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Time:  Running Time

Record Type



VIS: 008/18-20; 006/01-03

Input Standards

VIS: Optional. Three-character code or number. Default: fill character fill character fill character


VIS, 006

Running time for motion pictures or videorecordings. Time applies only to motion pictures and videorecordings. Use nnn for other materials in VIS.


Pre-1980 records may have three blanks if time was not known or if the element did not apply. Some records are still blank.

Pre-1985 records may have the number of frames in filmstrips or the number of slides or transparencies. Some records still have digits for these materials.


Enter a three digit number to indicate the total running time of the motion picture or videorecording. Use the following guidelines for assigning times:

  • Use a three-digit number to represent minutes.
  • Convert seconds to the next higher minute.
  • Right-justify numbers consisting of fewer than three digits and each unused position contains a zero.
  • Enter leading zeros.
  • Enter three zeros, if the actual length exceeds three digits.
  • Use the total running time if two or more motion pictures or videorecordings are present.
  • Enter three hyphens, if the length is unknown.
  • Use nnn for materials other than motion pictures and videorecordings.



Running time exceeds three characters. The actual running time exceeds three digits.

Time     000
300     24 film reels (50 min. each)
[Total running time is 1200 minutes]

Running time. Represents running time in whole numbers from 1 to 999.

Time     009
300     1 videocassette (9 min.)
Time     003
300     1 film loop (2 min., 30 sec.)
[Convert seconds to next higher minute]
Time     182
300     1 videodisc (182 min.)
505 0 0 Happy Gilmore ǂg (92 min.) -- ǂt Billy Madison ǂg (90 min.)
[Total running time of two feature films on one videodisc]

Not applicable. Running time is not applicable. Use when the item is not a motion picture or a videorecording.

Time     nnn
300     121 slides

Unknown. Running time is unknown.

Time     ---
300     1 videoreel
[Running time not stated elsewhere in the record]
fill character fill character fill character

No attempt to code. If the fill character is used, all three positions must be coded with the fill character.


This fixed field element is not indexed.


For more information, including content designator history, see MARC 21 Format for Bibliographic Data, 008/18-20 (Visual Materials).

This page last revised: August 28, 2020