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[updated 2018]

NOTE on TEMPLATES: When a holdings record has not already been started in Acquisitions OR in the case of creating a new holdings record from scratch, ALWAYS use the templates created in Alma (HOU collection holdings, THE collection holdings, etc...). Most fields and prescribed values are supplied in the templates. However, certain values will need to be changed depending on the nature of the materials. 

LDR   Leader.

For the full specifications of this field see the document ‘MARC 21 Format for Holdings Data’. 

Character position Code 
(0-4)Logical record length#####system supplied
(5)Record statusnNew
(6)Type of recordxSingle-part item holdings
(7)Unidentified character positions#system supplied
(8)Unidentified character positions#system supplied
(9)Character coding schemeaUCS/Unicode
(10)Indicator count2system supplied
(11)Subfield code count2system supplied
(12-16)Base address of data#####

system supplied

(17)Encoding level1Holdings level 1
(18)Item information in recordnNo item information
(19)Unidentified character positions#system supplied
(20)Length of length of field portion4system supplied
(21)Length of starting character position5system supplied
(22)Length of the implementation defined portion0system supplied
(23)Undefined0system supplied

001   Control number.

System supplied.


005   Date and time of latest transaction.

System supplied. 


008   Fixed-length data elements.

For the full specifications of this field see the document ‘MARC 21 Format for Holdings Data’. 

The # is a blank. The usual values are:

Character positions Code  
(0-5)Date entered on file#####system supplied 
(6)Receipt or acquisition status2Received 
(7)Method of acquisitiond   Deposit

Note: Code the 008 (7) as follows:   

Determine the original source, bought or gifted (a bequest is a gift), and code accordingly. We have always treated the way in which something came into Widener as being the source for coding. Use a "u" if it just can't be determined.      

  gGift and bequest
(8-11) Expected acquisition end date####system supplied 
(12)General retention policy8Permanently retained 
(13) Policy type#system supplied 
(14)Number of units#system supplied 
(15)Unit type#system supplied 
(16)Completeness4Not applicable 
(17-19)Number of copies reported###system supplied 
(20) Lending policy bWill not lend 
(21) Reproduction policyuUnknown            
(22-24) Language###system supplied

Language is only supplied if you have 86X caption data in the record.

(25) Separate or composite copy report0Separate copy report 
(26-31)Date of report#####system supplied 


506   Restrictions on access note.  (DACS 4.1) 

[updated 4/10/2013]

This note is entered in the holdings record (although it does display publicly in the bibliographic record in HOLLIS). "This field contains information about restrictions imposed on access to the described materials." While field >540 (Target Audience Note) is designated to be used to record "terms governing the use of materials after access has been allowed," it is not allowed in local policy.  We use >845  to record all conditions of use,  after access is granted. 

If there are no restrictions, state that fact (as per DACS). If there are restrictions such as a remote housing location or hardware/equipment needed for access, include a note. Be as specific as possible. Describe the nature of the restriction using the precise language according to the Houghton 2012 Restrictions Policy document. When restrictions are removed, we trace the history of the restriction by recording: “Formerly restricted.” See examples below for possible wording.

Indicators were enabled in ALEPH in February 2009. We use them to distinguish whether the collection has or does not have restrictions.


1st  (Restriction)

<Blank>      No information provided

0                 No restrictions

1                 Restrictions apply [see examples below for 12 possibilities of restrictions]

2nd  <blank>      Undefined

Public view has same default header for both indicators:

Restrictions:  Collection is open for research

Restrictions:  Restricted: donor permission required; closed until 2039/1/1.  

Subfields: other codes are possible but we use only $$a, $$3, and $$5:   

$$a   Terms governing access

$$3    Materials specified [This one is used to specify what series/folder/item within a collection is restricted.]

$$5    Institution to which field applies. Code either $$5hou or $$5the

Punctuation: Ends in a period unless another mark of punctuation is present. 


Examples of no restrictions: 

    • 506 0_  $$a Collection is open for research.  [shows indicator for no restrictions]
    • 506 0_ $$a Collection is open for research.  Formerly restricted until 2011. [shows indicator for no restrictions]

When a collection needs some care in handling but you don’t want to restrict content, use two 506 fields.

    • 506 0_  $$a Collection is open for research.

    • 506 0_  $$a This collection/ a portion of this collection may contain fragile materials that require special care in handling. Please request assistance as needed with fasteners or brittle pages.

Examples of restrictions: See full Restrictions Policy document for additional details

If the collection is housed offsite but is otherwise open, use two 506 fields:

    • 506 0_  $$a Collection is open for research.

    • 506 1_ $$aThis collection [or a portion of this collection] is shelved offsite. Retrieval requires advance notice. Check with Houghton Public Services staff.


  • 506 1_   $$aRestricted: fragile; use surrogate. For access to original consult curatorial staff.   [shows indicator for restrictions]

If a surrogate copy must be used, state the restriction in the >506 and also enter the surrogate information in >845 


    • 506 1_    $$aRestricted: fragile; consult curatorial staff.  [shows indicator for restrictions]

Surrogate copy is not available. Do not specify which curator. Public services staff will determine which Houghton curator maintains authority of the materials. 


    • 506 1_    $$aRestricted: special handling required; consult curatorial staff for appointment. [shows indicator for restrictions]



    • 506 1_    $$aRestricted: unprocessed; consult curatorial staff. [shows indicator for restrictions]



    • 506 1_    $$aRestricted: limited access; consult curatorial staff. [shows indicator for restrictions]



    • 506 1_    $$aRestricted: limited access; use surrogate. For access to original, consult curatorial staff. [shows indicator for restrictions]



    • 506 1_    $$aRestricted: donor/depositor permission required; $$3[collection/series/folder/item] closed until YYY MONTH DD or on deposit]; consult curatorial staff.   [shows indicator for restrictions]



    • 506 1_    $$aRestricted: closed for cataloging until [YYYY MONTH].   [shows indicator for restrictions]



    • 506 1_    $$aRestricted:closed for conservation.  [shows indicator for restrictions]



    • 506 1_    $$aRestricted: for legal or university policy reasons; available [YYYY MONTH]. [shows indicator for restrictions]


541   Immediate source of acquisition.   

[updated 9/11/2012]

This does not display to the public in HOLLIS, so information that is wanted in the public display should be put into a >561.  


1st       0      Private  [This is the only indicator that should be used]


Use subfields in the following order. Follow each lettered subfield with semicolon except the last with a full point. ‘Acquisition’ here means the acquisition of the collection by the Harvard College Library. So if the collection is a transfer from Widener, then this field refers to Widener’s acquisition (by gift, purchase, etc.), not Houghton’s. See the example below. The fact that it is a transfer can then be recorded in >852 $$x but most often this is not done as it is redundant. If the transfer was from an outside library, e.g. Law School, Schlesinger, HU Archives, etc., then use “Transfer” in subfield $$c here, and the information refers to the transfer. Any information about how that former library acquired the collection will count as ‘Provenance’ (>561). If a collection was acquired from more than one source, this field should be repeated.

$$c   Method of acquisition, which refers to the terms under which a transfer of physical custody occurs, e.g., Purchase, Gift, Bequest, Deposit, Transfer;

$$a   Source of acquisition: Name of the person or organization that is the source of the material;

$$b   Address of the source of acquisition given in subfield $a  (if the information can be found);

$$d   Date of acquisition in the form of year month day. We record full date in form: 1978 March 03; Months should always be fully spelled out. Date ranges can be used for multiple gifts by same donor, rather than listing out individual dates; day of date should be two digit.   

$$e    Accession number, and/or former call number, minus all asterisks (the asterisk disturbs searching and is best to be left out completely). This allows searching on these numbers. If the old call number is within Houghton, then the Houghton accession number follows it, in parentheses, still with no asterisk at the start of the number [NOTE: As of August 2010, Houghton no longer uses an asterisk at the start of any number]. Trailing f, pf, etc…can be deleted in accesssion numbers. An "r" is being added as of September 2006 when an accession number is created for a collection that is actually a RECON accession (one not gifted or purchased in that year). If the collection includes multiple reclassified call numbers, they should all be included here one by one, separated by commas). Also a non-public note could be added in >852 $$x (see below) but since this is mostly redundant, it is seldom used. NOTE as of 2006 January 1: the changed number file was closed and this subfield is used as an electronic searching substitution for a paper card file. 

$$h    Purchase price: the amount, followed by the fund name always in parentheses. Complete name of the fund does not need to be used.

$$3    Materials specified. If possible, use this subfield at the start of the field when using multiple >541s. In collections, many accession numbers are often combined but not tracked with the final item number placement, so use of this subfield will often not be possible. 

$$ Institution to which field applies.

For Houghton use the form:   $$5hou

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



541 0_    $$c Purchase;  $$a Thierry Bodin;  $$d 2000;  $$e 2000M-100;   $$h  $500 (Amy Lowell fund).  $$5 hou

541 0_    $$c Purchase;  $$a Maggs;  $$d  2002 September 4;  $$e 2002M-1;  $$h $4300 (Books for Houghton fund, funds presented by David Goldberg AB 1954). $$5 hou

541 0_    $$c ….  $$d1955; $$e MS Arabic 71 (55-286). $$5 hou

541 0_    $$c Bequest;  $$a Philip Hofer; $$d 1984;  $$e 84M-1.  $$5 hou

541 0_    $$cPurchase; $$a unknown source; $$d  1923 March 09; $$e 24278.116,  24278.117; $$h Degrand fund. $$5 hou    (for an ex-Widener collection.: note the Widener call numbers in $$e.)

541 0_    $$c Old gift; $$a source unknown. $$5 the

541 0_    $$c Deposit; $$a Semitic Museum; $$d 1959.  $$5 hou

541 0_    $$c Gift;  $$a Lawrence Lader; $$b 51 Fifth Avenue, New York, New York 10003; $$d 2003 April 14; $$e 2003M-35.   $$5 hou

541 0_    $$c Transfer;  $$a Widener Library; $$d 1932 June 1; $$e No accession number; recataloged from US 5678.1*   $$5 hou

541 0_    $$c Various sources;  $$d various dates; $$e various accession numbers, see finding aid. $$5 hou


Multiple use of >541 in same holdings record:

541 0_    $$3 Items (1) and (6); $$c Old gift; $$a source unknown. $$5 hou

541 0_   $$3 Series: Correspondence; $$c Deposit; $$a Semitic Museum; $$d 1959.  $$5 hou


561   Ownership and custodial history.   

[updated 2/20/2009]

Here we record provenance. Displays in HOLLIS OPAC as ‘Provenance:’ both in the bib record [taken from holdings information]. This includes the names of donors or depositors, and the complete fund name (but not the amount of money) for purchases. 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’. If there is no information about provenance use: Donor information unknown. 


1st       1      not private [public note]


$$a   History

$$5  Institution to which field applies

For Houghton use the form: $$5hou

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


561  1_      $$a Deposited by Erik Erikson, 1985; gift 1988.  $$5hou

561  1_     $$aGift of Clara Rogers, 1921. $$5 the

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

A single record might have the following two >561 fields:

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

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

561 1_       $$a Forms part of the Julio Mario Santo Domingo Collection.  $$5hou

                  Use this combined with a >710 in the bib record to indicate the collection: 710 2_ Julio Mario Santo Domingo Collection. 

584   Accumulation and frequency of use note. Optional  

 [updated 03/12/2014]  

“Measurements of and information about the rates of accumulation (for continuing, open-ended accessions) and / or the rate of reference use of the described materials.” We could use this note for the occasional notation of collections that are ongoing. See MARC details when needed. This field only goes in the holdings in HOLLIS. 


845  Terms Governing Use and Reproduction Note.

[updated 05/08/2014]

This field is used in the holdings for entering information concerning other access information after physical access is granted. We use this in lieu of >540  which is not permitted in HOLLIS.  "The field includes, but is not limited to copyrights, film rights, and trade restrictions that restrict the right to reproduce, exhibit, fictionalize, and quote, a bibliographic item."


1st:       <blank>     undefined

2nd:      <blank>     undefined


          $$a   Terms governing use and reproduction

Other subfields are possible but we do not use them.

Punctuation:  Ends with a period. 



845__ $$aSpecial equipment or surrogate required; consult Houghton staff.

NOTE:  This is often used with the NET holdings.  See further documentation available in manual for OTC digitization. 



852   Location.

[updated 2/1/2012]

This field displays in HOLLIS OPAC as ‘Location’


1st:       8                (shelving scheme: ‘other scheme’).  Always use this. 

2nd:      <blank>      (shelving order: ‘no information provided’).


$$b   Sublocation or collection. Enter HOU.  (This must be in CAPS.)

$$c   Shelving location. A separate holdings record is needed for each type of shelving location. Again, the entries must be typed in CAPS. They are:

GEN  if the call number has no prefix (means most is codex, MS, that is, up to 27.99 cm. )

F        f (i.e., folio: shelved with this-size items, that is, 28 cm. or taller up to 45.99 cm. )

B        b ( i.e., in the boxed-manuscript section of the Houghton stacks)

HD     Harvard Depository [this is determined/entered by the end- processing/accessioning team]

PF      pf ( i.e., portfolio: shelved with this-size items, that is, 46 cm. or larger).

$$h   Call number.  Example: $$h MS Eng 607 

 There is NO punctuation at the end of a call-number

An accession number may go here (including the suffix (b), (f), (pf), etc. as necessary) instead of a call number, but since you will normally be assigning a call number,  this will be exceptional.  [NOTE: as of August 2010, all asterisks have been dropped by the Houghton Library when used in front of a number]. 

NOTE:  While working in your finding aid you should have decided whether the collection will be ‘bMS’, ‘MS’, ‘fMS’, or ‘pfMS’ as the primary temporary shelving prefix.  You need to know this for the temporary use of >852 $$c field of the record.  You assign the main prefix by determining which type of material provides the most volume.  Usually it will be “b”  When the material is end-processed, the Library Assistant will inform you whether there are additional shelving location prefixes needed for your collection.  Once you have heard that there ARE a variety of shelving prefixes used, you must make separate holdings records for each type.

$$m   Shelving sub-location. Use for Lobby location, Hyde Back Stacks, etc....


                        $$m Lobby X.1.1

                        $$m Hyde Back Stacks

                        $$m Vault

                        $$m Lamont Map Room

$$x   Non-public note. This note is currently occasionally used  to record former call numbers and locations, temporary locations, info on microfilming or photograph, but it is optional and not always deemed necessary.


$$x Recataloged from MS Am 9878.

$$x Recataloged from 23456.23*.

$$x Transferred from Widener (Eng 576.67.3), 2004. 

$$x Hofer Bequest M-50.

$$x Microfilmed as 1987MF. 

$$x Item (45) sent to conservation lab.  [a potential use]

$$z   Public note. "This subfield contains a note relating to the location of the item identified in the field. The note is written in a form that is adequate for public display. A note not for public display is contained in subfield $$x (nonpublic note)."


$$zShelved with bMS Am 2343-2344. 

$$z8528 bMS material housed at Harvard Depository; portfolio (pf), folio (f), and volume-sized (MS) material all housed at Houghton Library. 


856   Electronic location and access.  

[updated 9/25/2006] 

This is used in the Holdings record when needing to link a finding aid to a printed book record (such as an extra-illustrated volume). In normal collection-level records, we use 555 link for finding aids.



 856 42 $$3Electronic finding aid to material inserted in Houghton copy available$$u


H01  Old HULPR record number. System supplied. 

[updated 9/25/2006]


H03  HULPR record number in RLIN form (for converted records). System supplied.

[updated 9/25/2006]

908  Cataloging status.  

[updated 2018]


      $$a   Enter ‘c’ (cataloged).     

      $$a   Enter 'p' (provisional) for stub records.  Change this to 'c' when finding aid is created.

      $$b   Manually enter date today's date in format yyyymmdd and append with you initials, i.e. 20180905ah


909  Reporting field/subfield          

[updated 2018]

This local field that is composed of 8 bites, is used by the Houghton Dept. of Technical Services to assemble statistics at the end of the fiscal year. For the manuscript section, it is being used to count "titles" or "collections" not volumes or items.  It should be added to all records.  This field is not repeatable. 


$$k  [non-repeatable] Department use of the subfield k has varied considerably since its inception in 1996, as has the meaning of each byte.  At present, the 8 bytes are used as follows:

A      A or ^ (if unaccessioned)
2[decade][decade] or ^
3[year][year] or ^


7[accessioner's initials]

[cataloger's initials]



The year digit is changed beginning July 1 (start of each reporting year). The subfield's usefulness does not extend beyond the fiscal year in which it was used for statistical purposes, i.e. following collection of annual statistics in late summer. Be careful not to delete/improperly edit an 909 which records accessions information for the present fiscal year. Use a  ^  for each blank space.


If there is no 909 for a record you are updating or creating, add three ^^^ before you begin coding for your own information:  i.e.:   ^^^C07bs


If there already is an 909, created by the accessioner, change the accessioner’s initials to yours : i.e. A15^^^mw would become A15C16an


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