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Cataloging Print Materials

Physical Description Area (MARC field 300)

The physical description area consists of the following elements:

Statement of extent. -- other physical details. -- dimensions.

For list of standard abbreviations used in 300 field, see AACR2 Appendix B.

4A. Number of volumes and /or pagination (300 subfield a) [2.5B]

4A1. [2.5B1] For single items, give the number of pages or leaves in a publication in accordance with the terminology suggested by the volume. That is, describe a volume with leaves printed on both sides in terms of pages, describe a volume with leaves printed on only one side in terms of leaves, and describe a volume that has more than one column to a page and is numbered in columns in terms of columns.

Examples:327 p.
 27 p., 300 leaves
 381 columns

4A2. [2.5B7] If the pages or leaves of a volume are unnumbered and the number of pages or leaves is readily ascertainable, give the number in brackets. If the number is not readily ascertainable, estimate the number of pages or leaves and give that estimated number without brackets and preceded by "ca." (circa).

Examples:[93] p.
 [55] leaves
 ca. 150 p.

4A3. [2.5B17] For publications in more than one volume, give the number of volumes of a printed item in more than one physical volume.

Example:3 v.

4A4. [2.5B17] If the term "volume" is not appropriate for a collection of items, use the most appropriate specific term, such as playbills, broadsides, pieces, etc. An estimated number of item may also be given. Alternatively, if describing an extensive series or run of boxed programs, provide extent in linear or cubic feet

Examples:86 playbills
 26 programs
 approx. 75 programs in 2 boxes
 3.5 linear ft. 

4B. Illustrative matter (300 subfield b) [2.5C]

Give "ill." for an illustrated printed item unless the illustrations are all of one or more of the following types and are considered to be important: coats of arms, facsimiles, maps, music, plans, portraits, samples (give appropriate term or abbreviation). Describe colored illustrations as "col.". Give the number of illustrations if their number can be ascertained readily (e.g., when the illustrations are listed and their numbers stated). Optionally, add the graphic process or technique. Do not use this area to describe illustrative material added to item (i.e., an original stage design added to a promptbook; describe the addition in a general note.

Examples:300 -- |a 18 v. :|b ill. ;|c 19-43 cm.
 300 -- |a 173 p. :|b ill. (some col.), ports ;|c 34 cm.
 500 -- |a Original stage design tipped in following p. 20.

4C. Dimensions (300 subfield c) [2.5D]

4C1. [2.5D1] Give the height of the item in centimeters, to the next whole centimeter up (e.g., if an item measures 17.2 centimeters, give 18 cm.). Measure the height of the binding if an item is bound. Otherwise, measure the height of the item itself. If the item measures less than 10 centimeters, give the height in millimeters.

4C2. [2.5D2] If the width of the item is either less than half the height or greater than the height, give the height x width.

Examples:20 x 8 cm.
 20 x 32 cm.

4C3. [2.5D3] If the items in a multipart collection differ in size, give the smallest or smaller and the largest or larger size, separated by a hyphen.

Example:24-28 cm.

4D. Organization and arrangement of materials (MARC field 351)

Provide information about the general arrangement of a collection of printed items in a 351 note, specifying the structure and order of the material in the unit being cataloged. (Organization is in subfield a; arrangement is in subfield b.)

Examples:245 00 |a American Ballet Theatre programs [...]
 351 -- |b Programs arranged chronologically.
 245 00 |a Saul collection of theater programs [...]
 351 -- |a Four series: I. Theatrical performances, 1951-1989. II. Dance performances [...]|b Arranged chronologically.

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