Using MARC Manuals
It is important when creating MARC records to be aware of the possible tags that can be assigned to cataloging information in each of the numbered categories in MARC. This is true whether a library is downloading MARC records from another sources, purchasing MARC cataloging from a vendor, or creating original MARC records for items in their collection. The best way to do this is to have a manual or guidebook that lists all of the tags and their possible indicators, subfields and subfield codes.
One such example is Concise Input Standards. 3rd ed. published by OCLC, a vendor of a cataloging database. Most cataloging database vendors and the Library of Congress publish MARC guides to aid in finding necessary information. These manuals contain a numerical listing of possible tags, with the various indicators needed and the subfield codes with their meanings. Because each indicator or subfield code can change meaning with different tags, it is important to have such a manual to keep track of the various options.
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