The Library of Congress >> Especially for Librarians and Archivists >> Standards

MARC Standards

HOME >> MARC Development >> Discussion Paper List


DATE: December 9, 2015

NAME: Designating Matching Information in the MARC 21 Authority Format

SOURCE: German National Library

SUMMARY: This paper discusses a way that information about matching two records can be expressed in the MARC Authority format.

KEYWORDS: Matching information (AD), Fields 8XX (AD), Field 887 (AD)


12/09/15 – Made available to the MARC community for discussion.

01/09/16 – Results of MARC Advisory Committee discussion: The Committee was interested in the new field. It discussed whether the field should be made repeatable to support multiple matches. The scope of the field should be extended to the Bibliographic format. As field number 887 is already in use there, field number 885 is preferred for both formats. Subfield $5 could be added to indicate that a match only relates to a specific institution. The paper will return as a proposal.

Discussion Paper No. 2016-DP12: Designating Matching Information in the Authority Format


When four large authority files used in German speaking countries were merged into one "Integrated Authority File" ("Gemeinsame Normdatei" or "GND") in 2012, MARC 21 was chosen as the format for cataloging, with some additions and modifications, based on cataloging traditions in German speaking countries. On the level of the exchange format, librarians have encountered the use of several local fields and subfields. After three years of consolidation, these elements have been evaluated to determine their potential appeal as part of the MARC 21 communication standard. Based on the evaluation results, the German National Library presents a series of discussion papers.


When batch data is imported into the GND, a matching routine is called. The incoming records are matched against the existing records. When, based on specific criteria, a possible match is found, a new field is added to the incoming record to assist the catalogers in checking whether the match is a valid one. The field contains:

Catalogers can search for all incoming records based on the information, work through the list of matching candidates, and resolve the issues.

The field is a temporary field, i.e. after the issue has been checked and resolved, usually either the field is deleted (in case of a non-match), or the record as a whole is deleted (in case of a match).

Up to now, the information is kept in a Pica field; non-standardized flat textual lists are created. Being able to exchange the information in MARC Authority records would be beneficial, and would improve workflows between GND partners and the DNB.

To accommodate the information, a new field in the 8XX block "Other Variable Fields" may be created:

Field number: 8XX (possibly "887") - Matching information (NR)

First Indicator: # - Undefined

Second Indicator: # - Undefined

Subfield Codes

$a - Matching process and portion (NR)
$b - Status of matching and its checking (NR)
       "M" - Match (records are to be merged)
       "P" - Possible Match (matching candidate, to be resolved)
       "N" - New (not a match, new records to be kept)
       (additional codes may be created and used)
$c - Confidence value (NR)
$d - Note (NR)
$0 - Authority record control number or standard number (NR)
$2 - Source (NR)


Existing record (abbreviated):

001 123158621
003 DE-101
005 20121025115557.0
024 7# $a$2uri
035 ## $a(DE-588)123158621
040 ## $aDE-384$9r:DE-384$bger$d0180
100 1# $aGedult von Jungenfeld, Edmund$d1652-1727
400 1# $aJungenfeld, Edmund Gedult ˜vonœ$d1652-1727
400 1# $aGedult von Jungenfeld, Johann Edmund$d1652-1727
400 1# $aJungenfeld, Johann Edmund Gedult ˜vonœ$d1652-1727

Incoming record (abbreviated), with matching information in field 887:

001 1051216958
003 DE-101
005 20140516155801.0
024 7# $a$2uri
035 ## $a(DE-588)1051216958
040 ## $aDE-929$9r:DE-605$bger$d9999
100 1# $aGedult von Jungenfeld, Johann Edmund$d1652-1727
375 ## $a1$2iso5218
400 1# $aGedult von Jungenfeld, Johann Edmund Freiherr$d1652-1727
887 ## $aGNDIMPTP$bP$c69.231$0(DE-588)123158621$2gnd


Impact would be on MADSRDF.  A special property could be added, perhaps to AdminMetadata.


5.1. Is the need of designating matching candidates in the MARC Authority format clearly given?

5.2. Is the field 887 a feasible solution? Can the design of the field be improved?

5.3. Are there any potential problems that should be taken into account?

HOME >> MARC Development >> Discussion Paper List

The Library of Congress >> Especially for Librarians and Archivists >> Standards
( 03/03/2016 )
Legal | External Link Disclaimer Contact Us