1 Introduction

Chapter Summary

1.1 Overview

1.2 OCLC Local Holdings Records

1.3 Scope of the OCLC Local Holdings Format

1.4 Information in Local Holdings Records

OCLC Local Holdings Format and Standards provides tagging conventions and guidelines for OCLC local holdings records in WorldCat®.

For more information on creating or editing local holdings records, see Local Holdings maintenance documentation.

1.1 Overview


OCLC Local Holdings Format and Standards is a guide to Local Holdings records in WorldCat. It provides tagging conventions, input standards and guidelines for entering information into WorldCat.

Superseded documents

This edition supersedes the Local Holdings information in this technical bulletin:

TB258 OCLC-MARC Format Update 2010.


The examples provided are illustrative, not prescriptive. Do not take the examples or the form in which they are presented as instructions. Because of the dynamic nature of WorldCat, some examples may not appear online now as shown in the document.


(R) identifies a field or subfield as repeatable, which means it may occur more than once.

A repeatable field may occur more than once in a record.

A repeatable subfield may occur more than once in a field.

(NR) identifies the field or subfield as nonrepeatable. Fields or subfields are nonrepeatable for a variety of reasons:

The data element may occur no more than once for a given item.

The data element may occur more than once, but you enter multiple data elements in the same subfield.

The data element may occur more than once, but you enter multiple data elements in separate fields.


Some fields, subfields, elements or values may be marked Obsolete. Do not use. Although some records in WorldCat may still contain this coding, do not use these fields, subfields, elements or values in current cataloging.

Additionally, some fields, subfields, elements or values have been completely removed from the online system. They are considered as invalid. Descriptive information has been removed from this document.


OCLC acknowledges the efforts of all the people who participated in producing OCLC Local Holdings Format and Standards.

OCLC reviewers

Judy Murran and Myrtle Myers


Joanne Murphy, Judy Murran and Myrtle Myers


Peter Insabella

Subject matter experts

Mela Kircher, Judy Murran and Myrtle Myers

Production and technical development

Joanne Murphy and Lorna Williamson

OCLC acknowledges

OCLC Local Holdings Format and Standards is based on the MARC21 Format for Holdings Data , published by the Network Development and MARC Standards Office of the Library of Congress.

1.2 OCLC Local Holdings Records


OCLC local holdings records ( LHRs) are separate holdings records attached to a related WorldCat bibliographic record that provide holdings details beyond your OCLC institution symbol.

The OCLC local holdings record structure is based on the MARC 21 Format for Holdings Data and consists of three main components: the Leader, the Directory, and the Variable Fields.


Contains data elements that provide information for the processing of the record. The data elements contain numbers or coded values and are identified by a relative character position. The Leader is fixed in length at 24 character positions and is the first field in all MARC records.


Contains a series of entries that contain the tag, length, and starting location of each variable field within a record. The directory is not visible to users through Connexion.

Variable fields

The data in a MARC 21 record is organized into variable fields, each identified by a three-character numeric tag that is stored in the Directory entry for the field. Each field ends with a field terminator character. The MARC record ends with a record terminator (ASCII 1D hex). There are two types of variable fields:

Variable control fields

The tagged 007 and 008 fields are defined in OCLC local holdings records. The variable control fields are structurally different from the variable data fields. These fields contain neither indicator positions nor subfield codes. They contain a series of fixed-length data elements identified by relative character position.

Variable data fields

The tagged 02X, 035, 5XX and 8XX fields are used in OCLC local holdings records. These fields are variable in length and number. MARC variable fields have three parts:

  • A three-digit tag
  • Two single-digit indicators
  • One or more subfields


MARC tags identify variable fields and are grouped numerically by function.

Tag Group Function
0xx Bibliographic control numbers and coded information
3xx Information about presentation medium and format of the bibliographic item
5xx Notes
8xx Notes, location and holdings data


In MARC records, indicators supply information about the field for indexing, card production or other system functions. Numbers in the indicator positions have assigned meanings and in some fields, a blank space is meaningful. Variable field indicators may have:

  • A number in both positions
  • A number in one position and a blank space in the other
  • Two blank spaces


Subfields are the smallest logical unit of information in a variable field. Subfield codes (letters or numbers) identify subfields and are preceded by subfield delimiters (‡).

Subfields may contain either coded or textual information. In OCLC Connexion, subfield ‡ a is implicit at the beginning of each field and does not display.

1.3 Scope of the OCLC Local Holdings Format

The Local Holdings Format is designed to carry holdings information for three types of bibliographic items that are identified by a code in Leader/06 (Type of record):

  • A single-part item which is complete in a single physical part, for example, a single map, a score, a one-volume book, a computer file ( Leader/06, code x)
  • A multipart item which is complete, or intended to be complete, in a finite number of separate physical parts, for example, a set of maps, a musical score and parts, a ten-volume encyclopedia, a multimedia kit, a manuscript collection ( Leader/06, code v)
  • A serial item which is issued in successive parts at regular or irregular intervals and is intended to be continued indefinitely, for example, a journal, a serial update service to a loose-leaf publication ( Leader/06, code y )

In contrast with data elements that are applicable to a universal bibliographic description of these types of items, holdings information may include:

  • copy-specific information for an item;
  • information that is peculiar to the holding organization;
  • information that is needed for local processing, maintenance, or preservation of the item;
  • version information

Holdings Data Fields

Four sets of holdings data fields are defined for recording information about the items actually held by an organization

  • Captions and Pattern (fields 853-855)
  • Enumeration and Chronology (863-865)
  • Textual Holdings (866-868)
  • Item Information ( 876-878)

Within each set, separate fields are defined for three categories of material:

A general description of the four sets of holdings data fields and their relationships is given in the 853-878 Holdings Data-General Information section, followed by detailed descriptions of the individual fields.

Separate Holdings Records

Field 852 (Location) is defined to contain information in as much detail as is needed to locate an item. It may include such information as a unique shelving designation, copy number, and the address for the current physical location of the item.

OCLC local holdings records are separate holdings records linked to a related OCLC bibliographic record. They report holdings information for a single copy of an item. A single 852 location field and any associated holdings fields are used.

Item information: A holdings record may contain information for particular physical items at one or more locations. The relationship between field 852, the associated holdings data fields 853-868, and the item information fields 876-878 is included in the section 876-878 Item Information-General Information.

  • Separate holdings records - A separate holdings record is linked to the related MARC bibliographic record by field 004 (Control Number for Related Bibliographic Record).

The following fields may appear in a separate OCLC local holdings record:

Holdings fields:



001   Control Number

003   Control Number Indicator

004   Control Number for Related Bibliographic Record

005   Date and Time of Latest Transaction

008   Fixed-Length Data Elements

035   System Control Number

842   Textual Physical Form Designator

843   Reproduction Note

844   Name of Unit

845   Terms Governing Use and Reproduction Note

852   Location

853   Captions and Pattern-Basic Bibliographic Unit

854   Captions and Pattern-Supplementary Material

855   Captions and Pattern-Indexes

856   Electronic Location and Access

863   Enumeration and Chronology-Basic Bibliographic Unit

864   Enumeration and Chronology-Supplementary Material

865   Enumeration and Chronology-Indexes

866   Textual Holdings-Basic Bibliographic Unit

867   Textual Holdings-Supplementary Material

868   Textual Holdings-Indexes

876   Item Information-Basic Bibliographic Unit

877   Item Information-Supplementary Material

878   Item Information-Indexes

Bibliographic Format fields:

007   Physical Description Fixed Field

010   Library of Congress Control Number

016   National Bibliographic Agency Control Number

020   International Standard Book Number

022   International Standard Serial Number

024   Standard Recording Number

541   Immediate Source of Acquisition Note

561   Ownership and Custodial History

562   Copy and Version Identification Note 563   Binding Information

583   Action Note

Of these fields, the following are required in a separate MARC holdings record: Leader,  Directory, 001, 004 and 852. For interchange purposes, the related MARC bibliographic record is distributed to exchange partners prior to the distribution of a separate holdings record.

This document describes separate holdings records.

Compression and Expansion

Compression or expansion (itemization) of detailed enumeration and chronology data may be done by computer algorithm if no break exists within the levels of enumeration or chronology. A fuller description of this capability is given in the 853-878 Holdings Data-General Information section. The data elements that are required to be present for the compression or expansion of the contents of the enumeration and chronology fields for basic bibliographic units (field 863) and supplementary material (field 864) are described in the Input Conventions area of the 853-855 Captions and Pattern-General Information section. The content of an enumeration and chronology field for indexes (field 865) may not be automatically compressed or expanded because of the potential for an ambiguous holdings statement.

1.4 Information in Local Holdings Records

When entering information in OCLC local holdings records, apply Holdings Statements for Bibliographic Items (ANSI/NISO Z39.71-1999). The following documents may also help you to determine appropriate practice:

ALA published

  • Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules, second edition, 2002 Revision, Appendix B