Michigan State University


The Audiovisual Format has some unique MARC fields and many of the same MARC fields as other formats. These guidelines only apply to VHS videorecordings. (Many other types of AV material exist.)

The guidelines are written using AACR2 rules, for monographs with copy already on OCLC, but the basic guidelines also apply to serials or to original records using AACR2. The guidelines include special instructions for PAL or SECAM format videos (see 050/090, 538, and Labeling instructions).


Type: g

Tech: l

The Tech code l is for live action. This is the code used most often for VHS videorecordings. If a note states animation technique is used, then the code can be either a for animation or c for a combination of live action and animation. If no code is on the record, use l


This is a three-digit number representing minutes. Enter leading zeros if the number itself is fewer than three digits. If 300 field gives minutes and seconds, round up to next minute.


Time: 009 300 field: 1 videocassette (9 min.)
Time: 102 300 field: 1 videocassette (101 min., 20 seconds)

If the running time is unknown, enter three hyphens.

Example: Time: --- 300 field: 1 videocassette


This is a field for accompanying (supplementary) material. Generally, you can accept how another library had coded this field. However, if there is accompanying material and nothing is coded, please fill in the appropriate codes. There is a limit of five codes.

blank No accompanying matter
l Stills
m Script material
o Posters
p Pressbooks
q Lobby cards
r Instructional materials
s Score
z Other

Dat tp: and Dates:

Generally, accept the coding that is already on the bibliographic record. If you need clarification, please consult Bibliographic Formats and Standards. Dat tp code p is commonly used for media materials. All other Dat tp codes are the same as for print material.

p: Multiple dates, distribution/release/issue and date of production/recording session. Use only if dates differ by at least one year. If two dates are on the item, release date and production date, use code p. Use Date 1 for the year of release (i.e., the date the material became available for use). Use Date 2 for the year of production (i.e., the date the material was made).

London : |b BBC-TV, |c 1972 ; |a New York : |b Released by Time-Life Films, |c 1975. Dat tp: p Dates: 1975, 1972

If a work with identical content but in a different medium has a later release date than the original work (e.g., a videorecording release of a motion picture), use code p. Use Date 1 for the year of release. Use Date 2 for the year of production.

300 New York : |b MGM-CBS Home Video, |c 1981.
500 Originally produced as a motion picture in 1964.
Date tp: p Dates: 1981, 1964



If a bibliographic record has an 007, accept it. If not, look in Bibliographic Formats and Standards for the appropriate coding for videorecordings. The most common coding is:

v |b f |d c |e b |f a |g h |h o


Full LC call number is given with the suffix videocassette added.

Example: 090 PN1997 |b .S8 Videocassette

If the cassette is in PAL or SECAM format, add PAL or SECAM before Videocassette.

Example: 090 PN1997 |b .S83 PAL Videocassette


Videocassettes not destined for a specific branch go to Digital/Media, code EEM7.

245 field:

The GMD |h [videorecording] is used after the |a.


508 field (Credits note):

Accept this information, without expanding on it. If no information is here, add only producers and directors, if they are named somewhere on the package. In this field, names are not standardized and so no authority files need be consulted or constructed. Since putting these names in a 700 added entry field is optional, we will not do so for copy (but leave them if they are already there).

508 Producer, Sam Thomas ; director, Lesley Selander.


511 field (Participant or Performer note):

Accept this information, without expanding on it. If no information is here, generally accept the cataloger's judgment. Exceptions can be made if a prominent narrator, presenter or performer is not named anywhere in the record.

[Only first indicator 0 (no print constant provided) or 1 (cast), is now valid.]

Example: 511 1 Jackie Gleason, Art Carney.


520 field (Summary note):

This note is commonly on these records. If no summary note is on the record and it is easy to construct one, please put a summary note in the bibliographic record.


538 field (System details):

If there is no 538 note that states VHS, add one.

If the cassette is in PAL or SECAM format, expand the note to read: VHS, PAL [or SECAM] format: not compatible with American VCRs.


6xx fields (Subjects):

These are treated the same as for printed material.


7xx fields (Added entries):

For the most part, accept another library's decision. Exceptions can be made, if necessary. Do whatever authority checking is necessary.



Videocassettes and other nonprint materials are placed on the non-print labeling shelves in Catalog Maintenance after cataloging. Both rush and non-rush videocassettes go on these shelves. Rush videocassettes require a red rush flag.



Affix a yellow stickie to the case, stating Digital/Media (DMC) or other branch, the call number, PAL or SECAM if appropriate, and Video cass.If destination is Gov Docs, yellow stickie reads DMC-GD. (Item and bib locations would remain gd.)

Digital/Media Business
1028 151
.E5 .M34
1995 1999
Video PAL
cass. video

For PAL or SECAM format : Stickers have been printed saying: PAL [or SECAM] format: not compatible with American VCRs. Affix the appropriate sticker (available from Catalog Maintenance or a video cataloger) to the front of the case.