This page outlines specific steps for adding new MARC holdings records, and for editing existing MARC holdings records.

The term "MFHD" is a widely accepted acronym for "MARC Format for Holdings Data", even though it's not in standard usage at the NCSU Libraries. The Library of Congress curates the holdings/MFHD format and they refer to it as "MARC 21 Format for Holdings Data." More experienced catalogers may sometimes refer to a MARC holdings record as the MFHD record for short.

Note: Only retain, edit, and/or add MARC holdings records for physical items. (There should be no MARC holdings records for online resources.)

Fixed field data visual examples

Variable fields data

001 field
007 field

Material Format



This field contains special information about the physical characteristics. The information may represent the whole item or parts of an item such as accompanying material.

Text (including photocopy reproductions)


Electronic Resource

co|cgu||||||||| (CD-ROM with color illustrations)

Microfiche (black with white letters)

he|bmb|||baca (negative, 4x6 in., normal reduction, black and white, silver halide emulsion, service copy, safety base)

Microfiche (white with black letters)

he|amb|||buca (positive, 4x6 in., normal reduction, black and white, emulsion on film is unknown, service coy, safety base)


hd|afb|||buca (positive, 35 mm, normal reduction, black and white, emulsion on film is unknown, service copy, safety base)

852 field

Note: In the 852 field, the first indicator is (should be) "0" the second is blank.

  1. Remove any links to Serials controls by deleting the |= information and related |x. Also remove the copy number |x.
  2. 852 |c should reflect the "Home location" of the item record (in all caps).
  3. 852 |h and 852 |i All call numbers with two cutters should look like this:
    Not this: |hBV630|i.A1J6
    The main part of the classification number should be in |h, while the 2nd cutter should be in |i.
  4. 852 |x Add your initials in this non-public note.
852 subfield z (public) notes

|zCurrently received.
|zNot currently received.
|zLibrary has current issues only.
|zLibrary keeps current issues until microform arrives.
|zLibrary keeps current issues for time.
|zCurrent issues kept until bound for branch.
|zNewspaper Section. |zLibrary keeps current issues for time.
|zNewest issues located in the current periodicals shelving area.
|zIncludes new title, Title.|zNot currently received.
|zIncludes former title, Title.|zNewest issues located in the current periodicals shelving area.
|zIncludes index for, Title.|zNewest issues located in the current periodicals shelving area.
|zFilmed with title.|zNewest issues located in the current periodicals shelving area.
|zShelved with title. |zNewest issues located in the current periodicals shelving area.
|zNewest issues located in Reference.
|zLatest volume only in Reference.
|zLatest year only in Reference (substitute branch, etc.) earlier years in Hill (substitute branch, etc.) bookstacks.
|zBeginning with v.XX (yyyy), each volume in series cataloged separately.
|zBeginning with yyyy, volumes are cataloged as separate books under author or title.

|zCurrently received.
|zNot currently received.

|zNewest issues located in the current periodicals shelving area.
|zCurrent issues kept until bound for Hill _bookstacks or bookBot.
|zCurrently received.
|zNot currently received.

|zNewest issues located in the current periodicals shelving area.
|zOlder issues shelved in the bound periodicals area.
|zCurrent issues kept until bound for Hill _bookstacks or bookBot.
|zCurrently received.
|zNot currently received.

853 field
863 field
866 field (Summary Statement)
  1. Check the Call number/Item records in SIRSI to determine which volumes have been received and barcoded. Remember that item records do not always display in the correct order.
  2. Indicators: the first indicator is blank, the second is "1." SIRSI will automatically add this when you create an 866 field.
  3. Subfield 8: Note that in the absence of an 853 patterns tag, |81 becomes |80 in the 866 of a newly created holdings record.
  4. The formatting of the 866 summary statement in the MARC holdings records follows the formatting of the 362 field in the bib record, which may differ from the format shown in the SIRSI Call number/Item records. For example, the Call number/Item records may indicate we own no.1 (2003)- while the 362 note may say, Issue 01 (Dec. '03)-
    866 1 |80|aiss.1 (2003)-
    Not this: 866 1 |80|ano.1 (2003)-
  5. For an issue with an enumeration/chronology of "1/2007-" in the 362 field of the bib record
    866 1 |80|a2007:1-
  6. Convert all numeric information, such as Roman numerals, to Arabic numerals in the MARC holdings statement.
    If the 362 field in the bib record states: Began with Volume XVII (2012).
    The MARC holdings summary statement will begin this way:
    866 1 |80|av.17 (2012)-
  7. NCSU uses open-ended holdings statements rather than detailed issue listings. Use only the highest level of enumeration necessary for easily understood holdings. The last character for all currently received titles should be a hyphen.
    866 1 |80|av.1 (1933)-
  8. Record more than one level of enumeration when a title adds a level, for example by adding a series number:
    866 1 |80|a:v.1 (1947)-v.5 (1952); ser.2:v.1 (1953)-
  9. GAPS: NCSU no longer includes gaps; instead, include the available starting and ending ranges (or the start date with a hyphen for a currently received title) followed by "|zIssues missing." in the 866 note.
    866: 1:|80|av.1 (1942)-v.68 (1990)|zIssues missing.
    866: 1:|80|av.1 (1942)-|zIssues missing.
  10. NEW TITLE WITH ONLY UNBOUND ISSUES: For newer titles where no issues have yet been bound and barcoded, begin the holdings statement with the first issue we have received.
    866 1 |80|av.1:no.1 (2005)-
  11. MICROFORMS: We will continue to have closed holdings for microforms.
    866: 1:|80|av.1 (1980)-v.25 (2004)
    Catalogers should add spaces after commas and semicolons and before parentheses. No spaces before or after a colon, hyphen, or period.
    NCSU practice for punctuation diverges slightly from the spacing policy established by ANSI/NISO Z39.71. See Punctuation and Abbreviations for use in Holding Statements for more on NCSU local punctuation policy.
  13. Update holdings for all locations and copies, including Branch copies, when applicable.
867 field (Supplements)
868 field (Indexes)

868: 1:|80|av.72/81 (1980/1984)-v.82/91 (1985/1989)

901 field

Completed MARC holdings visual example

Label, Punctuation and Abbreviations Questions

Fixed Field Holdings Codes Information

Fixed Field}


Rec_Type = Record TypeMARC21 character position: LDR/06

By default, the record type in newly created records is y. It should be changed for non-serial item holdings.

v = Multipart item holdings

Multivolume monograph (not used at NCSU)

x = Single-part item holdings

Currently this is used for preservation photocopies.

y = Serial item holdings


Fixed Field


Enc_Lvl = Encoding Level MARC21 character position: LDR/17

By default, the Encoding Level will be 3.

2 = Holdings level 2

Besides system-supplied data (item ID, location), includes fixed fields for Acq status, General retention policy, Completeness, Date of report, Category of material, SMD. Used locally with public note (866|z) for incomplete and limited retention holdings.

3 = Holdings level 3 (Default)

Provides a summary statement of holdings which is always compressed at the highest level possible. If enumeration and/or chronology are applicable, only the highest levels (e.g. vol. (year), but not vol.: no.(month/year)) are included.

4 = Holdings level 4

Provides a detailed statement of holdings. If enumeration and/or chronology are applicable, the most specific levels must be included.(e.g.: If vol.:no.:pt (year) are used in the publication, all must be recorded in the MFHD.) The holdings statement may be compressed to the highest-level designator.

m = Mixed levels

Use when basic holdings are recorded at level 3 and indexes and/or supplements are at level 4; also used in cases of recon holdings at level 3 and current holdings at level 4

z = Other level

Do Not Use

Fixed Field


Entrd = Date Entered on File MARC21 character position: 008/26-31

System-supplied. Do not edit

yymmdd = Six numeric characters specifying the date the holdings report was first entered


Fixed Field


Acq_Stat = Receipt or Acquisition Status MARC21 character position: 008/06

By default, the acquisitions status for serial titles will be 4 (currently received)

0 = Information not available; or retention is limited

2 = Received and complete; or ceased

All parts have been published and received or the publication is no longer issued.

4 = Currently received (Default)

Newly published pieces routinely being received

5 = Not currently received/Cancelled

Newly published pieces are not being received. This is not the same as "received and complete or ceased."

Fixed Field


Acq_Meth = Method of Acquisition MARC21 character position: 008/07

By default, the acquisition method is p (purchase)

d = Deposit

Governent documents received on deposit.

e = Exchange


f = Free

Received without cost, directly from the publisher, vendor, or distributor.

g = Gift

Someone gives the Libraries the publication; he/she is not the publisher, vendor, or distributor.

p = Purchase (Default)

Includes receipts on memberships and subscription packages.

u = Unknown


z = Other method of acquisition


Fixed Field


Can_Date = Expected Acquisition End Date MARC21 character position: 008/08-11

We do not record any intention to cancel. This field should be left blank.

#### (four blanks) = No intent to cancel; or not applicable (Default)


yymm = Date cancellation is to take effect; or the date of the last expected part


uuuu = Intent to cancel, with effective date unknown


Fixed Field


Gen_Retn = General Retention Policy MARC21 character position: 008/12

By default, the retention policy is 8 (permanently retained), do not change unless specifically instructed to do so. If using 6, also edit the following field, Specific Retention policy appropriately.

0 = Information not available


2 = Retained except as replaced by updates


4 = Retained until replaced by microform or other preservation format


5 = Retained until replaced by cumulation, replacement volume, or revision


6 = Limited retention

If used, also fill in Specific Retention Policy field (below).

8 = Permanent retention (default)

We keep and bind issues.

Fixed Field


Sp_Retn = Specific Retention Policy MARC21 character position: 008/13-15

Blank unless Gen_Retn (above) is 6. ex.: l1y = latest year retained, l1i = latest issue retained*

1st position:


l = Latest


p = Previous


2nd position:


1 - 9 = Number of units retained


3rd position:


m = Month(s)


w = Week(s)


y = Year(s)


e = Edition(s)


i = Issue(s)


s = Supplements(s)


Fixed Field


Complete = Completeness MARC21 character position: 008/19

For new titles, use 1 (complete), this is the default. When editing older MFHDs, use whichever is most appropriate.

0 = Information not available; or retention is limited

1 = Complete (95%-100% held) (default)

Apply percentages to serial holdings only. For non-serial holdings, use 1 if we own all published pieces.

2 = Incomplete (50%-94% held)

Apply percentages to serial holdings only. For non-serial holdings, use 2 if we do not own all published pieces.

3 = Very incomplete or scattered (less than 50% held)

Do not use 3 for non-serial holdings.

Fixed Field


Copies = Number of Copies Reported MARC21 character position: 008/17-19

001 is default.

001 = One copy of the bibliographic item reported

Number of copies will be 001 when there is one copy per holding location (852|c), but will generally reflect the actual number of copies per holding location (002, 003, etc.)

Fixed Field

Notes: ILL Lending Policy

Lending = Lending Policy MARC21 character position: 008/20

u (unknown) is default, and will not be changed.

a = Will lend


b = Will not lend


c = Will lend hardcopy only


l = Limited lending policy


u = Unknown


Fixed Field

Notes: ILL Reproduction Policy

Repr = Reproduction Policy MARC21 character position: 008/21

u (unknown) is default, and will not be changed.

a = Will reproduce


b = Will not reproduce


u = Unknown


Fixed Field


Lang = Language MARC21 character position: 008/22-24

eng is the Unicorn default for new MARC holdings records.

Three-character MARC code indicating the language of coded data in the 863-865 fields

Input the MARC language codeused in the bibliographic record.

Fixed Field


Composit = Separate or Composite Copy Report MARC21 character position: 008/25

The default for this field is 0 (Separate MFHD for each copy, regardless of holding location) Use 1 when more than one copy of any issues is held one library (i.e.: 2 copies of v.12 are in Hill)

0 = Separate copy report

Indicates that the holdings is for one copy of the bibliographic item.

1 = Composite copy report

Indicates that the holdings statement consolidates information about more than one copy of the bibliographic item.

Fixed Field


Updated = Date of Report MARC21 character position: 008/26-31

System-supplied when changes are made to holdings information. Do not edit this field

yymmdd = Six numeric characters specifying the currency of the holdings information