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All About Filing Indicators

  • What is a filing indicator?

    A filing indicator is used to indicate the number of characters that are to be ignored when a title is indexed. Some title fields have filing indicators and some do not. If a field has a filing indicator, the title should be entered as it is found on the piece (including initial articles, if any) and the filing indicator should be set so that those initial articles are skipped when the title is searched. If a field does not have a filing indicator, initial articles (such as A, An, or The) must be omitted when the title is recorded.
  • Which MARC fields do not have filing indicators?

    The following fields do not have filing indicators. Omit initial articles when recording the title.
    246 Varying form of title
    $t (any field) Title of a work
    $p (any field) Name of a part/section of a work
  • Which MARC fields have filing indicators?

    The following fields have filing indicators. Record the title as it is found on the piece. Set the filing indicator by entering the number of characters in the article, plus spaces, punctuation, and diacritics that precede the first significant word. If the title does not begin with an article, enter 0.
    242 Translation of Title (the second indicator is a filing indicator)
    245 Title statement (the second indicator is a filing indicator)
    440 Series Statement (the second indicator is a filing indicator)
  • Aren't there other MARC fields that have filing indicators?

    The following fields, all of which are used for uniform titles, also have filing indicators. However, AACR2 1988 rev. prescribes that you do not enter initial articles in uniform titles. Because cataloging practices have varied, some records have titles with articles and filing indicator values. Current practice is to enter the title without articles and use 0 for the filing indicator.
    130 Main Entry--Uniform Title (the first indicator is a filing indicator)
    240 Uniform Title (the second indicator is a filing indicator)
    243 Collective Uniform Title (the second indicator is a filing indicator)
    630 Subject Added Entry--Uniform Title (the first indicator is a filing indicator)
    730 Added Entry--Uniform Title (the first indicator is a filing indicator)
    740 Added Entry--Uncontrolled Title (the first indicator is a filing indicator)
    830 Series Added Title--Uniform Title (the second indicator is a filing indicator)

In summary:
  1. Record initial articles in fields 242, 245, and 440 only. Set the filing indicator accordingly.
  2. Do not record initial articles in field 246.
  3. Do not record initial articles in $t or $p in any field.
  4. Do not record initial articles in fields 130, 240, 243, 630, 730, 740, or 830 unless you are transcribing pre-AACR2 copy, in which case you may record initial articles and set the filing indicator accordingly.

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URL: http://www.library.yale.edu/catman/filing_indicators.htm
Questions to: Dajin Sun at dajin.sun@yale.edu
Last revision: 26 June 2001