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National Library of New Zealand Policy on Non-Latin Scripts in Bibliographic Records

While it is desirable for works published in non-Latin scripts to be described, searched and retrieved using those scripts, this is not a practical option for the National Library to pursue at present because:

  1. Non-Latin scripts cannot simply be cut and pasted from documents into the cataloguing client. The ‘cut and paste’ approach can cause problems if Word is involved and it is also affected by the choice of font. Essentially we would need someone with the skills to type in the script and the software and technical support to enable this process. At present we don’t have anyone in cataloguing with the necessary knowledge of the most common non-Latin scripts (Chinese and Korean)

  2. Inputting using a non-Latin script doesn’t necessarily support the ability to search a database using the script. We can’t have one without the other. To be able to view a script but not search by it would be a disappointing experience for clients.

  3. If we decided to use the MARC 880 linking fields for non-Latin scripts we would still need to have a transliteration to support search and retrieval along with suitable displays for the script and transliteration. Not all library systems are necessarily configured to work with the 880 fields so this could cause problems for our client libraries.


Non-Latin scripts will not be removed from bibliographic or authority records imported by the National Library. This is consistent with Library policy to retain valid data in records even if we would not add such data.

Last updated: October 4, 2018 (JHS)