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Penn State University Libraries


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

Staff Directory

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

Identifying Special Formats/Material


Accompanying Material

300 field accompanying material example with the accompanying disc listed in subfield |e

Accompanying material (e.g., sound recording, CD ROM, map, etc.) is accounted for in the bibliographic record in either the 300|e or in a 500 note.


Atlases (Geographic)

When any of the following apply, consider the item to be an atlas. Do not catalog it. Refer it to the Maps Team.

  • Rec_Type (i.e., Type of record) in Fixed Fields area has a value of "e" for Cartographic material.
  • 300|a 1 atlas
  • Title page or 245 contains the term "atlas"



Books With Discs

Do not catalog new material with accompanying software (e.g., CD ROM, disk) until trained to do so. See Books with Discs documentation.


CIP Items

CIP record showing incorrect date in the 050 and with an incomplete 300 field

Refer all items having CIP records. CIP records will most often have the Enc_Lvl set as 8 and have an incomplete 300 field. It is also not uncommon for the publication date to be off by a year in the 260|c, 050, or Date1 field.


Conferences Without Full Cataloging

Look for evidence that an item might be a conference by the presence of any of the following in The CAT record or on the item:

  • 111 or 711 field
  • 110 or 710 field with |b[meeting keyword]
  • 500 note containing information about a conference or meeting
  • Indication of: date, place, [meeting keyword], etc. (e.g., April 2-5 at the Manor Hotel and Conference Center, Chicago, Ill.)
  • The words: "Proceedings," "papers," "abstracts"


711 example for a conference added entry

711 Example

110 example for a corporate author

110 Example

Meeting Keywords:

The presence of meeting keywords in the name, title or on the title page may indicate that an item is from a conference.


[Athletic contests]

Round table
Study group
Working group

Note: This list is not complete.


Education Library Material

Do not catalog fiction or picture book material for the Education & Behavioral Sciences Library until training is received. See Juvenile Books (EBSL) documentation.



Foreign Language Material

Do not catalog material in any language other than English unless trained to do so. Books with parallel titles or added title page titles in any language other than English should also be referred.



  • When a selector requests a particular call number that has not been provided by the PromptCat service, refer the item to the original catalogers if copy cannot be found elsewhere that uses the requested call number.
  • PromptCat should not provide serial cataloging. If this occurs, give the serial item(s) to the Serials Cataloging Team.



Non-Book Material

Fixed fields area showing record type for language material and bibliographic level for a monograph

The Rec_Type and Bib_Lvl codes in the Fixed Fields section will help identify monographic book material.

Default values for each for books are as follows:

Rec_Type (i.e., Type of record):
a = Language material (default)

Bib_Lvl (i.e., Bibliographic level):
m = Monograph (default)

When the codes do not match either of these, question whether the item being cataloged is a monographic book. Check the Fixed Fields Cheat Sheet for MARC (Books) Format for other valid codes or refer the item to the appropriate format team in Cataloging.

Examples of some Rec_Type and Bib_Lvl default codes for other non-book items (also see the complete Fixed Field Cheat Sheets linked off of the WorkFlows Documentation page):

Rec_Type and Bib_Lvl Default Values
Format Default Values
Audio Recording: Rec_Type:
j = Musical sound recording (default)

m = Monograph (default)
Computer File: Rec_Type:
m = Computer file (default)

m = Monograph (default)
Map: Rec_Type:
e = Cartographic material (default)

m = Monograph (default)
Score: Rec_Type:
c = Printed music (default)

m = Monograph (default)
Serial: Rec_Type:
a = Language material (default)

s = Serial (default)
Video: Rec_Type (i.e., Type of record):
g = Projected medium (default)

Bib_Lvl (i.e., Bibliographic level):
m = Monograph (default)

Rare Books Material

Do not catalog any material designated for the Rare Books Room. Refer to the Special Collections Team.



See Non-Book Material above and the document Identifying Serials. Also note that PromptCat should not provide serial cataloging. If this occurs, give the serial item(s) to the Serials Cataloging Team.



Set example showing volumes in the 300a, a 505 contents note for the individual titles of the set volumes, and an open date in the 260

Sets and multipart items are identified by the presence of either a specific number of volumes ( 4 v. ) or "v." in the 300 subfield |a. Contents of a set are often given in a contents note - field 505. The 260|c may have a dash after the date. Multiple isbns for individual volumes or a set isbn may also be present in the record. Refer new set titles and added set volumes when they have not already been cataloged for another location until set training is received.


Special Call Number Requests

When a selector requests a particular call number that has not been provided by the PromptCat service or which is not present in the bib record, refer the item to the original catalogers if copy cannot be found that uses the requested call number.


Subjects (i.e., 6XX Fields) Lacking For Non-Literary Items

When an item is not literature, it must have at least one of the following subject fields with the indicator in the second position a 0:

600, 610, 611, 650 or 651.

If it does not, refer it to the original catalogers.
Literature = novels, poetry, etc.


Z Class Numbers

Refer items that have a call number classed in the following range: Z5000-Z8999.

This class range is for bibliographies, which are now classed by subject rather than as bibliographies in Z.

Accept other Z class numbers.