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Medical Subject Headings

2012 MeSH/MARC

Download of any of the full data files requires the completion of an online memorandum of understanding.

Conversion Information

MeSH/MARC files available to download

Beginning with 2009 MeSH, if any changes in MeSH data are made in the middle of the year, a monthly full file and change file with these changes will be made available. Note that these monthly change files will include only changes made during that month - the changes are not cumulative. Mid-year change files that are available are indicated below.

The data are encoded in MARC-8. These files can only be transferred via FTP into a save file. A file extension of .bin has been used to prompt the local receiving computer to automatically open a file to save the data.

For users of Internet Explorer, if you want to save a file to your local hard drive rather than open it, you must right-click the link and then select Save Target As....

The full file is estimated to take 5 minutes to download on a T3 communications line (at 45 Mbps) and longer on slower lines.

  • Annual files
    • Sample file contains 41 descriptor records, 83 qualifier records, and 869 descriptor/qualifier combinations, for a total of 993 records. Download sample file [317KB]
      • Label file provides size and other statistics for the sample file. [68B]
    • Update-only file contains new and modified terms with 1,924 descriptor records, 12 qualifier records, and 11,139 descriptor/qualifier combinations, for a total of 13,075 records. Download update-only file [4MB]
      • Label file provides size and other statistics for the update file. [77B]
    • Full file contains all terms with 26,581 descriptor records, 83 qualifier records, and 593,280 descriptor/qualifier combinations, for a total of 619,944 records. Download full file [153MB]
      • Label file provides size and other statistics for the full file. [79B]

    Summary contents of files. 2012 MeSH/MARC. September 7, 2011.

    FileTotal RecordsFile SizeBytes
    Full File 619,944 153MB 160,215,644
    Update-only File 13,075 4MB 4,673,338
    Sample File 993 317KB 325,561
  • Monthly change files

    Summary contents of monthly files. 2012 MeSH/MARC.
    MonthTotal RecordsFile SizeBytes
    October 2011 0 0 0
    November 2011 3 2.2KB 2,256
    December 2011 0 0 0
    January 2012 30 27.5KB 28,112
    February 2012 0 0 0
    March 2012 0 0 0
    April 2012 0 0 0
    May 2012 0 0 0
    June 2012 0 0 0
    July 2012 85 19.1KB 19,499
If you have questions concerning the content of MeSH/MARC files or FTP of MeSH/MARC data, please contact:
Jacque-Lynne Schulman
Medical Subject Headings
Telephone: 301-496-1495; FAX: 301-402-2002
email: schulman@nlm.nih.gov