Extent of Item:

The number of items or parts in a work constitutes the extent of item portion of the physical description area.

Multiple Items/Parts:

If the work is not complete, a blank of three spaces precedes the specific material designation given in the plural form. An incomplete work can be the result of either sheets that are simply missing or sheets that have not yet been issued. If known, record in a note, the total number of sheets or maps that make the work complete. Example:

Other physical Details:

Information transcribed as "other physical details" should be grammatically consistent with the information transcribed as "extent of item," in terms of plurality. Examples:

Both sides




The size of an item (or items) is given whenever possible. When it is not possible to measure the item, the sheet size is given instead. In some instances, both the item size and the sheet size are given. (17)


Rolled in Tube:

The physical description for items issued and retained in tubes should include the size of the tube. Example:

Accompanying Material:

Using judgment, include a relatively simple, non-complicated accompanying material statement as the final element of the physical description. Describe more complex accompanying material information in a note.

Similar Title:

In general, if the title on the title page of the accompanying material is the same as the main title, cover title, or any other title or alternate title of an item, the accompanying material is included in the physical description area.

Accompanying material is described by using a brief generic or descriptive term, followed by pagination, an abbreviated other physical description statement, and the dimensions. Any maps or bibliography present are always mentioned. Other types of illustrations (e.g., diagrams, tables, ill., etc.) may be mentioned if important. Examples:

See also: