Guidelines for Cataloging Videorecordings


Chief source of information
Fixed fields

Chief source of information (in this order of preference):

  1. item itself – all title and credits screens, regardless of location. Information at the end of a film is equal in status to that at the beginning of the film.
  2. container – label, container
  3. other – accompanying material, packaging, etc.

Videorecordings are cataloged from the title screen(s). View opening and/or closing credits to verify title, director(s), producer(s), and screenwriter(s).View menu options to verify presence or absence of closed captioning and language tracks.

Fixed fields

Type(Type of record: projected medium) 

BLvl: m (Bibliographic level: a monograph (or nonserial item)) 

Desc: a (Descriptive cataloging form: item has been cataloged according to AACR2) 

ELvlI (Full-level input by OCLC participants) *Note: if 040 |a = DLC then ELvl: blank 

Formblank (Form of item: N/A)

Tmatv (Type of material: videocording) 

Srced(Cataloging source: an organization other than a national bibliographic agency) *Note: if 040 |a = DLC then Srce: blank] 

GPubblank (Government publication: not a government publication) *Note: if video is issued by a government agency, then see BFAS code options

Tech: (Technique used to create motion for motion pictures and videos: l (live action), a (animation), c (combination of animation and live action), n (not applicable), u (unknown), z (other, such as still film, trick photography, etc.) 

Audn: blank (Target audience: a (preschool up to K), b (primary (K-3 or 4), c (elementary), d (secondary 9-12), e (adult), g (general)) *Note: use only if target audience is clearly indicated on the item

Time (Running time: in minutes as a three-digit number, such as "098" for 98 minutes, or "150" for 2 1/2 hours) *Note: should agree with 300 |a

DtSt: (Type of Date/Publication Status: s (single date for a DVD or video with extra features) or p (DVD or video is exactly the same as the motion picture when it was released in the theater) *Note: see "Dates in fixed fields" below for additional guidance Ctrl: blank (Type of control: N/A (item is not archival))

MRec: blank (Modified record: N/A (refers to whether bibliographic information was modified for entry into machine-readable form))

Dates (Date 1 is the year that the DVD or video in hand was released; if DtSt is s, Date 2 is blank; if DtSt is p, Date 2 is the date that the motion picture was originally released in the theater) *Note: Date 1 should agree with date of publication in 260 |c

Lang (Code for the original/primary language of the work) *Note: code should agree with language information in 041 |a and 546 fields, if applicable. To find codes see MARC Code List for Languages

Ctry (Code for state/province/country of publication) *Note: code should agree with state/province/country in 260 |a. To find codes see MARC Code Lists for Countries

Dates in fixed fields

DtSt = s
A DVD or videowith any new or extra material that was not included with the motion picture when it was originally released in the theater (i.e., different versions or cuts of the motion picture, deleted scenes, outtakes, documentary material, interviews, commentaries, additional language tracks, closed captioning, etc.). This is considered a new edition.

In this case for the fixed field "Dates," Date 1 is the publication year of the DVD in hand, and Date 2 is blank. You will include a note about the date of original release in a 500 edition and history note. 

DtSt = p
If a DVD or video contains exactly the same material as the original motion picture, and nothing has been added or changed, the fixed field "DtSt" is coded "p" because the content is identical to that of the original work, but the medium is different (from film to video).

In this case for the fixed field "Dates," Date 1 is the publication year of the DVD or video in hand, and Date 2 is the year that the motion picture was released theatrically). You will include a note about the date of original release in a 500 edition and history note.

007 Physical Description Fixed Field for Videorecordings

Category of material
: v (videorecording)

Specific material designation
: f (videocassette), d (videodisc)

: c (color), b (b&w), m (both), z (tones, stains, tints, etc.)

Videorecording format
: b (VHS), v (DVD videodisc), g (other laserdiscs), a (Beta), k (super VHS)

Sound on medium or separate
|f: a (sound on medium), b (sound separate from medium), u (unknown)

Medium for sound
: h (videotape), i (videodisc)

: o (1/2 in.), z (other -- use for all videodiscs including DVDs)

Playback channels
: k (mixed), m (monaural, one channel), q (multichannel, surround or quadraphonic), s
(stereophonic, two channels), n (non-applicable), u (unknown), z (other)

See BFAS guidelines for more information.

040 Cataloging source

System-supplied, provides OCLC symbols of institutions that created and modified the record.

020 ISBN

Indicators are undefined.

If there is an ISBN number it will usually be found on the back of the container/case above the barcode. 

024 Other Standard Identifier -- UPC Code (if applicable)

1st Indicator: (Universal Product Code)
2nd Indicator:blank

If there is a 12-digit number UPC number it will usually be found on the back of the container/case below the barcode. Include the first digit that appears outside and to the left of the barcode, and the twelfth digit that appears outside and to the right of the barcode.

028 Publisher Number

1st Indicator: 4 Videorecording number
2nd Indicator: 0 No note, no added entry

Enter the number assigned by the publisher, usually found on the spine of the container, sometimes on the back of the container, sometimes on the cassette label or DVD surface. Enter the number exactly as it appears on the item. Include spaces, punctuation, prefixes, and suffixes.

After the number enter the publisher's name in |b. The publisher's name is usually found in proximity to the publisher number.

028 is repeatable if there are multiple numbers.

037 Source of Acquisition

Delete this field if present. 

041 Language Code (if applicable)

1st Indicator: 0 Item is not a translation/does not include a translation
1 Item is or includes a translation
2nd Indicator: blank

Codes for the languages associated with an item when the fixed field element Lang is insufficient to convey full information for a multilingual item or for an item that involves translation.

See BFAS guidelines for a full list of codes and explanations.

subfield |a Code for each language audio track(s)
subfield |b Code for each summary or abstract 
subfield |h Code for original language [denotes original language of the film]subfield
subfield |j Code for each language subtitles or captions

Example for a video in English with subtitles in English, French and Spanish:

041 1 eng |j eng |j fre |j spa

Example for a video in French with additional audio tracks in English, Spanish, and German, and subtitles in English, French and Spanish:

041 1 fre |a eng |a ger |a spa |j eng |j ger |j spa |h fre

Example for a video dubbed into English, when the original language was Vietnamese:

041 1 eng |h vie

043 Geographic Code (if applicable)

To be used as an aid to subject approach if the setting of the item is important. See BFAS guidelines.

050 Library of Congress Call Number

Use this field as guidance. We construct our own video call numbers locally. 

082 Dewey Decimal Call Number

Ignore or delete this field if present. We construct our own video call numbers locally using Library of Congress numbers. 

090 Locally-assigned Call number

Construct Library of Congress call number by shelflisting and utilizing Library of Congress cutter table.

049 Local holdings

The holding library code for items held by your institution. This field is system-supplied.

245 Title/Statement of Responsibility

1st indicator: 1 0 (videos will never have a main entry -- delete 130 field if present)
2nd indicator:0-9 (number of non-filing characters present -- Click here for an authorized
list of initial articles that count as non-filing characters)

|a Title |h [videorecording] : |b subtitle / |c production company or companies ; producer(s) ; screenwriter(s) ; director(s) Transcribe statement of responsibility information exactly as it appears on the title screens. Only those with "overall responsibility" (producers, writers, directors) go in 245 |c. Other production credits go in field 508, and performers go in field 511 (see below).

Remember the "rule of three" from AACR2 1.1F5:
If a single statement of responsibility names more than three persons or corporate bodies performing the same function, or with the same degree of responsibility, omit all but the first of each group of such persons or bodies. Indicate the omission by the mark of omission (.) and add et al. in square brackets."

Foreign films

For foreign films be sure to transcribe the prominent title from the title screen in 245 |a. This will usually be the original language title. If there is a translated title, this will go in 245 |b as a parallel title, and also in field 246 (see below). The punctuation for |b is different if it is a parallel title:

Foreign language film:
|a Original language title |h [videorecording] = |b parallel title / |c production company or companies, producer(s), writer(s), director(s).

246 Varying Form of Title

1st Indicator 0 Note, no title added entry 
1 Note, title added entry 
2 No note, no title added entry 
3 No note, title added entry

2nd Indicator | No information provided 
0 Portion of title 
1 Parallel title 
2 Distinctive title 
3 Other title 
4 Cover title 
5 Added title page title 
6 Caption title 
7 Running title 
8 Spine title

Also see BFAS guidelines.

250 Edition (if applicable)

Many film titles have been available in multiple formats (film, Beta, VHS, laser disc, DVD) as well as multiple versions/releases within a format. Numerous titles have been released on DVD, then followed with another DVD release that is changed somewhat from the first release. Statements that distinguish one manifestation from another should be treated as edition statements, whether they carry the word "edition" or not.

Edition statements can be taken from the container, and examples include:

250 Special ed.
250 Restored version
250 Deluxe widescreen presentation
250 Widescreen version
250 Standard version
250 Anamorphic widescreen
250 20th anniversary ed.
250 Collector's ed.
250 Director's cut

If a DVD contains both widescreen and standard (or fullscreen) versions, the information is noted in a 500 note field rather than in the 250 field. Example:

500 Includes widescreen and standard versions
500 Includes widescreen and fullscreen versions

Be careful to distinguish between edition statements related to the item and series statements relating to the item being part of a publisher's collection. See 440/490 section below.

260 Publication Distribution, Etc.

Place of publication : |b name of publisher/distributor, |c date of publication/distribution

Place of publication

City and state/province where publisher/distributor is located (if known). For 260 |a if the place of publication is not found on the disc surface, cassette label, or container, check the list below for the most common video distributors and their current locations and always put place name in [square brackets].

This list incorporates various corporate names (i.e., "New Line" = New Line Home Video, New Line Home Entertainment, New Line Entertainment, etc.).

Use this list as guidance and always check the disc surface, cassette label, or container carefully -- some of these corporations may have had different locations in the past. If not found, always put place name in [square brackets].

Columbia TriStar / Sony Culver City, CA
MGM or Metro Goldwyn Mayer Santa Monica, CA
New Line Los Angeles, CA
Miramax / Buena Vista / Touchstone / Disney / Walt Disney / Dimension Burbank, CA
Warner Burbank, CA
Universal Universal City, CA
Paramount Hollywood, CA
Twentieth Century Fox or 20th Century Fox Beverly Hills, CA
HBO New York, NY


The |c date given should agree with the first given date in the fixed field Dates (usually the date of publication or distribution).

Note: DVDs were not sold before 1997, so it is impossible to have a DVD "publication" date earlier than 1997. VHS machines were not sold before 1977, so it is impossible to have a VHS "publication" date earlier than 1977.

If there is no copyright date on the cassette label or disc surface, look for the latest date 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.

300 Physical Description

Example of VHS (with sound and in color, 115 minutes long):
|a 1 videocassette (115 min.) : |b sd., col. ; |c 1/2 in.

Example of DVD (with sound and in color, 115 minutes long):
|a 1 videodisc (115 min.) : |b sd., col. ; |c 4 ¾ in.


The time given in field 300 |a is the running time of the film, noted in minutes, in parentheses, using the abbreviation "min.". This is also the time recorded in the fixed field "Time."

Times of supplementary material and/or special features may be given in the notes relating to that material or those features, if appropriate.

Color & Sound

300 |b can have various permutations depending on the sound and color aspects. The color information must correspond with |d in 007 field.

Example of a silent DVD in black & white:
|a 1 videodisc (66 min.) : |b si., b&w ; |c 4 ¾ in.

Example of a sound VHS with a mixture of color and black & white:
|a 1 videocassette (66 min.) : |b sd., col. with b&w sequences ; |c 1/2 in.

490 Series Statement

1st indicator:

0 Series added entry (when the entry doesn't have an authorized for, the 490 serves as the added entry point 
1 Series traced (when there is an authorized form, the series title is traced in 8xx field as an added entry)

2nd indicator: Undefined

Used a 490 to add an access point for a series, or a 490/830 combination if the title of the series on the item differs from the controlled/authorized form of the title. In thise case, the 8xx field will serve astyhe access point. Examples:

(authorized form is the same as it appears on the item)
245 00 Salesman |h [videorecording]….
490 1_ Criterion collection ;|v122
830 _0 Criterion collection (DVD videodiscs) ;|v122

(authorized form is the same as it appears on the item)
245 00 Against the ropes |h [videorecording]…
490 1_ Widescreen DVD collection
830 _0 Widescreen DVD collection

5xx Notes

Give notes in the following order and see descriptions below.


538 System requirements
546 Language
500 Source of title proper
500 Edition and history
511 Participants/performers
508 Creation/production credits
500 Other notes.
521 Audience
520 Summary
505 Contents
586 Awards


538 System Requirements 

"VHS" or "DVD" always goes in this field, plus any additional information about special sound, color, technical aspects, etc. Examples:

538 VHS
538 VHS hi-fi, Dolby stereo
538 DVD
538 DVD-R
538 DVD, 
THX digitally mastered, NTSC 
538 DVD, Dolby digital 5.1, Dolby surround, PAL 

Include information about disc type, such as DVD, DVD-R or DVD+R in the 538 field. DVD-R and DVD+R types of discs usually have a bluish color on the readbale surface, rather than a gold appearance, and are often the types of discs received from Films for the Humanities. To determine if a disc is a DVD-R or DVD+R you can also use the Kprobe software, see this document for more information. When a disc is one of these formats, include a 500 note as follows:

500 This disc is a DVD-R and may not play on all DVD equipment

nclude information about the region code in the 538 field if the DVD is not Region 1 coded (Region 1: U.S., Canada, U.S. Territories). Look on the back of the container for a region note or symbol (a number superimposed on a globe). You can aslo use Kprobe to determine the Region coding If the number is anything other than 1, enter a note as follows:

538 DVD, produced for region 4 (Central and South America), user must have a DVD player that will play region 4 DVDs.

Be sure to adjust the note to reflect the region of the DVD you are cataloging. Click here for a list of the regions and the countries they represent.

Include information about whther the video is PAL or NTSC in the 538 field. PAL is a format often used in European and Asian videos. Look on the container or disc for this information. You can use Windows Media Player to determine if a DVD is PAL or NTSC, see instructions.

When you catalog a DVD that is not Region 1 or NTSC coded, put a warning sticker on the front of the container. Debbie Packer has stickers and can provide them to you. They read: "Must be viewed on a "region-free" DVD player. Your home DVD player may not be "region-free." Ask for directions to the library's "region-free" player at the Circulation desk."

546 Language (if applicable)

Used for noting subtitles and audio tracks in multiple languages, as well as closed captioning for the hearing impaired.

Closed Captioning

Closed captioning is not the same as subtitles or captions. Subtitles (or captions) only contain the dialog, or phrases summarizing the dialog. Closed captioning includes dialog in addition to musical note symbols when there is music, words to songs, and words or phrases about background music or what is going on in the movie.

A video is closed captioned when the container shows the closed captioning symbol that looks like a television set with a tail. The words "captioned" or "closed captioned" or the letters "CC" in a box may be used in addition to, or instead of, the television set symbol. There will often be no other information given, but you can cerify the presence of captions using most DVD playing software programs. 

Multiple languages (subtitles and audio tracks) must correspond to codes in field 041.

If a video is in English and is not closed captioned and does not have any subtitles or alternate audio tracks, there will not be a 546 field.


Most VHS videocassettes have only one language aspect. They may have subtitles in one additional language, and/or may be closed captioned. Examples:

546 Closed captioned.
546 In Italian with English subtitles.
546 In French with English subtitles; closed captioned.


If a DVD has only one language aspect, you might use one of the following.

546 Closed captioned.
546 In Italian with English subtitles.
546 In French with English subtitles; closed captioned.

DVDs often have some combination of the following language features:

The audio track of the original film
Closed captioning
One or more optional audio tracks in additional languages
One or more optional subtitles in additional languages

You can combine these multiple language aspects into a single 546. There are countless variations of how to describe the information. Use your judgment to be concise and include all language information. Examples:

546 In French with optional English subtitles; closed captioned
546 In Chinese, English, French, or Spanish, with optional English, French, or Spanish
546 English dialogue with French and Spanish subtitles; closed captioned

500 Source of Title Proper

Only used 
if the title is taken from other than the chief source of information, such as when a cataloger did not have access to a DVD player or VCR to view the title screen(s). In this case the title in 245 |a would be in square brackets and this 500 note would read as follows:

500 Title from container
500 Title from disc surface

500 Edition and History

To be used for information about earlier editions, or the history of the item being cataloged.

For feature films:
500 Originally produced [or released] as a motion picture in [year]

For miniseries or made for television movies:
500 Originally broadcast on television/cable as a [miniseries, made for television movie] in [year].

For a season of a television series:
500 Originally broadcast on television/cable, 1974-1975.

511 Participant/Performer [Cast members]

1st indicator: 0 No display constant generated
1 Cast

2nd indicator: Undefined

List prominent cast members found in the chief source of information (title frames and container). Names are separated by commas.

508 Creation/Production Credits [Crew members]

Indicators are undefined.

List major contributors to the artistic or technical production of a feature film not recorded in 245 |c statement of responsibility: 

cinematographer or director of photography
film editor
music composer

There is no need to add the names of other contributors if they are not already listed in the bib record, such as production managers; production designers; art director; costume designers; visual effects; assistants or associates; executive producers etc.

Preface each name or group of names with a statement of function, and separate by semi-colons. Example:

508 Music, Howard Shore ; editor, Chris Lebenzon ; director of photography, Stefan

500 Other Notes

Adaptation Information

Used if the item is based on a previous work:

The Handmaid's Tale
500 Based on the book by Margaret Atwood.

The Birdcage
500 Based on the stage play La cage aux folles by Jean Poiret.

Create a corresponding analytical entry for both the author and title:

700 1 Atwood, Margaret Eleanor, |d1939 - |tHandmaid's tale
700 1 Poiret, Jean, |d1926- |tCage aux folles

Widescreen & Fullscreen

If a double-sided DVD has both widescreen and fullscreen versions, enter a note as follows:

500 Includes widescreen and fullscreen [or standard] versions.

Special Features

DVDs often contain supplementary materials. Information that may be ignored because it is standard on all DVDs:

Interactive menu
Scene access
Scene selection

Many special features can be described in one 500 note. Example:

500 Special features: conversation with Sofia Coppola and Bill Murray; deleted scenes; "Lost on location" behind-the-scenes featurette; "Matthew's best hit TV" extended version of the Japanese TV show scene; Kevin Shields' "City girl" music video; theatrical trailer.

If the special features include a named documentary or "featurette," enter this title as a 246 added title.

521 Target Audience (if applicable)

1st indicator: 8 No display constant generated
2nd indicator: Undefined

Most commonly used for videos to denote film rating, such as:

521 8 MPAA rating: R.


An additional note about the target audience for the described material is used only if the information is stated on the item. Use primarily when the contents of an item are considered appropriate for a specific audience or intellectual level (e.g., elementary school students). If present, also record information about the target audience and/or intellectual level in the fixed field Audn.

520 Summary

To be used for a brief objective summary of the content of the item, typically 
an abstract, annotation, review, summary or a phrase describing the material.

If the summary is transcribed from the container or any other source, put in quotes and reference the source as follows:

"xxx and happiness ensues for all"-Container.

505 Contents

A formal listing of the contents of the item. Used if the item contains discrete named productions or episodes.

586 Awards

1st indicator: (blank) Awards
8 No display constant generated

2nd indicator: Undefined 

An optional note about the awards associated with the item. Use if the film or contributors won or were nominated for major awards, such as Academy Awards, Golden Globes, Emmy Awards, Director's Guild, etc. This information may be noted on the container. It can also be found at The Internet Movie Database.

6xx Subject Access

See Subject Access Guidelines


7xx Added Entries

See Access Points Guidelines

830 Series Added Entry/Uniform Title

1st indicator: Undefined
2nd indicator: 0-9 (number of non-filing characters present)

Use when the added entry form of a series title is different from that in the corresponding series statement.


490 1_ Criterion collection ; |v 95
830 _0 Criterion collection (DVD videodiscs) ; |v 95

9xx Local Processing Information

Bib record overlay
907 .b
Enter the bib number so that the enhanced Connexion record will overlay the bib record in the Millennium database.

Bib record
949 0 |l w |l wa |m g

|l w = UNCW
|l wa = UNCW Audiovisual
|m g = videorecording

Note: second |w bib location will be different for videorecordings housed in other locations such as Special Collections, etc. See list of bib locations.

Item record
949 1 call # |l item location |t 5 |z 090 |p price |i barcode |c volume |m message |g copy #

Common item locations for videorecordings:
wadvr recreational DVDs
wadvd documentary DVDs
wavr recreational VHS
wav documentary VHS

Note additional item locations for videorecordings housed in different locations such as Special Collections, etc.


See Classification Guidelines


Verify parts

Do not discard DVD leaflets and booklets with chapter titles or descriptive information.

A leaflet is one leaf
A folded leaflet is one leaf folded
A booklet is stapled pages.

Create a message in the item record: Verify parts: 1 DVD and 1 [leaflet/folded leaflet/booklet]

Print a Verify parts label.

Discard any promotional flyers or advertisements.


Affix barcode in the top right corner on the back of the video case. For DVDs this is usually where the packaging barcode is located. Cover the packaging barcode but if possible leave the ISBN visible. If the packaging barcode is too large to fully cover up, use a black Sharpie pen to black it out.


Single-sided DVDs get clear security strips (the same kind used for CDs and CD-ROMs). Double-sided DVDs get the small white security hubs.

Guidelines for double-sided DVDs:
Place hub on side with slightly raised rim/indentation.
If neither side has rim/indentation, place hub on side marked "Widescreen".

Wilmington films

Randall Library collect videos of films made in Wilmington and these records have a few extra elements. Susannah has a list of these films and will check this when she checks video trucks. Locally made videos all have the following subject heading:

650 Feature films |z North Carolina |z Wilmington

Randall Library collects scripts and publicity materials for these films, such as posters, still photographs, press kits, etc. This material as accompanying material in 300 |e. Example:

1 videocassette (ca. 106 min.) : |b sd., col. ; |c 1/2 in. + |e 1 script + 1 poster + 1 press kit


This material is not cataloged individually. It is housed in Special Collection in one of two manuscript collections:

MS 156 The Wilmington Film Collection [press kits, still sets, posters and other
commercial ephemera related to a film production]
MS 175 The Fincannon & Associates Script Collection

In order to highlight this material in the catalog for patrons, we create an item record if there is a script: the call number is "MS 175" and in the volume field is "Script." We create an item record if there is any publicity material: the call number is "MS 156" and the volume field corresponds to the material in 300 |e (such as "Poster & Press Kit"). For an example see the record for the DVD Domestic Disturbance.

This material will often have order records. Be sure and enter the cataloging date as June 1, 1990 (06-01-1990) so that it does not reflect in current statistics. Susannah or Alice will usually handle this material.

Remember to make the status "o" for Library Use Only.

Most of this work has been done already. If we get a replacement VHS or DVD, remember to transfer or attach these item records to the new bib record.

Order records

Remember to enter the cataloging date in the order record.


The Internet Movie Database is a good reference source for information on feature films. You can find cast and credits, release dates, language and title information, awards and nominations, summaries, and genre descriptions. If anything is in doubt, mark it for Susannah to investigate.

Amazon is also valuable for verifying DVD release dates.

DVD Demystified is a good source for answers to frequently asked technical questions about DVDs.