The Application/MARC Content-type
RFC 2220

Document Type RFC - Informational (October 1997; No errata)
Was draft-rfced-info-guenther (individual)
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Network Working Group                                       R. Guenther
Request for Comments: 2220                          Library of Congress
Category: Informational           Network Devt. & MARC Standards Office
                                                           October 1997

                   The Application/MARC Content-type

Status of this Memo

   This memo provides information for the Internet community.  It does
   not specify an Internet standard of any kind.  Distribution of this
   memo is unlimited.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (1997).  All Rights Reserved.


   This memorandum provides a mechanism for representing objects which
   are files of Machine-Readable Cataloging records (MARC).  The MARC
   formats are standards for the representation and communication of
   bibliographic and related information.  A MARC record contains
   metadata for an information resource following MARC format

1.  Introduction

   The MARC formats are sets of codes and content designators defined
   for encoding metadata for five types of data: bibliographic,
   holdings, authority, classification, and community information.  The
   structure of MARC records is an implementation of national and
   international standards, ANSI Z39.2 (Information Interchange Format)
   and ISO 2709 (Format for Information Interchange).  Codes and
   conventions in the formats identify and characterize data elements
   within a record and support the manipulation of those data.

   MARC formats are communication formats, primarily designed to provide
   specification for the exchange of bibliographic and related
   information between systems.  They are widely used in a variety of
   exchange and processing environments.  They do not mandate internal
   storage or display formats to be used by different systems.

Guenther                     Informational                      [Page 1]
RFC 2220             Application/MARC Content-type          October 1997

2.  Definition

   Since there are different flavors of MARC which would be processed by
   different applications, this content-type/subtype refers to the
   harmonized USMARC/CANMARC specification.  Additional content-
   types/subtypes may be defined in the future (e.g.

   MARC records involve three elements: the record structure, content
   designation, and data content.  Only those records that contain all
   three elements according to the standard would use this content-
   type/subtype, i.e. content extracted from the structure would not.
   Since MARC does not mandate an internal storage format, parameters
   have not been assigned to specific implementations (e.g. OCLC-MARC,
   LC-MARC, etc.).  In addition, parameters have not been defined for
   the specific type of MARC format (e.g. bibliographic, authority,
   holdings), since the information is contained in the Leader portion
   of the record.

3. Registration Information


   Media type name: application

   Media subtype name: marc

   Required parameters: None

   Optional parameters: None

   Encoding considerations:  MARC records may contain long lines and/or
   arbitrary octet values.  The base64 content-transfer-encoding is
   recommended for transmission of MARC over electronic mail.

4.  Security Considerations

   There are no known security risks associated with the use or viewing
   of MARC data.  A MARC record may have security classification
   associated with the document it describes or metadata in that record.
   Although this does not present any security risk to the user of MARC
   data, it may provide an opportunity for a security breach for the
   source of classified MARC data.

Guenther                     Informational                      [Page 2]
RFC 2220             Application/MARC Content-type          October 1997

5.  Interoperability Considerations

   MARC is a communication format and is designed for interoperability
   between different systems that may store data in local formats

6.  Published Specification

   "USMARC Format for Bibliographic Data"; "USMARC Format for Authority
   Data"; "USMARC Format for Holdings Data"; "USMARC Format for
   Classification Data"; "USMARC Format for Community Information".

   Additional information:
      File extension: .mrc
      OID: 1.2.840.10003.5.10

   Person & email address to contact for further information:
      Network Development & MARC Standards Office <>
      101 Independence Ave. SE
      Library of Congress
      Washington, DC 20540-4102 U.S.A.

7.  References

   Library of Congress, Network Development and MARC Standards
   Office, "USMARC Format for Bibliographic Data", 1994-  .

   "USMARC Format for Authority Data", 1993-  .

   "USMARC Format for Holdings Data", 1989-  .

   "USMARC Format for Classification Data", 1991-  .

   "USMARC Format for Community Information", 1993-  .
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