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This field is contains information concerning the ownership and custodial history of the described materials. Displays as “Provenance.”

indicators:       1st       0     Private [do not use] 

                                 1      Not private

                       2nd     #      Undefined

subfields:         $$a - History

                       $$5 - Institution to which field applies


Here we record information about the immediate source of acquisition, including donor name or fund used for purchasing. A second 561 can be entered for other provenance information, also noting bookplates and ownership inscriptions that are on the item itself.  Names that appear in this field need not be added entries (see 700), even large-scale collectors, except Philip Hofer. We do not give added entries for “donors” unless they were also “former owners”. If the item is a transfer item, make a second 561 for the original source of acquisition, if known.


If there is no information about provenance, it is not necessary to use this field.


$$a History

punctuation: Ends with a period.                      

Enter here the names of donors or depositors or the fund name for purchases (but not the amount of money).  For the immediate source of acquisition, use the noun forms “Gift of” “Bequest of” (not “Given by,” ‘Bequeathed by’) but the verb forms “Purchased with.” “Deposited by,” and “Transferred from.”  A manuscript purchased for Harvard by a donor is considered a gift. The purchase details may be recorded in 852 $$x.


For a purchase, use the full name of the fund, thus: “Treat fund” (that is its full name); “William Bentinck-Smith Book fund”; “Peter P. F. Degrand bequest”, “Osgood Hooker fund”; etc. The word “fund” or the like after a name is not capitalized. “Amy Lowell fund” is the correct style for that fund.


For an acquisition on an old fund for which the full name is uncertain, take the information from the bookplate, e.g., “Fund for Printing & Graphic Arts given by Philip Hofer” (rather than “Hofer fund”), or failing that the accessions record.


$$5 Institution to which field applies

punctuation:    Ends with no punctuation.


For Houghton materials use the form:   $$5 hou


For Harvard Theatre Collection use the form:  $$5 the


For Woodberry Poetry Room materials housed at Houghton used the form: $$5 poe

[note: materials marked with a $$5 poe, have an 852 $$b HOU]



561  1_ $$a Formerly Phillipps MS 3214.  $$5 hou

561  1_ $$a Bequest of Philip Hofer, 1984. $$5 hou

561  1_ $$a Given to Justin Perkins by Mar Yohannan of Gavilan.  $$5 hou

561  1_ $$a Bookplate of William Morris.  $$5 hou

561  1_ $$a Purchased with the Amy Lowell fund, 1998. $$5 hou

561  1_ $$a Purchased with the Evert Jansen Wendell bequest, 1937. $$5 the


A single record might have the following two 561 fields:


561 1_ $$a Deposited by the Harvard Semitic Museum, 1959.   $$5 hou

561 1_ $$a Acquired by the Harvard Semitic Museum from J. Rendel Harris, 1905 (accession no. 4064).  $$5 hou


For a medieval or other famous manuscript you may record more details of ownership and purchase.


561  1_ $$aSotheby’s sale, London 7 Dec. 2004, lot 38. $$5hou

561  1_ $$a Bookplate of John Eliot Hodgkin; his sale (London, Sotheby's, 12 May 1914, no. 750) to Dobell. Purchased from Atkinson, ca.1910, by George Herbert Palmer. $$5 hou


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