A bibliographic record is an entry in a
A bibliographic index is a bibliography
Image:Library-shelves-bibliographies-Graz.jpg, 250px, Bibliographies at the University Library of Graz
Bibliography (from and ), as a discipline, is traditionally the academic study of books as physica ...
A library catalog (or library catalogue in British English) is a register of all bibliography, bibliographic items found in a library or group of libraries, such as a network of libraries at several locations. A catalog for a group of libra ...
) which represents and describes a specific resource. A bibliographic record contains the data elements necessary to help users identify and retrieve that resource, as well as additional supporting information, presented in a formalized bibliographic format. Additional information may support particular database functions such as search, or browse (e.g., by keywords), or may provide fuller presentation of the content item (e.g., the article's abstract).
Bibliographic records are usually retrievable from bibliographic indexes (e.g., contemporary
A bibliographic database is a database
In , a database is an organized collection of stored and accessed electronically from a . Where databases are more complex they are often developed using formal techniques.
The (DBMS) is the that int ...
An author is the creator or originator of any written work such as a book
A book is a medium for recording information
Information is processed, organised and structured data
Data (; ) are individual facts, statistics, or item ...
A title is one or more words used before or after a person's name, in certain contexts. It may signify either generation, an official position, or a professional or academic qualification. In some languages, titles may be inserted between the firs ...
index term An index term, subject term, subject heading, descriptor, or keyword, in information retrieval
Information retrieval (IR) in computing
Computing is any goal-oriented activity requiring, benefiting from, or creating computing machinery. It inc ...
, or keyword.
Bibliographic records can also be referred to as ''surrogate records'' or
Metadata is "data
Data (; ) are individual facts, statistics, or items of information, often numeric. In a more technical sense, data are a set of values of qualitative property, qualitative or quantity, quantitative variable (research), v ...
. Bibliographic records can represent a wide variety of published contents, including traditional paper,
DigitizationTech Target. (2011, April). Definition: digitization. ''WhatIs.com''. Retrieved December 15, 2021, from https://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/digitization is the process of converting information into a digital
Digital usually ...
The term born-digital refers to materials that originate in a digital
Digital usually refers to something using discrete digits, often binary digits.
Technology and computing Hardware
Digital electronics is a field of e ...
publications. The process of creation, exchange, and preservation of bibliographic records are parts of a larger process, called
In library and information science
Library and information science (LIS) (sometimes given as the plural library and information sciences) is a branch of academic disciplines that deal generally with organization, access, and collection of informat ...
The earliest known bibliographic records come from the catalogues (written in cuneiform script on
In the Ancient Near East
The ancient Near East was the home of early civilization
A civilization (or civilisation) is any complex society that is characterized by urban development, social stratification, a form of government, and sym ...
s) of religious texts from 2000 B.C., that were identified by what appear to be key words in Sumerian.
Ancient Greece ( el, Ἑλλάς, Hellás) was a civilization belonging to a period of History of Greece, Greek history from the Greek Dark Ages of the 12th–9th centuries BC to the end of Classical Antiquity, antiquity ( AD 600). This era wa ...
, Callimachus of Cyrene
recorded bibliographic records on 120 scrolls using a system called
The ''Pinakes'' ( grc, Πίνακες "tables", plural of ) is a lost bibliography, bibliographic work composed by Callimachus (310/305–240 BCE) that is popularly considered to be the first library catalog; its contents were based upon the hol ...
Early American library catalogs in the colonial period were typically made available in book form, either manuscript or printed.
[Rachel Ivy Clarke (2014) Breaking Records: The History of Bibliographic Records and Their Influence in Conceptualizing Bibliographic Data, Cataloging & Classification Quarterly, 53:3-4, 286-302, DOI: 10.1080/01639374.2014.960988]
In modern America, the title and author of a work were enough to distinguish it among others and order its record within a collection. However, as more and different kinds of resources arose, it became necessary to collect more information to distinguish them from one another. This conceptual framework of the bibliographic record as a collection of data elements served American librarianship well in its first one-hundred years. Challenges to the current method have arisen in the form of new and different distribution methods, especially of the digital variety, and raise questions about whether the traditional conceptual model is still relevant and applicable.
Today's bibliographic record formats originate from the times of the traditional paper-based isolated
A library is a collection of materials, books or media that are easily accessible for use and not just for display purposes. It is responsible for housing updated information in order to meet the user's needs on a daily basis. A library provi ...
, their self-contained collections and their corresponding library cataloguing systems
. The modern formats, while reflecting this heritage in their structure, are machine-readable
and most commonly conform to the
MARC (machine-readable cataloging) standards are a set of digital
Digital usually refers to something using digits, particularly binary digits.
Technology and computing Hardware
Digital electronics is a field of electro ...
The subject bibliography databases (such as Chemical Abstracts, Medline, PsycInfo, or Web of Science) do not use the same kinds of bibliographical standards as does the library community. In this context, the Common Communication Format
is the best known standard.
Library of Congress
The Library of Congress (LC) is the research library
A library is a collection of materials, books or media that are easily accessible for use and not just for display purposes. It is responsible for housing updated information in order ...
is currently developing
BIBFRAME BIBFRAME (Bibliographic Framework) is a data model for bibliographic description. BIBFRAME was designed to replace the MARC standards, and to use linked data principles to make Bibliographic database, bibliographic data more useful both within and ...
, a new RDF
schema for expressing bibliographic data.
BIBFRAME is still in draft form, but several libraries are already testing cataloging under the new format.
BIBFRAME is particularly noteworthy because it describes resources using a number of different entities and relationships, unlike standard library records, which aggregate many types of information into a single independently understandable record.
The digital catalog of the
National Library of France
National may refer to:
A nation is a community
A community is a social unit (a group of living things) with commonality such as Norm (social), norms, religion, values, Convention (norm), customs, or Identity (social s ...
has the peculiarity to report notes about access and restrictions as well as the physical collocation of any single paper copy of each title, that exists in one of the libraries associated to their keeping system. This set of metadata allows to enforce the long-term digital preservation and content availability.
Bibliographic databases and indexes