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Videorecording Cataloging and Processing Procedures

Version 2.0 by Dana M. Caudle

This guide will cover the special procedures for cataloging videorecordings, also known as videos, videotapes, and videocassettes. Consider videos to be monographs unless they meet the criteria for serials. Many fields in the video MARC record function the same as their counterparts in the basic MARC record for print monographs (e.g. regular books). If a field is one also used in print records, see the Guide to MARC Fields on the Cataloging Department web page for instructions.

You will also need to refer to the following documents:

  • Anglo American Cataloging Rules, 2nd edition (AACR2), 2002 revision. You can find the rules in the notebook on the documentation counter or in Cataloger's Desktop.
  • Library of Congress Rule Interpretations to AACR2. These are also located on the documentation counter and Cataloger's Desktop. They are organized by AACR2 rule number.
  • OCLC's Bibliographic Formats and Standards, 3rd ed., available from the OCLC web site:
  • Nancy Olson's Guide to Cataloging Audiovisual Materials According to AACR2, 4th ed.
  • The Guide to Subject Analysis on the Cataloging Department web page.

The OLAC Newsletter and electronic discussion lists are good places to ask questions and receive answers from other media catalogers.

Getting Started

AACR2 is organized around the concept of describing the physical item in hand, not the work represented by that item. In practical terms, this means the cataloging description is based upon the individual videocassette in hand and not on any of the work's prior incarnations, whether it first premiered as a feature film in theaters or was shown on television. Information pertaining to the original work is placed in notes.

The very first step to take when cataloging any material is to determine the title of the item. Unlike a book, videos do not have a title page per se. According to AACR2 rule 7.0B1, the primary or chief source of information is the videotape itself, i.e. what appears on the tape when you watch it. This means that you must view at least the title frames of the video in order to accurately determine the title and other descriptive information. Never try to substitute what appears on the box for the title proper in the 245 because the title on the box most likely will not match the title on the tape. It may seem arbitrary, but AACR2 chose to prefer the title from the title frames over all others, so always view the video and choose or create the record on the basis of what you see. It does not matter whether information comes from the title frames or the credits frames as long as you transcribe it exactly as it appears on the tape. The label on the physical cassette is also considered part of the chief source. Another source of information is what appears on the video's box, also called the container. If you must take the title from the label or the container because there are no title frames, make a 500 note with the source of the title. The information from the videotape and label should always take precedence over the information from the container, with the exception of the publication/release date for the video.

When viewing the video, transcribe, e.g. write down, the title and the opening and closing credits exactly as they appear. This includes any phrasing such as "directed by" that precedes a name. Stop periodically to get some idea of the content for a summary statement and subject analysis. This does not mean watching the whole video. See the worksheet and instructions for viewing videos for guidelines. In addition to accurately recording information from the chief source, viewing the video allows you to spot damage while we can still return the tape to the publisher for a refund or an undamaged replacement. Once the video has a spine label or other processing done to it, the publishers will not send a free replacement.

Once you have viewed the title frames of the video and established what the title proper should be, the next step is to determine whether the video is part of a published series, as opposed to a television series. Publishers frequently issue videos in sets or series, which may or may not bear the same title as the original television or film series. Treatment of a video set or series will depend on three things: the type of individual video titles, the numbering if any, and the depth of the subject covered by the set or series.

If the videos in a set do not have individual titles, treat the set as a multi-part item and do a set record only. If the videos have individual titles that are not distinct (i.e. the titles do not make sense alone), class the videos together and use a set record, just as you would for multi-part items.

All individual videos with their own distinct titles should have their own records, so create an analytic record for each individual video title. Use or suppress the set record depending on whether the set or series is classed together (i.e. each video has the same call number) or classed separately (i.e. each video has its own call number). If a set or series is numbered and its topic is narrow enough for all videos to fall within a single call number, class the videos together and use the set record. But if a numbered set's topic is broader in scope, class the videos separately and suppress the set record. If a set or series is unnumbered, always class the individual videos separately and suppress the set record.

The rights for commercially produced videos often change hands many times as different publishers acquire them. As a result, videos often go through several releases. Typically, the new publisher slaps an opening screen to the beginning of the master tape and adds its own closing screen and/or a new copyright statement to the end. The master video is usually not altered. Unless the distributor is formally identified on the tape, e.g. "Distributed by Warner for PBS Video," consider the distributor to be the latest publisher to issue the video and treat them as a publisher instead of a distributor. This also applies to dates for the video in hand. Use the latest date associated with a publisher or distributor as the release date for the video in hand. This will often be the date of the artwork on the container. It is the only information you will prefer to take from the container instead of the video itself.

The third step, once you determine whether the video is part of a series, is to search OCLC for the set and analytic records that come closest to matching the video(s) in hand. You may need to choose or create a new set record. You may also have to create some or all of the analytic records. When searching OCLC for video records, be sure to search both the title on the video and the title on the box in several different ways. This is bound to yield several records. Choose the record that matches the video title from the tape, the series title, the publisher, the publication date, the edition, and the format (VHS vs. DVD). All of these criteria are what I call critical hits because differences in any of these except publisher and date justify the creation of a new record. For details on whether to create a new record or edit an existing record from OCLC, see Olson, p. 65-66. Always manually update the OCLC holdings on all chosen records as you export them, unless the record is a set record to be suppressed.

Recommended OCLC searches for videos include:

  • 3,2,2,1/v is where the numbers represent the first few letters of the first four words of the title and vis limits the search to video records only.

  • Ex. All,th,pr,m/vis would retrieve all video records for the movie All the president's men.

Sca ti [title] which is the scan title search.

ISBN of a commercial video.

Remember that the video could be incorrectly cataloged under the title on the container, so search all title variations before doing original cataloging.

If you create records on OCLC, put them in the Save File overnight and proofread them the next day before producing them. If you make a mistake when doing original cataloging, you will be responsible for fixing it using OCLC's lock and replace. If the system will not allow you to lock and replace, you will be responsible for asking a cataloger how to send an error report to OCLC. Mistakes happen. The important thing is knowing how to fix them when they occur.

The following elements are all specific to the video record. The rest of this document explains each element in the appropriate section. Check for:

      Leader field Type of Record = g

      Accuracy of the 008 fixed fields

      Correct 007 field pattern, with first subfield = v

      Publisher's number(s) in 028 field(s)

      Gmd "$h [videorecording]" following the 245 subfields $a, $n, and $p

Finally, be sure to read the "Some Advice" section in Olson's guide on p. 56-57.

Fixed Fields

The fixed fields in videorecording records are similar to those in print records. However, some fields in print monograph records won't appear in video records. Instead, video records have their own special fixed fields. In OCLC, the fixed fields correspond to the leader and 008 fields in Voyager. The physical characteristics of the videotape go into an 007 field which displays in OCLC as one of the variable fields with each code in its own subfield. However, Voyager displays the 007 field as another window in the fixed field area. As a result, Voyager uses boxes instead of subfields for the 007, so it can be confusing. Below is an example of the OCLC fixed fields. The next three sections will cover the leader, 008 and 007 fields, respectively, in Voyager. As in previous guides, the OCLC field name is in bold following the Voyager field name.

OCLC Fixed Fields:

Leader Field in Voyager

  • Type of Record/Type = g. Code "g" is used for all projected media, including DVDs, videorecordings, motion pictures, filmstrips, slides, and transparencies. All other fields in the leader are the same as they are for print records.

Ignore the other fields in the Leader in Voyager. When entering records in OCLC:

  • BLvl = m [monograph]
  • Desc = a [AACR2 rules]
  • Elvl = I [Full level description]
  • Srce = d [Input by OCLC member library]


008 Fields in Voyager

Publication Status/DtSt and Date 1, Date 2/Dates

These two fields record the type of date and the actual dates on the video. If the date on the tape is also the release date, treat the information in these fields as in print records, with code "s" for single date in the Publication Status field and the date in the Date 1 field. But if there are different dates on the label or container, treat the later date as the release date, put a "p" in the Publication Status field and give the latest date, followed by the earliest date in the Date 1, Date 2 fields. However, if the video contains new material or changes from the original, you should still use the "s" in Publication Status and enter only the latest date in Date 1. See the 260 field for a fuller explanation on the treatment of dates and examples.

Running Time/Time.

This field records the running time of the video in minutes, expressed in numbers up to three digits. Prefer a time from the label or container over that from the VCR counter, even if the VCR counter time is longer. Always round up to the next minute, even if the running time is only a few seconds longer than the last minute. Because this running time is rounded, it may or may not match that given in the 300 subfield $a. If the number of minutes is less than three digits, put in leading zeros. If the number is over three digits, use 000. If there is more than one tape, add all of the individual video times together and round up as appropriate. See the section on the 300 field for detailed instructions on determining the running time.

Audience/Audn This field specifies the audience level of the video, especially educational ones. It is usually blank in print records, but video records must have a value in this field, even if it is only "g" for general audiences. If the video's content is appropriate for more than one audience, use the code for the highest appropriate level. Prefer "e" over "g", especially for nonfiction, if the audience level is ambiguous unless it could be appropriate for even young children. The codes are:

        a - preschool

        b - primary (grades 1-3)

        c - elementary (grades 4-6) or junior high (grades 7-8)

        d - secondary (grades 9-12)

        e - adult (college level or above)

        f - specialized (professional or highly technical)

        g -fiction, general (all ages)

        j - juvenile (to age 15 or grade 9)

Accompanying Matter 1-5/Accm

These fields are obsolete. Do not use them.

Form of Item/Form

This field is used in print records when the monograph is a reproduction. It does not apply to videos. Leave it blank in Voyager and OCLC.

Type of Material/Tmat = v.

This field is used in conjunction with the Type of Record field in the leader. It gives the specific type of projected medium and should match the gmd in the 245 subfield $h. Code "v" is for videorecordings and DVDs. Films, motion pictures, slides, etc., have their own codes.


This field describes the motion technique(s) in a video, specifically whether it is animated or live action. If the credits particularly include the words "animated" or "animation," consider the video to use animation. There is no specific code to cover computer animation yet, so include it under the definition for animation. This field must be present in OCLC. The default value is "l" for live action.

        a - animation

        c - mix of animation and live action

        l - live action or not stated explicitly and cannot be determined

The following fields follow the same rules as their print monograph equivalents:

        Place of Publication/Ctry

        Govt. Publication/Gpub


007 Field (Subfields)

The 007 field always gives the physical description of the item. As stated earlier, the 007 displays as a variable field in OCLC and a separate fixed field window in Voyager. The first code should match the 008 Type of Material field and the 245 subfield $h general material designation (gmd). In OCLC, this code is "v" for "videorecording" and it goes in the 007 subfield $a. In Voyager, there should be a check mark on the Video Recording tab at the top of the 007 window. The 007 codes are the same for all videos, with two exceptions: the Color field (subfield $d) which specifies color vs. black and white and the Playback Channels field (subfield $i) which specifies whether the sound is mono or stereo. Because the values are the same, you can quickly check the string of 007 field values shown in the bibliographic record instead of clicking on the 007 button (see above). The second position after the "f" is for the Color code. The first position after the "f" is the obsolete field (see below). The information in brackets contains the meaning of each code.

The Voyager 007 window:

In the fixed field area of the Voyager bibliographic record:


(indicators are blank)

Specific Material Designation / subfield $b = f [videocassette]

Original vs. Reproduction Aspect / subfield $c. This field is obsolete. In Voyager, leave it blank or change it to "|" if it's not. In OCLC, do not include this subfield in the 007.

Color / subfield $d. This code should match the information in the 300 subfield $b.

        c - color (in Voyager: multicolored)

        b - black and white

        m - mixed

Format / subfield $e = b [VHS]

Sound on Medium / subfield $f = a [sound on medium]

Medium for Sound / subfield $g = h [sound on videotape]

Dimensions / subfield $h = o [1/2 inch]

Playback Channels / subfield $i. This information will be found on the videocassette or the box. Leave it blank for "unknown" if mono, stereo, hi-fi, etc. are not specified.

  • k - mixed
  • m - monaural (mono)
  • n - not applicable (silent or sound is separate)
  • q - multichannel, surround, or quadraphonic
  • s - stereophonic
  • u - unknown
  • z - other

Variable Fields

020 Field

The 020 field is for the ISBN, just as in print records. Commercial videos will sometimes have ISBNs.

024 Field

The 024 field is for the Universal Product Code (UPC) number. This code is located on some commercial videos in the form of a barcode with a 12-digit number underneath it, usually spaced as one number, two groups of five numbers, then the final number. Place the UPC number in the 024 field without spaces. The first indicator is always one and the second indicator is always blank.

  • Ex. 024 1 b $a 767667801424

028 Field

The 028 field is for the publisher number. The first indicator is always 4 [videorecording number] and the second indicator is always 2 [note, no added entry]p '>. Put the number in subfield $a and the publisher in subfield $b. The number should be entered exactly as it appears, including spaces and dashes, if any. (For consistency, use a space in Films for the Humanities publisher numbers.) Sets may have one number for the set and/or separate numbers for each video. Place the set number first followed by the individual video numbers in parentheses. If there are multiple numbers and they are in sequence by an increment of one, record the first and last numbers separated by two dashes.

  • Ex. Individual video numbers in sequence.
  • 028 4 2 $a FFH 2622--FFH 2624 $b Films for the Humanities & Sciences
  • Ex. Set number and individual video numbers in sequence.
  • 028 4 2 $a B5424 (B3268--B3274) $b Turner Home Entertainment

If the numbers aren't in sequence by one, treat each number separately. Never put sequences with increments other than one in the sequence format above. Instead, separate the numbers with commas or use multiple 028s, one for each number. When creating the 028 field, prefer one 028 field over multiple 028 fields. If the record already has multiple 028 fields, you may leave them that way.

  • Ex. Video numbers not in sequence using one 028 field.

  • 028 4 2 $a FFH 3345, FFH 3350, FFH 3357


  • Ex. Video numbers not in sequence using multiple 028 fields.
  • 028 4 2 $a FFH 3345
  • 028 4 2 $a FFH 3350
  • 028 4 2 $a FFH 3357

033 Field

This field records the date, time, and place of an event. In the case of videos, it contains that information for the original broadcast or recording of the video's content. If a video's content was recorded one day and broadcast on another, use two 033 fields, one for the date, time, and place of the recording and one for the broadcast. Also create a text note for the date, time, and place in a 518 field.

Enter the date and time in the form of year, month, day, hour, and minute in the subfield $a. Use dashes for any unknown part of the date, but do not include dashes if the hour or minute is not known. If the date is not know, do not include a subfield $a. For the place, use a code for the primary geographic area in subfield $b. The code is the call number for that place from the G schedule, minus the letter "G". Be sure to use the sequence for maps, NOT atlases. Remember that most states have four numbers assigned to them and the fourth number would be the one you use for a city. You would also create a single digit cutter number for the city and place it in the subfield $c. If there is no place given, do not include subfields $b or $c.

All subfields are repeatable. The first subfield $a should contain the earliest date and time, followed by a second subfield $a for the later time. The subfields $b and $c for the first geographic area should come next, followed by the second set of subfields $b and $c for the second place.

First indicator:

  • blank - no date information [i.e., no subfield $a]
  • 0 - single date
  • 1 - multiple single dates/two consecutive dates
  • 2 - range of dates

Second indicator:

  • 0 - capture [recording]
  • 1 - broadcast

  • Pattern: 033 _ _ $a yyyymmddhhmm $b geographic area code from G schedule $c geographic sub area code from G schedules
  • 033 0 0 $a 20001107 $b 3804 $c R6
  • Ex. Videorecording of a program recorded in Philadelphia and New York on March 3 and 14, 1998 and broadcast on May 24, 1998.
  • 033 10 $a 19980303 $a 19980314 $b 3824 $c P5 $b 3804 $c N4
  • 033 01 $a 19980524

041 Field

This field not only records the language(s) of the video, but the language(s) of the subtitles as well. If there is an 041 field, you will also have a 546 field for the languages of the soundtrack and subtitles.

  • Pattern: 041 1 b $a language of video $b language of subtitles
  • Ex. Video in French with English subtitles.
  • 041 1 b $a fre $b eng

043 Field

If the video is about a particular place, put the geographic area code for that place in an 043 field, just as you would in print records. Remember that the code must match the place given in the subject heading 651 field or 650 subfield $z.

  • Ex. Video examining marriage trends in the United States.
  • 043 b b $a n-us---

090 Field

Use this field for the call number, just as in print records. Assign a call number to a video with the same rules used to construct call numbers for print materials. Unlike serials and conferences, there is no special number for videos at the beginning of subjects in the classification schedules. Just assign the appropriate general number you would use for regular print materials. If the video is an adaptation of a literary work, play, or opera, prefer classification with that particular work over any general number for video adaptations. If the video is a fictional video not in the above categories or a motion picture, it will usually go into "PN1995.9.A-Z", which is for "Drama - Motion pictures." Olson's guide has an excellent discussion of call numbers on p. 50-55. You may also wish to consult the Guide to Subject Analysis.

245 Field

Unlike books, videos, by their nature, rarely have a main entry (main access point) for a particular person because many people and companies participate in the creation of a video. Almost all videos will be entered under title. The exceptions are videos that meet the criteria for entry under corporate body in AACR2 rule 21.1B2. However, these criteria are extremely narrow: certain administrative policies, certain legal, governmental, or religious works, commission reports, conferences, or a performance group. Few videos will qualify, with the exception of music videos. Always check the rule if you aren't sure.

As stated before, always take the title from the title frames. There is one exception. If the title on the title frames is the series title and there is no individual title present, take the title from the label or box. If you have to take the title from any place other than the title frames, state the source you used for the title in a 500 note. This lets other catalogers know where your title came from. Under rule 1.1B1, record the title exactly as it appears on the title frames.

If there is information in the form "so-an-so presents" or "so-and-so in" preceding the title, include it as part of the title proper only if it is grammatically linked to the title. Otherwise, put it in the statement of responsibility. [see rules 1.1A2, 1.1B2] However, LCRI 7.1B1 says to exclude credits for performer, author, director, producer (including corporate producers), presenter, etc. from the title proper unless they are an integral part of the title or they are in the form of a possessive. For a good discussion and examples, see Olson, p. 20-23.

Do NOT use a series title and segment title in the 245 field according to the AMIM rules for TV series given in Olson, p. 128-129. This practice is not in line with Auburn's preferred method of handling series statements. However, you need to be aware of it for searching purposes. If you find such a record, use it, but move the series title to the 440 field if it is a publisher's educational or technical series or place the information in an appropriate 500/730 field combination if the video is an episode or segment of a television series.

Since a video is a nonprint item, it should have a general material designation (gmd) of "videorecording." The gmd goes into a subfield $h with square brackets around it. There is no punctuation preceding the subfield $h.

According to AACR2 rule 7.1F1 and LCRI 7.1F1 the statement of responsibility in the subfield $c should include those responsible for the content of the video. This consists of the companies that produced the original videorecording and the producers, directors, and/or writers. All other types of producers, directors, editors, writers, cinematographers, animators, and researchers should be part of the 508 field. This includes executive producers, screen writers, cinematographers, and directors of photography but not assistant or associate positions. On analytic records, give the statement of responsibility for that individual video only; omit any set or series credits. Limit the statement of responsibility in a set record to the producer, director, and writer responsible for the entire set; do not try to include credits for individual videos. Place any other credits for the set or series in the 508 field on the set record. Do not include corporate bodies whose sole contribution was funding sponsorship. Also, do not include corporate bodies from the opening screens if they are publishers or distributors of the video. Record them in the 260 field instead.

Just as in print records, the statement of responsibility should be transcribed exactly as it appears on the tape, especially if the information is in the form of a phrase, e.g. "produced by Allison Blair." If a person is responsible for more than one function, such as producer and director, and this information is not in the form of a phrase, separate the two functions by a "/" without spaces, e.g. "producer/director." Personal names and production agencies do not have to be in any particular order in the subfield $c. According to Olson, production agencies and corporate bodies should be listed first. See Olson, p. 129-131 for a more detailed explanation of what goes in the statement of responsibility. Standard practice is to place the corporate body or bodies responsible first, followed by the names of individuals in the order they appear on the video.

The 245 title field should look like this:

  • Pattern: 245 0 _ $a Title $h [videorecording] : $b subtitle or other title information / $c statement of responsibility.
  • Ex. 245 0 4 The immune system $h [videorecording] / $c produced by Coscient, Inc. in collaboration with Radio-Quebec, TV Ontario.
  • Ex. 245 0 4 The language of the body $h [videorecording] : $b the essence of nonverbal communication / $c a BBC production in association with the Discovery Channel ; writer/director, Desmond Morris.
  • Ex. 245 0 0 Commercial generation and transmission of electricity $h [videorecording] / $c Granada color production ; made with the co-operation of UMIST Department of Pure and Applied Physics … [et al.] ; written, produced and directed by Jack Smith.

246 Field

Just as in print records, variant or alternate titles go into the 246 field in video records when they apply to the video as a whole, such as the subtitle in the 245 subfield $b. Variant titles serve as both a note and an added entry, so always choose a first indicator of 1 or 3, so that the title will be searchable in the catalog. Variant titles on the tape have a first indicator of 3 because they do not display in the public catalog. The second indicator will be blank, 0, or 1, depending on whether it is a spelling or grammar variation, an alternate or subtitle, or a parallel title, respectively.

  • Ex. 245 0 4 $a The killing screens $h [videorecording] : $b media and the culture of violence
  • 246 3 0 $a Media and the culture of violence
  • Ex. 245 0 4 $a Les quatre cents coups = $b the 400 blows
  • 246 3 1 $a 400 blows
  • 246 3 b $a Four hundred blows

Alternate titles include the titles from the label and container if these differ from the title on the tape. For label and container titles, always use a first indicator of 1 and a blank for the second indicator. This will cause the variant title to display in the public catalog with an appropriate note. Place a subfield $i containing the source of the title before the subfield $a. Place a colon between the two subfields. Put a space after the colon, but not before it.

  • Ex. 246 1 b $i Title on label: $a Survival in a crowded world
  • Ex. 246 1 b $i Subtitle on container: $a Essence of nonverbal communication

250 Field

There may be one or more versions of a feature film released on video. Treat each version as a separate edition, requiring a new record. Use the wording of the version for the edition statement in the 250 field.

  • Ex. 250 b b $a Restored version.
  • Ex. 250 b b $a Color version.
  • Ex. 250 b b $a 25th anniversary ed.
  • Ex. 250 b b $a Letterbox format.
  • Ex. 250 b b $a Director's cut.
  • Ex. 250 b b $a Unrated version.

260 Field

The 260 field in video records is just like the one for print records. Publisher information may come from the tape, label, or container, although you should bracket information from the container, since it is not the chief source. The publication date in subfield $c should be the issuing or release date. If the only date is a copyright date, assume that it is also the issuing date. If the copyright date on the tape differs from the one on the label and/or the container, use the latest copyright date in the subfield $c. This is typically the date on the container. Treat the original date on the tape as either a date pertaining to an earlier version or an original release date. Either way, put the earlier date in a 500 note, omitting the "c" for copyright. You would still place the earlier date in the Date 2 field in the fixed fields, unless the earlier date applies to an earlier edition. Ignore manufacturing dates, including those on labels containing only manufacturing information.

  • Ex. Copyright is 1983 on the tape and 1995 on the container and the video is unchanged from the original release.
  • Publication Status: p
  • Date 1, Date 2: 1995,1983
  • 260 b b $a [Atlanta, Ga.] : $b Turner Home Entertainment, $c [c1995]
  • 500 b b $a Originally issued [or released]: 1983.
  • Ex. Copyright is 1944 on the tape and 1994 on the label and the video is a 50th anniversary edition that has been remastered with restored scenes.
  • Publication Status: s
  • Date 1, Date 2: 1994
  • 250 b b 50th anniversary ed.
  • 260 b b $a Atlanta, Ga. : $b Turner Home Entertainment, $ c1994.
  • 500 b b $a Remastered version of the original 1944 motion picture with restored scenes.

If the individual videos in a set have different dates, treat them as a range of multiple dates. If the dates are copyright dates, include the "c" with each date.

  • Ex. 260 b b $c c1993-c1995.

300 Field

Just as in print records, the 300 field records the physical description for videos. However, the elements of description recorded are naturally quite different from those for print materials. The subfield $a contains the number of physical units followed in parentheses by the video's running time in minutes and seconds. Always use the word "videocassette(s)" for the units. Older video records will have "VHS" in parentheses following the number of videocassettes. Move the "VHS" to the appropriate 538 note.

Ideally, the running time should come from the length of the tape according to the VCR counter, but that number will deviate by a few seconds each time the tape is viewed, particularly if it is not viewed with the same VCR each time. Also, videos often have extra blank tape at the end, making it tough to distinguish the exact end of the program, as opposed to the end of the tape. However, many videos do have running times present on the label and/or container. Therefore, if there is no discrepancy greater than five minutes (either shorter or longer) between the time on the tape and the time on the label or container, use the label or container time. If the times on the label and the container differ, prefer the time on the label. If the label or container time is stated in minutes and seconds, use that time and do not round it up to match the Running Time fixed field. But, if there is no running time, since we can't be sure of the VCR counter time, do round it up to match the Running Time fixed field. Put "ca." in front of all running times to indicate that each time is an approximation. There is nothing in the rules requiring or forbidding the "ca." unless we are estimating the time, but since we are taking a short cut by using the running time on the label or container, especially if it varies from the time on the viewing sheet, I think the use of the "ca." for approximate time is amply justified.

  • Ex. Time stated on container: 45:32.
  • Running Time: 046
  • 300 b b $a 1 videocassette (ca. 45 min., 32 sec.)
  • Ex. No stated time on label or container, but VCR counter says 49:28.
  • Running Time: 050
  • 300 b b $a 1 videocassette (ca. 50 min.)

If there is a standard stated time or an average time on the VCR counter for each videocassette in a multi-part item, give the time per tape followed by "each" for the running time. If there is not an average time or standard time, add the time for all videos together.

  • Ex. Each video is approximately 90 minutes.
  • Running Time: 270
  • 300 b b $a 3 videocassettes (ca. 90 min. each)
  • Ex. The videos are 40, 50, and 20 minutes respectively.
  • Running Time: 110
  • 300 b b $a 3 videocassettes (ca. 110 min.)

If the video has extra footage like a documentary or discussion added onto the original program's running time, do NOT include the extra time as part of the total running time. Do make a 500 note explaining the type of extra footage and its running time. The reason for this, according to Olson, is that the 300 field only applies to the video title being described in the 245 field, and all supplementary material to that title properly belongs in a note. The note would be considered an informal contents note following the 520 or 505 field and it can be in any form with any wording so long as it accurately describes the extras and includes the amount of extra footage.

  • Ex. A videocassette has a movie, the movie trailer, and a documentary on the making of the movie. The original movie is 119 min. and the extra footage is 20 min.
  • Running Time: 119
  • 300 b b $a 1 videocassette (ca. 119 min.) : $b sd., col. ; $c 1/2 in.
  • 500 b b $a This videocassette also contains a documentary on the making of the film and the original theatrical trailer, which adds an extra 20 minutes of footage.

The sound and color are the only things described in the subfield $b. For a color video, the subfield will always be "sd., col." If the video is in black and white, use "b&w" instead of "col." If there is a mixture of color and black and white, describe the combination as simply as possible. The description of the color should match that given in the 007 subfield $d - color. The subfield $c is always "1/2 in."

  • Ex. 300 b b $a 1 videocassette (ca. 50 min.) : $b sd., col. with b&w clips, $c 1/2 in.

If a video has a guide or other accompanying material, give the type of material and a brief physical description of the material in a subfield $e. There should be a "+" with spaces around it preceding the subfield $e, with the physical description in parentheses. Include additional information such as the title of the material in a note. Trace the title in a 740 field with the indicators for an analytic title.

  • Ex. A guide entitled "Workbook of exercises in higher math" accompanies a tape.
  • 300 b b $a 1 videocassette (ca. 35 min.) : $b sd., col. ; $c 1/2 in. + $e guide (15 p. ; 17 cm.)
  • 500 b b $a Accompanied by guide entitled: Workbook of exercises in higher math.
  • 740 0 2 $a Workbook of exercises in higher math.

4xx/830 Fields

If there is a set or series of videos, put the set or series title in the appropriate 440 or 490 field on the analytic records, just as in print records. As with any series, be sure to check the title of the series in the series authority files on Voyager and OCLC. A video may have more than one 440 or 490 field since videos often have more than one series statement.

If the video reproduces an episode of a television series, program, or show, use a 500/730 field combination instead of a 440 or 490/830 field for the title of the original television show. The 500 note should state that the videorecording is an episode of a television program and give the date the episode was aired. There should be a 730 field for the television show itself, qualified by "(Television show)". Sometimes, particularly with education videos, the title of the video series will match the title of the original series. In this case, put the title of the video series in a 440 field without any qualifiers, in addition to the television series traced in the 500 and 730 fields.

  • Ex. Video is an episode of "Star Trek: The Next Generation."
  • 440 b 0 $a Star Trek: The Next Generation
  • 500 b b $a Videorecording of an episode of "Star Trek: The Next Generation," originally aired in 1995. [Use this pattern, placing the name of the series in quotes.]
  • 730 0 b $a Star Trek: The Next Generation (Television program)

If a series statement is present only on the container and not on the chief source, e.g., the tape itself or the label, record the series in the appropriate 4xx field and enclose it in square brackets.

If the sections of a videorecording are analyzed, trace the video's title using a 490/830 field combination on each analytic record. Put the video's title and volume number into a 490 field and repeat this information in an 830 field with the addition of a segment number following the volume number. If the segments are not numbered, assign a work letter to each segment. The work letters should start with "a" and be assigned alphabetically.

  • Ex. Three analytic records for three parts of a video. Each record has the same 490 field and its own 830 field with its segment number added to distinguish it from the others.
  • 490 1 b $a Waltham forum ; $v v.5, no. 3
  • 830 b 0 $a Waltham forum ; $v v.5, no. 3, segment 1
  • 830 b 0 $a Waltham forum ; $v v.5, no. 3, segment 2
  • 830 b 0 $a Waltham forum ; $v v.5, no. 3, segment 3

5xx Fields

According to AACR2, notes should be ordered according to the following table:

538   Physical description 1.7B10, 7.7B10
546   Language(s) 1.7B2, 7.7B2
500   Source of title proper 1.7B3, 7.7B3
500   Variation of analytic (part) titles 1.7B4, 7.7B4

  Statements of responsibility:  
511   Participants/Performers 1.7B6, 7.7B6
508   Creation/Production credits 1.7B6, 7.7B6
500   Edition and history 1.7B7, 7.7B7
518   Date, time, place of an event 1.7B7, 7.7B7
500   Publication, distribution, date 1.7B9, 7.7B9
  Accompanying material 1.7B11, 7.7B11
500   Series 1.7B12, 7.7B12
521   Audience 1.7B14, 7.7B14
520   Summary 1.7B17, 7.7B17
505/500   Contents (formal/informal) 1.7B18, 7.7B18
501   "With" note 1.7B21, 7.7B21

Notice that the plain 500 fields are scattered among the specialized fields. Just as in print records, the 500 field is used for all notes that don't have a specialized MARC tag number. These may include, but aren't limited to, notes related to the title, series title, issuing dates, explanations of running time, titles of guides, information about extra footage added to the original program, or any other note that doesn't fall into one of the specialized fields for videos. Any credits for extra footage should be with the 500 note on that footage, not in the 508 field with the credits for the original program. Place 500 notes according to their contents as specified in the table above. This guide shall place examples of each type of note in the order they should appear in the record.

538 Field - Physical description (1.7B10, 7.7B10)

This field gives the format of the videotape, e.g. whether it is VHS or Beta. VHS tapes always have the same text (see below) and both indicators are blank. This field will usually include notes such as hi-fi or stereo where that is stated on the cassette or indicated by the Dolby stereo symbol, although information pertaining to the soundtrack may also be combined with the 546 field. This field is always first, although this is an optional rule. If it is not the first field, move it to that position.

  • Ex. 538 b b $a VHS.
  • Ex. 538 b b $a VHS; stereo.

546 Field -- Language(s) (1.7B2, 7.7B2)

Just as in print records, this field gives the language(s) of the video for those that aren't only in English. If the video is in a foreign language, it should also have an 041 language field. Remember to include the language of the subtitles in this field. The 546 field also records whether the video is closed-captioned. The closed-captioned note always has the same text. Look for the closed caption symbols to determine closed-captioning.

  • Ex. 546 b b $a Soundtrack in French with English subtitles.
  • Ex. 546 b b $a Closed-captioned.

500 Field -- Source of title proper (1.7B3, 7.7B3)

If a video lacks title frames or the title frames pertain only to the video series, not the individual video, take the title proper from the label or container and give a 500 note stating the location you took the title from.

  • Ex. 500 b b $a Title from container.

500 Field -- Variation of analytic (part) titles(1.7B4, 7.7B4)

Trace title variations pertaining to the whole video in the 246 field, but there are title variations pertaining to parts of a video, give them in a 500 field. This field is always paired with 740 fields for each of the variant part titles.

  • Ex. 500 b b $a Part 2 has its own title: Tax reform in Ala.
  • 740 0 2 $a Tax reform in Ala.
  • 740 0 2 $a Tax reform in Alabama.

511 Field -- Participants/Performers (1.7B6, 7.7B6)

This field lists the participants or performers; in other words, the people visible on the tape. It is reserved for the host, narrator, interviewers, actors and interviewees of a video. All narrators, both onscreen and voice-over go in the 511 field. If there are four or more actors, only list the most prominent or famous ones in the 511 field. The first indicator defines the display heading for the field. The second indicator is blank. First indicator 0 does not generate a heading. First indicator 1 generates the display heading "Cast:". If there is a narrator, host, or interviewer, use first indicator 0 and put "Narrator:"; "Host:"; or "Interviewer:" before the name, respectively. Use the default "Presenter:" if the narrator or host is not identified as such. If the video has both a host and cast, separate the host from the actors with a semicolon surrounded by spaces. The host should come first. List the actors by name in the order they appear in the credits and put the name of the character they are playing in parentheses. Separate the cast by commas. Use commas to separate more than one narrator. Separate interviewees from the interviewer with a semicolon surrounded by spaces, and separate multiple interviewees by commas.

  • Ex. 511 0 b $a Presenters: Desmond Morris, Julia Davidge.
  • Ex. 511 0 b $a Host: Bill Moyers ; cast: Charleton Heston, Olivia de Haviland.
  • Ex. 511 1 b $a Roberta Maxwell (Rosilind), Andrew Gillies (Orlando), Nicholas Pennell (Jacques), Rosemary Dunsmore (Celia).
  • Ex. 511 0 b $a Interviewer: Mike Wallace ; interviewees: Charlotte Web, John Reeves.

508 Field -- Creation/Production creditsp'> (1.7B6, 7.7B6, LCRI)

This field covers the complete credits for all people involved in the creation or production of the video. Exclude the technical people such as the lights, camera, sound mixer, etc., but record the names and positions of editors, writers, cinematographers, animators, and researchers not placed in the 245 subfield $c. This includes the executive producer, screen writers, and director of photography. Also include those responsible for the music. Restrict the 508 credits to those that pertain only to an individual tape on analytic records and to those that pertain only to an entire set or series on set records.

Put the names in order of importance, e.g. put executive producers first, followed by producers, directors, editors, etc. Within each type of position, put the names in the order they appear on the tape. Enter the position followed by a comma and the names for that position, separated by commas. Put a space, a semi-colon, and a space before the next set of position names. If a person's name and position appear as a phrase, use the phrase instead of the formal order given above, i.e. prefer "edited by Terence Coyle" instead of "editor, Terence Coyle." If the phrase is for a producer, director, or writer, treat it as a statement of responsibility and place it in the 245 subfield $c.

  • Ex. 508 b b Executive producer, George Lucas ; assistant directors, Quentin Tarantino, Steven Spielberg ; edited by Terence Coyle.

500 Field -- Edition and history (1.7B7, 7.7B7)

This field is for notes pertaining to the edition and history of the work, particularly any previous incarnation as a motion picture or episode of a television series.

  • Ex. 500 b b $a Earlier edition has title: Step by step.
  • Ex. 500 b b $a Originally released as a motion picture in 1945.
  • Ex. 500 b b $a Videorecording of an episode of "Star Trek: The Next Generation," originally aired in 1995.

518 Field -- Date, time, place of an event (1.7B7, 7.7B7)

This field gives the date, time, and place of the recording and/or the broadcast in text form. The information should match that given in the 033 field. Both indicators are blank.

  • Ex. 518 b b Recorded at a conference held on November 7, 2000 in Rochester, N.Y.
  • Ex. 518 b b Recorded in Philadelphia and New York on March 3 and 14, 1998 and broadcast on May 24, 1998.

500 Field -- Publication, distribution, date (1.7B9, 7.7B9)

Record here the original or earlier release or issue date of a video. The latest date should go in the 260 field.

  • Ex. 500 b b $a Originally issued: 1983.

500 Field -- Accompanying material(1.7B11, 7.7B11)

This field should contain any notes about accompanying material such as the title of a guide. Remember to trace the title of the guide in a 740 field.

  • Ex. 500 b b $a Accompanied by guide entitled: Workbook of exercises in higher math.
  • 740 0 2 $a Workbook of exercises in higher math.

500 Field - Series(1.7B12, 7.7B12)

Next should come notes related to the larger series to which the video belongs.

  • Ex. 500 b b $a Series statement from container.

521 Field - Audience (1.7B14, 7.7B14)

This field gives the target audience or motion picture rating for the video. Use this field only when the video specifically gives a target audience or rating. You may also place the statement "not rated" in this note if the video explicitly says "not rated." Do not create this field if the video lacks any type of actual statement. For MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) ratings, use the phrase "MPAA rating:" followed by the rating. The first indicator is blank for the target audience or "8" for a rating.

  • Ex. 521 b b $a For ages 9-12.
  • Ex. 521 8 b $a MPAA rating: PG-13.
  • Ex. 521 8 b $a Not rated. [Video has a statement saying "not rated."]

520 Field - Summary(1.7B17, 7.7B17)

This field is a summary of what the video is about. Each video record must have a summary. It may be a quote or paraphrase from the container, a verbal summary transcribed from the tape, or a statement written from scratch after viewing the video. Keep the summary as brief and succinct as possible. When cribbing from the container, transcribe the summary exactly as it appears, use quotes, and put "Container" after the quotes. Avoid the use of publisher's hyperbole such as "a breakthrough video in", "the remarkable story of", "a dazzling encounter", or anything else that sounds like a value judgement. Substitute "…" for phrases like these. For additional tips on writing summary statements, see Summary Notes for Catalog Records from the OLAC (Online Audiovisual Catalogers) web site.

505 Field - Formal contents note(1.7B18, 7.7B18)

This field lists the titles of individual videos on a set record, just like it would on a print record. If the titles are distinct, trace them as analytic titles in 740 fields. If the titles are not distinct, do not trace them as analytics on the set record. If the videos vary in length, place the running time of each tape in parentheses after that tape's title.

  • Ex. 505 0 b $a v. 1. All the basics (ca. 40 min.) -- v. 2. Getting started (ca. 15 min.)

However, unlike the table of contents in a book, section titles on a record for a single video do not usually go into a 505 note unless the order is stated on the container or you can verify their order by viewing the whole tape. In this case, separate the contents of individual videos by "-" and put periods between the parts of each video.

  • Ex. 505 0 b $a v. 1. An introduction in ten parts. Language of algebra. Exponents and radicals -- v. 2. Absolute value. Linear equations -- v. 3. Polynomial functions. Geometric sequences and series. Permutations and combinations.

500 Field - Informal contents note(1.7B18, 7.7B18)

Sometimes a video will have extra features or contents that cannot be easily described by a formal contents note. Make an informal contents note following the 505 field instead. This note is the place to mention running time, credits, and all other details pertaining to additional material.

  • Ex. 500 b b $a This videocassette also contains a documentary on the making of the film and the original theatrical trailer, which adds an extra 20 minutes of footage beyond the film's original 119 minute length. Documentary directed by Bryan Singer.

501 Field -- "With" note (1.7B21, 7.7B21)

Sometimes there will be two works on one video. Create two separate records for each work and place a "with" note for the other work on the respective records.

  • Ex. Disney issues Toy Story and Toy Story 2 in a special video set. The record for Toy Story would have a 501 note for Toy Story 2 and vice versa.
  • 501 b b $a With: Toy Story 2. (on record for Toy Story)
  • 502 b b $a With: Toy Story. (on record for Toy Story 2)

6xx Fields

Subject headings are assigned exactly as they are for books. They can often be quite broad if the video comprehensively covers a subject or provides some kind of overview. Only assign particular subject headings if the subject is prominent throughout the tape. In addition to the title, the summary is a good source for keywords that might make good subject headings. Other sources of subject headings are any information from the label or container, or your own impressions after viewing the tape. The Guide to Subject Analysis has guidelines on establishing subject headings. There is also a good discussion of subject headings in Olson on p. 44-55.

Use judgment when assigning terms to set and analytic records. If there is a set record, use broad terms that apply to the entire set, typically a main term or two and significant secondary terms. Do not attempt to include all narrower terms that might be appropriate for any one of the analytics on the set record. Include the main term(s) from the set record on the analytic records, followed by the appropriate terms for the individual tape's subject. But do not attempt to include all secondary terms from the set record on each individual analytic record.

Include the form subdivision "$v Drama" after subject headings when the video is a play or fictitious motion picture. For fictional videos, you may add subject headings for the form or genre, such as "Feature films", "Foreign films", "Comedy films", etc. But do not add subject headings for forms such as "Documentaries" to non-fiction videos. Theses genre headings should be placed in 655 fields instead of the usual 650 field.

  • Ex. 650 b 0 $a Man-woman relationships $v Drama.
  • Ex. 655 b 0 $a Foreign films.

Do not use the heading "Video recordings for the hearing impaired" even though it is still valid. It was an early practice designed when catalogers were trying to find a good way to indicate closed-captioned status. This practice no longer has any real meaning since the 546 field is a better choice for such information. So do not use this heading locally. Just stick to the 546 closed-caption note.

Do not use the form subdivision "$v Audio-visual aids" either. It is too broad to make a good subdivision since it also covers films and other projected media. Also, the wording of the heading is out of date because most people now look for some variation of "video" instead of "audio-visual." Besides, there is already ample evidence, like the gmd, that the item is a video.

700/710 Fields

Just as in print records, added entries for personal names go into 700 fields and corporate body names go into 710 fields. Be sure to do an authority search on all names to find the correct form of the name. You may do this by right-clicking on the name in Voyager and choosing "Validate heading;" doing an author search in Voyager and clicking the "Authority" button to bring up the authority record; or searching the OCLC Authority file using "sca pn" for personal names and "sca co" for corporate names. Remember that all name added entries must be justified in one of the descriptive fields such as the 245 or 260 or a 5xx note in order to be added to the record.

There is a good discussion of the rules for added entries on p. 40-45 of Olson. Trace all names from the 245 subfield $c, including all persons and all companies responsible for production. Ignore LCRI 21.29D1 and always trace the producer, director, and writer. Also, trace the publisher from the 260 subfield $b. In addition, trace certain names from the 511 and 508 fields. Always trace the host from the 511 field, but only trace the leading performers if they are identified as the lead(s) or they are famous. Do not trace any performers but the host if the lead cannot be determined, especially if there are more than three as covered in rule AACR2 21.29D3.

Limit tracings from the 508 field to the most prominent positions listed. So the names usually traced are the executive producer, the producer, the director, the writer, the host or narrator, and the leading actors. If there are more than three persons in any position, such as the producer, don't trace anyone in that position.

730 Field

Trace the titles of all works related to the video in hand in a 730 field. If the video is a recording of a television program or show, make a 500 note for the show and trace its title in a 730 field according to the rules for uniform titles.

  • Ex. Video is an episode of "Star Trek: The Next Generation."
  • 500 b b $a Videorecording of an episode of "Star Trek: The Next Generation," originally aired in 1995.
  • 730 0 b $a Star Trek: The Next Generation (Television program)

740 Field

For videos, trace all distinct titles of multi-part items in 740 fields, unless they are titles of individual videos done as separate analytic records. Analytic records will have a series or set title tying them together, so there is no need to trace them on the set record. Also trace titles of accompanying material in this field. The first indicator is the number of non-filing characters to skip, just like the 245 field second indicator. The second indicator is always 2, which indicates the title is an analytic. Remember that analytics must be justified by a note in the record in the same way as names.

  • Ex. Two titles on a multi-part item that lack their own records: Power! ; The promised land.
  • 505 0 b $a Power! - The promised land.
  • 740 0 2 Power!
  • 740 4 2 The promised land.
  • Ex. A guide entitled "Workbook of exercises in higher math" accompanies the video.
  • 500 b b $a Accompanied by guide entitled: Workbook of exercises in higher math.
  • 740 0 2 $a Workbook of exercises in higher math.

Processing instructions:


Manually update holdings for all set and analytic records exported to Voyager. Updating an existing record on OCLC shows that Auburn owns it. Updating a workform for an original record on OCLC will add it to the OCLC database with Auburn's holdings automatically attached.

Bibliographic record:

1.      Add the 948 note.

2.      Do not mark videos "Okay to export" on the bibliographic record.

Holdings record:

1.      Update the fixed fields for single or multi-volume sets, as appropriate.

2.      The location in the 852 subfield $b should be "8main,2nd"; "8main,3rd"; "8main,4th"; "arch" or "vetm" as appropriate.

  • Ex. 852 0 0 $b 8main,4th $h QC 760 .C46 2000

3.      Treat videos with accompanying materials that will not fit in the container as multi-part items. Record the video and accompanying items in an 866 field. These items will come from Acquisitions in large envelopes with the record stapled to the outside of the envelope.

  • Ex. 866 4 0 $a video + guide.

4.      Include the following notes on all analytic and set record holdings, whether classed separately or classed together, regardless of whether the records are suppressed. The analytics are not attached to the purchase order record, but the set record is. Remember that the key reason for the notes is the replacement of a tape that has been lost or defective. Acquisitions can't purchase a replacement unless they can find the order record. And they can't find the order record without the set record. So the note on the analytic record is necessary for finding the set record and the order record.

On the holdings records for the analytics:

Put the note "$x ordered and paid on [bib. # of set record]" in the 852 field.

  • Ex. 852 00 $b 8main,4th $h QC 760 .C46 2000 $x ordered and paid on #1-865-797

On the set holdings record:

If the videos are classed together, put the note "$x anals" in the 852 field.

  • Ex. 852 01 $b 8main,4th $h SB 321 .B282 1986 $x anals


If the videos are classed separately, put the note "$x cataloged on anals" in the 852 field.

  • Ex. 852 01 $b 8main,4th $x cataloged on anals (the call number is irrelevant on a set record for a group of videos classed separately as the record will be suppressed)

Item record:

2.      Change the Item Type to "video"

Enum [enumeration] box.

Physical processing:

1.      Do not write anything on the video.

3.      Staple a clip-on barcode and any appropriate flags to the printout, including the "video" flag, "rush" flag, or location flags. When stapling the barcode, be sure to staple the sheet the barcode is attached to, not the barcode itself. Use clip-on barcodes for accompanying items� as well. Do not attempt to put barcodes on accompanying item. Let Physical Processing do that.


Getting Started
Fixed Fields
Variable Fields
Processing Instructions