Wednesday, July 20, 2005


There is a new e-mail discussion list, UNICODE-MARC. There don't seem to be any posts yet.
The Library of Congress has set up a special listserv for the MARC 21 user community to discuss and arrive at consensus on various issues concerning the implementation of Unicode with MARC 21. While the Unicode character set was approved for use with MARC 21 in 1994, it has taken until now for enough implementations to be in place to effect the exchange environment. Existing Unicode implementations have been working by using only the 16,000+ characters from MARC-8 with Unicode encodings within systems, then converting to MARC-8 for exchange.

Some of the issues have been posed in the two reports on using Unicode with MARC 21 that have been posted on the MARC 21 web site and discussed at MARBI meetings and other forums: Assessment of Options for Handling Full Unicode Character Encodings in MARC 21, Part 1, and Part 2. However, it will be useful if more technical staff from the various systems that process MARC records, and who do not usually attend format meetings, could enter into the discussion, hence this listserv.

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