cataloger. Some programs allow for more MARC fields than others. Some programs have an input screen that displays the MARC tags, while other programs give information prompts similar to the type of display that patrons view when using the catalog.


Information displayed in a MARC record is organized into broad categories. As in the Dewey Decimal System, these categories are number based, and the first digit of the three-digit display is an indicator of the category:


0XX Control information, identification numbers, etc.

1XX Main entry

2XX Title and statement of responsibility

3XX Physical description

4XX Series

5XX Notes

6XX Subject headings

7XX Added entries (additional access points)

8XX Series added entries

9XX Local use access points and information

(The "X's" in the tens and unit places in these numbers indicates that the numbers in these places can vary.)


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