IFLA Universal Bibliographic Control and International MARC Core Programme (UBCIM)

Annual Report 1995


The IFLA UBCIM Programme is the focal point within IFLA for the promotion of standards for bibliographic control at the national level and the international exchange of data. It coordinates relevant activities in the field and publishes reports from various IFLA working groups. The Programme is also responsible for the maintenance and promotion of the UNIMARC format, ensured through a group of experts, the Permanent UNIMARC Committee.

Staff and finance

The are only two staff members (one, the Programme Secretary,only part time 3/4). The Programme Director devotes 10% of his time to the UBCIM activities. The Standards Officer of the Deutsche Bibliothek is also a member of the Permanent UNIMARC Committee and can be referred to for UNIMARC matters. The Programme officer, also editor of the Programme's quarterly journal International Cataloguing and Bibliographic Control(ICBC), is supported by tee Deutsche Bibliothek whereas the Programme Secretary's salary is paid out of IFLA funds. The annual IFLA contribution in fact hardly covers anything else and other expenses are met (apart from the contribution of the host institution) by the revenue from publications. They are mostly related to travelling costs for the Programme Officer or to administrative matters. The Programme Secretary also acts asassistant editor for the journal.

The Deutsche Bibliothek was connected to the Internet in 1995 and the Programme can now be contacted at: iflaubcim@dbf.ddb.de. The office is expected to move, along with all departments from the Deutsche Bibliothek Frankfurt, to the new buildings in early1997.

Activities 1995

UBC projects in cooperation with the Division of Bibliographic Control

Authority Control

Names of Persons

The revision, contracted in 1994 to a consultant working in close cooperation with the office, was completed in September 1995. However, the elaboration of the camera-ready-copy delayed publication (now scheduled for spring 1996) owing to the difficulty of producing various non-roman scripts. These problems will be solved thanks to the expertise of the British Library whose assistance is gratefully acknowledged.

International Seminar on Authority Files, St. Petersburg, 4-6 October 1995

This IFLA seminar was held in the National Library of Russia. Several organizations and institutions participated in its preparation among which the Russian National Library and the Russian State Library with which the UBCIM Programme Officer cooperated, especially for planning professional content and selecting international speakers. There was difficulty in securing funding for those (who were supported in all cases but one by their own institutions). The Chair of the Division of Bibliographic Control represented IFLA along with the UBCIM Programme Officer. The seminar was very well attended by over 100 participants from (apart from international speakers from Finland, France, Germany, UK and the US) Belarus, the Czech Republic, Finland, Lithuania, Poland and, of course, Russia (for the majority of attendees). Working languages were English and Russian.

A very lively discussion took place before the closing of the seminar during which the possibility of creating an international system and an International Standard Data Authority Number (ISADN) was raised again. Since then, other requests were addressed to the UBCIM Programme including a recommendation issued at the end of an international seminar held in Prague in November, which has induced the Programme to pursue the matter, along with the Division of Bibliographic Control. A meeting of experts to explore the feasibility of creating an international authority system is scheduled in London in May 1996.

The proceedings will be published in Russian. A selection of papers will appear in English in the third and fourth issues of ICBC in 1996.

International Conference on National Bibliographic Services, 1997

Plans continued for the organization of the conference which will take place 20 years after the Congress on National Bibliographies held in Paris under Unesco auspices. The Chair of the Steering Committee (which comprises representatives of different IFLA sections and the UBCIM Programme Officer) is Ross Bourne, Chair of the IFLA Division on Bibliographic Control. The Steering Committee met in Paris in April and during the IFLA Conference in Istanbul. The next meeting of the Steering Committee will be held in Copenhagen in April 1996.

Other projects

The UBCIM Office is naturally involved in relevant sections projects and circulated the revision of the ISBD (CF) draft for worldwide review in October 1995 (over 500 copies were mailed ). The Study on Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records should be ready for review in spring 1996 .


The office acts as clearing house for all UNIMARC queries and the Programme Officer is the Secretary of the Permanent UNIMARC Committee.

Permanent UNIMARC Committee (PUC)

The PUC completed its fourth year of existence. Elections took place at its 6th meeting in Washington on 15 and 16 May. Most members were re-appointed for a second term but the Chair and Vice Chair had finished their mandate. A new Chair was elected, Sally McCallum, with Mirna Willer as Vice Chair. The PUC now has 8 standing members and 11 corresponding members. An informal meeting took place in Istanbul with an hour devoted at its end to "questions and answers". The PUC is currently working on the first update of the UNIMARC Manual (scheduled for publication in spring 1996), guidelines on antiquarian documents, computer files, multi-level description as well as on other problems on requests from users. The brochure UNIMARC: an Introduction will shortly be available on the IFLANET. The 7th meeting is scheduled in the Bibliothque Nationale de France in May 1997.

The International List of UNIMARC Users and Experts The first list of UNIMARC users, a project undertaken by the Programme Secretary, Stephanie Wehner, was completed in summer 1995 and published in ICBC 24(4) (October-December 1995). Altogether over a 100 institutions were contacted, mainly national and major university libraries. The list revealed an interest in UNIMARC from East European countries. There was hardly any response from either African or South American countries, although two institutions from the latter indicated that they were planning to use UNIMARC within the next three years. The 'List will be updated and extended by contacting further institutions as well as publishers, system suppliers, database companies,etc.

Workshop within Crimea 95, Eupatory, 14-15 June 1995 This workshop which had for theme USMARC, UNIMARC and other MARC in Library Applications was organized by a member of the PUC, Yakov Shraiberg, and his colleagues from the Russian National Public Library for Science and Technology in cooperation with the UBCIM Programme Officer (who was part of the International Organizing Committee of the Conference) and the PUC. Three members of the PUC presented papers at the Workshop. The UBCIM Programme supported travel expenses for four persons while the Russian organizers paid for all other expenses including domestic flights within the CIS.

The Workshop, which was very well attended, included papers on the basic structure and functions of UNIMARC Bibliographic and Authorities, the new edition of the UNIMARC Manual, UNIMARC implementation in Belarus, Lithuania and several libraries in Russia and CDS/ISIS as a tool for implementing UNIMARC. It was followed by a demonstration of UNIBASE and a session of questions and answers as well as individual consultations by members of the PUC which were considered very helpful by participants.

Attendance at meetings

Apart from the IFLA annual conference attended by both the Programme Director and the Programme Officer and the meetings already listed under I.A.2 and II.C, the UBCIM Programme was represented at other events by the Programme officer who liaises with some other international organizations in agreement with IFLA HQ. She attended, as already noted, meetings of the ICNBS Steering Committee as well as the meeting of the Coordinating Board of Division IV in Montreal on 4-6 May. She participated in the ISO/TC 46 (especially SC 9) meeting in Ottawa, 8-12 May. She also visited IDRC during her stay in Ottawa.

(Prepared by: Marie-France Plassard)

Latest Revision: July 7, 1996 Copyright © 1995-2000
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