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MARC - Machine Readable Cataloging File

What is a MARC file

Files stored with the extension MARC are known for storing machine-readable text that contains bibliographic information. It was developed back in the 1960s by Henriette Avram when working with the Library of Congress. During the 1970s, it became the standard file format used in the US to store and use bibliographic data. It's used to store and share records among different libraries.

MARC files are used for a variety of records, such as authority, bibliographic, community information, and other records across the US, Canada, and with the introduction of UNIMARC, also in Europe. Files can alternatively also use the file extension MRC instead of storing files with the .marc extension.

Here's a small, but not exhaustive list of programs that can open MARC documents:

  • MARC 21
Extension MARC
MIME type application/marc
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