Character position definition and scope:

The Type of date/Publication status contains a one-character alphabetic code that categorizes the type of dates given in character positions 008/07-10 (Date 1) and 008/11-14 (Date 2).  For continuing resources, the code in 008/06 also indicates the publication status.

The choice of code for 008/06 is made concurrently with a determination of the appropriate dates for 008/07-14.  For most records, data is derived from information in field 260 (Publication, Distribution, Etc. (Imprint)), field 264 (Production, Publication, Distribution, Manufacture, and Copyright Notice), field 362 (Dates of Publication and/or Sequential Designation), or from 5XX note fields.

Dates are represented by four digits.  Missing digits in the date are represented by the character u.

For continuing resources, 008/07-10 contain the beginning date of publication (chronological designation) and 008/11-14 contain the ending date.  For reprints of serials and for reproductions of serials being described in the body of the entry, the beginning and ending dates of the original are entered in these character positions.  For additional guidelines on coding reproductions, see:  Coding 008 for Reproductions.

Record requirements for position 008/06 for all types of material:  for National-level records - Mandatory; for Minimal-level records - Optional.

Validity by material type:  Valid for all types.

Guidelines for applying content designators:

Precedence of codes (monographic items):  When more than one code applies to a bibliographic item, certain codes take precedence.  The table below lists the appropriate codes to use, in precedence order, with codes listed first taking precedence over codes listed subsequently.  Note that the left column covers single part items and multipart items completed in one year and the right column covers multipart items for which a span of dates is required.

Single part and multipart items complete in one year

Collections and multipart items complete in more than one year

b  B.C. date

b  B.C. date

r  Reprint/original date

i  Inclusive date

e  Detailed date

k  Range of dates

s  Single date

r  Reprint/original date

p  Distribution/production date

m  Initial/terminal date

t  Publication date and copyright date

t  Publication date and copyright date

q  Questionable date

n  Unknown date

n  Unknown date


Legal Characters for Date 1 and Date 2 Entry:  Date 1 and Date 2 usually consist of four digits each (e.g., 1963).

When part of the date is unknown, missing digits are represented by the character u (e.g., "19??" would be recorded as 19uu).

If the date is totally unknown, the millennium may be inferred (e.g., 1uuu).

For Common Era (C.E.) of the first millennium, the year is right justified and unused positions contain zeros (e.g., "946 A.D." would be recorded as 0946).

When Date 1 or Date 2 is not applicable, such as when Before Common Era (B.C.) dates are involved, blanks are used (e.g., ####).

For active serials (i.e., when the serial has not ceased publication) and incomplete multipart nonserial items, the date in 008/11-14 is represented by 9999 to indicate that the year is not yet available.

The fill character ( | ) may also be used in 008/06-14 when no attempt has been made to code dates, but its use in 008/07-10 is discouraged.  Many MARC-based systems rely on non-fill characters in 008/07-10 for retrieval and duplicate detection.  When fill is used in either 008/07-10 or 008/11-14, it should be used in all four character positions, thus a combination of fills and any other character in either of these positions should never occur.

Codes:  The table below summarizes the types of dates and all available codes.  For more information on coding, including examples, select a topic from the Description column below:

Type of Date:



No date; B.C. date:


No dates given; B. C. date involved



No attempt to code




Single date:


Detailed date



Single known date/probable date




Multiple dates:


Inclusive dates of collection



Range of years of bulk of collection



Multiple dates



Date of distribution/release/issue and production/recording session when different



Reprint/reissue date and original date



Publication date and copyright date




Unknown dates:


Dates unknown



Questionable date




Continuing resource publication status:


Continuing resource currently published



Continuing resource ceased publication (Dead status)



Continuing resource status unknown

Content designator history:

Changes in Codes

Related MARC fields or documents:

Leader/07  Bibliographic level

008/07-10 All materials:  Date 1/Beginning date of publication

008/11-14 All materials:  Date 2/Ending date of publication

046  Special Coded Dates

260  Publication, Distribution, Etc. (Imprint)

362  Dates of Publication and/or Sequential Designation

500  General Note

533  Reproduction Note

See also:

008/00-39:  Character Positions by Type of Material

008  Fixed-Length Data Elements