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63rd IFLA General Conference - Conference Programme and Proceedings - August 31- September 5, 1997

IFLA Core Programme for Universal Bibliographic Control and International MARC (UBCIM)
Report on activities 1996-1997

Marie-France Plassard,
Programme Officer

Since the last IFLA Conference, the IFLA UBCIM Programme continued to act within IFLA as focal point for the promotion of standards for bibliographic control at the national level and the international exchange of data, coordinating relevant activities in the field . The Programme put a special emphasis on authority control, as well as attending to one of its major goals, the maintenance and promotion of the UNIMARC format, ensured through a group of experts, the Permanent UNIMARC Committee.


A. Authority Control

1. IFLA Working Group on Minimal Level Authority Record and the ISADN
This Working Group, created in May 1996, produced in autumn 1996 a matrix of essential elements to be included for internationally accessed/shared data, in various formats, e.g. UNIMARC, AAAFMARC, BIMARC(A), FINMARC and USMARC. The draft was circulated to commentators and subsequently revised and discussed at a meeting of the WG scheduled at the National and University Library of Helsinki, Finland on 28 April. Recommendations to the Permanent UNIMARC Committee and to the Group in charge of the revision of the Guidelines for Authority and Reference Entries (GARE) will be forwarded by the end of the year. The Group is meeting with the GARE WG later this week.

2. Names of Persons
The revision was published in autumn 1996 in the UBCIM Publications - New Series as volume 16 and is available from K.G.Saur.

B. International Conference on National Bibliographic Services (ICNBS)

This conference, which will commemorate the Congress on National Bibliographies held in Paris in 1977, is organized by the Division of Bibliographic Control and the UBCIM Programme in cooperation with other relevant IFLA Groups. It is scheduled to take place (on invitation only) in the Royal Library in Copenhagen in November 1998. The Planning Committee met yesterday.

C. Other Projects

The UBCIM Programme is naturally involved in relevant sections projects, circulating drafts for worldwide review and publishing reports and studies from various working groups. The ISBD(CF) now ISBD(ER), Electronic Resources, was circulated for balloting in the spring and is scheduled for publication at the end of this year. The revised draft of Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (circulated for worldwide review in 1996) will be presented to the Section on Cataloguing this week and its publication will be discussed. The first phase of the revision of Anonymous Classics (European Countries) is completed and the draft will be available from UBCIM as publication on demand. Principles Underlying Subject Heading Languages (SHL) was circulated by UBCIM in the spring for worldwide review. Division IV and the UBCIM Programme are also planning, in cooperation with the ALP Programme, UBC/UNIMARC Seminars in Mexico (November 1997) and Malaysia (March 1998), depending on funding.


The office continued to act as secretariat to the Permanent UNIMARC Committee and as clearing house for all UNIMARC proposals and queries.

A. Permanent UNIMARC Committee

The Permanent UNIMARC Committee, in charge of the maintenance and promotion of UNIMARC, held its eighth meeting in Zagreb, Croatia, hosted by the National and University Library, on 20-21 March. Elections took place and the committee comprises 9 standing members representing the national libraries of Croatia, France and Portugal, the British Library, the Library of Congress, ICCU in Rome, the National Public Library for Science and Technology in Moscow, the Deutsche Bibliothek and the National Diet Library in Japan. The new Chair of the PUC is Ms. Mirna Willer, National and University Library, Zagreb and the Vice Chair is Mr. Brian Holt, British Library. Eleven corresponding members represent the national libraries of Canada, China, Greece and India, the Royal Library of Belgium, and the Royal Library of the Netherlands, the State Library in South Africa and four organizations: Book Industry Communication, London, ISSN International Centre, the Secretariat of ISO TC 46 and last but not least OCLC, which joined in January.

Items on the agenda included the linking block 4xx, the addition of new fields for Unicode, ISMN and ISRN, as well as the creation of a UNIMARC classification format and the revision of UNIMARC/A.

The second update of the UNIMARC Manual, Bibliographic, is scheduled to be published in autumn 1997.

The PUC continues to prepare guidelines for special kinds of materials. Guideline 3: Older Monographic Publications (Antiquarian) appeared in 1996. Guidelines for Minimal Level and Multi-level Description are being finalized. Guidelines are available free of charge from the UBCIM office whereas the UNIMARC Manual and its updates are distributed by K.G.Saur.

B. UNIMARC Consultancy and Seminars in Russia, March

A UNIMARC consultancy and UNIMARC Seminars were organized during the first week of March under the auspices of the UBCIM Programme in collaboration with the Russian National Library in St. Petersburg and the National Public Library for Science and Technology in Moscow. The Permanent UNIMARC Committee was represented by Ms. Mirna Willer (National and University Library, Zagreb) and Mr. Brian Holt (British Library) as well as Mr.Yakov Shraiberg in Moscow. The Programme Officer represented IFLA UBCIM.

In St. Petersburg a seminar the first day was attended by some 50 participants from the region during which PUC members and the UBCIM Programme Officer presented the main activities of the Programme, UNIMARC based projects of the European Commission, the UNIMARC Manual, latest update and developments to the UNIMARC format, as well as UNIMARC/Authorities and IFLA actions in the field of international exchange of authority records. The second day was entirely devoted to consultations with specialists of the Russian National Library and developers of the Russian national communication format based on UNIMARC.

In Moscow, the seminar was attended by around 80 participants from major libraries in Moscow but also from institutions in Belarus, Lithuania and the Ukraine. Presentations were the same as in St. Petersburg with the addition of reports from host library specialists on UNIMARC and CDS/ISIS, the development of a USMARC-UNIMARC converter and others.

C. Workshop within Crimea 97, Sudak, Ukraine, June

At the time of writing a full programme is not available. Presentations will include the latest developments in UNIMARC, Project UseMARCON, the converter USMARC-UNIMARC and the draft RUSMARC based on UNIMARC.

D. Future Projects

The UBCIM Programme and the PUC will make a concise UNIMARC available on the Web very soon. This will be on the IFLANET where UNIMARC: An Introduction is already accessible. A Working Group to draft a UNIMARC Classification format is to be appointed during the IFLA Conference. As previously mentioned, the revision of UNIMARC/A is being actively considered. Lastly, the Programme intends to contact a wide range of institutions later this year in order to update its International List of UNIMARC Users (published in ICBC, 1995,24(4).

III. Publications

The publication programme continued to play an important part in UBCIM activities.

A. Monographs

The UBCIM new series (K.G.Saur) launched in 1990, comprises 16 volumes so far. Volume 16, Names of Persons, National Usages for Entry in Catalogues, fourth enlarged revised edition appeared after the IFLA Conference in Beijing. The second update to the UNIMARC Manual and the already mentioned ISBD(ER) are scheduled to be published soon. Future publications include the proceedings of the Workshop on multi-lingual, multi-character issues held during the IFLA Conference in Istanbul and the revised edition of "An Annotated Guide to Current National Bibliographies". The UBCIM office also distributes several reports as publications on demand.

B. Translations of UBCIM Publications

These are carried out by coordinating centres in the countries concerned working in liaison with the UBCIM office. Their work is gratefully acknowledged as they promote our standards worldwide. I should like to remind you that for each translation planned, the coordinating centre should apply to UBCIM for permission. A new coordinating centre was appointed in 1997, for Macedonia at the National and University Library, "Kliment Ohridski" in Skopje.

C. International Cataloguing and Bibliographic Control (ICBC)

The journal continued to publish IFLA reports and conference papers, commissioned papers, news and events and book reviews. In 1996 the amount of unsolicited papers increased substantially and the contributions were generally of a very good quality, furthering the scope of the journal.

As is the case every year, a paper devoted to the country hosting the IFLA Conference appeared in the second 1997 issue, titled "Bibliographic Control in Denmark". A selection of papers presented at the IFLA Conference in Beijing has already been published and further issues will include more. Papers presented at the International Seminar on Authority Files in St. Petersburg (October 1995) appeared in the 3rd and 4th issues. We also published articles on:

IV. Attendance at other meetings

IFLA UBCIM was represented by the Programme Officer at the following meetings (IFLA UBCIM acts as liaison to some of these organizations):

V. Coordination and Clearing-house

UBCIM continued to serve as clearing-house for information on IFLA activities in the field of bibliographic control and for UNIMARC queries. Since the Programme is covered in the IFLANET, this role increased quite substantially, and quite a few orders for publications are received through e-mail. The roles of secretariat to the PUC and cooperation with the Division of Bibliographic Control have already been mentioned, as well as liaison with other international organizations. Lastly, the UBCIM Programme moved to very functional and spacious offices in the new building of the Deutsche Bibliothek. I hope some of you will have the chance to visit us in our new premises.

IFLA UBCIM Programme, Die Deutsche Bibliothek
Adickesallee 1
D - 60322 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Tel.: +49 69 1525 1140/41
Fax: +49 69 1525 1142
e-mail iflaubcim@dbf.ddb.de