May 16, 2006 notes on cataloguing videorecordings

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May 16, 2006


Version: 5.0 (May 16, 2006)

Author: Marc Richard
This document provides guidelines on the cataloguing and classification of videorecordings by Library Technical Services at McGill University Libraries.

The guidelines, while they reflect current LTS practice, do not constitute an official LTS policy statement. They are only to be used as an internal document by LTS staff, and are intended to serve as a set of practical working notes for the cataloguing and classification of videorecordings. The guidelines will be revised periodically as required.

The document is selective in scope, and is not designed to be a comprehensive cataloguing manual for videorecordings. Some parts consist only of checklists of frequently-used codes and fields, or give samples of field contents; others provide technical background information on DVDs, or summarize local practices and decisions.
Table of Contents
Description: Fixed Fields ................................................................3
Description: Variable Fields ...........................................................6
Classification ....................................................................................23

Holdings Records

General Instructions .................................................................26

Note on Life Sciences ..............................................................27

Note on Osler ...........................................................................27

Item Records
General Instructions .................................................................27

Note on Redpath AV ................................................................28

Note on Education ....................................................................29

Note on Osler ...........................................................................30

Special Topics
Description: Uniform Titles (Motion Pictures)


Cataloguing a Motion Picture Itself ...............................31

Cataloguing a Work Related to a Motion Picture...........36

Description: Uniform Titles (Television Programs)


Cataloguing a Television Program Itself.........................37

Cataloguing a Work Related to a Television Program....38

Description: System Requirements ...........................................39
Subject Analysis: Film Genres .................................................45

Subject Analysis: Film Nationality ...........................................47

Classification: Class Numbers for Multiple Languages ...........48

Supplementary Information: OVAs/OAVs...............................49

Supplementary Information: Aspect Ratio................................50

East Asian Videos
Classification: Classed-Together East Asian Videos ...............51

Instructions for Partial Cataloguing .........................................52

Brief Checklist for Transcribing Required Information ...........55

Workform for Transcribing Required Information ..................58

Description: Fixed Fields
Format: VM
Note that the 7 types of record formats available reflect the 7 types of 008s; they let Aleph know which 008 to use. For videos, VM generally best reflects the material in hand if the moving image material is the predominant format. In some cases, cataloguing as an electronic resources may apply. "Enhanced DVDs" (meaning movies with accompanying bonus computer files) are treated as videorecordings.
Record Status: Typically n or c

Type of Record: g = projected medium

Bib Level: m = monograph

Type of Control: Blank

Encoding Level: Blank = full, 4 = core, 5 = roughly of recon quality with

no guarantee of authority work done

DCF: a = AACR2

Category of Materials: v = videorecording
SMD: f = videocassette (VHS), d = videodisc (DVD and VCD)

Color: a = one color, b = B&W, c = multicolor, m = mixed, u = unknown

(use c if mostly color with just a few B&W shots)

Videorecording Format: NOTE -- It is important to code this correctly.

DVD copy is often incorrectly coded "g" .

b = VHS

v = DVD (digital video disc in MPEG-2 format)

z = VCD (video CD in MPEG-1 format)

("z" actually means "other")

g = Analog laser disc, regardless of size (We don't buy this format)
Sound on Medium or Separate: Blank = silent

a = sound on medium (includes silent films with a musical soundtrack)

Medium for Sound: h = videotape, i = videodisc
Dimensions: o = 1/2-inch tape, z (for "other") = 4 3/4-inch videodisc
Configuration of Playback Channels: m = monaural, s = stereo,

k = alternate mixes (choice of 2 or more tracks with

different configurations, e.g. mono or stereo)

q = quadrophonic (includes multichannel and surround)

u = unknown (typical for non-commercial tape with sound)

n = not applicable (silent) z = other

Date fields:
When cataloguing a video, remember that the date may appear in three possible places on the item in hand, and that these dates may not agree with each other:
1) The date that appears in the film itself when it's viewed. This is most likely to be the true date of the original theatrical release (or the

original television airdate).

2) The date that appears on the videodisc or the videocassette label. This may be identical to the date of the original theatrical release (or the original television airdate), or it may simply refer to the date of the subsequent videodisc or cassette release.

3) The date that appears on the package in which the videodisc or the videocassette comes. This date may not agree with the date that appears on the videodisc or the videocassette label -- for instance,

in situations where the same videodisc or videocassette is being

sold in a new package (i.e. in situations where the only thing which

is different is the box). When trying to determine the true date of the

release of a videodisc or a videocassette, prefer the date on the disc

or cassette label.

When you catalogue a video release of a film or television program originally released or aired at an earlier date, the coding of the Date fixed fields depends on whether anything has changed in the video:
If nothing has been changed other than the medium, the Type of date is coded "p" (production). (Do not use "t" (copyright) as the date code.) Put the original airdate / release date in Date 1, and put the date of the videotape / videodisc release in Date 2.
If the videorecording release includes a change of content (for example, the addition of new special features such as closed captioning or bonus scenes), the item in hand is treated as a new manifestation of the work. The Type of date is coded "s" and

the date of the videorecording release is entered as Date 1.

Remember that regardless of the date when the filming was done, the publication date for the item in hand can't be earlier than the date when the physical format was introduced. Betamax was introduced in May 1975, VHS in September 1977 and DVD in March 1997.
Running Time: Give in minutes, with 0 as a fill character for the unused spaces if needed. If the time exceeds 999 minutes, code as 000. If length is unknown but can be guessed, estimate it. If completely undetermined (as often happens with VCDs), leave running time as ||| ("no attempt to code").
Target Audience: Optionally give as needed (it may reflect the film's rating), but always code "e" for erotic and/or sexually explicit films and/or for films graphically depicting extreme violence. See Help on Field for list of codes available.

Type of Visual Material: MUST BE "V" (videorecording) for both tapes and discs. It's very important not to use incorrect codes in the 008/33 for the visual materials format (record type g = projected medium), since this now affects the display labels. Code "v" displays as "videorecordings" ; "m" displays as "motion pictures" ; "s" displays as "slides" ; and everything else displays as "visual." Be especially careful not to code "b" for "kit".

Technique: l = live-action, a = animated, c = animated and live (3 other codes are also available for special situations)

Description: Variable Fields

020 ISBN (always check if ISBN in copy actually matches item in hand)

028 Publisher's number for videorecording

(often found on the spine of the DVD container or on the disc)

Ind 1: Usually 4 = videorecording number

Ind 2: 0 = No note, no added entry (2="Note" also acceptable)

$a Number

$b Source (meaning the name of the publisher)

041 Language
General principles: 1) If there are captions or subtitles in

a language different from the main soundtrack, give these in

one or more $b subfields. 2) If the videodisc has optional

dubbed soundtracks, these are given in additional $a subfields.

3) If the movie has closed captions or subtitles in the same

language as the soundtrack, do not use an 041.

No 041 used

Item is in English only and has English closed captions or optional subtitles (i.e., the

"overprinted titles" are in same language as the soundtrack).
041 0 $a eng $a fre

In English and French (with neither language being translated, and English being predominant)

041 1 $a ita $b eng

In Italian, with English subtitles (i.e. the "overprinted titles" are in different language from the soundtrack)

041 1 $a eng $b fre $b spa

In English, with optional French and Spanish subtitles

(Film also has English closed captions, but this is not recorded in the 041)
041 1 $a eng $a dak $b eng

In English and Dakota, with English subtitles for the parts in Dakota

041 1 $a fre $a eng $b eng

In French, with optional English-dubbed soundtrack, and with optional English captions

041 1 $a eng $h jap

In dubbed English; original language was Japanese

043 Geographic Area Codes (add for subject of film, not for country of origin)
050 Call Number
See the separate section at the end of these notes for

instructions on assigning call numbers to videorecordings.

Put "Video" (for VHS videocassettes) or "DVD" or "VCD" at

the end of the call number.

Usually, do NOT include a date in the call number, except if

the call number would be confusing without it; if so, add the

term "Video" or "DVD" or "VCD" after the date. Also use

dates to distinguish videos that would otherwise have the same

call number as other videos.
100 Main Entry: Almost never used with videorecordings. In some

cases it may be justified for compilations of short

experimental films or video art by a single filmmaker.

See AACR2's guidelines for choice of access points.

130 Uniform Titles: See the following Special Topics sections:

Description: Uniform Titles (Motion Pictures) ....................30

Description: Uniform Titles (Television Programs) .............37

245 Title


$h [videorecording] (must be lowercase)


The $c generally consists of the major opening production credits of a film in the form in which they appear at the beginning of the movie. The basic credits that usually go here are the production / distribution company, the producer, the director, and sometimes the screenwriter (especially if the film was produced, directed and written by the same person). Cast credits (the actors) do not go here; they go in a 511 note. Other production credits (the other production crew members not mentioned in the 245) do not go here; they go in a 508 note. In situations where the precise formulation of the 245 $c cannot be determined (for instance, if the film is catalogued from other information beside the title frame, or if the title frame bears no credits), the major credits (e.g. producer and director) can be given in the 508 note.

Franco Cristaldi presenta un film di Federico Fellini ; soggetto e

sceneggiatura, Federico Fellini, Tonino Guerra ; una co-produzione

italo-francese, F.C. Produzioni (Rome), P.E.C.F. (Paris).
Rialto Pictures in association with Canal+ distribution ; produced by

Dino de Laurentiis ; directed by Federico Fellini.

Alfred J. Hitchcock Productions, Inc. and Paramount Pictures

Corporation ; director-producer, Alfred Hitchcock ; screenplay by

Alec Coppel and Samuel Taylor.
246 Varying forms of title (never put a $h in here)
250 Edition

Videorecordings are sometimes released in different versions. The

following are general principles to use to decide whether the version

item in hand is genuinely a distinct edition (requiring a 250 statement)

or merely has certain characteristics that should be noted in a 500


1) When in doubt, do not use an edition statement.
2) For videodiscs: If the disc or its container says that the item is a

widescreen (or letterbox) edition, use a 250 edition note. If the disc or

its container use a different phrase, such as "widescreen (or letterbox) format" or "widescreen (or letterbox) version," use a 500 note.

SPECIAL CASE: If a DVD holds both a widescreen and a standard

version of a movie (e.g. on opposite sides of the disc), use a note

rather than a 250. This note can be a stand-alone 500, or can be

combined with a 500 note for the aspect ratio. Do likewise if the

DVD holds two different versions of the film (e.g. the theatrical

release and the director's cut).

3) For videotapes: If the tape or its container says that the item is a

widescreen (or letterbox) edition or a widescreen (or letterbox)

version, use a 250 edition note. If the tape or its container use a different phrase, such as "widescreen (or letterbox) format," use a 500

For both videodiscs and videotapes:

4) Generally add an edition note when the item has both of the

following characteristics:

a) There is a significant physical difference in the content of the film

between the release in hand and other releases, such as the film's

original release or an actual or presumed other video release. (It is not

necessary to determine whether any other release of the film was ever

actually issued.) These differences can mean, for example, that the

release in hand has been specially edited (e.g. "Director's cut"), has

different content (e.g. has had scenes added or deleted), is colourized,

has been dubbed, or has a different soundtrack.

b) The item carries a phrase which states or implies that the film is to

be considered a distinct edition or version, such as:

Special edition / Pan and scan edition / Director's cut
5) Generally do NOT add an edition note when:
a) The item only has one of the two characteristics given in section 4


b) The "edition" statement on the item seems to refer only to a

publisher's collection or an anniversary release or to a series (i.e.,

there are no actual differences in the movie itself that would justify

calling it a different edition). Record such statements in either a 500

note or in a series statement.
James Bond collection / New line platinum series
c) The item carries a statement that simply refers to the technical

processes that were used in preparing the release in hand (e.g.

"digitally remastered").

260 Publication / Distribution

NOTE: See the 008 section for detailed instructuctions on determining the date of videorecordings.
Some DVDs have a copyright date on the printed disc surface that represents the date the item was published; this date would be recorded in field 260, just as found (with the copyright symbol). If there is no copyright date on the disc surface, look for the latest date of those that may be printed on the back of the container [copyright date for cover design, etc.], and use this latest date as the assumed date of publication. Record this date in brackets and without the copyright symbol because it is an assumed date. Copyright renewal dates are ignored according to LCRI 1.4F6 (CSB 92).
300 Physical Description

1 videocassette (60 min.) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in. [FOR VHS]

1 videodisc (150 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in. [FOR DVD & VCD]

1 videocassette (ca. 500 min.) : b&w ; 1/2 in.

2 videodiscs (120 min.) : sd., col. with b&w sequences ; 4 3/4 in.

3 videocassettes (30 min. each) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in.

1 videodisc (80 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in. + 1 booklet (10 p.)





Do not apply the new AACR2 options (7.5B1) which allow the use of terms in common usage and which allow "video" to be dropped from the words "videocassette" and "videodisc". Continue to use the terms "videocassette" and "videodisc" in the 300 and to record the specific format (VHS, DVD, VCD) in the 538.
The time given in subfield "a" of field 300 should be the time of the title recorded in field 245, and this is also the time recorded in the fixed field 008. Times of supplementary material and/or special features may be given in the notes relating to that material or those features (500 or 505), but Areas 1-6 of the bibliographic record refer to the title being cataloged, not to the special material.
If the running time cannot be easily determined, given an approximation (e.g. "ca. 500 min."). If the actual running time differs radically from the stated running time, record the actual time in the 300 and make a 500 saying (for example) "Running time stated on container: 50 min, actual running time: 35 min."

Other than the presence of sound ("sd."), do NOT put sound-related information like "hi-fi" or "Dolby stereo" in the 300 field. This information goes in the note fields specified below. (Putting this information in the 300 is valid for sound recordings but not for videorecordings.) For silent films, omit the "sd." designation.

Give the size (1/2 in. for videotape, 4 3/4 in. for videodiscs) in inches, not centimeters.
If the movie has special projection characteristics (e.g., Cinerama, Panavision, anamorphic, stereroscopic) that have not already been covered by the edition note, or which will not be covered by a 5XX note (such as the Aspect Ratio note), give the special characteristic in the 300 $b. See the Aspect Ratio note field below for more information on projection formats.
1 videodisc (150 min.) : sd., col., Panavision ; 4 3/4 in.
4XX Series

As required. See 250 above for additional information.

538 System Requirements:
Give the videorecording's system requirements. Typically, they will

consist of one of the following:





Blu-ray DVD.


For detailed information on these and other aspects of system

requirements (such as regional coding), see the following Special Topics section:
Description: System Requirements ......................................39
546 Language
Give the language of the main and optional soundtracks, and of

the subtitles (fixed or optional). If the film is close-captioned,

mention this too; just use the phrase "Closed-captioned" rather than

"Closed-captioned for the hearing impaired".

546 French dialogue, English subtitles.

546 In French and Spanish with optional English subtitles.

546 English audio with optional French soundtrack; close


546 In English with optional subtitles in English and Spanish

(feature film only).

546 Sound tracks for the feature film in English, Spanish, and

French, with optional subtitles in each language.

546 Closed-captioned. In English with optional subtitles in

English and Spanish (feature film only).

546 English (2-channel or 3-channel) and French (mono)

language soundtracks with optional subtitles in English

or French ; closed-captioned in English.

NOTE: If dealing with a silent movie, and reference is made

to the language of the dialogue cards to which the film cuts

from time to time, describe these as "intertitles":
546 Intertitles in Russian, with English subtitles.
NOTE: Some DVD boxes feature a small picture of a square

whose inside contains a number at the top and a series of small

dots or squares below it. This symbol indicates the number of

languages in which subtitles are provided; the list of languages

should appear next to it. Do not confuse with the regional

coding symbol, which is a globe with a number inside it.

If descriptions for the visually handicapped are provided, give the subject heading "Films for people with visual disabilities"

and add:
546 Described.

500 Source of Title Proper (if not from chief source)
The chief source is the title frame (note that "title screen" is an

electronic resource note, not a video note) or, failing this, the

container, and the container label if the container is integral to the

item (e.g. the cassette holding a videotape).

500 Title from container.
500 Edition and history note
The history note is very important when cataloging videos. For any

title originally made as a film, or as a television program, or based on

a television series, or related to other material, this note must be made.

500 Originally produced as motion picture in 1989.

500 Produced for television in 1969.

500 Originally released as a motion picture in 1952.

500 Based on television series that ran from 1970-1974.

500 From a novel by John Smith.

500 From the novel X by John Smith.

518 Date/Time and Place of Event (original recording or broadcast)

If the video is a recording made at a time or place that are important to

mention, or was first broadcast on a particular date (for instance, if the

video is a copy of a newscast), mention this in a 518 note:
518 Recorded in Vienna in 1961.

518 Filmed on location in Rome, August 1987.

518 Originally broadcast on the CBC program "The

National," June 10, 1998.

518 notes for OVAs / OAVs
If the video describes itself as an "OVA" or "OAV" (Original Video

Animation or Original Animation Video, interchangeable terms

used in Japan to refer to animation that is released directly to the

video market without first going through a theatrical release or

television broadcast), do NOT record this information in any other

field except the 518. Include a 518 saying (for example):

518 Original animation video.

518 Original animation video first released in 2001.

In North America, such releases are usually called "direct-to-video" releases. They may be either for animated films, or for live-action films.
See also the following Special Topics section for more information:
Description: OVAs/OAVs ......................................49
500 Layers

Some DVD containers indicate "Single layer" or "Dual layer" or

"Dual-layer format" with a warning that "Layer transition may trigger

a slight pause." One should include this information only if appears

on the item. When creating a note, it is preferable to retain the

wording as it appears on the item.

500 Dual-layer format.

500 Dual layer.

500 Single layer.

500 RSDL dual-layer format.

500 Aspect Ratio
If the format or aspect ratio has not already been mentioned in the

edition statement, give it in a 500 note. Use of the pan-and-scan

technique should be mentioned in the bibliographic record, in either

the 250 or a 500 note.

The aspect ratio symbol on enhanced-for-widescreen-TV videos will

typically say "Enhanced for 16:9 widescreen TVs," followed by the

film's actual aspect ratio; both items of information should be

recorded in a note.

500 Letterbox format.

500 Widescreen format (aspect ratio 2.35:1).

500 Aspect ratio 2.35:1.

500 Aspect ratio 1.85:1.

500 Standard format

500 Enhanced for 16:9 widescreen TVs (aspect ratio 2.35:1)

500 Original film in widescreen; reproduced using pan-and-

scan technique.

If the aspect ratio is given as 1.33:1, and the container also says

"Standard full frame - Formatted from the original version to fit your

screen," record the information as follows:
500 Aspect ratio 1.33:1. Formatted from the original version

to fit the television screen.

See also the following Special Topics section for more information:

Description: Aspect Ratio ......................................50

500 Two-Version, Two-Sided Discs

500 Standard version on one side, widescreen version on

other side. (If the disc is two-sided and holds two versions).

500 Two-sided disc. (If the disc holds a single long movie

that carries over from one side to the next.)
521 Target Audience or Film Rating (Ind 1: 8 [no print constant])

Ratings information should be given when found on the item. There

are many kinds of ratings; the most common in the USA is the MPAA

521 8_ MPAA rating: PG.

521 notes for sexually explicit or extremely violent films:
If cataloguing an erotic or sexually explicit film, or a film graphically depicting extreme violence, provide a 521 rating note as indicated

above if the film container gives an actual rating.

Additionally, always provide a 521 note (either by itself or in addition

to the 521 ratings note) that clearly states that the film is intended for

mature audiences only. In addition to the phrase "intended for mature

audiences only," provide if possible more precise details based on the

the film's container (such as intended-audience statements, the plot

summary and the illustrations) and/or from other souces as needed.

(See record 2010816 for title "Tokyo decadence" and record 2010894

for title "Guinea pig" as examples.)

521 8 _ Contains nudity; intended for mature audiences only.
521 8 _ Unrated; intended for mature audiences only.
521 8 _ Unrated; contains sexually explicit material; intended

for mature audiences only.

521 8_ Unrated. Contains extremely graphic simulated

depictions of torture and mutilation; intended for

mature audiences only.

506 Restrictions on Access Note (if needed)

511 Participant/Performer (i.e. the cast)

Ind 1: 0 = general (generates no print constant)

1 = cast (generates a "cast" print constant)
All narrators (including voice-over and onscreen) now go in 511.

508 Creation/Production Credit (i.e. the crew)

Repeatable, if needed for complex credits
520 Summary (give source if applicable)

505 Contents (mainly for multi-disc sets)

505 0 Disc 1. Toy story -- disc 2. Toy story 2.

[Alternately, give a 500 note saying "Disc 2 contains..." and

briefly describing contents or special features] -- see next

entry "500 Other information"

In situations where detailed contents information is needed

(for instance multi-disc sets containing films by multiple

directors), enhanced coding may be used. Use $g to record

the disc number, $t for film titles, $r for directors and another

$g for the film length (see "Beckett on film" 1929678 for an


505 00 $g [disc 1 (red)]. $t Waiting for Godot / $r director, Michael

Lindsay-Hogg $g (120 min.) -- $ t Not I / $r director, Neil Jordan $g

(14 min.) ....
In coding this type of 505, include in the $t any articles present in the

titles; do not exclude the articles or place them in the previous field.

Add 740 analytics for constitutent titles if considered important, and

700 added entries for the directors.

500 Other information
500 Special features include: theatrical trailer, commentary

by director.

530 Additional Physical Formats Available ("Also issued on VHS")
Generally do not add this information, unless it is considered

specially important.

540 Public Performance Rights (generally delete from copy unless item

itself explicitly states these; may also note audience restrictions

stipulated in the licence, e.g. confidentiality rather than the rating)

586 Awards (won by the film)

"Academy Award, Best Actress." (Or give more details if desired)

6XX Subject Headings

Use the detailed instructions below for films that require a 6XX heading for:

- Closed captions

- Described films for the visually handicapped

- Feature films

- Documentary films

- Educational films

- LC Subject headings for the topic of a non-fiction film

- Other film genres or types

- Foreign-nationality films

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