The MARC 21 formats are prepared by the Network Development and MARC Standards Office, Library of Congress, in cooperation with Standards, Intellectual Management Office, Library and Archives Canada and the National Bibliographic Service, British Library. The Library and Archives Canada is responsible for translating the formats into French and also for publishing and distribution of English and French formats to Canadian clients.
MARC 21 supersedes the 1994 edition of Canadian MARC Communication Formats and its updates published between 1994 and 1998. Update number six of the bibliographic format contained the changes to CAN/MARC required to align with USMARC. With this update, the specifications contained in the CAN/MARC and USMARC formats were identical. The 1994 edition superseded the 1988 edition and its seven updates issued between 1988 and 1991. The 1988 edition of the bibliographic format was produced by amalgamating separately issued CAN/MARC formats for monographs and serials.
Changes to the MARC 21 formats are based upon proposals considered by the ALA ALCTS/LITA/RUSA Machine-Readable Bibliographic Information Committee (MARBI), the Canadian Committee on MARC (CCM) and by the Book Industry Communications/Bibliographic Standards Technical Subgroup (BIC/BSTS).
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