Wednesday, June 27, 2012

PCC issues guidelines for the 264 field

On June 11, 2012 the Program for Cooperative Cataloging issued guidelines for the use of the 264 field in the MARC 21 Format for Bibliographic Data. The 264 field is used for encoding information pertaining to the production, publication, distribution, manufacture, and copyright date associated with resources. The repeatability of the 264 field allows for separate encoding of each of these different functions, which were previously all rolled up into the 260 field. The enhanced granularity of these data will facilitate machine processing and hopefully improve discovery and retrieval of resources. While acknowledging that 260 and 264 fields may coexist in pre-RDA records and in RDA records created prior to the implementation of the 264, the guidelines state that all new original RDA records should use the 264 field. In an email dated June 12, 2012, Jay Weitz of OCLC confirmed that OCLC users may now begin to use the 264 field in accordance with the PCC guidelines ( If your library uses records downloaded from OCLC, you may already have records with 264 fields in your catalog, even if you didn't create those fields yourself! Catalogers will want to make sure their ILS recognizes the 264 as a valid field. You will also want to check out how this new field displays in your online catalog. In my library's OPAC, we discovered that the 264 will not appear in the "brief" display without some tweaking by our staff.

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