Skip to end of metadata
Go to start of metadata

The name by which the material being described is known or can be identified. A title may be formal or supplied.

A formal title is one that appears prominently on or in the materials being described. A traditional formal title is most commonly found in material that has been published or distributed, such as a title on a book, report, map, or film. Formal titles can also be found on unpublished material that bears a meaningful name consciously given by the creator of the material or on a manuscript transcription of a printed item. (DACS 2.3)

A supplied title is one provided by the cataloger when there is no formal title for the materials being described, or where the formal title is misleading or inadequate. Generally it has two parts, the name of the creator(s) or collector(s), and the documentary (genre) form of the item. (DACS 2.3)

The most significant local convention is the use of the subfield $$k (see below). This field displays as “Title” in the OPAC.

indicators:    1st       0          No title added entry. (Use if there is no 100/110, i.e., when the title itself is the “main entry”).

                              1          Title added entry. Use this otherwise.

                    2nd     0          Number of non-filing characters.

subfields:       $$a - Title (NR)

             $$b - Remainder of title (NR)

      $$c - Statement of responsibility, etc. (NR)

      $$f - Inclusive dates (NR)

      $$h - Medium (NR)

      $$k - Form (R)

 punctuation:  This field ends with a full point or mark of punctuation.


$$a Title

punctuation:    This subfield is preceded by no punctuation mark, first word is capitalized; and then all proper names. For English language records, there is typically no other capitalization.

This subfield is used whether there is a formal title to transcribe from the item itself, or whether the cataloger is using a supplied title.  Do not use square brackets to distinguish a title that has had to be supplied by the cataloger.

Formal titles. If there is a formal title, either on a title page or in a caption or colophon, then transcribe or derive title from it. In this case, ‘Transcribe the title proper exactly as to wording, order, and spelling, but not necessarily as to punctuation and capitalization. Give accentuation and other diacritical marks that are present’ (AACR2 1.1B1, DACS 2.3.2). Generally, in English you capitalize the first word of the title (but not subtitle), and proper nouns; but for detailed rules, and other languages, see AACR2 Appendix A.

Transcribe the formal title as it appears, including archaic spellings. If any of the first five words contains non-archaic mis-spelling, or a mis-print for manuscripts with printed title pages,  follow with a “[sic]” and normalize the spelling in a displayed 246. Also add an undisplayed 246 with the first five words of the formal title transcribed exactly (DCRM 0G7.1).

Transcribe titles with abbreviations as they appear and expand titles in a 246. This include Latin titles. (Note: this differs from past Houghton practice of expanding Latin titles with abbreviations and normalizing the v used for u in Latin titles.)

Square brackets are seldom used in a transcribed title. The exceptions to this are the above-mentioned [sic] and if expansion or insertion of a word in the title is necessary in order to make better sense of a transcribed title. In such cases, if brackets appear within the first five words of a formal title, include a 246 of the title as it appears.


245 12 $$a A relation of the wonderfull mercies of God extended hunto [sic] us ye 19 of October, 1660, in the ship Exchange being bound from Newingland to Barbadoes

 Note that odd spelling does not necessarily warrant a “[sic]”, only that which might seem like cataloger error.

Supplied titles. When supplying a title begin with the name of main entry/creator (found in the 100/110) in first name-last name order, if known, the document form of the item, and optionally one or more topical terms. If there is more than one creator, list up to three in first name-last name order. If no creator name is available, then a topical term is necessary to make the name of the item distinctive in some way.  (This is the advice given in RDA Cf. also the rule in DACS 2.3.4 applying to archives.) If the creator, or recipient in the case of letters, name appears differently on the manuscript, then the name can be written as it appears on the piece.

Exceptions to this convention include works with known titles on which the title does not appear on the manuscript. The 245 should consist of the title of the published work without the creator name. Also letters in which the main entry is the recipient of the letter(s) should be supplied with a title of “Letters to” followed by the recipient’s name.


245 10  $$a Gilbert White sermons.

245 10  $$a Commonplace book and abridgement of printed cases.

245 10  $$a Boris Pasternak letters to Miriam Rogers

245 10  $$a Letter to Henry VIII King of England 

245 00  $$a Stories of saints.  

245 10  $$a Journal of Emma Savage.  

245 10  $$a Portrait of the artist as a young man


Do not use the fullest form of the name in the 245 name segment, thus:

T. S. Eliot notebook


T. S. (Thomas Stearns) Eliot notebook


Do not use square brackets when supplying a title, an explanation for the details or source of the title should be added in a 500 note. If the title is entirely of your own devising, then include a 500 note stating, “Title supplied by cataloger.” If supplied from a published version or reference work, cite where possible.


Fragments. If you are cataloging a fragment of a manuscript, use your judgment when supplying a title. A single leaf or small number of leaves should be titled “Leaf/Leaves from…” If a substantial portion of the manuscript exists, it can be titled as though it is the whole, with further description in the 500/520 fields.


245 10 $$a Leaf from a Ulysses [for a single leaf from Joyce’s Ulysses]

245 10 $$a Portrait of the artist as a young man : $$k manuscript

500 __ $$a  …incomplete at beginning and end…


If you have sufficient material to identify a part/section of a larger work, but it does not appear on the fragment itself, supply the identification in a 500/520 note, do not include it in the 245, but do create a 240 with $$p and $$k.

If the part/section is identified on the fragment, include it in your 245 formulation, with a note in the 500 to cite location in fragment.


$$b Remainder of title

punctuation:    This subfield is preceded by a space and a colon (AACR2 1.0C, 1.1A1), unless it is a list of collective titles, in which case titles are separated by a semicolon (see below).

This subfield is used in two cases.

1.) If the item is a published work and has a subtitle, the subtitle goes here (note, alternate titles are not subtitles but part of the main title and therefore belong in $$a). 


245 10 $$a  Traité des sièges : $$b de l’attaque et deffences des places 


2.) If a manuscript has just two or three components but no collective title, you may give them all, separated by semicolons. This is an alternative to making up a collective title. The $$b subfield indicator will come before the second of the titles. (In this case it will be preceded not by a colon but by a semicolon.) 


245 10  $$a Hamlet ; $$b Romeo and Juliet ; Othello.

245  10  $$a Ecatonfilea ; $$b Deifira.     (This is MS Typ 1086.)


$$c Statement of responsibility

punctuation:    This subfield is preceded by a space and a forward slash.

This subfield is used only for transcribed titles in which there is a stated statement of responsibility. The rules for transcribing are the same as those for any other part of a transcribed title. Subfield $$c must be the last field coded in a 245. Do not use if name matches main entry.


245 10  $$a  Receuil d'airs choisis : $$b dédié à Mademoiselle de Fouilleuse : $$k manuscript, $$f 1760  / $$c par son très humble serviteur D***.


$$k Form

punctuation:    This subfield is preceded by space and a colon. 

This subfield is used whenever the physical form of an item can be described in one word. Normally, this word will be “manuscript”. This subfield is not intended as a search-term, but simply as a quick indication to someone who turns up an item on Hollis, where printed books predominate, that it is different. If the physical form of an item cannot be quickly described, e.g. if it is a mixture of print and manuscript, then do not use this subfield. Likewise, “autograph manuscript”, “manuscript fragment”, or the like should be put in a 500 note, not here.

Other words besides “manuscript” are allowed in this subfield if applicable. At the present, the following are also in use:






and the plurals thereof. See the definitions of these terms in the AAT. Note that a scrapbook is a particular kind of album and has more than one form/genre of item pasted within. The term album refers to a book volume created with the purpose of being an album. If you wish to use another word, it should be agreed by the Manuscript Section.

Note that this subfield is not used for the literary genre of an item. See the example below.


245 10 $$a Nomencie astrologique : $$k manuscript, $$f ca. 1650-1700.

245 10 $$a Valentines : $$k manuscript, $$f ca. 1850-1860.

245 10 $$a Joe Brainard letters and compositions sent to Ted Berrigan :  $$k manuscript, $$f 1962-1963 and undated.

245 10 $$a Martin Amis interview with John Haffenden : $$k typescript, $$f not after 1985.

245 10 $$a Autographs of Lawrence and Helen Lader : $$k album, $$f 1932.

520 __ Album into which are mounted autographed slips and ad-hoc letters of famous people …

245 10 $$a Shakespeareana: $$k scrapbook, $$f ca. 1900-1935.

520 __ Volume contains autograph letters, signed; pamphlets, newspaper clippings …

245 10 $$aFour years at Yale : $$k manuscript, $$f 1903-1907.



$$h Medium

punctuation:    This subfield is placed in square brackets.

This is used when an item is a microform or stats (i.e., photostats). It follows the form subfield ($$k) and precedes the date ($$f) and statement of responsibility ($$c).


245 00  $$a Diaries and itineraries : $$k manuscript   $$h [microform] …

245 10  $$a Journal of events in Parliament : $$k manuscript $$h [stats], $$f 1640-1642.


Make a 534 note to specify the location of the original manuscript, if possible. Also make a 655 entry for the kind of medium, e.g.

655  7 Stats (copies) $$2aat    


$$f Dates

punctuation:    This subfield is preceded by a comma.

This subfield contains the date/dates of the creation, assembly, or accumulation of the material described. When supplying a date, either from context or from an unusual place within the material, cite the date source in a 500/520 note. Do not use brackets for supplied dates.

For the form of dates, including uncertain and unspecified dates, follow the rules in DACS 2.4.  If multiple types of dates need to be recorded (i.e. inclusive dates with a large gap, or multiple single-year dates, etc.) record them, clearly labeled, in the 505/520 note.

Single dates.

$$f 1975. 

$$f 1975 March-August. 

$$f 1975 March 25. 


Multiple year range.

$$f 1975-1984.

$$f 1640-1700.


Note, if the manuscript has a multiple year range that can be narrowed to a single day-date, do not include that in this subfield (i.e. NOT $$f 1975 March 1-1983 April 17, but rather $$f 1975-1983).


Multiple year range with large gap.

DACS 2.4.11.  "If there is a significant gap in the chronological sequence of the documents in the collection, where providing bulk dates would be misleading, record the anomalous date(s) separated by commas.”  Explain significant chronological gaps in the materials in a 500/520 note.

$$f1827, 1952-1978. 

$$f1975, 2002. 


Estimated date ranges.

DACS 2.4.12. "At all levels of description, where the earliest or latest dates pertaining to the unit being described are estimates, indicate the estimated dates in a clear and consistent fashion:"

$$f approximately 1952-1978.

$$f ca. 1890-1899. [to indicate the decade 1890s]

$$f ca. 1500-1599. [to indicated the 16th-century] 


Estimated single date ranges.

DACS 2.4.15. “If no date can be found on or in the material itself or determined from any other source, estimate the nearest year, decade, century or other interval as precisely as possible.  Record estimated dates in a consistent fashion:"

$$f probably 1867.

$$f approximately 1925. 

$$f before 1867.

$$f after 1867 January 5.

$$f 1892 or 1893.

$$f ca. 1975 August.


No dates. 

DACS 2.4.16.  "When recording dates(s) for …" materials …"if the unit bears no date and …it may be misleading to record an estimated date, use 'undated.'

$$f undated. 


$$g Bulk dates 

This applies to collections and will not normally be wanted for single items. 


  • No labels