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MAB (Maschinelles Austauschformat für Bibliotheken) is an automated exchange format for libraries. All data generated for library purposes can be exchanged using MAB, including bibliographic, authority and local data.

All development and maintenance of MAB (as of 1995 MAB2) ended in 2006 when the format was "frozen". No further changes or additions are therefore possible in MAB. It has been succeeded by MARC 21, the target standard of the "Changeover to MARC 21" project.

The formerly existing Name Authority File (PND), Subject Headings Authority File (SWD) and Corporate Body Authority File (GKD) and the Uniform Title File of the German Music Archive (Deutsches Musikarchiv) have been combined into a single integrated authority file (GND) in 2012. The GND format can only be exchanged using MARC 21.

The delivery of the MAB format ended June 30th 2013.
The import of the MAB format ended December 31st 2013.

The format MAB2 consists of five distinct data formats which are based on a uniform, integrated field structure (Segments0-- (txt, 34KB, Not barrier-free file.)) which is applicable for all formats:

There are also two provisional MAB formats

The MAB Manual contains mandatory rules and numerous examples of how to use the MAB format. The basic edition and a total of four supplements have been issued.

Extensions and alterations (txt, 22KB, Not barrier-free file.) (May 2002 to June 2006, not included in the MAB Manual)

The Data Formats Expert Group (formerly the MAB Committee) was responsible for maintaining MAB2. This work was carried out under the auspices of the German National Library. It is no longer possible to submit requests for changes or additions as the MAB format has been "frozen". Minutes of the meetings of the Data Formats Expert Group are available online.

MARC-Park-Feld (PDF, 27KB, Not barrier-free file.)
Tabelle FRBR - MAB (PDF, 283KB, Not barrier-free file.)
FRBR-Strukturierung von MAB-Daten (PDF, 99KB, Not barrier-free file.)
MAB TITEL in deutscher und englischer Sprache (PDF, 170KB, Not barrier-free file.)
Darstellung von Originalschrift und Umschrift in MAB (PDF, 107KB, Not barrier-free file.)
Zeichenkonkordanz MAB2-Zeichensatz - Unicode / ISO 10646 (PDF, 229KB, Not barrier-free file.)
Konkordanz Dublin Core - MAB (PDF, 30KB, Not barrier-free file.)


MABxml is a version of the MAB format specially developed by the German National Library. MABxml allows MAB2 data sets to be exchanged using an XML structure. It is therefore suitable for XML-based technologies like OAI, SRW/U and XSLT.

More information (in German)

Mailing List: Datenformate

The German National Library has been hosting a Mailingliste Datenformate on dataformats. If interested, please contact Reinhold Heuvelmann.

Last update: 10.09.2014

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