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Changing for International Formats and Codes (MARC 21, AACR2)

Work packages

Layout of the different models and scenarios

Different models and scenarios for a migration to AACR and MARC were developed. The option of staying with RAK and MAB was also considered. In the run-up to the project, libraries and cataloguing networks were surveyed about their system requirements and other conditions they may have for a change to MARC 21.

Fragebogen zur Datenerhebung in Verbünden und Bibliotheken (PDF, 16KB, Not barrier-free file.)

Comparison of the codes

The cataloguing codes were compared, especially with regard to areas where the consequences of adopting a new code would be particularly relevant. These are among others headings for names of persons and names of corporate bodies, the differentiation of names of persons, transliteration, and split entries. This comparison included the Library of Congress Rule Interpretations as well as the cataloguing practices of the Library of Congress. The analyses were carried out in cooperation with the expert groups for descriptive cataloguing, PND, and GKD, with ZDB, AGDBT, and external experts. Former surveys e.g. the results of the Reuse project were taken into account.

Comparison of the formats

The formats were compared, especially with regard to the hierarchies of multipart volumes, to codes, and to the interoperability of the mandatory fields. For this comparison, the project cooperated with the expert groups Descriptive cataloguing and MAB (now Data formats) as well as with external experts. Already existing mappings and the results of the Reuse project were taken into account.

Analysis of the current cataloguing

The effects of a transition on current cataloguing practices were investigated. The differences in creating bibliographic records with RAK and MAB vs. AACR and MARC were looked at. This comparison was carried out cooperatively with the libraries. However, the project also looked into the extent of the use of copy cataloguing and of the participation of the libraries and cataloguing networks in the field of international cooperation.

Examination of the future development of AACR and MARC, and of other projects in the library sector, and of further (non library related) standards

As AACR and the MARC format were subject to be reviewed as well, their revision plans were followed and taken into account. Reforms of the cataloguing code in respect to continuing resources, electronic resources, the revisions of the ISBDs, the Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records, and the effects of their realisation on AACR and MARC were considered. Developments in international projects like the virtual international authority file for names of persons, the ISST, and new formats like XML were observed and taken into account. Foreign experts contributed to the research process. The contacts of Die Deutsche Bibliothek to the Library of Congress, IFLA, the Joint Steering Committee for the Revision of AACR, the LIBER MARC 21 Interest Group, and to MARC Steering Committee were drawn on. One of the important objectives of these research was to get a reliable statement on the stability of the international standards.

Abschlussbericht des Teilprojekts Stabilität der Zielsysteme (PDF, 234KB, Not barrier-free file.)

Consequences arising out of a migration for other parts of the library

The consequences of a migration for the workflow in cataloguing departments and other departments of a library, e.g. acquisitions, lending, and the document delivery were investigated. The effects on OPACs and library users were considered as well.


An external consultant was recruited for the cost calculation of the migration. Amongst others, the costs for purchasing new IT systems or for upgrading existing ones were considered. They were calculated according to varying migration models. Moreover, the costs resulting from a migration e.g. for adaptations of interfaces to the MARC format as well as training of staff were determined. The costs that would be incurred by not migrating e.g. not being able to benefit from copy cataloguing and cooperative workwere were also assessed. Adaptations of IT systems to the MAB structure as well as for adaptations of MARC data to the MAB format were evaluated. In this context, not only the international exchange of data was considered but also the data exchange between MAB databases. For this reason a list of deliverables for the consultant was prepared.

Leistungsverzeichnis (PDF, 39KB, Not barrier-free file.)
Abschlussbericht des Teilprojekts Wirtschaftlichkeitsuntersuchung (PDF, 1MB, Not barrier-free file.)


Fragenkatalog der Firma Kienbaum (PDF, 23KB, Not barrier-free file.)
Auszug aus der Deutschen Bibliotheksstatistik (PDF, 1MB, Not barrier-free file.)
Rechenmodell für die Wirtschaftlichkeitsuntersuchung (PDF, 375KB, Not barrier-free file.)

Perspectives of time

Variable calculations for the scheduling of a migration were made depending on the migration model.

Last update: 26.09.2014

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