Member-Input LC Copy Editing Guidelines
(Books Format)

Document sections

A.Definition and background
B.Basic guidelines
C.Some features of older cataloguing copy
D.Coding and statistics

A.     Definition and background

Member-input LC copy, or "old LC" copy, is a category that consists of bibliographic records that have been keyed into OCLC as MARC records by OCLC-member libraries based on catalog cards originally catalogued by the Library of Congress, or by institutions working cooperatively with the Library of Congress, prior to the availability of machine-readable bib records.

The following combinations of fields are likely indications of old LC copy:

  1. 010, 040 $c <code other than DLC, NCCP library, or CMC>, and 050

    Code in 040 $a subfield is often, but not always, DLC.  Subfield $a is sometimes blank.  Sometimes, abbreviated form of a cooperating institution, which looks quite different from a three-letter OCLC library symbol. (E.g.: U.S. Dept. of Ag.)


  2. 010, 040 $a DLC $c <code other than DLC or CMC>, and 090

    Note that the presence of an 090 rather than an 050 field, or the lack of any LC classification call number field, does not rule out the possibility of the record's being based on LC copy.  Some old LC copy, particularly cooperative copy and LC Law Library copy, lacked call numbers, or at least lacked complete call numbers; some inputting libraries have chosen to leave out LC's call number, using their own instead, in an 090 field; and call number tags have not always been assigned correctly.

If you are not certain whether a record should be considered member-input LC copy, check with Olga or your trainer.

Our current policy is to accept information in the member-input LC record as the equivalent of the printed record, without further checking, unless the data in the MARC record are ambiguous or misleading.  If a major problem in interpreting the data in the record arises, check with your trainer or with Rebecca for instructions on searching the LC Catalog Online to verify the data.  (In some cases, inputting member libraries have mis-transcribed some of the printed information or have deliberately chosen to alter it, either to reflect changes in cataloguing or classification practises or to conform to local policies.)

B.     Basic guidelines

The basic policy is to follow guidelines for editing full-level DLC copy, with one exception.  (Consult "DLC Editing Guidelines (Books Format)" -- including caveats on matching editions.)

The important exception is that series should always be checked.  Consult "Guidelines for Series Checking Procedures for Non-DLC Copy Cataloguing."  The forms of pre-AACR2 series often vary considerably from those established under current rules, so you should search all variants; for example, you may need to search under a corporate body's older heading, beginning with place name, and its current heading, as well as under all variants of the title.  If you are not sure of all the ways to search a given series, please ask your trainer or Rebecca.

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C.     Some features of older cataloguing copy

The presentation of the information in old LC copy is sometimes quite different from the presentation in the AACR2 records with which you are probably more familiar.  The following "quirks" are characteristic of older copy and should be accepted, not edited as errors -- unless otherwise noted, with an asterisk (*).  If you have any questions about whether other features in older records are acceptable, consult your trainer or Rebecca.

Field tag or area

010 245 500
050/090 250 504
1xx 260 6xx
240 300 7xx
Body of record (general) 4xx and 8xx

Prefix preceding basic LC card number; slash and suffix following.


Lack of final date.

  1. Do not add date to 050 call number.

  2. *Verify 090 call number* in Voyager shelflist and *add date if missing*.


Obsolete heading forms.

Heading for editor or compiler in main entry position, sometimes including $e subfield with abbreviation for designation of function (e.g., $e comp.).


Omission of 240 uniform title field for translations and other works in categories that clearly require uniform titles under current rules.

Body of record in general:

Non-ISBD punctuation.

Use of bracketing where it would not appear in AACR2 records (for example, around a copyright date found on the t.p. verso).

Capitalisation that differs from AACR2 provisions and, in some cases, from standard rules for a given language (e.g., Spanish corporate bodies using lower-case after the first word; abbreviation for English "& Company" as "& co.").


Initial ellipses (...) to indicate that information preceded title on t.p.

*Problem to correct*Omission of author's name from title when it appears on t.p. in possessive (genitive) form.

Title in pieceTranscription
Plays of Friedrich SchillerPlays
Platonis OperaOpera

*Add correct form in 246 3*.

Listing of individual titles following a collective title in 245 $b rather than in 505 contents field.

Title information from added t.p. included in brackets as other title information, in 245 $b subfield.

Omission of author statement when form of author's name corresponds to the 1xx heading -- and sometimes even when the forms are different (e.g., 100: Chekhov, Anton Pavlovich, 1860-1904; on t.p.: Anton Chekhov).

Inclusion of imprint for original of a reprint edition in 245 field rather than 500 field.


Frequent presence of bracketed first edition statements when no such statement appears in the piece.


Inclusion of imprint for both reprint and original edition in 260 field.

Indication of multiple places of publication by inclusion of first place, followed by "[etc.].

Indication of lack of place of publication by "[n.p.]."

Indication of multiple publishers by inclusion of first publisher, followed by "[etc.]."

Fuller forms of publishers' names, including generic designations such as "& co." and "S.A."

Omission of $b for corporate publisher if that body appears in 110 field.

Use of "[n.d.]" when no date could definitely be verified.


Complex information, including unnumbered (even blank) pages, ranges of numbered pages, not just the last numbered page.  (Check the last numbered page of each numbered sequence in your piece against the record; you do not need to worry about the rest of the information in the 300 $a.)

Details about illustrations beyond AACR2 provisions, using different abbreviations.

Information about plates in $b rather than $a subfield.

Specification of height to 1/2 cm. rather than rounding up to next whole cm.

4xx and 8xx:

Check series.  Consult "Guidelines for Series Checking Procedures for Non-DLC Copy Cataloguing."

If you have checked the appropriate files and have found no conflicting information, you may accept:

*Do add $v subfield* before any series numbering.

*Problem to correct*:  Watch for a second series that has been transcribed in a 500 note field; *search as a series and correct the tagging*.

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Edition statements, as well as printing statements, given as quoted notes.  *Do change tagging of genuine edition statements to 250.*

Omission of explanatory notes for translations and edition history in categories that clearly require such notes under current rules.

Conversely, lengthy explanatory notes, either quoted from the text or based on outside research.


Any wording of a field indicating bibliographical references is acceptable.  Examples include:  specific quoted transcriptions of lengthy title of bibliography; original title of foreign-language bibliography (e.g., "Bibliografía"); "Bibliographic footnotes."


Frequent presence of obsolete topical and geographic subject headings.

*If you know that a heading is obsolete and you are certain of the correct current form, you may change it* (e.g., 651 Madrid to 651 Madrid (Spain)).  Otherwise, do not worry about verifying forms of subject headings.

Lack of 600 heading for subject of autobiography.

*Add 600 headings for subject of autobiography when missing*.


Obsolete heading forms.

Frequent appearance of $e subfield with abbreviation for designation of function (e.g., $e ed., $e tr.).


See 4xx and 8xx.

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D.     Coding and Statistics:      948 $c

050 call number tag:

Code as "l".

Counted as member-input LC.

090 call number tag:

Code as "o" (because of the call number verification involved).

Counted as member-copy OCLC.

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6 August 1996 (approved 22 July 1997)

HTML document last reviewed:  3 April 2003