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INTERMARC Format

Some of the bibliographic services and products supplied by the BnF make it possible to download bibliographic and authority records in INTERMARC, i.e., in the format in which the BnF creates its data in the catalogue général de la BnF:

INTERMARC Bibliographic - Presentation

version 9, December 2008

The INTERMARC format is the format in which bibliographic and authority data is managed in the catalogue général de la BnF. The data available in the catalogue général de la BnF has been created in that format since February 2002. The present document describes the INTERMARC format for the bibliographic records supplied by the BnF, hereafter called INTERMARC Bibliographic.

Features of the INTERMARC Bibliographic format

The INTERMARC Bibliographic format, used in the catalogue général de la BnF, was developed as part of the BnF’s project to have a unique, integrated catalogue. It features:

  • a highly refined structure allowing for a fine granularity in data management;
  • unified management of data relating to various types of resources (audio-visual materials, printed materials, cartographic documents…);
  • the introduction of new types of links;
  • a finer typology of notes fields;
  • the possibility to account for the presence, in one record, of non-Latin characters and their transliteration, which results in certain fields being repeatable even though they do not correspond to repeatable information elements in cataloguing rules (e.g., title proper).

This format went through several versions. The present document contains INTERMARC Bibliographic version 9.0. This is the stabilised version that has been in usage in the catalogue général de la BnF since December 2008.

Bibliographic data supplied by the BnF is available in this version 9.0.

Presentation of the document

The present document exhibits only a part of the INTERMARC Bibliographic format.
Omitted information elements comprise:

  • confidential information fields;
  • Fields that serve the purpose of internal management of the records within the BnF (e.g., temporary storing fields);
  • Fields and subfields specific to types of materials that are not yet described in the catalogue général de la BnF, and/or types of records that are not yet to be found in the catalogue général de la BnF.

Information is organised in sequential order of field tags. For each field, a table shows:

  • the structure of the field (positions, indicators, subfields);
  • the repeatability of the field and each of its subfields (note: any subfield transferred from an authority record is declared as repeatable by default in the format of bibliographic records: repeatability or non-repeatability of such subfields is managed in the format of the authority records);
  • the status ("mandatory," "optional," etc. - see typographic conventions below) of the field and each of its subfields with regard to the material described.

These tables are followed by textual information indicating in which types of records the field can be found, and sometimes providing a definition for the field and explanation about the entire field or parts of it (subfields, positions, values).

Fixed length subfields, positions within fixed length fields, and indicators of all fields can only be filled with coded values. Some of these coded values are provided directly in the tables described above; others are provided in special lists called "referentiels".

Typographic conventions

  • The graphic symbol "#" represents a blank; so does the character "." (point).
  • Repeatability codes:
    • letter R is for "repeatable";
    • "NR" is for "non-repeatable".
  • Status codes:
    • letter "O" indicates that the presence of an element (a field, an indicator, a subfield, a position; or, a determined coded value for a position within a field or a fixed length subfield or an indicator) is mandatory;
    • letter "A" indicates that it is applicable;
    • letter F indicates that it is optional;
    • letter I indicates that it is forbidden;
    • letter C indicates that a field or subfield may be present in records that were converted form an older format but is no longer allowed in newly created records.
  • For technical reasons, diacritics had to be omitted, and subfields within a field are not filed according to a logical order.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

To be noted

Versions 2002 of authorities format and bibliographic format are still online.
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