This document sets forth general guidelines for the provision of non-Roman script data in Arabic cataloging records authenticated in OCLC by CONSER institutions using the OCLC Arabic Cataloging Software (OCLC Arabic).  In March 2003, the Library of Congress Cairo Office began creating CONSER Arabic records using the OCLC Arabic software.

Arabic records are created using Windows 2000 Arabic language functions to enter bibliographic data in workforms.  The resulting records are called Arabic records.

Arabic versus Roman records:  Arabic records describe Arabic language materials and contain Arabic-only or both Arabic and Roman data.  Roman records contain only Roman data.


The authoritative source for Arabic romanization is ALA-LC Romanization Tables: Transliteration Schemes for Non-Roman Scripts (1997 ed.), Washington : Library of Congress, Cataloging Distribution Service, 1997.

Identification of OCLC Arabic Records

Only institutions with OCLC Arabic software will be able to input and display non-Roman data.  Those without OCLC Arabic software will not be able to view non-Roman script fields in Arabic records, but will be able to identify an OCLC Arabic record by the following:

1.   Field 066 (Character Sets Present) will be present and will have $c (3, indicating that Arabic characters are present (though not displayed on non-OCLC Arabic software records).

2.   Any attempt to lock an Arabic record using non-OCLC Arabic software will result in the following message:  "Lock not allowed.  Use the Arabic software to lock vernacular record."

General Guidelines

1.   CONSER participants may authenticate either records containing non-Roman script (i.e., Arabic records) or those that are fully romanized, according to their individual institution's needs or abilities.  However, if an Arabic record exists, a record that contains only romanized data should not be entered for the same item.

2.   CONSER Arabic records should conform to the same requirements, guidelines, and practices as non-Arabic CONSER records.

3.   CONSER participants should not create "hybrid" records (i.e., records that would qualify as neither "romanized-only" nor as "fully non-Roman").  If any non-Roman script data is provided, it should be provided for all fields in which it would be appropriate.

4.   When creating Arabic records, CONSER participants should always include romanized data for any elements of the catalog record that appear in non-Roman script on the item being cataloged.  In addition, participants who opt to create Arabic records must supply non-Roman script data for the elements listed below (when applicable):

Main entry/Uniform title

1XX, 240

Descriptive areas 1-4 and 6

245, 250, 260, 362, 440, 490

Non-topical subject headings

600-630, 651

Added entries

246 When first indicator is set to "1". (optional), 700-730, 800-830

Linking entries

580, 765-787 (when available; see "Specific Guidelines")

5.   Descriptive fields 245, 250, 260, 362, 440, and 490 are considered "core" fields; parallel non-Roman script data is given only for those elements in these fields that appear in non-Roman script and which are transcribed from the item itself.

[NOTE:  Due to the difficulty of including non-Roman characters in the examples that follow, the spacing in the examples may not be precise.]

Specific Guidelines

1.   Code the fixed field Modified Record Code (008/38) # (blank).

2.   Field 066 (Character Sets Present) is generated automatically by the OCLC system when non-Roman script data is input; it cannot be explicitly input.  This field displays only on non-OCLC Arabic Software records, and is output in exported/distributed records.

3.   To transliterate Roman data automatically into Arabic, select part of one or more fields which contain Roman data.  On the Edit menu click Transliterate, or on the toolbar click "Transliterate the selected fields", or press <F11>.  Results:

a.   Arabic Cataloging creates an identical tag containing the Arabic transliteration.

b.   Associated Arabic and Roman tags display with the same tag number.  The Arabic tag displays above the Roman tag.

c.   The program transliterates selected Roman data word-by-word, independently of context.  For words that depend on context, you may need to edit the Arabic Transliteration.

d.   Arabic Cataloging transliterates Roman data based on the rules in ALA-LC Romanization Tables: Transliteration Schemes for Non-Roman Scripts.

4.   Give non-Roman script data in consecutive parallel fields, with the same tag as its romanized counterpart.  Always use the first tag of each pair to enter Arabic data and the second to enter Roman-equivalent data.

5.   On the View menu, click Align Right, or click "Align Display" on the toolbar to toggle between right and left  alignment.  To view and enter data in Arabic script, select right alignment of text.  To view and enter data in Roman-equivalent characters, select left alignment of text.  Use the Arabic keyboard with right alignment or the English keyboard with left alignment to type a new tag so that tags and indicators remain on the right or left, respectively.

[NOTE:  Examples in this appendix display Arabic fields with right alignment and Roman fields with left alignment.]

245 00  $a  Riw¯aq.

$a  00 245

260 ##  $a T¯unis : $b Mahad al-Tur¯ath, $c 2000-

$c 2000- , : $b $a  ## 260

[NOTE:  OCLC Arabic currently displays fields that mix left-to-right Latin script and right-to-left Arabic script in the same field, so that some fields will not display correctly once the record is saved or replaced.  Display problems should be solved when Arabic Cataloging moves into Connexion platform.]

Examples of incorrectly displayed Arabic fields and their Roman equivalent:

245 00  $a K¯ar¯ik¯at¯ir = $b Caricature  / $c al-Jam ¯iyah al-Mir ¯iyah lil-K¯ar¯ik¯at¯ir.

= $b Caricature / $c $a  00 245

260 ##  $a Tunis : $b al-Mahad al-Waţan¯i lil-Tur¯ath

{place of publication in English on piece}   Tunis : $b  ## 260

580 ##  $a Split into: Dir¯as¯at ins¯an ¯iyah , and: Dir¯as¯at q¯an ¯un ¯iyah.

., and: Split into: $a  ## 580

710 2# $a Majlis al-Alá lil-Thaq ¯afah (Egypt). $b Lajnat al-Falsafah.

(Egypt). $b $a  2# 710

See also field 362 for more examples.

6.   Title and Statement of Responsibility Area (245)

Transcribe, as appropriate, non-Roman script data for the title proper, other title information (including additions added under AACR 1.1E6), parallel titles, and statement of responsibility as found on the chief source.

245 00  $a Mir al-mar¯usah : $b iţl¯alah alá dh¯akirat al-waţan.

. : $b $a  00 245

245 00  $a K¯ar¯ik¯at¯ir = $b Caricature  / $c al-Jam ¯iyah al-Mir¯iyah lil-K¯ar¯ik¯at¯ir

. = $b Caricature / $c $a  00 245

First indicator

Give same first indicator in Arabic field as its romanized counterpart.

Second indicator

The second indicator specifies the number of non-filing characters to be ignored for sorting purposes.  When the title begins with an initial article, do not include the hyphen in the count in Arabic fields.

245 03  $a al-Ayn al-s¯ahirah.

. $a  02 245

7.   Variant Titles (246)  [Optional]

CONSER participants may give parallel fields containing non-Roman script data for variant titles, if the variant titles provide useful access points.

246 14  $a Majallat al-ayn al-s¯ahirah

$a  14 246

8.   Dates of Publication/Sequential Designation Area (362)

Give non-Roman script data only for formatted beginning/ending designation statements.

362 0 $a Sibtambir 2002-

-2002 $a  #0 362

[NOTE:  Due to the way OCLC Arabic currently displays, the Arabic field (right or left aligned) might not display correctly once the record is saved or replaced.]

The following example illustrates the difference between the data correctly input and incorrectly displayed (right or left aligned):

The field is input correctly as:



-(2000 15) .1 $a  #0 362

The field appears as follows when the record is saved or replaced:


362 0#  $a 1. (15 -(2000

-(2000 1. (15 $a  #0 362

9.   Headings (100-130, 600-630, 651, 700-730, 800-830)

a.   Give parallel fields containing non-Roman script data only when there is a one-to-one correspondence with the official pronunciation of the non-Roman script characters and the established form of heading.

710 2#  $a Jam¯iyah al-Mir¯iyah lil-K¯ar¯ik¯at¯ir.

. $a  #2 710

610 20 $a J¯amiat al-Q¯ahirah. $b Kull¯iat al-¯Ad¯ab $v Periodicals.

$v Periodicals. $a  20 610

260 ##  $a [Ab¯u aby?]  : $b  Sund¯uq al-Naqd al-Arab¯i

{place of publication supplied}   [Ab¯u aby?] : $b  ## 260

710 2#  $a Arab Monetary Fund. Arab Monetary Fund


[NOTE:  No parallel field is given for the 710 in the last example (even though non-Roman script characters are present on the piece) because there is not a one-to-one correspondence between the non-Roman script characters and the established form of heading (which is in English).]

b.   Do not supply parallel non-Roman script data for conventional headings that do not conform to official pronunciation.

710 1#  $a Jordan. $b Wiz¯arat al-Adl.

. Jordan. $b  #1 710

[Jordan is conventional for al-Mamlakah al-Urdun īyah al-Hāshim īyah]

c.   Give non-Roman script data in the form found in the publication if it equates to the established form.

710 2#  $a Shurţat Ras al-Khaymah.

. $a  #2 710

710 2#  $a J¯amiat al-Barayn. $b D¯airat al-I l¯am.

.. $b $a  #2 710

710 2#  $a J¯amiat al-Kuwayt. $b Majlis al-Nashr al-Ilm¯i.

.. $b $a  #2 710

d.   Do not supply non-Roman script data for cataloger-supplied additions to headings, such as qualifiers added to corporate names, geographic names, or uniform titles; give in established form.

710 2# $a Mahad al-Waţan¯i lil-Tur¯ath (Tunisia)

(Tunisia) $a  #2 710

130 0#  $a Riw¯aq (Dubayy, United Arab Emirates)

(Dubayy, United Arab Emirates) $a  #0 130

830 #0  $a Silsilat al-adab al-ad¯ith (Cairo, Egypt)

(Cairo, Egypt) $a  #0 830

651  0 $a Ab¯u aby (United Arab Emirates : Emirate) $x Social conditions $v Periodicals.

(United Arab Emirates : Emirate) $x Social conditions $v Periodicals. $a  0# 651

e.   Do not supply non-Roman script data for topical subject headings (i.e., field 650) even though there may be a one-to-one equivalent between non-Roman script characters and the established form.

650 #0 $a Sh¯iah $v Periodicals.


650 #0 $a Manufacturing industries $z Saudi Arabia $z Jiddah $v Directories.


10.  Linking Entries (580, 765-787)

a.   Give parallel non-Roman script fields only when the linked record is a record containing non-Roman script data (and the non-Roman script data are, therefore, readily available) and the record on which the link is being recorded has other non-Roman script data.

780 00 $t  Majallat al-fun¯un $w (DLC)

$w (DLC) $w (OCoLC)  $t  00 780

780 00 $t Nashrah al-iḥṣ¯a ¯iyah al-shahr ¯iyah (Sulţat al-Naqd al-Filasţ¯in¯iyah) $w (DLC) $w (OCoLC)


785 00 $t Nashrah al-iḥṣ¯a ¯iyah al-iqtiṣ¯ad ¯iyah $w (DLC) $w (OCoLC)

$w (DLC) $w (OCoLC) $t  00 785

[In the above example, the preceding entry record is romanized-only and the succeeding entry has non-Roman script data.  The entry on which the links are being recorded is also a record containing non-Roman script data.]

785 00  $t Majallat al- ul¯um al-ins¯an¯iyah bi-T¯unis $w (DLC) $w (OCoLC)


[In the above example, the related record has non-Roman script data but the record on which the link is being added is romanized-only.]

b.   Give a parallel non-Roman script 580 field only when all entries cited in the complex link note have corresponding non-Roman script records.

580 ##  $a Split into: Dir¯as¯at ins ¯an¯iyah, and: Dir¯as¯at q¯an ¯un¯iyah.

., and: Split into: $a  ## 580

Maintenance of Arabic Records

If a change needs to be made to any serial record containing non-Roman script and the library does not have non-Roman script capability or is not participating in the OCLC Arabic program, a request should be sent by mail to OCLC's Online Data Quality Control Section (ODQCS) at:

Online Data Quality Control Section

Mail Code 140

OCLC, Inc.

6565 Frantz Road

Dublin, OH 43017-0702

1.   Changes involving non-Roman script data fields will be forwarded to an appropriate library for verification and correction of the non-Roman script data and parallel romanized data.

2.   Changes to romanized or other fields not containing non-Roman script that do not have parallel non-Roman script fields will be made by OCLC.

3.   If a mixture of changes need to be made to a record, OCLC will do its work first and then forward the request to a library that is able to make the remaining changes.

See also:

Section F.  Appendices

CONSER Editing Guide:  Contents