UNIMARC Manual – Holdings Format

In late 1999, PUC appointed a working group to develop a UNIMARC specification for holdings information pertaining to a bibliographic item. The work was carried out during the period of 2000-2003 and a final draft was posted for world wide review in 2003. The present version is the result of received comments, accepted at the PUC meeting of 2004, with some changes introduced at the PUC meetings that took place in 2005 and 2006. It was first published in December 2006, and was subject to corrections in 2007.

A Working Group was appointed by the Permanent UNIMARC Committee (PUC) in 1999 to prepare the UNIMARC Holdings Format the first version of which is now finished.

The WG was charged to develop a UNIMARC format to hold the holdings information. Thus, it was necessary to develop a format, which would be able to describe information concerning the specific characteristics of a bibliographic unit or a set of bibliographic units existing in a given institution. The format must establish a common reference model that promotes not only consistency on the communication and exchange of holdings but also the possibility to build the structure scheme for the OPAC display. Additionally it should respect the philosophy and the original structure of UNIMARC and provide means for the exchange of the records between the local systems and international one.

The WG based its work on the UNIMARC Holdings Format on two main sources: the UNIMARC Manual–Bibliographic Format and ISO 10324 : 1997–Information and documentation-Holdings statements-Summary level: the first was the basis for the structure of data elements and second one for the main concepts.

As the UNIMARC bibliographic format is the backbone of UNIMARC, any change introduced must be reflected also on UNIMARC holdings format, to maintain the necessary alignement.

Working Group on the UNIMARC Holdings Format:

  • Rosa Maria Galvão, National Library, Portugal
  • Chair Liuba Buckienè, National Library, Lithuania
  • Vladimir Skvortsov, National Library, Russia
  • Brian Holt (retired), British Library (1999-2000)
  • Sofia Klarin, Croatian Institute for Librarianship (1999-2000)

Mirna Willer and Tony Curwen have cooperated with the WG with comments and suggestions giving a huge amount of help to the development of this format.

Most of the work on the UNIMARC Holdings Format took place by email, with meetings during the IFLA Conference in Jerusalem (2000), Boston (2001) and Glasgow (2002), and during the PUC Meeting in Saint Petersburg (2002). The final draft for the world wide review was accepted for posting on IFLANET at the PUC Ad Hoc meeting during the IFLA conference in Berlin (2003). This version of the format is the result of received comments which were accepted at the PUC meeting in Lisbon (2004), with some changes introduced at the PUC meetings that took place in 2005 and 2006.

Original language

Translations available

See also: UNIMARC Holdings List of Changes 2007 (2007 corrections)

Standards, UNIMARC

Last update: 10 April 2018