The form of 500 notes given in AACR2 and DCRM(B) retains some of the vestiges of the catalog card era with notes generally given in as concise a form as possible, often in "catalogese". It is more helpful to phrase notes in a somewhat fuller form: "space" is no longer a significant issue. Avoid abbreviations in RDA and DCRM(B) cataloging. Notes should be intelligible to catalog users, not only to catalogers. Hence a more discursive style of note-writing is strongly encouraged. Also to this end, use either colons, parens, quotes, or dashes in citing materials, in order to construct the most intelligible notes.
Houghton policy is to describe illustrations in some detail (some projects, however, require only brief indication of the presence of illustrations in the 300 field). Items cataloged for the Dept. of Printing & Graphic Arts usually need further description. Illustrators and those who prepared the illustrations for printing (e.g. engravers), as well as the process itself should be named in a 500 note, e.g. "The plates are engraved by W. Faithorne after designs by F. Cleyn." If there are numerous illustrators, use judgment and note only the more important and/or predominant ones. Illustrators named in the 500 note should be traced in 7XX fields, with the appropriate relator term added; if an artist is both the illustrator and engraver, use "illustrator" as the relator term. For the use of form/genre terms, see below.
When employing the DCRM(B) standard, Houghton traditionally used the term "title-page vignette" to signify a scene or device. "Printer's device" or "publisher's device" may be used if considered important. Add "woodcut", "engraved", etc., as appropriate. Decorative printer's ornaments and fleurons are not noted unless necessary for distinguishing variant editions or issues.