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Penn State University Libraries


Serials Cataloging Team
126 Paterno Library
University Park, PA 16802-1808

Cataloging and Metadata Services
126 Paterno Library
University Park, PA 16802-1808

Staff Directory

Phone: (814) 865-1755
Fax: (814) 863-7293

MARC Holdings


Decisions about MARC Holdings for Sirsi Startup

At PSU, we have chosen to use textual MARC holdings (that we add and maintain ourselves), rather than using the check-in system to generate coded MARC holdings.

This documentation is limited in scope, explaining only the fields we maintain and confining definitions to the essentials. For complete documentation on MARC holdings fields and subfields, see the Library of Congress's MARC 21 Concise Format for Holdings Data.


MARC Holdings Tab

Listing of the MARC holdings records attached to a particular bibliographic record

The MARC holdings tab is accessible from a few different wizards. You can access it when first importing a record using SmartPort. You can access it from the Modify Control wizard in Serial Control module. Most of the time, though, you'll probably want to use the Modify Title wizard (in the Cataloging module) to get to it, as usually editing the MARC holdings record has something to do with editing the rest of the bibliographic record. It is found between the tab marked Bibliographic and the one marked Call Number/Item.



Adding a MARC holdings record

Once you click on this tab, you will see the message "Holdings records:" and a list of the MARC holdings statements for other libraries. If this is a new title, there will be no listings -- you'll be making the first.

In either case, you must select a library from the drop-down list at the bottom left of the window. In some cases, the library you want to make the MARC holdings record for is already listed. After you have selected your library, click the "Add Holdings" button, the third button in from the left.

**Be sure sure to select your library before you click the "Add Holdings" button, because there is no way to edit the library once it has been established. If you need to move items from one library to another, you must delete the MARC holdings for the current library and re-create them for the new library.**

You now have your MARC holdings workform.

Ignore the fixed fields. Penn State doesn't use them.

The next section of the workform template contains eight lines:

852    Location
856    Electronic resource
853    Patterns
863    Holdings
866    Summary holdings (this line appears twice)
867    Suppl text holdings
868    Index text holdings

We generally only use the 852 and one of the 866 fields. If you have supplements or an index, you would put that information into the 867 or 868 field, respectively.

NOTE: Please be sure to use the 866. If you inadvertently use the 863 to record holdings data, the system will jam so that the record cannot be displayed when you try to call it back up (this is true in both Workflows and the Cat). When you try to display the record, you will get the following error message: "Invalid captions and patterns tag." If you get the "Invalid captions and patterns tag" message, follow the troubleshooting instructions to retrieve the record in an editable form, so that you can correct it.


852 Location

Indicator values

852 Indicators
1st Position:
Shelving Scheme
2nd Position:
Shelving order
0 = LC 0 = Classed Separately
1 = Dewey 1 = By Primary Enumeration
2 = NLM 2 = By Secondary Enumeration
3 = Supt of Docs  
5 = By Title  
6 = Classed Separately  
8 = Free Format  

Indicators in bold are the only ones used at Penn State.

|c = Home location
|h = Class
|i = Cutter


LC Classification

852    01    |cPATERNO-3|hHT303|i.G32

852    01    |cREF-AH|hD2|i.A4

852    01    |cSTACKS-BD|hPR51.A7|iB55

852    01    |cUTOPIA|hHX19.2.U6|iT45

852    01    |cREF-AH|hTR6.5|i.G57


SuDocs Call Number

852    31    |cDOC-INTL|hEC 12.1/1:A 37/2/

852    31    |cDOC-US|hE 3.11/5-5:

(NOTE: no |i for SuDocs or Free Format call nos.)


Free Format Call Number

852    81    |cSTACKS-AB|hPeriodical

852    81    |cMFILM-NML|hMicrofilm D105


Dewey Call Number

852    11    |cPATTEE-2|h973|iH192a

852    11    |cAMER-GIFT|h808.8|iR27


866 Summary Holdings

Indicator values:

866 Indicators
1st Position:
Field encoding level
2nd Position:
Type of notation
[blank] = No Information Provided 0 = Non-standard
3 = Holdings level 3 (summary) 1 = ANSI/NISO Z39.71 or ISO 10324 (the current standard)
4 = Holdings level 4 2 = ANSI Z39.42 (the 1980 superceded standard)
5 = Holdings level 5 (full detail)  

Indicators in bold are the only ones used at Penn State.

|8x = Linking number(since we rely on textual summary holdings, we will always use |80)
|a=Captions and Enumeration/Chronology
|z=Public Note
|x=Non-Public Note

Most of the data from the old LIAS system migrated without punctuation and for a while, we were recordings holdings according to that precedent. However, we have agreed to the following forms of punctuation in holdings statements which are easier to read and closer to the standard.

  • Use colons to separate levels of enumeration.

  • Use parentheses around ending dates.

  • Use a comma and space to indicate gaps in holdings.

  • Use a semicolon and space to indicate non-gap breaks in holdings.

  • Use a forward slash for both consecutive dates (1991/92) and ranges of dates within the same volume (2001/2004).

866 Examples:

866    #0    |80|av.3:no.4(1998)-v.8:no.1(2003)

866    #0    |80|aBd.1(1963)-To Date

866    #0    |80|a1992/93-2004/05

866    #0    |80|a1st.ed.(1988)-5th.ed.(1992), 7th.ed.(1994)-To Date

866    #0    |80|av.1(1901)-v.32(1932); n.s.v.1(1933)-To Date

866    #0    |80|a1981:v.1, 1982-1994, 1995:v.2

866    #0    |80|aLatest Edition only

866    #0    |80|aLatest 2 Years only

866    #0    |80|aCurrent Issues only

866    #0    |80|aCurrent 6 Months only

866    #0    |80|a1996-2005.|zLatest in Arts & Humanities Reference

*Note that Limited Retention information goes in the |a, while the "Latest in" note goes in |z.


867--Supplements and 868--Indexes

icon indicating the helper button that inserts a field after the field the cursor is currently in

Supplements and Indexes have their own summary holdings statements. When you create a new MARC holdings record these fields are present in the original template, but if you enter nothing in them they disappear once the "Save" button is clicked.  If at a later date you have supplements and/or indexes, you will need to add these fields. Put your cursor in the 866 and use the "add a field after the current one" (black box on top) icon in the top right hand corner to insert another field.

The input conventions for 867 and 868 are identical to those for the 866 (same indicators, same subfields, same method of input). The only difference is the value in |8. For 867 use |81 ; for 868 use |82.

So, if you are inputting vols. 1998, 1999, 2000 plus a supplement for 1999 and an index for 1998, your record would look something like this:

852    01    |cPATTEE-1A|hF770|i.D45

866    #0    |80|a1998-2000

867    #0    |81|a1999

868    #0    |82|a1998


Saving Your Work

At the bottom of the MARC holdings record, you have two buttons that are self-explanatory: Save and Close. "Close" will close the window that you are working in.  It will erase your work if you have not first clicked the "Save" button.  This is useful if you realize only after you've input the record that you have attached it to the wrong library.


Editing MARC Holdings

  • Open the Modify Titles wizard and retrieve the record you need. Go to MARC Holdings tab.

  • Click the holdings statement to be updated.

  • Click the "Modify Holdings" button from the group of buttons at the bottom of the screen.

  • Make the necessary change(s).

  • Click "Save."

  • Click "Close."

Removing MARC Holdings

  • Open the Modify Titles wizard and retrieve the record you need. Go to MARC Holdings tab.

  • Click the holdings statement to be updated.

  • Click the "Delete Holdings" button.

  • You will get a dialog box saying: "Are you sure you want to delete the selected holdings records?"

  • Click the "Yes" button.

  • The record you selected will no longer be in the list.



Troubleshooting Problems with MARC Holdings

"Invalid Captions and Patterns Tag" Error Message

If you get this error message, it means someone has inadvertently recorded 866 information in the 863 field of the MARC Holdings workform. Knowing the source of the problem is half the battle. Now we have to resolve the conundrum that the system won't allow you to display the record in order to be able to fix it. There is a method of displaying the record, but it is not intutitive:

  1. Start by opening the Modify Titles wizard anew.
  2. From the search screen, look for the gadget in the upper left corner called "Set Options for Item Lookup" when moused over. Click on this gadget.
  3. Click on the Display tab.
  4. Second from the bottom of choices, you will see yes/no radio button choices for Holdings.
  5. Change this choice to No.
  6. Click OK.
  7. Perform your search again.
  8. The system will now allow you to retrieve your record for editing.
  9. Look at every MARC holdings statement in the record to find the summary holdings statement recorded in an 863 instead of an 866. Change the offending 863 to an 866.


This happens when you have mistyped the Home Location in the 852 |c (or maybe you mistyped "|c" itself, using a \ instead of a | or v instead of a c.) Open your MARC holdings record, delete the **REQUIRED FIELD** info, and carefully retype your information. If the system does not accept it a second time, you must be using an invalid home location code. Double-check the proper name of the code using the "Valid 852 Locations" gadget in the upper left corner of your MARC Holdings workform.

How Do You Change the Library?

We frequently move materials from one library to another (from UP-PAT to UP-ANNEX, from BEHREND to ALTOONA, etc.) and need to update the information for the owning Library in MARC holdings. Unfortunately, because the system prompts you to enter the Library before it gives you a workform, the workform is attached to that Library and there is no means of simply editing it. When a title is transferred from one Library to another, the MARC holdings statement must be deleted for the old library and created again for the new.

One way of easing this burden (and decreasing the chance for error) is to open the same record twice in the Modify Titles wizard, so that you have two separate windows. In the first window, open the MARC holdings statement that is to be removed, but don't delete it yet. In the second window, start adding your new MARC holdings for the appropriate library. When you have the blank workform, add the correct home location in the |c, then copy and paste the remaining info (call number and holdings) from the MARC holdings in the first window. Save your work. Close the first window. Double-check to make sure your new MARC holdings statement is correct (and matches previous statement). When satisfied, remove the MARC holdings statement for the old library.


Reviewed June 2015