The USMARC Format for Authority Data is designed to be a carrier for authoritative information concerning the standard forms of names and subjects to be used as access points on bibliographic records, the forms of these names and subjects that should be used as references to the standard forms, and the interrelationships among these forms. A name may be used as a main, added, subject added, or series added entry in bibliographic records. The term name refers to:
- Personal names
- Corporate names
- Meeting names
- Names of jurisdictions
- Name/title combinations
- Uniform titles
A subject may be used as a subject added entry in bibliographic records. The term subject refers to:
- Topical subject terms
- Geographic names (X51)
- Names with subject subdivision terms
- Terms and names used as subject subdivision terms
The USMARC Format for Authority Data also provides authoritative information concerning the standard terms used as node labels in the systematic section of a thesaurus to indicate the logical basis on which a category has been divided. A node label is not used in bibliographic records.
Kinds of Authority Records
USMARC authority records are distinguished from all other types of USMARC records by code z (Authority data) in Leader/06, Type of record. The USMARC Format for Authority Data further identifies seven kinds of authority records in 008/09, Kind of record:
- Established heading record
- A record in which the 1XX field contains an established heading. An established heading record may also contain tracing fields for variant and related headings and notes recording such information as the sources used to establish the heading and series treatment.
- Reference record
- A record in which the 1XX field contains an unestablished heading. The record also contains either a 260 (Complex See Reference Subject), a 664 (Complex See Reference Name), or a 666 (General Explanatory Reference Name) field to guide the user to an established heading. Separate codes are defined in 008/09 for traced and untraced reference records. The distinction depends upon whether the 1XX heading in the record is also traced as a 4XX see from tracing in an established heading record.
- Subdivision record
- A record in which the 1XX field contains an unestablished partial heading that is meant to be used as a subject subdivision part of an established heading.
- Established heading and subdivision record
- A record in which the 1XX field contains an established heading that may also be used as a subject subdivision with another established heading. (An organization may choose to create instead separate established heading and subdivision records.)
- Reference and subdivision record
- A record in which the 1XX field contains an unestablished heading that may be used as a reference term and as a subject subdivision with an established heading. (An organization may choose to create instead separate reference and subdivision records.)
- Node label record
- A record in which the 1XX field contains a term that is meant to be used in the systematic section of a thesaurus to indicate the logical basis on which a category has been divided. The term is not an established heading and is not assigned to documents as an indexing term.
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Organization of the Electronic Version of the Concise Format
This electronic concise format is organized into parts
that generally mirror the tabbed sections of the full printed
format documentation. Each part is divided into chapters that
usually cover a single field and all the data elements
possible within it (that is, character positions for
fixed-length fields and indicators and subfield codes for
variable length fields). The Leader and the Directory are
described in the first main part, followed by parts
containing the variable control fields and variable data
fields arranged in numerical field tag order.
Obsolete and deleted content designators are not listed. They are found the full printed version of the format and in the electronic MARC field lists.