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Cataloging microfilms 

The following procedure was developed while cataloging the HTC films in 2013. While this is our preferred way of doing things, no doubt exceptions will arise, and RDA may eventually be updated with a more consistent way of handling microfilms as well. We will remain flexible. The RDA principle for reproductions is to base the description on the reproduction and not on the original resource. The PCC makes an exception for microform reproductions and continues the old LCRI practice of describing the original resource. We will use this hybrid approach, and catalog the original resource, with the additions described below.

Bib record
First, ascertain whether we hold the original item(s) on the film. If we do, check the cataloging of the bib record for the original (or catalog the original in Hollis) and simply add holdings and item records for the films to the bib of the original, following the instructions below. The bib record will represent the original, but include all of the additional 33Xs, etc., in the holdings record as described below.

When creating an original record for an in-house or purchased film, helpful guidance can be found here:
http://web.library.yale.edu/cataloging/reproductions-rda/microform/intro
The main thing to keep in mind is that you are cataloging the film as if it were the original item, but taking careful note of the following fields:

  • LDR: encoding level should be 1 (one) unless you have examined the film carefully
  • 008 Form = a
  • 336__text$$2rdacontent
  • 337__microform$$b h$$2 rdamedia
  • 338__microfilm reel$$b hd$$2 rdacarrier
  • [If coding dacs, 524__ TSM X. Houghton Library, Harvard University.]


Holdings record
A picture is worth a thousand words, see below.

Add a 007 (see guide below):


Add STA__SUPPRESSED, if the only film is a negative.

Add the following 33X fields to the holdings record (in addition to the 33Xs on the bib record, if you have cataloged the film as an original):
337__ $$a microform$$b h$$2 rdamedia
338__ $$a microfilm reel$$b hd$$2 rdacarrier

The 843 |d should represent the date of creation of the film, guestimate if unknown.
The 843 |e should indicate how many films, and whether they are negative and/or positive.
In the 843 |n, include the call number of the original as shown.

There should always be a 562__Microfilm note. If necessary, include enough information to identify what the film contains if not the entirety of the item referenced in the 843 |n, for example:
562__Microfilm; Mikado clippings only.
If there is more than one item on the film, include a "Second on a reel of …" note specifying the location of this particular item on the film, and include an H77 as described below if the item is not the first on the reel.

Supply an 866 note as indicated, if there is more than 1 film.
The H08 should remain "p"
Barcode the film box AND the reel if possible.
Suppress the item record for negative films.
Do not create item records for any but the 1st item on a film, and supply that H77 in the holdings for any subsequent items on the film.

The HTC microfilm documentation spreadsheet
We created a spreadsheet for the HTC microfilms, to document the project from the beginning (see below for an example of the data we gathered). Note particularly how we handled films with several items.



Spreadsheet instructions for when there is more than one item on a film:
Enter a separate line on spreadsheet for each item, with its own call no., and 1/x as a fraction of how many items are on the film. Each line will receive its own Aleph number.

In Aleph, the first item on the film will receive the item record; all other holdings records will instead receive a H77 field pointing to that first bib record
Create a 562 "on film with" note. Use standard phrasing whenever possible, as per the examples given. Give author/title/imprint if there are only 2. If there are more than 2 items on the film, construct a note containing:
1) the item's position on the film,
2) the total number of items on the film,
3) some summary of the film's contents. Enter this note in the holdings record for every item on the film, updating the information as necessary (e.g. its position on the film).

  • 562 _ _ |a Microfilm: at end of film after Noverre, J.G. The works of Monsieur Noverre (London, 1782). |5 the [THIS WILL HAVE H77 IN HOLDINGS, NOVERRE RECORD WILL HAVE ITEM RECORD AND NO H77 IN HOLDINGS]
  • 562 _ _ |a Microfilm: also on film: Lytton, E.B.L Money (London, 1841). |5 the [THIS WLL HAVE ITEM RECORD]
  • 562 _ _ |a Microfilm: first on a reel of twelve L'Abbe dances. |5 the


An H77 needs 3 parts: a main entry (usually the 100); a uniform, or formal title; the Aleph number:
H77 0^ |a Hollaender, Victor, 1866-1940. |s Teufel lacht dazu. Kasino-Lied. Vocal score. |f 10571846
If there is no 100, simply use the |s or |t.

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