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Report 0.1 - Project Background

Posted By Kimmy Szeto, Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Originally Posted to the Task Force Group Blog By Kimmy Szeto, Tuesday, December 09, 2014


Report 0.1 - Project Background

Kimmy Szeto


DRAFT 12/9/2014

The Music Library Association has been a leader and a partner in developing the Machine Readable Cataloging (MARC) formats, authorities and vocabularies, and has been following the development of Bibliographic Framework Initiative (BIBFRAME) since its launch in May 2011. In the 1960s, the Library of Congress led the effort to develop and implement MARC for electronic sharing and exchange of bibliographic data. The way we practice cataloging and use MARC continued to evolve to the present day, but the MARC data format itself has remain unchanged through a substantial period of stability. Looking forward at the networked information landscape, the Library of Congress realized a new model will be needed to continue sharing and exchange on the web, a foundational design for the future of bibliographic description that integrates libraries with the wider information community.

This new, proposed model, BIBFRAME, aims to become the entry point for the library community to the larger web of data. Thus, with a general audience in mind, the model’s development focuses on clearly describing and differentiating conceptual entities and physical carriers, drawing and exposing relationship between entities, and lending the data to machine interpretation. One of the challenges in this initial stage concerns developing tools to extract and enhance information already present in the vast amount of existing bibliographic data in the MARC format. Thus, for the music library community, our concerns are twofold: to participate in the development process towards the optimal model for bibliographic data for music, and to develop appropriate MARC-to-BIBFRAME conversion techniques in light of current and future cataloging practice.

The goal of the task force is to recommend a strategy for providing a voice for the music library community in the Bibliographic Framework Initiative. For the duration of the task force, we gain experience in this process through monitoring, evaluating, and testing various BIBFRAME implementations, focusing on aspects such as medium of performance, genre/form, authorities, developing a BIBFRAME profile, and communicating feedback to the Library of Congress and its development partner Zepheira. In the report that follows, we summarize the current status of BIBFRAME, analyze aspects of the BIBFRAME schema and MARC-to-BIBFRAME converter, and propose appropriate steps to address BIBFRAME development.

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The Music Library Association is the professional association for music libraries and librarianship in the United States. Founded in 1931, it has an international membership of librarians, musicians, scholars, educators, and members of the book and music trades. Complementing the Association’s national and international activities are eleven regional chapters that carry out its programs on the local level.