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MARC Format for Holdings Record (Mfhd)

- General Information
- Creating and Editing Mfhd Records
- Saving Mfhd Records
- Changing Call Numbers
- Multiple Call Numbers for a Single Collection
- Deleting a Mfhd Record
- Notes on Use by Rare Book Catalogers
- The Item Record

General Information

This chapter describes the MARC Format for Holdings Record (mfhd) and contains instructions on creating and editing mfhd records. For detailed definitions of mfhd tags, indicators, and subfields, see MARC 21 Format for Holdings Data on Catalogers Desktop.

New mfhd records are created by use of templates. Standard templates are kept on the j: drive at mssunit/voyager templates/cataloging/mfhd templates. Templates must be copied to each cataloger's workstation in order to be used for cataloging. They may be edited and customized by catalogers.

A mfhd record contains location and call number information and is linked to a bibliographic record (do not use the 090 Local Call Number Field in the bibliographic record; Brbl local decision). A system-generated record ID number is displayed in the title bar, followed by the record ID of the associated bibliographic record. The upper portion of mfhd record consists of three tabs:

MARC tab: fixed fields.

System tab: "Suppress from OPAC" check box. A mfhd may be suppressed even if its associated bibliographic record is displayed. Do not use "OK to export" checkbox. Use ExportQ for exporting bibliographic records. Mfhd records currently are not exported.

Bib Title(s) Tab: Shows the Record ID and title of the associated bibliographic record.

History tab: records date and operator id for creation and all subsequent saves.

The mfhd record is visible only in the cataloging module. Call number and location information may also be viewed in the OPAC. A mfhd record can be searched and displayed in the cataloging module by the following procedures:

If you know the mfhd Record ID Number, search on this number using the menu bar: Record>Search by ID>Holdings.

If the bibliographic record is the active screen, click the Get Holdings icon, or click the Hierarchy icon, expand by clicking on plus signs if necessary, and double click on the mfhd record.

Creating and Editing Mfhd Records

Open a blank template by clicking on the New Hldgs icon, when the associated bibliographic record is in the active window. A record is active when its title bar is highlighted in blue. Clicking on this icon will open the default template specified in Preferences. Multiple templates may be stored on your workstation, and the default may be changed in Preferences (Options>Preferences>Folders/Files). If no path is specified in preferences, clicking the New Hldgs icon will open a generic mfhd template.

The leader contains a default record type x (single part item). Do not change fixed field defaults in the leader, 007, or 008.

Edit the variable fields using editing techniques described in the chapter on The Bibliographic Record. Complete the variable fields according to the following instructions:

Linkage Number (014)

Do not edit. 014 fields contain linking or migration information, such as the Notis key for an associated bibliographic record migrated from Notis.

Location (852)


1st (Shelving Scheme) must be set to 8, for Other Scheme. This indicator value will cause the call number to be indexed with local, non-LC, call numbers. All BRBL manuscript call number schemes are local and must be indexed together. Before 2004 Dec 20, this indicator was set to 7, for Source Specified in Subfield |2. All records created by the Manuscript Unit before this date have been changed to first indicator 8.

2nd (Shelving Order) must be set to 0, for not by enumeration (i.e. item is not a serial).

REQUIRED SUBFIELDS (used in every record):

|b Sublocation or Collection. Determined by the default set in Preferences (General-Holdings/Item Default Location). This subfield may be edited manually or by a menu accessed by putting the cursor in the 852 field and pressing control l (i.e. lower case L). All locations in Voyager are entered without the commas formerly used in Notis.


852 80 |b beingen
852 80 |b beinycal

|h Classification Part. Contains the non-unique part of the call number.


852 80 |b beingen |h GEN MSS
852 80 |b beinycal |h YCAL MSS FILE

|i Item Part. Contains the unique part of the call number. Enter a space, with no punctuation between parts.


852 80 |b beingen |h GEN MSS |i 452
852 80 |b beinycal |h YCAL MSS FILE |i 132
852 80 |b beinwa |h WA MSS |i S-2440 R514

If everything represented by the call number will be shelved in Oversize or another nonstandard storage location, also enter one of the following terms in |i after the call number:

Folio (over 42 cm.)
BrSide 4to


852 80 |b beingen |h GEN MSS VOL |i 452 (Folio)
852 80 |b beinycal |h YCAL MSS FILE |i 132 (BrSides)

|2 Access Method. Do not use. Before 2004 Dec 20, this subfield was used in conjunction with first indicator 7, to identify the call number scheme as local. Subfield |2 has been deleted from all records created by the Manuscript Unit before this date.

EXAMPLE (showing obsolete coding):

852 70 |b beingen |h GEN MSS |i 452 |2 localyale

OTHER SUBFIELDS (use when necessary)

|x Nonpublic Note. Used for local processing notes for library staff use.

Generally a |x note is required only when elements of bibliographic description have been changed, as opposed to enhancing or adding access points. Use when deleting an existing access point. Enter [a brief note on the change]; bein, ms [month/year]. Also use to indicate a transfer from Sterling or another Yale library, or a recon record, by entering REC.


|x To be completed with additional name tracings once curator supplies them; bein, ms 3/94.
|x Before recon title was.... ; bein, ms 10/98.
|x Before recon call number was... ; bein, ms 1/03.
|x Recon collection, processing has been completed and Orbis record has been updated; bein, ms 4/99. [This is for recon collections that were reconned and then later recataloged. See note under Encoding Level.]
|x Transferred from muddzeta; former call number was ... ; bein, ms 3/04.
|x REC
|x Collation updated after album was disbound; bein, ms 3/05.

|z Public Note. Used for notes to be displayed in the OPAC.

Saving Mfhd Records

After typing in all desired fields, save the record to Voyager by clicking the Save to DB icon. Do not click the Save icon, as this will save the record only to your workstation. After saving, an add or update confirmation will be displayed. Click OK.

Changing Call Numbers

When changing call numbers, which is usually done because of recon, make a mfhd 852 |x note in the mfhd record to preserve the old call number, and then substitute the new call number in the mfhd 852 |h and |i subfields. The old call number should appear only in the |x subfield.

Multiple Call Numbers for a Single Collection

Multiple call numbers applicable to a single collection are listed in separate mfhd records, both attached to the same bibliographic record, so that all call numbers are searchable. Each mfhd will have a unique Record ID Number. To view all mfhds attached to a bib record, bring the bib record up in the active screen and click either the Get Holdings icon or the Hierarchy icon.

A note is made in the 351 or 520 explaining which call number applies to which part of the collection. These multiple call numbers were common in the Western Americana Collection in the past, and the call numbers used to appear as one call number range (WA MSS S-498-500) and were recorded as an unindexed list in the 035 field. This practice has been abandoned.


351 reads:

351 b/b/ |a Three sections: I. Personal Files, 1787-1882 (WA MSS S-498) 5 boxes. II. Signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence, 1820-1852 (WA MSS S-499) 1 box. III. Texas Subjects, 1818-1864 (WA MSS S-500) 1 box. An Appendix, Streeter's "Catalogue of Texas Manuscripts" 1 box.

Or, if the collection is smaller, the 520 reads:

520b/b/ |a Letters to his brother Lisbon discuss family affairs, life in Oregon, land transactions, literature, politics, the Provisional Government, and his exploration of a new route from Fort Hall to the Willamette (WA MSS 10). Three letters to Archibald McKinlay discuss personal affairs, mining in southern Oregon, and the development of Umpqua Valley. A letter to Allan and McKinlay suggests they open a business in southern Oregon and an 1862 letter to William H. Farrar contains reminiscences (WA MSS 11).

Note: This form of call number assignment (multiple call numbers for one collection) is obsolete and no longer used for cataloged materials.  

Deleting a Mfhd Record

If you accidentally add a new mfhd to a bibliographic record and need to delete it, contact the Cataloging Coordinator.

Notes on Use by Rare Book Catalogers:

When Rare Book Catalogers catalog a printed book notable for its annotations or otherwise shelved as a manuscript, they often add a mfhd record to an existing bibliographic record. Each mfhd will have a unique Record ID Number. To view all mfhds attached to a bib record, bring the bib record up in the active screen and click either the Get Holdings icon or the Hierarchy icon.

When cataloging a book that is being kept as part of a manuscript collection, the Rare Book Catalogers list the box and folder number containing the book.


852 80 |b beinwa |h WA MSS |i S-1325 Box 72 Folder 1143

The Item Record

Item Records are used in Voyager to track items that circulate or are barcoded for shelving in LSF. Item Records are attached to mfhd Records and are accessed by bringing the associated bibliographic or mfhd Record to the active screen and then clicking either the Get Items icon or the Hierarchy icon. The Manuscript Unit does not use Item Records. Further information may be obtained from the Yale University Library's Voyager cataloging documentation.



Copyright 1997. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
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