School of Information Management & Systems   Spring 2002.
245 Organization of Information in Collections.   Michael Buckland.

Assignment 12: Language Encoding.   Due April 3.

The purpose of the this assignment is to ensure a minimal familiarity with the MARC format and to acquire a little experience in MARC and SGML coding.

In Exercise 6 you looked in telnet MELVYL for material relating to the Iroquois by doing a search for material in their language using the command F LAN IRO. However, an observant eye noticed that the language code in the MARC record (in positions 35-37 of the 008 fixed field) was not always "LAN iro" - sometimes it was "LAN eng", "LAN fre", or "LAN lat".

Go back to telnet MELVYL and try FI LAN IRO then D MARC and look for language clues. Then refresh your MARC expertise by looking over MARC Remarks, noting the LC MARC website, and reviewing the Understanding MARC Bibliographic tutorial.

Somewhere in the tutorial or other documentation you will find that there is not one but TWO fields for indicating language. If you don't see it try 041 - LANGUAGE CODE (NR)

1. What are the two fields and how do they differ?

2. Demonstrate your MARC expertise by specifying the correct MARC language coding for both the 008 field positions 35-37 and for the 041 field for a document with the following language characteristics:

The text is primarily in Iroquoian, but the document also includes a translation into English, with a summary in French, a libretto in Italian, and other significant material in Chinese, German, and Spanish.

Note: The official list of language codes is at and can also be found in MELVYL with EXPLAIN LANGUAGE.

3. Show the same information encoded in an SGML style mark-up system.