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National Book Chamber
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The system of International Standard of Book Numeration (ISBN) appeared in the beginning of the 1970s. Now, about 160 countries participate in the system.
The ISBN International Agency in Berlin performs the management of the system at the international level. It awards identifiers to the countries (for example, 985 means Belarus) or groups of countries (0 means English-speaking countries). The identifiers to the publishers are awarded by the national agencies. Pursuant to the Order of the Ministry of Information of the Republic of Belarus dated February 15, 1993, the National Book Chamber of Belarus performs the functions of the Belarus agency in the sphere of international standard book numeration in Belarus.

The agency conducts its work in the following directions:

Awarding publisher's identifiers

As on today, the ISBN identifier have been awarded to more than 1700 Belarusian publishers who are engaged in their activities pursuant to licences, obtained in the Republic of Belarus. To obtain his own international identification number, a publisher must submit a copy of his publishing licence and an application  with the request to award him an identifier to the ISBN Belarus national agency. The information on all Belarusian publishers is sent, after their registration at the National Agency, to the International Agency (in London). In this way the data about the publishers and their products is spread worldwide. The book identification by means of the ISBN allows to control the movement of book funds and sales of products, to make searches in databases with the help of the ISBN; the bar code for identification of books and other editions is designed on the basis thereof.

Calculation and printing out the ISBN book numbers.

A standard number represents a code calculated by means of a special software program and consisting of the ISBN abbreviation and 13 digits, separated by hyphens, for example: 978-985-6020-20-2, where:

  • 978  is the code of book production;
  • 985  is the identifier of Belarus (awarded by the International Agency);
  • 6020 is the identifier of the publisher (awarded by the National Agency);
  • 20     is the serial identifier of the book (for numeration of each particular publication);
  • 2      is the check digit (to verify the calculation of the ISBN digital portion).

Preparation of information about Belarusian publishers (name, ISBN identifiers, address, activity profile) for the International Agency, which, in its turn, publishes these data in its annual reference book of the world publishers and their identifiers "Publishers' International ISBN Directory".

Development of normative and methodological documentation on the ISBN issues in Belarus.

The following makes the basis of operation of the ISBN system in of Belarus:

  • ISO 2108 Standard "International Standard Book Numeration";
  • State standard of Belarus STB 7.53–2008 - "System of standards under the information, library and to publishing. EDITIONS. INTERNATIONAL STANDARD BOOK NUMBER. Use and publishing registration ";
  • Regulations on the ISBN National Agency in Belarus;
  • Instruction "On the Order of Awarding the International Standard Book Number in the Republic of Belarus".

Control over the ISBN system in Belarus.