Artist in the Archive: W3 – MARC

Life 1944 File Room.jpeg

From Syllabus

For the first 175 years of its existence, the Library’s data was written down on hundreds of thousands of paper cards. Then, in an effort to embrace new computing technologies, a team led by Henrietta Avram developed MARC, and changed the way libraries all around the world recorded and shared collections information. In this class we’ll look at what makes a MARC record a MARC record, and we’ll look at some computational ways to explore the Library’s public MARC records – more than 25 million items. We’ll investigate some of the shortcomings of the MARC format (and really any data schema), and we’ll continue our conversations with Library staff about the various collections.

  • Library Section overviews:
    1. Meg Metcalf – General Collections 12:15 – 12:40
    2. Monica Mohindra – Veterans’ History 1:45 – 2:15
    3. Maya Lerner – AFC – 2:30pm – 3:00

Readings, etc:

  1. Card Catalogues and the Secret History of Modernity – Tim Carmody:
  2. What’s Gender Got To Do With It? Amber Billey, Emily Drabinski, K.R. Roberto – :


MARC-Y MARC: Using the provided Glitch template, create a visualization (interactive or not) which explores some particular aspect of the MARC records (authority records can also be used)


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