MARC (MAchine-Readable Cataloging) standards are a set of digital formats for the description of items catalogued by libraries, such as books. Working with the Library of Congress, American computer scientist Henriette Avram developed MARC in the 1960s to create records that could be read by computers and shared among libraries. By 1971, MARC formats had become the national standard for dissemination of bibliographic data in the United States, and the international standard by 1973.
There are several versions of MARC in use around the world, the most predominant being MARC 21, created in 1999 as a result of the harmonization of U.S. and Canadian MARC formats, and UNIMARC, widely used in Europe. The MARC 21 family of standards now includes formats for authority records, holdings records, classification schedules, and community information, in addition to the format for bibliographic records.more