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What does ISO/TC 46 do?

The need for harmonized standards in the world of information is global. The widespread use of the Internet has stimulated even more interest in interoperable standards and compatible information systems.

Standards developed under the ISO Technical Committee on Information and Documentation are focused on facilitating access to knowledge information and developing appropriate automated tools, computer systems and services to obtain the information owned by libraries, archives, museums and similar enterprises.
Standardization in the field of information and documentation not only impacts the various cultural communities, but also all associated industries.

These standards provide requirements for both paper-based and digital information related to:

  • Identification Exploitation
  • Indexing Communication
  • Classification Exchange
  • Accessibility Preservation
  • Selection


While TC 46 standards are specifically focused on libraries, archival institutions, publishers, information centers, and museums, they have much broader commercial applications. A great deal of trade and information exchange for many Internet services and applications relies on specifications developed within this technical committee, as well as other printing and document management specifications.

Users of such standards include everyone who is searching for a book, article, music, film, or images; everyone who buys a book, a journal, a DVD; everyone using a documentation center, a library, or a museum; and everyone responsible for records management in their organization.