Adding the language of cataloguing to the Guidelines for importing records from an external database

The language of cataloguing for Libraries Australia is English. If your record is in a language other then English you may need to amend the record before you import it into Libraries Australia.

The language of the cataloguing is coded in the MARC 040 $b subfield. It is assumed to be English if the $b subfield is not present but is clearly stated as being English if code $beng is used in the $b subfield.

The language of cataloguing is the language that is used in the physical description, notes and subject headings in the records. The Australian National Bibliographic Database (ANBD) has always required that English is used in these fields.

However records are now available via the external databases, for example OCLC WorldCat, where the language of cataloguing is not English.

If you are importing records from an external database where the language of cataloguing is not English, please amend these records as follows:

  • remove the $b subfield in the 040 tag
  • amend these fields so that the language used is English:
    • physical description
    • notes
    • subject headings

For records where the language of cataloguing is one with a non-Roman script the following additional amendments will need to be made:

  • alter the necessary linked (parallel) tags into the appropriate tags; in MARC21 these are the 880 tags
  • add the linked (parallel) tags containing the transliterated data.

We have recently updated our Guidelines for Importing records from external
databases
to provide you with more information about the MARC 040 $b subfield.

If you have any questions about this, please contact the Help Desk.

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