3A1.    The statement of physical characteristics gives:

an indication of the extent (e.g., number of physical units);

specific material designation -- an indication of the medium or format of the material (and in some cases both);

an indication of the material upon which the image(s) is printed or executed ( primary support), if significant;

an indication of the material upon which the image is mounted ( secondary support), if significant;

other details of physical description, as appropriate;


an indication of accompanying material.

The specific rules given below provide for aspects of exceptional physical description, as dictated by the nature of a particular medium or format.  Examples in this area are intended to illustrate specific points only.  Not all the elements that would be required in a full catalog record are provided in each case.

3A2.    Punctuation

For instructions on the use of spaces before and after prescribed punctuation, see 0D.

Precede the physical description area by a period, space, dash, space (. -- ) or start a new paragraph. ( FN 1)

Precede other physical details by a colon ( : ).

Precede dimensions by a semicolon ( ; ).

Precede a statement of accompanying material by a plus sign ( + ).

Enclose physical details of accompanying material in parentheses.

Normally, an area begins with a capital letter, but in the physical description area start instead with the lower case (e.g., ca. 2,500 items).

End the physical description area with a period unless it already ends with a closing parenthesis or mark of abbreviation (e.g., cm.).

3A3.    Sources of Information

Take information for the physical description area from any source.  Take explicitly or implicitly stated information from the material itself.

See also:

3.  Physical Description Area