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This field is used to is used to describe distinct sections, chapters, etc., that could be described in greater detail than might be provided in other notes. This field may also be used in combination with the 520 field as a partial-contents note to highlight a particular section of the item [e.g., a commonplace book consisting chiefly of prayers including a selection of poems]. Displays varies depending on first indicator.


indicators:       1st       0         Contents

                                 1          Incomplete Contents

                                 2          Partial Contents

                                 8          No display                              

                      2nd      #          Undefined

                                  0          Expanded (seldom used for manuscript records—see MARC 21 for description)

subfields:        $$a - Formatted contents note (We use only this subfield in 505)

punctuation:    Between each section described there is a space, two hyphens, then a space. The note ends with a period when it is a full or partial contents note. If the field contains incomplete contents, no period is necessary at the end.

The titles of sections may be supplied by the cataloger (as in the first example below), or may be transcribed from the piece (as in the Latin example).  The numbering of sections is optional but advisable when each section is an independent text or is referred to later in the record.  Further details about contents of each section can be included after a comma or semicolon or in a parenthetical note. Include folio or page numbers parenthetically at the end of each section, only the first foliation or page reference needs to have “ff” or “pp” abbreviations, all others need only include number (and recto/verso indication where appropriate).

The list of contents may sometimes need to exceed Aleph’s limit of 2000 characters for a field. In this case, split the note into 2 or more notes (and remember to enter “8” as the 1st indicator of the second note).  If extensive contents notes are necessary, consider cataloging the item as a collection.


505 0_ 1. Story of Mar Shalita (ff. 83r-111v) -- 2. The triumph, that is a small part of the story of Mar Aksenaya who is Mar Philoxenus (111v-121v).

505 0_ (Ps-?)Augustine, Sermo CLV (imperfect at the beginning; PL 39. 2043; ff. 1r-2r) -- Leo, Sermo XLV de passio Domini; rubricated for Wednesday of Holy Week (imperfect at the end; PL 54. 361; 2r-v) -- Bede, Homilia XXI; in Quadragesima (imperfect at beginning and end; 3).



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