Selected Library of Congress Rule Interpretations for Chapter 2



2.0B1.  Chief source of information   

The last sentence of rule 2.0B1 allows the cataloger to treat as a single chief source successive leaves or pages.  The intent of this provision is not to combine separate title pages, however.  Separate title pages usually repeat everything.  The intent is for a spread of single title page data.  It is true that in such a spread some elements may be repeated (as the provision recognizes).  A tip-off that this provision is applicable is either no repetition or a partial repetition.  Conversely, complete repetition is a tip-off of non-applicability.



Below are some examples of different types of edition statements.

1st ed.

1st U.S. ed.

2e tirage rev. et corr.

Repr. Mar. 1933 with corrections

Large print ed.


2.2B3.  Optional addition  

Apply the option according to the statements in LCRI 1.2B4.  Also, do not make up edition statements from information gleaned from introductions, prefaces, etc.  Such information may be quoted in a note if considered important.


2.2B4.   Option Decision

LC practice.  Do not apply the optional provision of the rule.



2.4D1.  Option Decision

Apply the optional provision of the rule.



2.4E.  Optional addition. Statement of function of publisher, distributor, etc. 

See LCRI 1.4E. Optional addition.  Statement of function of publisher, distributor, etc.



2.5B7.    Unpaged Books

Except for rare books, do not follow the rule.  Instead, record the extent statement as


1 v. (unpaged)


N.B.  The Library of Congress applies the LCRI as written, which results in a reduction of data given in the bibliographic record.  Other libraries may wish in certain or indeed in all cases to give the fuller data without this reduction.  In this respect bibliographic records must be considered equally valid or "correct," no matter which of the two practices is followed.  This policy is especially important in the context of LC's handling records originally created by other libraries when LC is using them in its own cataloging:  the fuller data should be left "as is."

2.5B8.    If the volume has complicated or irregular paging, apply method c) only.

1 v. (various pagings)

2.5B9. Leaves or pages of plates   

LC practice: Give the number of leaves or pages of plates after the paging if the leaves or pages of plates are numbered.  If the leaves or pages of plates are unnumbered, give the number only when the plates clearly represent an important feature of the book.  Otherwise, generally do not count unnumbered leaves or pages of plates.

In records created by other agencies or libraries, generally accept the information already in the record unless it is obviously wrong.

2.5B18. Publication in more than one volume   

In recording bibliographic details for books that have been, or will be, bound by someone other than the publisher, formulate volume and illustration statements in the physical description and note areas based on the book as issued by the publisher rather than as bound after publication.  For example, if a separately issued "volume 1" and "volume 2" of a monograph is bound by a library in one physical volume, "2 v." is the correct volume statement, not "2 v. in 1." 


For ephemeral and "made up" sets lacking a collective title, base the volume and illustration statements on the library's copy and binding.


2.5B20. Publication in more than one volume   

Optional addition.

LC practice: Do not apply the rule.


2.5B21. Publications in more than one volume   

Incomplete Multipart Items

This statement applies to cases in which the information is readily available that a multipart item, although not finished, has ceased publication.

If more than one volume was published, use "No more published."


500 ## $a No more published

(extent statement:  3 v.)


If only one volume was published, combine in a single note a quotation of the part designation (as opposed to recording this designation in the title and statement of responsibility area) and the cataloger's statement "No more published."


500 ## $a "Volume I."  No more published

(extent statement:  iii, 227 p.)


500 ## $a "Book one, Lacson as a newspaperman."  No more published

(extent statement:  95 p.)


2.5B23.  Large print   

Option Decision

See LCRI 1.1C.  Optional addition.  General material designation.



Option Decision

LC practice:  Describe an illustrated printed monograph or serial as "ill." in all cases unless there are maps present or 2.5C5 is applicable.


In records created by other agencies or libraries, generally accept the information already in the record unless it is obviously wrong.


LC practice:  Apply the optional provision of the rule.



2.7B1.  Nature, scope, or artistic form   

General Application

For books, generally restrict the making of the note about the nature, scope, or artistic form of the item to the situations covered below.  For books that are belles lettres, record in a note the term for the literary form only when the title is misleading.  Do not consider titles of literary works misleading simply because they are fanciful.


Special Application

Record in a note the literary form of the book being cataloged if it contains one or more literary works by one author and it meets one of the following conditions:


1)  the item is in one or more of the following languages:  Amharic, Armenian, Arabic, Georgian, Persian, Ottoman Turkish, or Turkish;


2)  the item is in a non-Slavic language of Central Asia written in the Cyrillic alphabet;


3)  the item is in a language indigenous to one or more of the following countries:  Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tibet, or Vietnam;


4)  the item is in a language indigenous to Africa and in the roman script.

Make the note whether or not the form is identified in the uniform title or in the body of the entry.


Literary Form Note

When giving the literary form note, base it on the following literary forms:  drama; fiction; poetry; literature (used for an item containing works in more than one form).  The note should be worded according to the cataloger's approximation of the publication; the words chosen do not necessarily have to use one of the terms listed above (e.g., "Plays" instead of "Drama").

2.7B4.  Variations in title  

Option Decision

Do not apply the optional provision of the rule.


Variant Titles

If the variant title being recorded in a note appears in a source that meets the criteria for an added title page, record the note as "Title on added t.p." followed by a colon-space and the title.  If the variant title appears in another source, specify its location (e.g., "Title on p. [4] of cover:").  There is no situation for which the notes "Added title." or "Added title:" or "Added t.p.:" are appropriate. If a title in another language appears prominently on the publication, record the title in a note and make an added entry for it.  (It does not matter if the source is an added title page or if there is text in the language of the title.)


Binder's Title

If a binder's title varies significantly from the title proper of the item, record it in a note and make an added entry for it.  If a monograph has been bound only for LC's collections (i.e., it was not bound by the publisher or it was not one of the multiple copies that were bound subsequent to publication as part of a cooperative acquisitions program), give only the note and not the added entry.  In such a case, make the note a copy-specific one (LCRI 1.7B20), e.g., "LC copy has binder's title: "  In case of doubt, do not assume that the item was bound only for LC.


2.7B7.  Edition and history   


When cataloging a republication (a reissue of a previously published edition by another publisher without change in text), make a note for the previous edition if the information is readily available.  Ordinarily begin the note with the phrase "Originally published" (or "Previously published" if the data for the original are not available), followed by a colon-space.  (If the republication is a facsimile reproduction, see 1.11.)  Include details of publication, etc., and other information appropriate to the particular case.  For series, when the republication contains the original series statement as it appeared on the original publication, give in the note the original statement within parentheses (cf. LCRI 21.30L).  (Generally it is not necessary to give a bibliographic history note when the republication is a work of the imagination or a classic.)


Originally published:  1910


Originally published: Boston : Houghton, Mifflin,  1910


Originally published: Boston : Houghton, Mifflin,  1910.  (Studies in Asian languages and literatures  ; no. 3) (Original series statement has been reproduced)


Originally published: Boston : Massachusetts Historical Society, 1923, in series: Collections of  the Massachusetts Historical Society (Original series statement has not been reproduced but information about the series is readily available)


Originally published: 3rd ed. Boston : Houghton, Mifflin, 1910. (Studies in Asian languages and literatures ; no. 3) (Include the edition statement if significant)


Originally published: 3rd ed. Boston : Houghton, Mifflin, 1910. (Studies in Asian languages and literature ; no. 3).  With new introd. (New introduction has been added but a statement about it does not appear in the title and statement of responsibility or edition areas)


Originally published: The Hakka language and literature of Southern China. 3rd ed. Boston : Houghton, Mifflin, 1910. (Studies in Asian languages and literatures ; no. 3). With new introd. (Title has changed)


First work originally published: 2nd work originally published:

(Collection of several formerly independent publications)


Limited Editions

Limited edition notes are generally formulated only in rare book cataloging.  (Cf. Descriptive Cataloging of Rare Materials (Books).)  Small print runs for other books are normally ignored even if fewer than 500 copies.



"Photoreproduction" is a generic term that is no longer used, since the inception of AACR2, to indicate a particular kind of reproduction.  If a macroreproduction is one that is "on demand," i.e., the result of the reproduction process comprises only a single copy, the applicable term is "photocopy"; use the guidelines in LCRI 1.11A to catalog such an item.  If a macroreproduction process comprises copies that represent an edition, use a general statement in a note to indicate the fact of reproduction, as appropriate, but do not use the term "photoreproduction."

Reproduces the text copied by Nakamura Butsuan in 1825. Cf. Explanatory text, p. 4

Reproduces the original manuscript bearing the title: Diplomata Pol. & Pruss., dated 1758


2.7B9.  Publication, distribution, etc.   

When a publication has a date of release or transmittal in a prominent position, include it in the bibliographic description.  Typically these special dates consist of month or month and day as well as year and appear on the title page or cover.  If the date is in a phrase that is being recorded as an edition statement, so record it.  If an edition statement is not appropriate, quote the date in a note, including with it any associated words.


"May 1979"

"May 1, 1979"

"Issued May 1979"


Note that a date of release or transmittal is not a publication date.  If the publication lacks a copyright date or a date of manufacture (cf. LCRI 1.4F6), the publication date may be inferred from the date of release or transmittal.  Then, give the inference in brackets in the publication, distribution, etc., area and follow the above instructions for the date of release or transmittal.


In case of doubt as to the character of the date, treat it as a date of release or transmittal.

2.7B14. Audience   

Give a note naming the intended audience for, or intellectual level of, a work only when the information can be quoted from the publication.  (Ignore information given on CIP prepublication data sheets.)


2.7B17. Summary   

LC practice:  Bibliographic records issued by the Library of Congress may include summaries, reviews, and abstracts from various sources, both internal and external.  They are included either in MARC 21 field 520 (Summary, Etc.) or 856 (Electronic Location and Access).  Those written by LC staff are not attributed.  Those from other sources are enclosed within quotation marks (except those retained in records used for copy cataloging) and are attributed. 


Field 520

Input summaries written by LC staff in field 520 with Indicator 1 set to blank (display constant "Summary").  Do not include statements of attribution.

Background: Records for which LC staff may write summaries include those:



originating in LC overseas offices (042 = lcode) to indicate the subject content of materials in languages not readily known in the U.S.;


for material intended for young readers most likely to be included in organized collections such as those found in school or public libraries (042 = lcac);


for electronic resources.


Input summaries obtained from external sources in field 520 with Indicator 1 set to blank (display constant "Summary"), in quotation marks, and with attribution.  Examples of these include:



those provided by publishers in the Cataloging in Publication (CIP) program; attribution:

--Provided by publisher.


those occurring in records supplied by vendors and used as the basis for LC original cataloging; attribution:

--Provided by vendor.


those taken directly from resources themselves; attribution:

--Unedited summary from book.


LC staff do not write reviews for bibliographic records.  However, when officially sanctioned by LC management, they can be obtained from external sources.  Input such reviews in field 520 with Indicator 1 set to 1 (display constant "Review:"), in quotation marks, and with attribution.  Some examples of attribution are:



--Reviewed Mar. 2004, "Best Free Reference Web Sites 2004." RUSA Quarterly, Fall 2004. Comp. by the MARS Best Free Websites Committee, RUSA, ALA.;


--Handbook of Latin American Studies, v. 58. $u


Input abstracts obtained from external sources (LC staff do not write abstracts for bibliographic records) in field 520 with Indicator 1 set to 3 (display constant "Abstract:"), in quotation marks, and with attribution.  Some examples of attribution are:



--World Bank web site.


Retain summaries, reviews, and abstracts already present in field 520 in records used for

copy cataloging (042 = lccopycat, pcc, etc.).  Retain any attribution already present.  If none is present, add the attribution:

--Source other than Library of Congress.

However, do not enclose the summary, review, or abstract within quotation marks.


Field 856

Note: Providing 856 links to publisher descriptions, reviews, summaries, etc. is generally done as part of projects sanctioned by LC management.

Provide links to publisher descriptions in field 856 and include subfield $3 (Materials specified) containing "Publisher description".

Provide links to externally obtained reviews in field 856 and include a subfield $3 (Materials specified) that characterizes the review and its source, for example:


In link to externally obtained review:

856 42

$3 Book review (H-Net) ...


Provide links to summaries in field 856 and include subfield $3 (Materials specified) that characterizes the summary and its source, for example:


In link to summary scanned from book:

856 41

$3 Unedited summary from book ...


2.7B18. Contents   


For books, give some type of note to list the contents of an item, of a collection, or of a multipart item


1)  when required by specific rules (e.g., 1.1B10, 1.1G1, 21.7B);

2)  when necessary to justify an added entry for an item not mentioned elsewhere in the description (21.29F);

3)  when the publication is in two or more volumes and each volume has a title of its own.

4)  when the publication consists of volumes separating text from plates, text from maps, text from commentary, etc.

The degree and extent to which contents notes are made is at the administrative discretion of the cataloging agency.


Informal Contents Note

Use an informal contents note when the publication contains particulars of special  importance that need stressing.  Routinely consider the following as being important:


1)  selected parts of an item (generally no more than three);

2)  summaries in languages other than that of the text;

3) bibliographies and bibliographical references, discographies, and filmographies (except for any that are obviously of little value), and indexes;

4)  appendices, provided they contain important matter;

5)  errata slips that are not printed as part of the publication.

(If such information is already recorded elsewhere in the description, however, do not make a separate note for it.)  More unusual situations should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis with the aim of providing access to material not implied by the rest of the description.


Give pagination or foliation unless the texts are scattered through the publication.

500 ## $a "Life cycle of the liver fluke": leaves 75-89.

500 ## $a "Types of prayer wheels found in south central Tibet, by Mei Lin": p. [310]-[375].

500 ## $a Tables showing family relationships (Ogden, Reese, and Jordan): p. 120-[125].

500 ## $a Includes biographical sketches of each satellite governor.


For the types of contents notes shown in the following examples, generally prefer a standardized construct, rather than a quotation from the book:

504 ## $a Discography (or Filmography): p. [310]-[375].

546 ## $a Summary in French and German.

500 ## $a Errata slip inserted.

but   504 ## $a "List of films showing her at ages 3-12": p. 75.

See Bibliography Note and Indexes below for special information about these types of notes.


Formal Contents Note

Transcribe a formal contents note as follows:

1)  use the appropriate value in indicator 1 of the MARC 21 505 field (Formatted Contents Note) to indicate the character of the note, e.g., "Contents:"; "Incomplete contents:"; "Partial contents:";

2) Record the title proper that appears in the table of contents, unless another source gives a more authoritative account of the data; however, if the title appears on the title page, normally use the title page title; give other title information only when the title proper would be meaningless without it.

3)  Include a first statement of responsibility (cf. 1.1F) if it differs in fact from the statement included in the title and statement of responsibility or edition areas; omit names according to 1.1F5.

4)  Omit introductions already included in the body of the entry; generally omit prefatory and similar matter.

5)  For publications in one volume

   a)  omit chapter and section numbering;

   b)  if the extent of the part being listed occupies a disproportionately large portion of the publication, include the extent within parentheses after the title (or after the title and statement of responsibility); record an unnumbered page or leaf within brackets;

   c)  separate the items with a space-dash-space.

6)  For publications in two or more volumes

   a)  give the volume designation that is found on the item, except use appendix B abbreviations for the terms and substitute arabic numerals for roman; if there is no abbreviation for the term, give only the number if the term is long; if the roman numeral is required for clarity, retain it; separate the volume designation from the title by a period-space;

   b)  if the number of physical volumes differs from the number of bibliographic volumes, include the number of physical volumes within parentheses after the title (or after the title and statement of responsibility);

   c)  if the volumes are of different editions (cf. LCRI 2.2), include within parentheses edition statements and dates of publication, distribution, etc., after the title (or title and statement of responsibility);

   d)  separate each volume with a space-dash-space; if the set is incomplete, put the space-dash-space before each title (other than the first) that is being recorded and leave four spaces for the missing volume; if two or more titles are being transcribed for one volume, apply the punctuation conventions from 1.1G3 such that the titles by the same person, body, etc., are separated by a space-semicolon-space and titles by different persons, bodies, etc., are separated by a period-space.


When some of the volumes in a multipart publication have their own titles and some of the volumes do not and it is decided to make a formal contents note, use the statement "[without special title]" to represent the untitled volumes.


Bibliography Note

If a publication contains bibliographical citations in any form, use the following note:


504 ## $a Includes bibliographical references.


If there is a single bibliography, add the foliation/pagination to the note.


504 ## $a Includes bibliographical references (p. 310-325).


With respect to bibliographic citations and bibliographies, interpret the phrase "bibliographical references" to include all kinds of resources, including electronic resources; do not give any special treatment to, or provide special mention of, the latter.



If the publication contains an index to its own contents, use one of the following notes:


500 ## $a Includes index.

or  500 ## $a Includes indexes.


Note: the bibliography note and the index note may be combined (1.7A5).


504 ## $a Includes bibliographical references and index.


LC practice: Follow the guidelines stated above modified as follows:

1)  for LC original cataloging, encode contents information at the MARC 21 basic level;

2)  for one-volume collections, limit contents notes to those collections containing no more than 12 titles and the title and statement of responsibility area does not adequately cover the contents of the item; in case of doubt, give a contents note;

3)  give tables of contents in Electronic CIP records in contents notes according to the guidelines in DCM D8.9; note that the limitation stated in 2) immediately above does not apply in the case of Electronic CIP records;

4)  when the cataloger has created a single bibliographic record that covers a number of ephemeral publications, follow DCM C12.7 or DCM C14.



2.8C.  Optional addition.  Terms of availability   

Do not apply the optional addition of the rule.