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MARC Tags

Understanding MARC 21 Bibliographic
Source:  Library of Congress

Tags. The tags (3-digit numbers) are followed by the names of the fields they represent. If a tag can appear more than once in one bibliographic record, it is labeled repeatable (R). If it can only be used once, it is labeled non-repeatable (NR).

Indicators. The use of indicators is explained in fields where they are used. Indicators are one-digit numbers. Beginning with the 010 field, in every field - following the tag - are two character positions, one for Indicator 1 and one for Indicator 2. The indicators are not actually defined in all fields, however. And it is possible that a 2nd indicator will be used, while the 1st indicator remains undefined (or vice versa). When an indicator is undefined, the character position will be represented by the character # (for blank space).

Subfield Codes. All the data in each field (beginning with the 010 field) is divided into subfields, each of which is preceded by a delimiter-subfield code combination. The most common subfield codes used with each tag are shown. Each subfield code is preceded by the character $, signifying a delimiter. The name of the subfield follows the code.

In general, every field MUST have a subfield 'a' ($a). One exception that is often seen is in Field 020 (ISBN), when the ISBN information (subfield $a) is unavailable but the price (subfield $c) is known. Some subfields are repeatable. In this summary, repeatability is noted for only the more common repeatable subfields.

Examples: Examples follow the explanation for each field. For clarity, one space has been placed between the tag and the first indicator, one space has been placed between the second indicator and the first delimiter- subfield code, and one space has been inserted between the delimiter-subfield code and the subfield data.

010 Library of Congress Control Number - (LCCN) (NR) 
Indicators undefined. 
Subfield used most often: 
$a - Library of Congress control number 

020 International Standard Book Number - (ISBN) (R) 
Indicators undefined. 
Subfields used most often: 
$a - International Standard Book Number
$c - Terms of availability (often a price)
$z - Cancelled/invalid ISBN (R) 
040 Cataloging source - (NR) 
Indicators undefined. 
Subfields used most often: 
$a - Original cataloging agency
$c - Transcribing agency
$d - Modifying agency (R) 

100 Main Entry - Personal Name - (primary author)(NR; there can be only one main entry)
Indicator 1: Type of personal name entry element 
0 - Forename
1 - Surname (this is the most common form)
3 - Family name 
Indicator 2 undefined. Indicator 2 became obsolete in 1990. Older records may display 0 or 1 
Subfields used most often: 
$a - Personal name 
$b - Numeration
$c - Titles and other words associated with a name (R)
$q - Fuller form of name
$d - Dates associated with a name (generally, year of birth) 
130 Main entry - Uniform title - (NR) 
Indicator 1: Nonfiling characters 
0-9 - Number of nonfiling characters present (for initial articles, including spaces) 
Indicator 2 undefined. Indicator 2 became obsolete in 1990. (See 100 above.) 
Subfields used most often: 
$a - Uniform title
$p - Name of part/section of a work (R)
$l - Language of a work
$s - Version
$f - Date of a work 

240 Uniform Title (NR) 
Indicator 1: Uniform title printed or displayed 
0 - Not printed or displayed
1 - Printed or displayed (most common) 
Indicator 2: Nonfiling characters 
0-9 - Number of nonfiling characters present (for initial articles, including spaces) 
Subfields used most often: 
$a - Uniform title
$l - Language of a work
$f - Date of a work 

245 Title Statement (NR)
Indicator 1: Title added entry (Should the title be indexed as a title added entry?)
0 - No title added entry(indicates a title main entry; i.e. no author is given
1 - Title added entry (the proper indicator when an author given in 1XX; the most common situation)
Indicator 2: Nonfiling characters
0-9 -Number of nonfiling characters present, including spaces; usually set at zero, except when the title begins with an article; e.g., for The robe, the second indicator would be set to 4. The letters T, h, e, and the space following them are then ignored in alphabetizing titles. The record will be automatically filed under "r" - for Robe.
Subfields used most often:
$a -Title proper
$h -Medium (often used for non-book media)
$p -Name of part/section of a work (R)
$b -Reminder of title (subtitles, etc.)
$c -Remainder of title page transcription/Statement of responsibility

246 Varying Form of Title (R) 
Indicator 1: Note/title added entry controller 
1 - Note, title added entry
3 - No note, title added entry 
Indicator 2: Type of title 
# - No information provided 
0 - Portion of title
1 - Parallel title
4 - Cover title
8 - Spine title
Subfield used most often: 
$a - Title proper 

250 Edition Statement (NR) 
Indicators undefined. 
Subfield used most often: 
$a - Edition statement 
260 Publication, distribution, etc. (Imprint) (R) 
Indicator 1: Sequence of publishing statements 
# - No information provided 
Indicator 2: Undefined 
Subfields used most often: 
$a - Place of publication, distribution, etc. (R)
$b - Name of publisher, distributor, etc. (R)
$c - Date of publication, distribution, etc. (R)

300 Physical Description (R) 
Indicators undefined.
Subfields used most often: 
$a - Extent (number of pages) (R)
$b - Other physical details (usually illustration information)
$c - Dimensions (cm.) (R)
$e - Accompanying material (for example, "teacher's guide" or "manual") 

440 Series Statement / Added Entry-Title (R) 
Indicator 1 undefined
Indicator 2: Nonfiling characters 
0-9 - Number of nonfiling characters present (for initial articles, including spaces) 
Subfields used most often: 
$a - Title
$v - Volume number 

490 Series Statement (No added entry is traced from field) (R) 
Indicator 1: Specifies whether series is traced (whether an 8XX tag is also present, tracing the series differently) 
0 - Series not traced
1 - Series traced differently (8XX is in record) 
Indicator 2 undefined.
Subfield used most often: 
$a - Series statement (R)
$v - Volume number (R) 

500 General Note (R) 
Indicators undefined. 
Subfield used most often: 
$a - General note (Used when no specialized note field has been defined for the information. Examples: Notes regarding the index; the source of the title; variations in title; descriptions of the nature, form, or scope of the item.
504 Bibliography, etc. note (R) 
Indicators undefined. 
Subfield used most often: 
$a - Bibliography, etc. note 
505 Formatted contents note (R) 
Indicator 1: Type of contents note 
0 - Complete contents
1 - Incomplete contents (used with multivolume set when some volumes are not yet published)
2 - Partial contents 
Indicator 2: Level of content designation 
# - Basic 
Subfield used most often: 
$a - Formatted contents note

520 Summary, etc. Note (R) 
Indicator 1: Display constant controller 
# - Summary
1 - Review
2 - Scope and content
3 - Abstract 
Indicator 2 undefined
Subfields used most often 
$a - Summary, abstract, or annotation
$b - Expansion of summary note 

600 Subject Added Entry - Personal name (R) 
Indicator 1: Type of personal name entry element 
0 - Forename
1 - Surname (this is the most common form)
3 - Family name 
Indicator 2: Subject heading system/thesaurus (identifies the specific list or file which was used) 
0 - Library of Congress Subject Headings
1 - LC subject headings for children's literature 
2 - Medical Subject Headings
3 - National Agricultural Library subject authority file
4 - Source not specified 
5 - Canadian Subject Headings 
6 - Répertoire de vedettes-matière
7 - Source specified in subfield $2 

Note regarding Sears subject headings: The MARC 21 format does not provide an assigned indicator for Sears subject headings. Therefore, an indicator of 7 is used, and the MARC defined code "sears" is placed in subfield $2.)

Subfields used most often: 
$a - Personal name (surname and forename)
$b - Numeration
$c - Titles and other words associated with a name (R)
$q - Fuller form of name
$d - Dates associated with a name (generally, year of birth)
$t - Title of a work
$v - Form subdivision (R) 
$x - General subdivision (R) 
$y - Chronological subdivision (R) 
$z - Geographic subdivision (R) 
$2 - Source of heading or term (used with 2nd indicator of 7) 

Note: subfields $v, $x, and $z in the 600 field are repeatable. Subfields $v, $x, $y, and $z do not have to be in alphabetical order. They will be in the order prescribed by the instructions given by the subject heading system.

610 Subject Added Entry - Corporate name (R) 
Indicator 1:Type of corporate name entry element 
0 - Inverted name (not used with AACR2)
1 - Jurisdiction name
2 - Name in direct order 
Indicator 2: Subject heading system/thesaurus. 
See indicator 2 under 600 
Subfields used most often: 
$a - Corporate name or jurisdiction name as entry element
$b - Subordinate unit (R)
$v - Form subdivision (R)
$x - General subdivision (R) 
$y - Chronological subdivision (R)
$z - Geographic subdivision (R)
$2 - Source of heading or term (used with 2nd indicator of 7) 

650 Subject Added Entry - Topical Term (Most subject headings fit here.) (R) 
Indicator 1: Level of subject 
# - No information provided 
Indicator 2: Subject heading system/thesaurus 
(identifies the specific list or file which was used) 
0 - Library of Congress Subject Headings
1 - LC subject headings for children's literature
2 - Medical Subject Headings
3 - National Agricultural Library subject authority file
4 - Source not specified
5 - Canadian Subject Headings
6 - Répertoire de vedettes-matière
7 - Source specified in subfield $2 

Note regarding Sears subject headings: The MARC 21 format does not provide an assigned indicator for Sears subject headings. Therefore, an indicator of 7 is used, and the MARC defined code "sears" is placed in subfield $2.

Subfields used most often: 
$a - Topical term
$v - Form subdivision (R)
$x - General subdivision (R) 
$y - Chronological subdivision (R)
$z - Geographic subdivision (R)
$2 - Source of heading or term used with 2nd indicator of 7) 

Note: subfields $v, $x, and $z in the 650 field are repeatable. Subfields $v, $x, $y, and $z do not have to be in alphabetical order. They will be in the order prescribed by the instructions given by the subject heading system.

651 Subject Added Entry - Geographic Name (R) 
Indicator 1: undefined.
Indicator 2: Subject heading system/thesaurus. 
See indicator 2 under 600 
Subfields used most often: 
$a - Geographic name
$v - Form subdivision (R)
$x - General subdivision (R)
$y - Chronological subdivision (R)
$z - Geographic subdivision (R)
$2 - Source of heading or term (used with 2nd indicator of 7)

Note: subfields $v, $x, and $z in the 651 field are repeatable. Subfields $v, $x, $y, and $z do not have to be in alphabetical order. They will be in the order prescribed by the instructions given by the subject heading system.

700 Added Entry - Personal Name (R) 
Indicator 1: Type of personal name entry element 
0 - Forename
1 - Surname (this is the most common form)
3 - Family name 
Indicator 2: Type of added entry 
# - No information provided (most common; co-authors, editors, etc.)
2 - Analytical entry (The values for Indicator 2 changed in 1994 with Format Integration, and older records may display additional values. An analytical entry involves an author/title of an item contained in a work.) 
Subfields used most often: 
$a - Personal name
$b - Numeration
$c - Titles and other words associated with a name (R)
$q - Fuller form of name 
$d - Dates associated with a name (generally, year of birth)
$e - Relator term (such as ill.) (R) 
$4 - Relator code (R) 
710 Added entry - Corporate name (R) 
Indicator 1: Type of corporate name entry element 
0 - Inverted name (not used with AACR2)
1 - Jurisdiction name
2 - Name in direct order 
Indicator 2: Type of added entry. 
See Indicator 2 under 700 
# - No information provided
2 - Analytical entry 
Subfields used most often: 
$a - Corporate name or jurisdiction name as entry element
$b - Subordinate unit (R) 

740 Added Entry - Uncontrolled related/analytical title (R) 
Indicator 1: Nonfiling characters 
0-9 - Number of nonfiling characters present (for initial articles, including spaces) 
Indicator 2:Type of added entry. See Indicator 2 under 700 
# - No information provided
2 - Analytical entry

Note: This field was redefined in 1994 with Format Integration. Prior to 1994, the field was also used for variant titles, such as a different wording on a spine title. In records created since Format Integration, those variant tiles appear in a 246 field.
Subfield used most often: 
$a - Title 

800 Series Added Entry - Personal Name (R) 
Indicator 1: Type of personal name entry element 
0 - Forename
1 - Surname 
3 - Family name 
Indicator 2 undefined.
Subfields used most often: 
$a - Personal name
$b - Numeration
$c - Titles and other words associated with a name (R)
$q - Fuller form of name
$d - Dates associated with a name (generally, year of birth)
$t - Title of a work (the series)
$v - Volume number 
830 Series added entry - Uniform title (R) 
Indicator 1 undefined.
Indicator 2: Nonfiling characters 
0-9 - Number of nonfiling characters present (for initial articles, including spaces) 
Subfield used most often: 
$a - Uniform title
$v - Volume number 

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