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As of 3/26/2015, these are the procedures for using initials in bibliographic and MARC holdings records. When using existing initials in records to make assumptions/decisions about what has or has not taken place, please remember that their application varied greatly in the past.

Note that it is not necessary to add |aNRCC if not present, although this is supplied automatically in records downloaded from OCLC and doesn't need to be taken out.

Bibliographic Records

Catalogers are required insert their initials in the 049 |x of bibliographic records under the following circumstances.

  • When manually cataloging an item on a new bib record. (Not when loading a record at the point of order before we have an item in hand.)
  • When making any manual (not batch) edits to an existing bib record.

MARC Holdings Records

Catalogers are required to insert their initials in the 852 |x of MARC holdings records under the following circumstances.

  • When manually creating a new MARC holdings record.
  • When making any manual (not batch) edits to an existing MARC holdings record.

Other Considerations

  • Catalogers should not be subjective about what edits merit initials (i.e., major or minor edits). Just put your initials on a record whenever you make a change.
  • Create a new |x for each set of initials. If your initials are already on the record, you don't have to add them again if you come back and make further edits.
  • When creating/editing records as part of catalog maintenance activities (e.g., Ebook Clean Up Project, 360 MARC loads, MARCIVE loads and other authority work, OCLC exception logs, bulk transfers), do not add initials. Initials should only be used for individual level cataloging when you have an item in hand or some other piece of data that necessitates a discrete edit.

Related Page

Catalogers' Initials for MARC Record Edits

Historical Information on 049 Coding Per Charley Pennell - NOT CURRENT POLICY. FOLLOW PROCEDURES ABOVE

The 049 was originally created by OCLC to identify the holding library for centralized catalog card set production and to enable the printing of headers and footers on those cards. At this library, staff were trained to add subfield information to 049 to identify the originating cataloger and any subsequent stakeholders in the record. The latter might include the completion shelf reviser, the EPA who provided class number and/or LCSH, staff who added significant descriptive information such as additional table of contents or ISBNs on open entry monographs, and the staff member who closed off a superseded periodical. Unfortunately, we have been somewhat inconsistent in coding 049 to identify staff contributions over the years. There are at least two reasons why this information might be useful: 1) It enables others to more quickly locate a title being worked on if a request is made for the item and your initials are on the record, and 2) it allows for follow up support when persistent errors are found in records with the same initials in them. When we set up Unicorn logins we had a choice of visually identifying individuals responsible for working on records or identifying the group to which those individuals belonged (DMS, CATSTUD, etc.) We went with the latter. While it is possible, at the system level, to identify these activities at the individual login level, this is not useful at a practical level or for the purposes above. We would only use this information in a crisis situation where someone was found acting maliciously in the system.

  • |xbk - identifies cataloger responsible for copy or original cataloging
  • |ycp - identifies cataloger responsible for supplying class # and/or subject headings
  • |zlm - identifies cataloger responsible for subsequent manual amendments to bib record. This includes adding additional title info to 505, adding 785 to dead serial and closing off 362, etc. This does not apply to batch changes effected through globaledit or API, or to catalog maintenance activities like manually transfering volumes from one library or location to another or flipping headings from an old to a new form.