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Use this field for notes concerning the physical description of the item in regards to form, material, geographic location, and date/duration. This field is also used for notes concerning derivation of title, date, or other source information supplied by the cataloger. This is not a description of the intellectual content (see 520). Displays as “Notes.”

indicators:       no indicators, leave blank

subfields:        $$a - General note (NR)

punctuation:    This may begin with a phrase or a complete sentence, followed by a period. After this first period, further information should be in complete sentences. This field ends with a period.                     


Make separate notes for the following information, in this order.

Note on form, material, location, and or duration.

This accommodates information that cannot be fitted into the 245, such as date and place of writing, if it is considered necessary to give these more exactly than in the . If you have put a ‘publication place’ in the 008, you should record it here. Also include here any notes on the style of hand (e.g., gothic, rotund), color of ink, inclusion of illustrations or decorated initials.


500 __ Diary.

500__  Autograph manuscript, signed, with annotations in the hand of Charles   Sumner.

500__  Photocopies, some negative.

500 __ Written in an unidentified hand, dated on flyleaf 1897 August 3.

500 __ Writen by Sh. Mateyos bar Paulos in Mosul in Šbat 2199 (Feb. 1888); copied from a manuscript dated 1520/1 from the Monastery of Mar Hnania which was written by Q. Mbarak (f. 316r).


Source of title. 

If the 245 supplied title, except in cases when the item is a letter or collection of correspondence, then this note should read:


500 __ Title supplied by cataloger.


Correspondence collections do not need a note that the title was created by the cataloger.

If the 245 is a title taken from the manuscript from a place other than a manuscript title page, then you need to specify here, e.g.


500 __ Title derived from colophon (f. 312r).

500 __ Title from published edition (London: 1885).


If taken from a published version or reference work, cite when possible. When title is taken verbatim from the manuscript use “Title from…” when title is an extraction or elision use “Title derived…”

Also include a note, if necessary, for any 246 “Other title.”


Additional statements of responsibility. 

Make notes on authorship or on others involved as necessary for identification. Provide reasoning and/or citation when possible.


500 __ Goodman is the probable author. 

500 __ Addressed to “L.S.”.

500 __ Marginalia by Robert Graves.


Additional physical details notes. 

Separate notes may be give in this order for:

(a)  incipit (if this would help with identification or research)

(b)  dimensions of page and/or the written area on the page (height by width)

(c)  further extent description (e.g., missing leaves, gaps in foliation)

(d)  binding--describe the binding beginning if possible with “Bound…” (Help with terminology can be found in Etherington and Roberts Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology)


500  __  Bound in contemporary vellum over paper boards.

500  __  Bound by F. Bedford in full red morocco, gilt.


 (e) housing--this information is useful for purposes of retrieval, therefore be sure to mention e.g. 


500  __  In two boxes.

500 __  In a red morocco pull-off case, 18 cm.


Houghton uses the following terms for cases:

pull-off case : 2-piece box, bottom and lid (note, this is not the same as a “box” provided by end-processing

tray case : one piece, hinged unit, usually with two trays, one closing over the other, e.g., clamshell box.

slipcase : close-fitting box with one side open

protective case : pre-fab case used in end-processing


Bound with note

This is needed if the manuscript consists of two or more originally separate manuscripts bound together, and if a separate record is made for each of them.  Following Houghton’s printed-book convention, if 3 or fewer items are bound together, provide a “Bound with” note that lists the title(s) of the other item(s). If more than three items are bound together, construct a note containing the following: the item’s position in the volume, the total number of items bound together, and some description of the volume’s content.


500 __ Bound with Religious stories and Stories of the saints.

500__  Number 6 in a bound volume of 27 parliamentary records.


Any notes or added entries pertaining to the binding (500, 655) go on the primary record for manuscript materials, not in the Holdings record.


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