The USMARC Format for Bibliographic Data is designed to be a carrier for bibliographic information about printed and manuscript textual materials, computer files, maps, music, serials, visual materials, and mixed materials. Bibliographic data commonly includes titles, names, subjects, notes, publication data, and information about the physical description of an item. The bibliographic format contains data elements for the following types of material:
- textual material that is monographic in nature.
- Computer files
- information encoded in a manner that allows it to be processed by a computer or related machine, including both data stored in machine-readable form and the programs used to process that data.
- all types of cartographic materials, including sheet maps and globes.
- printed music, manuscript music, nonmusical sound recordings, and musical sound recordings.
- items with a recurring pattern of publication, e.g., periodicals, newspapers, yearbooks.
- Visual materials
- projected media, two-dimensional graphics, three-dimensional artifacts or naturally occurring objects, and kits. Used for archival visual materials when format or medium is being emphasized.
- Mixed materials
- primarily archival and manuscript collections of a mixture of forms of material. Material may be monographic or serial in nature.
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.