USMARC Concise Bibliographic: Introduction

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.