Monday, May 16, 2011

The MARC pilot project final report by Henriette D. Avram (1968) 173 p.

The MARC pilot project final report by Henriette D. Avram (1968) 173 p.

A bit of history today. The MARC pilot project launched library cataloging into the digital era in 1968. We are still using the MARC format today, but it is widely understood to be ready (or long overdue) for replacement.

As we bid to leave the MARC format behind, Avram's report on the pilot project is well worth perusing.

My employer, Yale University Library, was one of the participating libraries.

As I have continued to think about this today, I re-read Roy Tenant's 2004 article, A Bibliographic Metadata Infrastructure for the 21st Century in which Tenant broadly identifies ways we must "assimilate MARC into a broader, richer, more diverse set of tools, standards, and protocols." Tenant sees that we don't need another bibliographic format, we need an infrastructure that accommodates wide diversity in formats. This is an excellent article. Well worth reading for its application to our current situation nearly a decade after he wrote it.

We do need a replacement for MARC, one that will be better suited to the infrastructure Tenant outlines. The Network Development and MARC Standards Office at the Library of Congress, the Standards division at the Library and Archives Canada and the Bibliographic & Metadata Standards section at the British Library, the maintenance agencies staffed to care for MARC, should initiate a MARC replacement project.

No comments:

Post a Comment