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Cataloging and Metadata Services
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Visual Materials Fixed Fields Cheat Sheet

Visual Materials Format

This is an abbreviation of the USMARC standard, showing the most common and likely values for inputting visual materials records in Unicorn. This checklist is most useful for Creating new records in Workflows - to check codes on imported records, fuller information is available at the LC Website.

Visual Materials Format
Fixed Field Values
Rec_Type: _* Bib_Lvl: m Enc_Lvl: _ Desc: a TypeCtrl: _
Entrd: 000000 Dat_Tp: s Date1: ____ Date2: ____ Ctry: ___
Lang: eng Mod_Rec: _ Source: d Time: ___ Audience: _
Accomp: _ GovtPub: _ Type_Mat: _ Tech: n  


Rec_Type - Type of record (LDR/06) [OCLC: Mandatory]

  • g = Projected medium. [Motion pictures, videorecordings, filmstrips, slides, transparencies, and overhead projections.]
  • k = Two-dimensional nonprojected graphic. [Activity cards, charts, collages, computer graphics, drawings, duplication masters, flash cards, paintings, photonegatives, photoprints, pictures, postcards, posters, prints, spirit masters, study prints, technical drawings, transparency masters, photomechanical reproductions, and reproductions of any of these. Include any bound collections of reproducible masters.]
  • r = Three-dimensional artifacts and naturally occurring objects. [Models, dioramas, games, puzzles, simulations, sculptures, and other three-dimensional art works, exhibits, machines, clothing, toys, and stitchery. Also for microscope specimens (or representations of them) and other specimens mounted for viewing.]
  • o = Kits. [Mixtures of various components issued as a unit and intended primarily for instructional purposes. No one component is identifiable as the predominant component.]
Note: There are other valid values for this element, but in order to use them, you need to change the Format on the Control tab.

* = Because the VM template covers a wide variety of formats, the default code will be left as blank and must be input at the time of cataloging.


Bib_Lvl - Bibliographic level (LDR/07) [OCLC: Mandatory]

  • a = Monographic component part [analytic]
  • b = Serial component part
  • c = Collection [for archival materials]
  • d = Subunit [for archival materials]
  • m = Monograph (default)
  • s = Serial
Note: There are also values for serial materials, but in order to use them, you need to change the Format on the Control tab. Except for special collections materials, accept the default.

Enc_Lvl - Encoding Level (LDR/17) [OCLC: Mandatory]

  • [blank] = Full level (Default)
  • 1 = Full level, material not examined [used by LC]
  • 2 = Less-than-full level, material not examined [used by LC]
  • 3 = Abbreviated level [used by LC]
  • 4 = Core [possible use for MTSS records?]
  • 5 = Partial (preliminary) level [use for MLP]
  • 7 = Minimal level [use for MLC]
  • 8 = Prepublication level [used by LC for CIP; change when updating CIP records]
  • u = Unknown [used for machine conversions; do not use]
  • z = Not applicable [do not use]


Desc - Descriptive cataloging form (LDR/18) [OCLC: Mandatory]

  • [blank] = Non-ISBD [used for pre-AACR2 cataloging]
  • a = AACR2 (default)
  • i = ISBD [do not use]
  • u = Unknown [do not use; use # if not certain]


TypeCtrl - Type of control (LDR/08) [OCLC: Required if applicable]

  • [blank] = No specified type [use for all non-archival materials] (default)
  • a = Archival



Entrd - Date entered on file (008/00-05) [OCLC: System-supplied]

6 digits supplied by the system; do not change

Dat_Tp - Type of date (008/06) [OCLC: Mandatory]

Note: The following codes are given in order of precedence; use the first applicable code in the list.
  • b = No dates given; B.C. date involved [do not use]
  • i = Inclusive dates of collection [use only for archival materials]
  • k = Range of years of bulk of collection [use only for archival materials]
  • r = Reprint/reissue date and original date [use for reprints as appropriate]
  • m = Multiple dates
  • e = Detailed date [do not use]
  • s = Single known date/probably date (default)
  • p = Date of distribution/release/issue and production/recording session
  • t = Publication date and copyright date [use when copyright date is given in 260c]
  • q = Questionable date [use when 260c says "between yyyy and yyyy"]
  • n = Dates unknown [use when there is no date in 260c]


Date1 and Date2 (008/07-10 and 11-14) [OCLC: Mandatory]

Note: Fill in the dates as usual, based on 260c; use "u" for any uncertain digits: for example, 260|c[199-] would be coded Date1: 199u.

Ctry - Place of publication, production, or execution (008/15-17) [OCLC: Required if applicable]

Note: The default for this element is a blank, which is not a correct value. The correct code should be input. The table is available in Cataloger's Desktop and on the LC Web site. The code for US places is a state code, followed by a "u" so the code for any place in Pennsylvania would be "pau."

Lang- Language (008/35-37) [OCLC: Mandatory]

Note: The default code is "eng" for English. Other codes are listed in the MARC Code List for Languages in Cataloger's Desktop or on the LC Web site.

Mod_Rec- Modified record (008/38) [OCLC: Required if applicable]

  • [blank] = Not modified (default)
Note: Other values are used when converting a printed LC card; for new cataloging accept the default.

Source - Cataloging source (008/39) [OCLC: Mandatory]

  • [blank] = National bibliograpic agency [LC]
  • c = Cooperative cataloging program [PCC]
  • d = Other (default)



Time -- Running Time (008/18-20) [OCLC: Mandatory (motion pictures & videorecordings)

  • [blank] = Must be input (default)
  • nnn = not applicable [i.e. not a motion picture or videorecording]
Note: Use the following guidelines for assigning times:
  1. Use a three-digit number. Right-justify numbers consisting of fewer than three digits. Enter leading zeros.

    Time: 009
    300 1 videocassette (9 min.)


  2. If the actual length exceeds three digits, enter three zeros.

    Time: 000
    30024 film reels (50 min. each)


  3. Use the total running time if two or more motion pictures or videorecordings are present.

    Time: 060
    3003 film cassettes (20 min. each)


  4. Use minutes. Convert seconds to the next higher minute.

    Time: 003
    3001 film loop (2 min., 30 sec.)


  5. If length is unknown, leave the three hyphens.

    Time: ---
    300 1 videoreel



Audience - Target audience (008/22) [OCLC: Optional]

  • [blank] = Unknown or not specified (default)
  • j = Juvenile [For Juvenile materials (age 15 or 9th grade) either use code j of the more specific codes a, b, or c. An item considered juvenile material often includes the word juvenile in its subject headings.]
Note: There are more specific values for preschool, primary, etc.; accept copy but do not use on locally created records. [???]

Accomp -- Accompanying Matter (008/24-29) [OCLC: Optional]

  • [blank] = No accompanying matter (default)
  • a = Discography
  • b = Bibliography
  • c = Thematic index
  • d = Libretto or text
  • e = Biography of composer or author
  • f = Biography of performer or history of ensemble
  • g = Technical and/or historical information on instruments
  • h = Technical information on music
  • i = Historical information
  • k = Ethnological information
  • r = Instructional materials
  • s = Music
  • z = Other accompanying matter
Note: Indicates the contents of program notes and other accompanying material for sound recordings, music manuscripts, or printed music. Generally, a specific code is used only if a significant part of the accompanying material is the type of material represented by the code. Up to six codes may be recorded. Codes are recorded in alphabetical order. If fewer than six codes are assigned, the codes are left justified and unused positions contain blanks. If more than six codes are appropriate to an item, only the six most important are recorded.

GovtPub - Government Publication (008/28) [OCLC: Mandatory]

  • [blank] = Not a government publication (default)
  • a = Autonomous or semi-autonomous component [rarely used]
  • c = Multilocal [use for regional jurisdictions like a consolidated school district or a regional council of governments]
  • f = Federal/national
  • i = International intergovernmental [use for bodies like the United National or European Union]
  • l = Local
  • m = Multistate
  • o = Government publication, level undetermined
  • s = State, provincial, territorial, dependent, etc.
  • u = Unknown if item is a government publication
  • z = Other [use for a government publication that doesn't fit any of the above]



Type_Mat -- Type of Material (008/33) [OCLC: Mandatory]

  • [blank] = Must be input (default)


Codes: Projected media [Rec_Type: g]

  • f = Filmstrip
  • m = Motion picture or filmloop
  • s = Slide. Use also for modern stereograph reels (e.g., Viewmaster reels).
  • t = Transparency, x-rays
  • v = Videorecording


Codes: Two-dimensional [Rec_Type: k]

  • a = Art original. Original two-dimensional art works created directly by an artist, not for reproductions of such works. Use for original collages, drawings, or paintings.
  • c = Art reproduction. Two-dimensional mechanically reproduced copies of an art work, usually one of a commercial edition. Use for art prints, study prints, lithographs, engravings, etchings, and woodcuts.
  • i = Picture. Two-dimensional visual representations accessible to the unaided eye and usually on an opaque backing. Use if a more specific category is not appropriate. Use for posters, postcards, radiographs, photographs, photoprints, photonegatives, or stereograph cards.
  • k = Graphic. Use in place of a, i, l, n, and o if descriptive cataloging is based on conventions other than AACR1 or AACR2 alone.
  • l = Technical drawing. Blueprints, architectural renderings, cross sections, diagrams, details, elevations, perspectives, plans, and working plans made for use in an engineering or other technical context.
  • n = Chart. Opaque sheets that present data in either graphic or tabular form; graphic and tabular wall charts, flip charts, or calendars.
  • o = Flash card or activity card. Cards or other opaque materials printed with words, numerals, or pictures and designed for rapid display.


Codes: Three-dimensional [Rec_Type: r]

  • a = Art original. Three-dimensional art objects created directly by an artist, not for reproductions of such works. Use for sculptures and statues.
  • c = Art reproduction. Three-dimensional mechanically reproduced copies of works of art, generally one of a commercial edition. Use for reproductions of sculptures and statues.
  • d = Diorama. Three-dimensional representations of scenes created by placing objects or figures in front of two-dimensional backgrounds.
  • g = Game. Items or sets of items designed for play according to prescribed rules and intended for recreation or instruction. Use for puzzles and simulations.
  • p = Microscope slide. Transparent, usually glass, mounts containing a minute object to be viewed through a microscope or microprojector.
  • q = Model. Three-dimensional representations of real things or imagined objects, either of the exact size of the original or to scale. A model may or may not be operational. Use for mock-ups.
  • r = Realia. All naturally occurring objects and any other three-dimensional item made or modified by humans that does not fit into any of the other categories. Use for machines, stitchery, clothing, rubber stamps, templates, pattern stencils, alphabets for lettering, shapes for flow charts, jewelry, pottery, musical instruments, fabrics, tools, utensils, sea shells, rocks, holograms, and furniture.
  • w = Toy. Material objects for children or others to play with, often an imitation of some familiar object (e.g., a plaything or something contrived for amusement rather than for practical use). Use for puppets.


Codes: Kits [Rec_Type: o]

  • b = Kit. Mixture of components from two or more categories (i.e., sound recording, maps, filmstrips, etc.), no one of which is identifiable as the primary constituent of the item.



Tech -- Technique (008/33) [OCLC: Optional]

  • a = Animation. Animation, especially if the word animated or animation is in a note. Animation techniques include: cartoon, graphic film, model film (or object animation), pixilation film, puppet film or puppet animation, and silhouette film.
  • c = Animation and live action
  • l = Live action. Use also if the technique is not stated explicitly and cannot be determined.
  • n = Not a motion picture or videorecording (default)
  • u = Unknown. Use also if the subject matter suggests animation techniques may have been used, but you are not sure.
  • z = Others. Other techniques and for techniques that are neither live action nor animation. [Micro-cinematography, Silhouette-live action, Still film, Time-lapse cinematography, Trick cinematography]
Note: Indicates the technique used to create motion for motion pictures and videorecordings.