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60th IFLA General Conference - Conference Proceedings - August 21-27, 1994

IFLA CORE Programme for Universal Bibliographic Control and International MARC (UBCIM)
Report on Activities 1993 1994

Marie France Plassard
Programme Officer



The UBCIM Programme coordinates activities aimed at the development of systems and standards for bibliographic control at the national level and the international exchange of bibliographic data. It provides support for IFLA activities in the field and publishes relevant reports from IFLA working groups. It also seeks to promote the UNIMARC format and to ensure its maintenance through a group of e xperts: the Permanent UNIMARC Committee. The Programme is especially involved with the work of the Division of Bibliographic Control (Division IV) and its component sections, as well as that of the Section of Information Technology.

Activities 1993 1994

I. UBC Projects in Cooperation with the Division of Bibliographic Control

A. Revision of Names of Persons

The revision was undertaken in 1992 by the former Chair of the Section on Bibliography, Françoise Bourdon, who had previously completed a study on international cooperation in the field of authority data in the framework of a Vosper Fellowship. The results of a preliminary survey were discussed during a workshop in New Delhi. The project was entrusted to a consultant in June 1994 and it is hoped that the draft will be ready by spring 1995 for worldwide review.

B. Guidelines for Subject Authority and Reference Entries

These guidelines, developed by a Working Group of the IFLA Section on Classification and Indexing, were published in 1993 and constitute volume 12 of the UBCIM publications new series.

C. International Conference on National Bibliographic Services

The Division of Bibliographic Control (in cooperation with other professional entities of IFLA) plans to organize this conference 20 years after the Congress on National Bibliographies which was held in Paris in 1977 under Unesco auspices. It will take place in 1997 in Copenhagen. The UBCIM Programme will obviously be involved in this project. The Programme Officer is a member of the Steering Com mittee which is meeting this week.


A. Permanent UNIMARC Committee

One of the tasks of the UBCIM Office is to act as secretariat to the committee of experts in charge of the maintenance and promotion of the UNIMARC format, the Permanent UNIMARC Committee (PUC), as well as clearing house for all UNIMARC queries.

The PUC, created in 1991, has been most active in responding to various requests related to additions and changes in the format, in producing guidelines for special materials and in preparing a new updated version of the UNIMARC Manual which was published in a looseleaf edition in July 1994 (see list of publications below). UNIMARC Guidelines No. 1 (Component Parts, Journal Articles and Articles in Books) and No. 2 (Microforms) have been completed and are available from the UBCIM Programme free of charge.

The PUC also completed a list of errata to UNIMARC Authorities, available from the UBCIM Programme and published in our quarterly journal International Cataloguing and Bibliographic Control (ICBC), 23(3). The need for a little booklet giving an introduction to UNIMARC had been felt and consequently a member of the PUC, Brian Holt, from the British Library, compiled UNIMARC: an Introduction, which gives a brief history of UNIMARC, considers its record structure, content designation and data content, as well as explaining the anatomy of a UNIMARC record (bibliographic and authorities). This is also available free of charge from the UBCIM Office.

Requests for training have been received from different countries by the UBCIM Office which is investigating ways to respond to them. A member of the PUC, Mirna Willer (National and University Library, Zagreb, Croatia), was sent to Lithuania in October 1993 to provide UNIMARC training to several institutions. She was sponsored by the UBCIM Programme and the National Library of Lithuania.

The PUC held its fifth meeting, hosted by the British Library, on 7 8 March 1994 in London. Apart from the projects already mentioned, other items discussed were relations with European UNIMARC related projects, for example the Consortium of European Research Libraries, DGXIII projects, UNIMARC promotion through workshops, and the creating of additional guidelines and documents. These include gui delines for old monographic publications (antiquarian) and for the description of computer files and documents on alternative linking techniques and on UNIMARC minimal level record. As already mentioned, the UBCIM Office serves as secretariat for the PUC and all queries and comments should be sent to:

Marie France Plassard IFLA UBCIM Programme c/o Die Deutsche Bibliothek Zeppelinallee 4 8 D 60325 Frankfurt Fax number: +49 69 7566224/476


The aim of the UNIBASE project, launched in 1992, was to produce a sample database of UNIMARC records using CDS/ISIS software (distributed free of charge by Unesco), in support of the educational objectives of the UBCIM Programme. The project was contracted to the Instituto da Biblioteca Nacional e do Livro (and, more specifically, to Fernanda Campos, Chair of the Permanent UNIMARC Committee), wh ich had experience in using UNIMARC and had developed an application of UNIMARC with the software Mini Micro CDS/ISIS.

UNIBASE contains 150 titles, monographs and serials. They were selected in order to include English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish records; and, in the majority of cases, they reflect works held by a great number of libraries: bibliographies, catalogues, and other reference tools, as well as IFLA and Unesco publications. UNIBASE provides the following facilities that CDS/ISIS al lows:

Ä searching (author, title, subject, boolean)

Ä displaying (UNIMARC, ISBD, abbreviated public labelled format).

As a demonstration database it does not include the facilities to edit and update records but only to search, display and print. The demo diskette is accompanied by a small instruction manual. UNIBASE is distributed by the IFLA UBCIM Programme at a price of DM 20 or 8. It is free for developing countries. It has been demonstrated at UBC/UNIMARC workshops in Budapest (June 1993), Barcelona (August 1993), Dakar (November 1993) and Vilnius (June 1994).

C. List of UNIMARC Users

The UBCIM Programme is currently compiling a list of UNIMARC users and experts. A questionnaire was sent in April 1993 to a preliminary list comprising 50 institutions, essentially national libraries. It is planned to send it to a wider range of libraries and documentation centres in 1994. When the list is completed it is hoped, among other things, to identify which institutions having expertise in UNIMARC could serve as training centres.

III. Workshops on UBC and UNIMARC

Since the last IFLA Conference the following seminars and workshops were held:

A. UBC/UNIMARC workshop for francophone Africans, Dakar, 22 26 November 1993

This workshop was organized with the collaboration of the Regional Office for Africa and sponsored by the AUPELF (Association des Universités Partiellement ou Entièrement de Langue Française) and by the BIEF (Banque d'Information Internationale des Etats Francophones) who supported the travel expenses of representatives from Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Côte d'Ivoir e, Gabon, Guinée, Mali, Rwanda and Togo. There were four participants from the hosting country, Senegal. The Director of the IFLA Regional Office for Africa and his staff took care of all travel arrangements and hotel accommodation for participants and provided the meeting room and other facilities. Françoise Bourdon (Bibliothèque Nationale de France) had been in charge of th e professional content which included an overview of the ISBDs, a presentation of the UNIMARC format, as well as practical training in cataloguing monographs and serials in UNIMARC with the CDS/ISIS software. Françoise Bourdon and Philippe Le Pape (a French UNIMARC expert) provided the training with the help of Alioune Thioune (from the Library of the Université Cheikh Anta Diop, Da kar) who dealt with CDS/ISIS software questions.

B. UBC/UNIMARC International Seminar, Vilnius, Lithuania, 2 4 June 1994

This seminar was organized by the UBCIM Programme and the Division of Bibliographic Control in collaboration with the National Library of Lithuania and sponsored largely by the Soros Foundation. Among the participants (around one hundred) were representatives from the Baltic States, Scandinavia and Russia as well as international IFLA experts. It was the first seminar of this kind to include pres entations on ISBN and ISSN by the directors of the international agencies.

C. Forthcoming Workshops

It is planned to hold in February 1995 a workshop for anglophone Africans (on the model used in Dakar) in Accra, Ghana. This is being organized jointly by the ALP and UBCIM Programmes and the Division of Bibliographic Control. The Division and the UBCIM Programme have also been asked to participate in an international seminar on authority files organized by Russian colleagues, planned to be held in Moscow in spring 1995.

IV. Publications

An important part of the UBCIM activities is its publications programme. That programme provides support for IFLA work in the field and publishes relevant reports and proceedings of meetings. It also fosters the translation and publication of IFLA standards in other languages, although it is not directly involved in this activity. Lastly the Programme also publishes a quarterly journal, Internati onal Cataloguing and Bibliographic Control (ICBC).

A. Monographs

These are published and distributed by K.G. Saur. Since the last conference 3 volumes appeared in the UBCIM publications-new series:

Vol. 12. Guidelines for Subject Authority and Reference Entries. Working Group on "Guidelines for Subject Authority Files" of the Section on Classification and Indexing of the IFLA Division of Bibliographic Control. München; New Providence; London; Paris: Saur, 1993. ISBN: 3 598 11180 0

Vol. 13. UNIMARC and CDS/ISIS. Proceedings of the workshops Held in Budapest, 21 22 June 1993 and Barcelona, 26 August 1993. Edited by Marie France Plassard and Marvin Holdt. München; New Providence; London; Paris: Saur, 1994. ISBN: 3 598 11210 6

Vol. 14. UNIMARC Manual. Bibliographic Format. 2nd edition. München; New Providence; London; Paris: Saur, 1994. ISBN: 3 598 11211 4

Volume 15, currently in press, will be the proceedings of the IFLA Satellite meeting on Subject Indexing Principles and Practices in the 90's, held in Lisbon on 17 18 August 1993.

The Vosper 1992 1993 report, The Functioning of CIP, by Georgeta Clinca, National Library of Romania, is available as publication on demand from the IFLA UBCIM Programme.

B. Translations of UBCIM publications

The translations of UBCIM publications into other languages are not published by Saur under the responsibility of the UBCIM Programme but carried out by a coordinating centre (generally but not exclusively the national bibliographic agency of the country). For each translation planned, the institution concerned should obtain permission from the UBCIM Programme. The following translations were received in 1993 1994:

GARE, in Italian and Spanish.

ISBD (A), (CF) and (CM) in Finnish and Spanish.

ISBD (G) in Czech.

ISBD (M) in Czech, Finnish, Romanian and Spanish.

ISBD (NBM) in Dutch, Finnish and Spanish.

ISBD (PM) in Finnish, Italian and Spanish.

ISBD (S) in Finnish and French.

Guidelines for the Application of the ISBDs to the Description of Component Parts in Finnish and Spanish.

UNIMARC/Authorities in Japanese and Slovene.

UNIMARC Manual in Greek, Lithuanian, Romanian, Russian and Slovak.

C. International Cataloguing and Bibliographic Control (ICBC)

The Programme Officer is editor of this quarterly journal and the Division of Bibliographic Control acts as Advisory Board. There are around 800 subscribers to this publication which is printed and distributed in the United Kingdom.

Recent issues included:

Ä IFLA reports from the Division of Bibliographic Control and the UBCIM Programme, including reports on the workshops in Budapest, Dakar and Rio as well as on the IFLA satellite meetings in Madrid and Lisbon (August 1993).

Ä Reports from other international organizations such as ISBN, ISSN and ISO TC/46.

Ä Papers presented at the sessions of the three component sections of the Division of Bibliographic Control during the IFLA Conference in Barcelona.

Ä Articles on:

the Consortium of European Research Libraries

the implementations of UNIMARC/A in the Croatian Library and Information System

the South African MARC (SAMARC)

and book reviews of publications on cataloguing computer files, cataloguing in UNIMARC, subject access to video and films, etc.

V. Relations with Other Organizations Coordination and Clearing house Role

The UBCIM Programme Officer represents IFLA (in agreement with IFLA Headquarters) at meetings of international organizations, some of which she regularly liaises with:



Ä ISO TC/46 SC 9

A substantial part of UBCIM activities entails responding to the needs of relevant IFLA professional groups, sending them drafts for worldwide review, publishing the results of their studies as well as acting as a clearing house for information on IFLA endeavours in the field. The UBCIM Programme Officer attends meetings of the Coordinating Board of the Division of Bibliographic Control (the CB m et in Frankfurt in April 1994). The role of Secretariat to the PUC has already been noted.