MARC dialects

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MARC is not one standard, but a whole family of more or less different "dialects". This makes interchange of records complex and cumbersome.

In addition to this, every vendor seems to have implemented their own interpretation of the standards.

And in addition to this every library can/will add local variations to cataloging rules.


In Norway the following dialects are in use:

  • NORMARC, the official standard
  • BSMARC, a subset of NORMARC used by Biblioteksentralen, who sell catalogue records to lots of public libraries
  • BIBSYS-MARC, used by the BIBSYS academic consortium
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