MERLIN is the British Library's advanced computer system. A new MARC‐type format has been devised to take advantage of recent developments in computer technology. Records are split up into meaningful elements which are stored separately. Catalogue entries consist of a set of pointers pointing to the elements. MERLIN supports shared cataloguing but allows libraries to have their own private views of any element or group of elements. Standardization is easier to achieve as the structure of MERLIN is designed to make use of authority files. Automatic conversion is possible between the MERLIN format and existing formats.
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