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To Bangkok Conference programme

65th IFLA Council and General

Bangkok, Thailand,
August 20 - August 28, 1999

Code Number: 139-155-E
Division Number: IV
Professional Group: Division of Bibliographic Control
Joint Meeting with: -
Meeting Number: 80
Simultaneous Interpretation:   Yes

Standards for bibliographic control in Thailand

Siriporn Chiruppapa
Library Information Centre
National Library of Thailand
Bangkok, Thailand


Bibliographic control must be going on in parallel with bibliographic standards as the unification of format among libraries incorporated. National Library as national agency of the country plays a great role in modification, formulation and initiation of many standards by its own capability and in collaboration with other networking libraries. This paper is intended to brief those standards initiated by the National Library and some others such as standardized forms for headings, standard bibliographic description, standardized subject headings, standard for classification schemes, standardized format, software application, International Standard Book number, International Standard Serial number and Cataloguing-in-publication etc. It is asserted that bibliographic control and bibliographic standards are there-here in Thailand with active initiation and practice.



The concept of a "standard" in the field of library and information science is interpreted as codes of cataloguing rules, classification schemes and various other documents contained recommendations for good library practice, all of which are subject to varying interpretation. Otherwise for another professionals, standards are extremely precise technical specifications for communication between software and machines in an automated information processing environment.

In Thailand, the libraries and information centers have fully realized the importance of bibliographic standards. National Library and University Libraries have played the role in bringing all libraries together to use the bibliographic standards in accordance with Thai scripts. However, they have been applied and followed the international standards.

To the field of bibliographic standards, there belong not only the rules but also authority files based on them : personal names, corporate names, subject headings, classification schemes, software and standardization form and format etc.

Standardized Forms for Headings

Name of persons, corporate names are the principal authority control. They have been revised and updated in order to suit the need of major bibliograhic databases.

National authority control in Thailand began strengthening by the growth of shared cataloguing and catalogue data bases distribution services.

The National Library of Thailand accepts the responsibility for establishing the authoritative form of authors' name and authoritative lists of the authors both personal and corporate.

In 1994, National Library as the THAI NATIS Secretariate established a Sub-Committee for Coordination of National Standards for Bibliographic Control under the Thai National Information Systems (THAI NATIS).

The Committee had considered the Rules of Entry Name of Persons as follows :

  1. Name of persons :- general names, name of the Kings and Queens, Royal Family, Nobility, names of army ranks, and name of monks.

  2. Rules for the transliteration of Thai names into Roman characters in accordance with the rules of Romanization Guide for Thai Script of the Royal Institute (1968) and Notification of the Royal Institute Concerning the Transcription of Thai Characters into Roman (1954).

  3. Rules for the transcription of foreign names into Thai characters in accordance with the Rules of Transcription of various Langnages of the Royal Institute, it includes 10 Languages : English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Japanese, Arabic, Malay and Hindi language.

These standards have been used in most of the libraries and is supposed to be launched in the form of book in the end of the year 1999.

The Rules of Information and Documentation Transliteration of Thai of the Royal Institute has been already submitted to Technical Committee ISO/TC 46/SC 2, to be approved as the International Standard ISO 11940-1 in June, 1998.

Furthermore, the Working Group on Cataloguing and Classification under the Sub-Committee of Academic Library Development has been working for created and expanded corporate names.

The National Library has been working for created and expanded uniform titles concern the Tripitaka and Thai literature.

Standard Bibliographic Description

The library catalog is a bibliographic control device providing a record of materials. Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules, 2nd edition (AACR II) is modified as a guide to cataloguing different kinds of materials, i.e, books, pamphlets, printed sheets, cartographic materials, manuscripts, music, sound recordings, motion pictures, videorecordings, graphic materials, computer files, three-dimensional artifacts, microforms and serials.

National Library, leading government and private university libraries and major special libraries maintain the AACR II as the basis of their works up to now, along with Thai scripts. Some of the rules offer flexible modification to their need. Most of libraries have translated AACR II into Thai language, and also the lecturers in the Faculty of Library and Information Sciences of the Universities have been translated AACR II into Thai as their manuals and as the texts for the students.

ISBD covers only description, not headings which gives an access to the collections. Some libraries use ISBD.

As the National Library has a large collections of manuscripts in Thailand, the standard format of registration for ancient scripts and languages is to be treated with special modification and formulated rules for making lists, catalog and index cards.

The standard format consists of the following items :

  • Uniform title
  • author.
  • title.
  • phuk (volume number), letter, language trace of writing, pages, line-number, ages, length, width, thick, donor and the history of manuscripts.

This standard is adopted by the monastic libraries throughout the country.

Standardized Subject Headings

Access to documents is not only meant to provide formal bibliographic description but also to utilized that for subject access. Having a standard system have been highly appreciated and recognized in both monolingual and multilingual bibliographic control.

The library of Congress Subject Headings is being used by the National Library and university libraries. Some libraries which consider LCSH unsuitable or impractical may use standard lists like Medical Subject Headings, Sear List Subject Headings and other thesauri.

Working Group on Cataloging and Classification of the Sub-Committee of Academic Library Development has worked out for the creation of Subject Headings for Thai Books, and consequently 1st edition was published in 1985, 2nd edition was published in 1989 and the 3rd edition was published in 1995. This manual is popularly used in academic libraries and several libraries throughout the country.

"Thai Medical Subject Headings" was published in 1982 by the Central Library, Mahidol University. This manual was translated from the Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) of the National Library of Medicine, U.S.A, providing Thai Subject Headings and English equivalent terms. The 2nd edition was published in 1990.

Geographical names which concern all of the capitals and countries in the world, 76 provinces as well as all districts in Thailand, the manual of The Royal Institute has been generally applied.

There are more than 30 Committee were established by the Royal Institute of which Sub-Committee are responsible for the creation of dictionaries and terminologies in specific fields. So these terms could be selected for the subject headings, or sometime the subject specialists would be consulted.

Most libraries and information centres have also created and expanded their own subjects headings lists for their use. Special libraries prefer to use thesauri which might be more suitable for their special collections.

The National Library is preparing Islamic Subject Headings, for which specialists in Islamism have been consulted. After completion, this work will be launched in the end of August, 1999.

Standard for Classification Schemes

Though Library of Congress Classification Scheme (LC) and Dewey Decimal Classification Scheme (DDC) are widely used in Thai libraries, yet both of them provide not sufficient notations for local subjects such as Buddhism, Islamism, geogaphy, history, language, literature, culture and folklore. So modification of both schemes to suit local variation is to be formulated.

The followings are examples :

University libraries rendered LC classification scheme into Thai vertion, while Library and Information Centre, National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA) added more classification numbers to social science and Thailandia.

National Library created and expanded DDC scheme for every aspects of Thailandia including Thai Buddhism and Hinduism.

Besides, the National Library created and published the manuals which concern the part of classification as follows :

  • Classification of Book on Buddhism.
  • Thai Author table of the National Library of Thailand, 4th ed. is published in 1999.

This manual is popularly practiced by other libraries in the country. Furthermore, Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University has formulated the rules for classification of educational media for instruction, which are of a large collections of texts and audiovisual materials in this University.

National Library of Medicine Classification has been created and used for their own library and other medical libraries in the country.

Standardized Format

Many Standardized Formats have been developed for encoding data in machine-readable form. Those standards are such like MARC (Machine Readable Cataloguing) formats having played an overwhelming contribution in library automation and data exchange.

US MARC Format for Bibliographic Data is designed to be a carrier for bibliographic information about printed and manuscript textual materials, serials, computer files, maps, music, visual materials, and mixed materials.

US MARC services are widespread and the format has been used by such efficient, big producers as the National Library, university libraries, Informational Technology Department, Bank of Thailand and other major special libraries as a basis for their bibliographic services.

ISO 3297 concerns Documentation - International Standard Serial Numbering (ISSN) used in ISSN procedure. The ISSN is applicable to the entire population of serials, wheter past, present or to be published in the foreseeable future. The purpose of this International Standard is to define and promote the use of a standard code (ISSN) for the unique identification of serial publications.

Software application in libraries and information centers.

Libraries and information centers in Thailand have introduced automated computer system since twenty years ago. At earlier, most of them used Micro CDS/ISIS with some of them developed their own application software using data base management software i.e. dBASE. At present, most libraries have acquired library management software package such as DYNIX, HORIZON, INNOPAC, VTLS, etc. The National Library of Thailand has adopted DYNIX, which was the first enable Thai characters capabilities of library management software package. As of July 1999, there are 12 DYNIX, 7 HORIZON, 15 INNOPAC, 6 VTLS installation in Thailand. At the meanwhile, university libraries have also adopted INNOPAC. There are about 400 libraries and information centers using various versions and platforms of CDS/ISIS such as Micro CDS/ISIS, WINISIS and WEBSIS, etc.

The National Library of Thailand also use Micro CDS/ISIS and associated program, developed by ISSN International Center in Paris, called OSIRIS to manage Southeast Asia Regional ISSN database. Besides, the Clearing House for PGI documents and publications in Asia and the Pacific Oceania area has been created PGI documents and publications database by using CDS/ISIS since 1988. Detailed bibliographic information, abstracts and descriptors (using Unesco Thesaurus - A structured list of descriptors for indexing and retrieving literature in the field of education, science, social science, culture and communication) are given for each entry in this database.

As the National Library is reponsible for assigning ISBN for books published in Thailand since 1977, detailed bibliographic information of books assigned ISBN have been recorded and input into computer since 1989 (B.E. 2532). CDS/ISIS has been used to process monthly list of New Books assigned ISBN or the forthcoming books on ACER PC. The list has been distributed as acquisitions guide throughout the country.

Another library to be mentioned here is the library, Faculty of Medicine Chulalongkorn University Library that succeeds in using Micro CDS/ISIS to manage library databases. Centre of Academic Resources, Chulalongkorn University is the representative of Unesco to distribute the CDS/ISIS to the users.

National Library and Bibliographic Control

Bibliographic control is a means both to acquire and to locate bibliographic materials for libraries, especially national library of any country with the purposes of their collection and for national, regional and international cooperations. To this regard National Library of Thailand has incorporate the following projects :

1. International Standard Book Number (ISBN)

Since 1977, the National Lirary of Thailand has been responsible for assigning ISBN to books published in Thailand. Detailed bibliographic information on books assigned their ISBN have been recorded and computerized since 1989. The software program CDS/ISIS has been used to process the Monthly List of new books assigned their ISBN. The Monthly List has been distributed as acquisition guide for libraries throughout the country.

2. International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

The International Serials Data System Regional Centre for Southeast Asia (ISDS-SEA) was established in 1976. It is a cooperative project for the creation and maintenance of the regional data base containing essential information for the identification of serials of the participating countries, i.e. Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. It works in collaboration with the ISDS International Centre in Paris and other centres worldwide. The National Library of Thailand acts as the ISDS-SEA Regional Centre and National Centre for Thailand, and also controls and assigns the International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) for serials published in Thailand. It also issues the ISSN-SEA Bulletin.

3. Cataloguing in Publication (CIP)

The cataloguing-in-publication service has been provided for publishers to the coming printed materials. The number of materials required for pre-publication cataloguing by publishers are increased year by year.

Bibliographic Networks

The standards of bibliographic control as mentioned above have been agreed upon by various bibliographic networks as the followings :

National Library

There are 3 libraries in Bangkok and 17 branches in the Provinces having adopted the same bibliographic standards.


The National Library was assigned to act as THAI NATIS Secretariat. THAI NATIS network includes 6 information centers : Agriculture, Economics, Humanities, Medical Science, Science and Technology and Social Science.

Public Libraries

Public libraries in Thailand belong to the Non-Formal Education Department, under the Ministry of Education, with exception of public libraries in Bangkok which are operated by the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration.

At present, there are 12 Bangkok Metropolitan Administration public libraries.

Public libraries organized by Department of Non-Formal Education are as follows :

Provincial Public Libraries are situated in the Amphoe Muang (central district) of each province. There are 76 provincial public libraries.

67 District Public Libraries are being constructed to mark the 36th birthday of Princess Mahachakri Sirindhon who has been taking active part in rural development.

Academic Libraries

Provincial University Library Network (PULINET) has been established in 1986, comprising of 18 academic libraries

Thai Academic Library Network (THAILINET(M)

THAILINET (M) is a project for the development of national university library network in Bangkok Metropolitan. THAILINET (M) comprises of 12 academic libraries.

Library cooperations under the Ministry of Education

The libraries of Rajabhat Institutes have created a computer networks to serve 36 major Teacher's Colleges throughout the country.

The libraries of Rajamangala Institutes of Technology have created a computer networks to serve 35 major Technology's Colleges throughout the country.

Library cooperations between private institutions

Cooperation among libraries of private institutions started in 1985 as the Libraries of Private Academic Institutions Group, formerly known as the Association of Private Academic Institution of Thailand and then was changed the name into the "Sub-committee for the Development of Private Academic Institution Libraries". At present, the Sub-committee comprises of directors and head librarians from 26 private institutions.


In the age of globalization, information technology plays a great role in communication. Library as one means of communication between thaught-embodied materials and users ; and between or among various libraries to incorporate their cooperation both for collection and service, bibliographic control and standards have to be emphasized. Without bibliographic standards a library or information centre is nothing but a closed stack room. It is obviously that every country tries to initiate and take part in bibliographic control and standard.

Taking Thailand into consideration, many big libraries or a group of them have launched many projects to adopt, modify and formulate bibliographic standards for practice. National Library of Thailand plays a great role in this regard. Many projects and programmes have been initiated and worked out for more practicable standardized formats as outlined above. However, to carry on the task with efficiency, cooperation among libraries at national, regional and international levels is highly appraised.


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