The rules that guide the bibliographic description and added entry portions of collection-level cataloging are the latest edition of AACR2, supplemented by use of appropriate national rule interpretations.  Use the rules in conjunction with these guidelines, which are arranged by MARC 21 field.  Fields for which no specific collection-level instructions are required are not included here but may be used as appropriate.


06:  Type of record

If the collection contains only printed, microform, and/or electronic language material (e.g., books, broadsides, pamphlets, serials, etc.), code as Language Material, type a.  If the collection also includes other material types (e.g., cartographic, music, manuscript, etc.), code as Mixed Materials, type p.

07:  Bibliographic level

Use the value c (Collection-level).


06:  Type of date

Coding choices are:  i (Inclusive dates of collection), k (Range of years of bulk of collection), and m (Multiple dates).

07-10:  Date 1

Give the earliest date, or single date, from the 260 field.

11-14:  Date 2

Give the latest or closing date from the 260 field.  Enter 9999 in 008/11-14 if the collection is open or not yet complete and use m in 008/06.

15-17:  Country of publication

If all the items were published in a single country (or state, province, etc.), enter the code for that country.  If the items were published in more than one country, enter the code vp_.


1XX fields:  Main entry

The main entry heading is determined by application of the appropriate cataloging rules.  Title main entry is appropriate for many collections (see AACR2 rule 21.7).  A 1XX name main entry is appropriate when all materials have the same personal author(s) or emanate from a single corporate body (AACR2 rule 21.4), including collections of laws with main entry under jurisdiction (AACR2 rule 21.31B1).

110  1_  $a Austria.

When a collection is known by the name of its collector, enter the record under the heading for that person or body.  Optionally, follow the heading by the relator term "collector" in subfield $e or the relator code "col" in subfield $4 (FNB-1).

110  1_  $a Purland, Theodocius, $e collector.

245  10  $a [Theodocius Purland collection of materials on mesmerism].

LC Rare Book Team Guidelines:  Cataloger's judgement.

240 field:  Uniform title

Supply a uniform title for the collection if appropriate according to AACR2 chapter 25.

110  1_  $a Austria.

240  10  $a Laws, etc. (Royal decrees)

245 field:  Title statement

Construct a title for the collection and enclose it in square brackets.  Devised titles should generally be in the language and script of the cataloging agency and should be both descriptive and distinctive, thereby highlighting the factor(s) that characterize the collection as a whole.  Strive for consistency in title construction across collections.  Types of data appropriate for inclusion in collective titles include:

name of collection (for previously-named collections)

name of creator, creating body, collector or source (provenance)


geographic locations

genre/form of material

principal subjects—persons, events, topics, activities, objects, and dates of subject coverage

110  1_  $a Austria.

240  10  $a Laws, etc. (Royal decrees)

245  10  $a [Collection of decrees of Emperor Francis I of Austria].

245  00  $a [Association of American Railroads collection of pamphlets].

245  00  $a [Analecta Anglicana : $b commonplace books].

245  00  $a [Spanish Civil War news releases].

246 field:  Varying form of title

Record variant titles by which a collection may be known if they differ substantially from the 245 title statement and provide a useful access point.  If most or all of the items in the collection have the same title information and it is considered important, make an added entry for the title.

245  10  $a [William J. Griffith collection on Central America].

246  3_  $a Griffith Guatemala collection

245  10  $a [Collection of decrees of Emperor Francis I of Austria].

246  1_  $i Decrees begin: $a Wir Franz der Erste, von Gottes Gnaden Kaiser von Oesterreich ...

260 field:  Publication, distribution, etc. (Imprint)

All elements of the imprint may be included in collection-level records if appropriate.  Bracket all elements that are used.  In most cases, only the date element (subfield $c) is appropriate.  Use 260 subfields $a, $b, $e, and $f only if the same place and/or the same publisher, printer, or bookseller apply to all items in the collection.  If the collection is finite, use a single date or inclusive dates in the subfield $c, as appropriate.

260  __  $c [1780-1860, bulk 1795-1840]

260  __  $c [1655-1687]

260  __  $c [ca. 1500-ca. 1600]

260  __  $a [Madrid : $b El Partido Nacional, $c 1835-]

260  __  $a [Philadelphia, $c 1850-1890]

300 field:  Physical description

Subfield $a - Extent

Give the extent of the collection by counting or estimating the number of items it contains.  Optionally, provide a separate physical description for each format.

300  __  $a 17 v.

300  __  $a 25 items

300  __  $a ca. 350 pieces

300  __  $a ca. 450 broadsides

LC Rare Book Team Guidelines:  Cataloger's judgement.

Subfield $b - Other physical details

Provide other details of particular significance.

Subfield $c - Dimensions

Optionally, provide details of the size of the items and/or their containers.  A range of sizes may be used if the items or containers are not of uniform size.

300  __  $a ... ; $c 28 cm.

300  __  $a ... ; $c 23-30 cm.

300  __  $a ... ; $c 60 x 90 cm or smaller.

300  __  $a 20 pamphlets ; $c in box 12 x 26 x 35 cm.

LC Rare Book Team Guidelines:  Cataloger's judgement.

351 field:  Organization and arrangement of materials

Describe the way in which materials have been subdivided into smaller units or the order in which particular units have been arranged.

351  __  $a Organized in three series: 1. Poetry. 2. Fiction. 3. Essays.

351  __  $a Items are arranged chronologically.

4XX fields:  Series statement

Do not use.  If series titles of items in the collection are significant, trace them in the appropriate 700-75X field.  A note supporting the tracing may also be provided.

500  __  $a Most of the pamphlets are from the series Dicks' standard plays.

730  0_  $a Dicks' standard plays.

5XX fields:  Notes

Inclusion of a variety of notes will help provide collective context to the materials being described.  It is particularly important to describe the contents of the collection in a 505 contents note and/or a 520 summary note, as described below.  The order of notes presented below is recommended based on archival collection-level cataloging practice.

LC Rare Book Team Guidelines:  Cataloger's judgement.

500 field:  General note

Always include as the first note the statement "Collection title devised by cataloger."

506 field:  Restrictions on access note

When access to a collection or a portion thereof is restricted, explain the nature and extent of the restrictions.

506  __  $a Restricted: Original materials are extremely fragile; $c Researchers must use microfilm.

506  __  $3 All materials except pamphlets are restricted until Jan. 1, 2050.

545 field:  Biographical or historical data

Provide biographical or historical information about the individual or organization referenced in the 1XX or 245 field.

545  __  $a Screenwriter for film and television, playwright and author.

545  __  $a George Heard Hamilton was born June 23, 1910, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He studied at Yale University where he received a B.A. in English in 1932, an M.A. in History in 1934, and a Ph.D. in Art History in 1942 ...

110  2_  $a Monday Evening Concerts of Los Angeles.

245  1_  $a [Monday Evening Concerts programs].

545  __  $a The Monday Evening Concerts, first known as Evenings on the Roof, began in 1939 under the direction of Peter Yates. The concerts featured his wife Frances Mullen, among others, playing chamber music and other experimental works ...

520 field:  Summary, etc.

Summary notes are narrative, free-text statements of the scope and contents of collections.  Details may include forms of materials, dates of subject coverage, and the most significant topics, persons, places, or events.  A summary note may be used in lieu of or in addition to a 505 note.  If the collection contents are listed in a separate finding aid, use only a 520 note and also make a 555 finding aid note.

520  __  $a Pamphlets relating to the High Church's disciplinary hearings on Karl Sydow, held because of Sydow's position (both preached and published) on the interpretation of Christ's birth.

505 field: Formatted contents note

Formatted contents notes provide a structured method of recording item-level information.  Elements may include author, title, edition, date of creation or publication, extent, scale, etc.  Assign a number to each item, record it within square brackets in the 505 note, and write it on each item.  For materials that lack routine bibliographic indicia, or for large collections of many items, prefer the narrative 520 summary note to the 505 note.

505  0_  $a [1] Espagne rouge & noire [1963?] -- [2] The Spanish regime helps communism [1960?] -- [3] El marxismo en España / por Luis Araquistain [1957?] ...

524 field:  Preferred citation of described materials note

Use to provide a specific citation format for citing the collection.

524  __  $a Early Paperback Collection. Rare Books and Manuscripts Library, The Ohio State University.

541 field:  Immediate source of acquisition note

Record the immediate source from which the library acquired the collection.  Use only for materials acquired as a collection.

541  __  $a Acquired by exchange from Auburn University; $d 1954.

541  __  $3 Master copy $c Gift; $a Mrs. James Hickey; $d received: 5/22/1989.

541  __  $a On permanent loan from the J. Paul Getty Museum.

555 field:  Cumulative index/finding aids note

Specify the existence of any separate finding aid.  An external electronic finding aid may be linked to from this field, if permitted by the local system (see also the 856 field).

555  8_  $a Inventory available in the Wesleyan University Department of Special Collections and University Archives; $c item-level control.

561 field:  Ownership and custodial history

Briefly describe any relevant history concerning the ownership of the materials from the time of their creation up until the time of their acquisition by the library.

561  __  $a The collection belonged to the Earls of Westmoreland from 1759-1942.

580 field:  Linking entry complexity note

Use this note to state the relationship between the materials described and a broader collection of which it is a part.  Use only when parts of the collection are being described in separate records (see also the 76X-79X fields).

580  __  $a Forms part of the Margaret Mead Collection.

773  1_  $t Margaret Mead Collection

6XX fields:  Subject access

Assign subject headings as specific as the collection warrants.

245  00  $a [Janus Press miscellaneous printed ephemera].

610  20  $a Janus Press.

600  10  $a Van Vliet, Claire.

650  _0  $a Artists' books $z Vermont $z West Burke.

650  _0  $a Paper, Handmade $z Vermont $z West Burke.

245  00  $a [Italian Communist Party pamphlets].

610  20  $a Partito comunista italiano.

651  _0  $a Italy $x Politics and government $y 20th century.

Assign as many subject headings as seem appropriate, remembering that economy in processing may suggest that a reasonable limit be observed.

655 field:  Genre/form headings

Assign as applicable.  Prefer the terminology used in controlled vocabularies issued by the RBMS Bibliographic Standards Committee.  Terms from other authorized vocabularies (e.g., the Art & Architecture Thesaurus Online) may also be used as appropriate.  As with subject headings, assign headings as specifically and numerously as the collection and institutional policy warrant.

245  00  $a [American theater programs of the late 19th and 20th centuries].

655  _7  $a Theater programs $z United States $y 19th century. $2 rbgenr

655  _7  $a Theater programs $z United States $y 20th century. $2 rbgenr

100  1_  $a Elliott, Harrison, $d 1879-1954, $e collector.

245  00  $a [paper specimens and research material relating to the history of papermaking].

655  _7  $a Handmade papers (Paper). $2 rbpap

655  _7  $a Mould-made papers (Paper). $2 rbpap

700-75X fields:  Added entries

Types of added entries considered useful for various types of materials include:  author/title analytics, government bodies or individual sovereigns (e.g., as authors of the laws, etc.), creators of collections, names of collections, etc.  In cases where a person or corporate body is both the author or issuing body and the subject of a collection, it may be appropriate to provide both a 6XX subject entry and a 1XX or 7XX entry.  If a linking entry complexity note has been used in field 580 to describe the relationship of the collection being cataloged to a larger collection, make an added entry for the larger collection using field 773.

856 field:  Electronic location and access

Use to specify the location or means of access to an electronic finding aid prepared for the collection or for other reasons, such as to point to scanned items or digital images selected from the collection.  Take special note of the second indicator, which specifies the relationship of the electronic resource being linked to the item described in the record.

856  42  $3 Finding aid $u

See also:

Appendix B:  Collection-Level Records