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245   Title statement. (DACS 2.3; 2.4) Required 

[updated 10/29/2013] 

MARC21 standard states: "For archival material, the title statement is defined as the name by which the material is known.  The field may contain inclusive dates (subfield $$f) and bulk dates (subfield $$g) pertaining to a collection."  A title may be formal or devised.  (DACS 2.3, Title element)   

We do not use square brackets when formulating collection titles.

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 Formal titles can also be found on unpublished material that bears a meaningful name consciously given by the creator of the material. When working with collections, this can also be a title as determined by bequest, by the donor, or by historical precedent. 

A devised title: is one provided by the archivist when there is no formal title for the materials being described, or when the formal title is misleading or inadequate.  The devised title generally has two parts, the name of the creator (s) or collector (s), and the nature of the materials being described.  Most collections will have a devised title.

For the purposes of giving a title to a collection, archivists usually will supply the title as follows: compose a brief title that uniquely identifies the material, normally consisting of: (1) name of the creator(s) or collector(s) segment and (2) nature of the materials being described segment OR optionally, a topical segment.  The order of these segments is optional in DACS, but our practice (based on common archival practice, originally under APPM) will be to put the 1xx information (or other info.) first, and the nature segment (usually a form and genre word) second.

Formulation of title can be tricky so see DACS 2.3 for a complete and detailed explanation.  

Do not use the fullest form of the name in the 245 name segment.

Use: T. S. Eliot additional papers

Not: T. S. (Thomas Stearns) Eliot additional papers

NOTE:  Very often Houghton will already hold papers of the person.  Check HOLLIS OPAC and OASIS  for already established name/title choices so that later papers will file next to earlier papers.

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

This field displays in HOLLIS OPAC as ‘Title.’ If it is necessary to designate that the title is devised, use a 500 note [for collections this would be rare]. 

The form of the title must be exactly as it is listed in the <eadheader><filedesc><titlestmt><titleproper> section of the EAD finding aid. This is a requirement of Harvard bib standards. 


1st       1         title added entry (if the title is to be indexed)

            0        no title added entry is made.  It is always used when there is no 1xx entry in the record.

2nd      0-9     number of non-filing characters. Contains the value that specifies the number of character positions associated with a definite or indefinite article at the beginning of a title that are disregarded in sorting and filing processes.



100  1    $$a Walton, Alice.

245  10  $$a  Alice Walton Civil War letters to John Gray


100 1    $$aAdams, Henry, 1838-1918,$$erecipient.

245 10  $$a  Henry Adams letters received


100 1 $$aErikson, Erik.

245 14  $$a The Erik H. and Joan M. Erikson papers    [bequest name, determined by donor]


100 1 $$aErikson, Erik.

245 10  $$a Erik H. Erikson and Joan M. Erikson  additional papers    [name devised in repository]


[no 1xx field]

245 00 $$aCostume and set designs for theatrical and film productions


Catchall titling exception:

Houghton occasionally (rarely) forms artificial "collections" called catchalls. They may be topical or built around a genre or person; they give a home to items that do not merit their own MARC record. These collections are open; as appropriate items are acquired, they are added.  The clearest example is the Autograph File. A cataloger will not normally create such a collection without advance curatorial and/or Technical Services collaboration.

  • If there is no 1xx for the catchall (the normal case), the collection title always (with a few exceptions) begins with "Miscellaneous" as the first word.

(Exceptions include the Autograph File, the Theater Autograph File, and the Portrait File.)


            245 00  |a Miscellaneous documents relating to Abraham Lincoln

            245 00  |a Miscellaneous eighteenth-century British papers


  • If there is a 1xx for the catchall, the collection title will include "miscellaneous" between the name segment and the nature of materials segment.

            100 3_  $$a James family.    

            245 10  $$a James family miscellaneous papers


            100 1_  $$a Wordsworth, William, $$d 1770-1850.

            245 10  $$a William Wordsworth miscellaneous papers


$$a   Title: This subfield will be used most commonly. 


Personal papers:

      100 1    $$aDavenport, Mildred.

      245 10  $$aMildred Davenport dance programs and dance school materials


Family papers:

      100 3    $$a James family.

      245 10  $$a James family papers


Organizational records:

      110 2    $$aNew Directions Publishing Corp.

      245 10  $$a New Directions Publishing Corp. records   



      110 2   $$aBallet Russe de Monte Carlo.

      245 10  $$aBallets Russes de Monte Carlo records concerning Leonide Massine

      100 1    $$aAdams, Abigail,$$d1744-1818,$$ecollector.

      245 10  $$aAbigail Adams collection of Victorian autographs


$$f   Dates:  MARC21 states that: "This subfield contains the time during which the entirety of the contents of the described record unit were created." For the form of dates, including uncertain and unspecified dates, follow the rules in DACS 2.4: "Date element identifies and records the date(s) that pertain to the creation, assembly, accumulation, and/or maintenance and use of the materials being described." If multiple types of dates need to be recorded (ie dates of record-keeping activity), record them, clearly labeled, in the 520 scope and content note.


Inclusive dates: DACS 2.4.7. "If the materials … described span a period of time, always record the inclusive dates, that is, the earliest and latest dates of the materials or activity in question." Do not use the word (inclusive) following these dates. Do not use the word ongoing -, but put in the closing dates for the material we hold, and change them if new materials are added. 



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 the >520 scope and content field. 

               $$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:"

               $$fcirca 1890-1899. [for decade 1890s]

               $$fcirca 1870-1871. 


Single dates: DACS 2.4.12.  Not normally used for collections, but occasionally a collection may be created within a single year, or on an exact date. Record the date  as:


               $$f1975 March-August. 


Estimated single date ranges: DACS 2.4.15. Not normally used for collections, but occasionally may be useful.  "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:"

               $$fbefore 1867.

               $$fafter 1867 January 5.

               $$f1892 or 1893.

               $$fcirca 1975 August.


No datesDACS 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.'



Punctuation: This subfield is preceded by a comma.


$$g   Bulk dates:  "This subfield contains the time during which the bulk of the contents of the described materials were created." This subfield is preceded by a comma. Use this subfield with $$f when the dates pertaining to the majority of the documents in the unit being described differ significantly from the inclusive dates. Add the term “bulk” before the dates, as listed below. Do not add the word “inclusive”:

               $$f1785-1960, $$g bulk 1916-1958.

               $$f1920-1960, $$g bulk 1940-1945.



               100 1    $$a Smith, John, $$d1870-1950.

               245 10  $$a John Smith additional papers, $$f1834-1945, $$g bulk 1940-1945.


               100 1    $$a  Yourcenar, Marguerite.

               245 10  $$a Marguerite Yourcenar additional papers, $$f1934-1945.


               100 1    $$a O'Casey, Sean, $$d1880-1964.

               245 10  $$a Sean O'Casey papers, $$f1934-1945.


               100 1    $$a Wolfe, Thomas, $$d1900-1938.

               245 10  $$a Thomas Wolfe letters and diaries, $$fcirca 1930-1939.


               100 1    $$a Reed, John, $$d1887-1920.

               245 10  $$a John Read account books, $$f1901.


        [no 1xx]

               245 00  $$a Scrapbooks of clippings concerning slavery, $$fundated. 


               100 1    $$a Anderson, Wallace Ludwig, $$d1917-, $$ecollector.

               245 10  $$aWallace Ludwig Anderson collection on Edward Arlington Robinson, $$f1896-1984.


SEE ALSO:  field 008 for additional date coding information in fixed fields


246  Varying Form of Title. Optional

[updated 10/29/2013]  

This field displays in HOLLIS OPAC as ‘Other title'

This field contains varying forms of the title associated with the collection. Variant titles are recorded in field 246 if they differ from the title statement in field 245 and if they contribute to the further identification of the item. For collections, the use of this field provides a good opportunity to assist readers in finding materials using “common usage” wording for what the public might call a collection (see MOLLUS/Loyal legion example).

This field is searchable in ALEPH with keyword and title searches.

This field is repeatable.

Use >500 field if you need to give an explanation for the use of variant titles. Alternatively, occasionally the explanation might already be apparent in the >545 field text.



110 2    $$a Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States. $$b Commandery of the State of Massachusetts, $$e collector.

245 10  $$aMilitary Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States Commandery of the State of Massachusetts Civil War collection [official title of collection]

246 10  $$aLoyal Legion collection. [this collection is commonly known as this by readers and staff]

246 10  $$aMOLLUS collection. [this collection is ALSO commonly known as this by readers and staff] 

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