General Policies | Housing & Marking | DCRM(S) | Notes | Access Points | Call Numbers | Holdings | Item Records | Serial Adds | Legacy Practices

General policies

Serials for the Beinecke Library that receive original cataloging are cataloged according to the latest full national standards for descriptive cataloging. For imprints published through 1800 the national standard is Descriptive Cataloging of Rare Materials (Serials) known as DCRM(S). For imprints published after 1800 the national standard is Resource Description and Access (RDA) as interpreted by the Library of Congress and the Program for Cooperative Cataloging Policy Statements (LC-PCC PS),  and the two CONSER publications, CONSER Editing Guide (CEG) and CONSER Cataloging Manual (CCM). Occasionally the rules in DCRM(S) are followed for post-1800 imprints.

For treatment of certain categories of serials (e.g., almanacs, dimes novels, directories, little magazines, newspapers and periodicals) see Serials: Special Types.

Serials frequently change title, merge with other serials, or are absorbed by other serials. Both RDA and DCRM(S) call for each title of a serial to be cataloged separately ("successive entry"). Under earler rules, serials were cataloged under the latest title ("latest entry"). In Orbis there are both successive and latest entry records. Having both successive and latest entry records for the same title should be avoided, if possible. Serials will be cataloged according to successive entry rules, when possible. Use a latest entry record if it already exists in Orbis and separating out the various titles is too time consuming or if there is a very good latest entry record and information would be lost if latest entry cataloging is not chosen.

Catalogers need to pay close attention to the accession slips and dealers' slips that accompany the items they catalog, which often have special information for distinguishing issues or editions, pertinent bibliographical citations, and notes, access points, and classing instructions that Beinecke wants in the catalog records. Local notes and special tracings are regularly made for Beinecke materials.


Housing & Marking

Serials are usually received as either loose, individual issues or as bound volumes of issues. Loose issues can range from single sheets to typical magazine format to cloth-bound, monograph-like issues.

Bound volumes

A bound volume of multiple serial issues will be housed in the same way as a monograph.  Normally this will require a CMI box, but a Gaylord can be used if the volume is small enough.  Marking likewise follows the procedures for monographs, as outlined in the Marking of Volumes page.  Note that for serials, do not write “Beinecke Library” in the marking.

Loose issues


  • One loose issue: Usually put in a Gaylord.  If it is a single sheet that is folio-size, it will go into a folder and be classed in Serial broadsides.
  • A few loose issues (usually 2-4):  If these are in good condition, they can be put in a Gaylord if they fit tightly enough that they will not slide around.  If the covers could be damaged from rubbing, some or all of the issues can be placed in cut-down archival folders (within the Gaylord) to minimize rubbing.  If the issues are fragile, they should instead be foldered and boxed in the same way as multiple issues.  In general, only house multiple issues in a Gaylord if it seems unlikely that we will receive any additional issues; do not use this procedure with currently received titles.
  • Multiple issues: Each issue is individually foldered.  Foldered issues are then boxed in either Hollinger or flat folio boxes (or in rare cases a CMI box).
  • Hollinger box choice: Because serials can be heavy, especially if printed on glossy paper, the default Hollinger box is 2 ½ inches.  A 5-inch box may be used if the serials are made of lighter paper and the full box would not be very heavy.
  • Hollinger box capacity: If a box is not full, a spacer should be inserted to keep folders upright.  Conversely, a box should not be over-filled and folders packed too tightly; folders should glide in and out easily and not need to be forced. 
  • Flat folio box choice: Again, weight is a consideration in box choice, especially since a folio box might buckle if too heavy.  The 1 ½-inch box is usually preferred, but if weight is not excessive, the 3-inch box may be used.
  • Unfolding: Serials are sometimes folded in a way different from their intended use.  For example, some tabloid-like serials are occasionally folded in half, making them appear to be standard magazine-size, but the inner contents are printed in a tabloid format.  These non-hinge folds can produce damage to the text, especially with repeated use.  Such serials should thus be unfolded before a housing decision is made.
  • Newspapers: Tabloid-size newspapers and newspaper-like serials are housed flat in folio boxes.  If the issues are not exceedingly fragile and not unusually thick, multiple issues (usually 2-5, depending on thickness) may be housed in a single folder, but be certain that each folder does not become too thick or awkwardly heavy.
  • Copies 2, 3, etc.: Beinecke often holds multiple copies of individual issues; sometimes this is just 1 or 2 stray duplicates, and sometimes it is extensive runs of duplicates.  For these copies 2, 3, etc., house each separate copy or run in its own Gaylord or box.  Until 2021, Beinecke sometimes housed copy 2 and even 3 together in a box with copy 1, and the MFHD for the duplicate copy/copies would contain a $z “Housed in box with copy 1,” or something similar.  Do not pre-emptively re-house these housed-together multiple copies unless there is a compelling reason to do so, such as receipt of additional issues.
  • Avoid excessive housing: With the exception of Currently Received Serials, housing decisions should be based on material in hand and not on the possible receipt of more issues.  For example, if a cataloger has in hand 2 serial issues that would fit in a Gaylord, but the title ran for 12 issues total, the cataloger should nevertheless use the Gaylord rather than use a Hollinger box.  If additional issues are later acquired, all of the issues can be re-housed together in a box.


  • All individual serial issues are call number marked.  Do not write “Beinecke Library” before the call number.
  • Record the call number and enumeration either vertically or horizontally as space permits.
  • Hollinger box folders are marked on the top right-hand side with just the issue enumeration, e.g., “1:3” for volume 1, number 3, or “1912:Jan./Feb.” for an issue that has only chronological enumeration.  Folder numbering should thus match the enumeration/final line of the issue marking.  If holdings have more than one copy, include the copy number. 
  • Folio box folders are marked on the lower right-hand corner with just the issue enumeration.
  • Folio box folders containing multiple issues are marked with the issue enumeration range, e.g., “1:3-5” for volume 1, numbers 3-5.


Labelling for serials Gaylords and boxes sometimes requires that the enumeration be printed along with the call number.


If all issues are housed in one Gaylord or box, the label has the call number only, with no enumeration included: Za
If there is more than one box or Gaylord, the inclusive volume and/or issue number is on the label: Za
If there is more than one box and more than one copy, then each copy is boxed separately: Za
Copy 2
For currently received subscriptions, if the last box is not filled, the label will only have the first issue in the box followed by a dash: 1996



Important options in applying DCRM(S):

0G3.1. The option to record original punctuation as well as prescribed punctuation is not followed unless copy is being used which follows that option (e.g. copy from the American Antiquarian Society).

1E1.2. Do not record as statements of responsibility statements relating to persons named as editors of serials. Record editor statement in a note.

4C2. Street addresses and qualifications such as "printer to the King" are generally omitted from publisher statements, but may be included on a case by case basis, for instance when the address aids in identifying or dating the publication or distinguishes known variants. If using DCRM(S) copy which has this information, do not remove it.

Other DCRM(S) options are chosen on a case by case basis according to the cataloger's judgment.

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Form of notes

Copy specific notes are made to record important information pertaining to individual copies but not to all copies. This information is often noted on the accompanying accessions slip. Information about provenance evidence, imperfections, and bindings (including bound-with information) pertaining to the copy in hand but not to all copies is recorded in copy specific notes.

Restriction on access notes (506) precede copy specific notes (590). All other notes follow. Restriction on access notes (506) and copy specific notes (590) always begin with "BEIN [call no.]: ." Line-breaks in call numbers are indicated by spaces.

If the copy specific information is not extensive, a single 590 note per copy suffices. For clarity's sake, several copy specific notes for the same copy may be made, each beginning with BEIN [call no.]. This is the case with long runs of serials with issues which have come from numerous sources with various provenance. In general note the copy specific information in the sequence given in the "Order of notes" section below.


590       ‡a BEIN Za Zp75 copy 1: Mailing label: Publicity Manager, New Directions: 137:6; 138:1; 139:1,4-6; 140:2-4; 141:3-5; 142:1,4; 143:3; 145:3; 146:4; 148:6; 149:1-2,4-5; 150:1.
590       ‡a BEIN Za Zp75 copy 2: Bookplate: Lynn Riggs: 8:1-6; 9:1-5; 10:1,6; 12:1,3,6; 13:1,3; 14:3-4,6; 15:2,4; 17:6; 18:1-3; 19:2-3; 20:5; 21:3,6; 22:3-5; 23:3,5; 25:6; 32:5.
590       ‡a BEIN Za Zp75 copy 4: Bookplate: Lynn Riggs: 1:2-5; 2:1-2,4-6; 3:1,3; 4:3; 5:6; 10:3-5; 11:1; 16:6.

If there are several copies in the same record, the order of 590 notes generally follows the order of copies on the copy holdings screen. Other notes are given in the order and form specified in DCRM(S) 7B.

Order of notes

Restriction on access (506)
Copy Specific Notes
Bibliographical variants (590 in combination with 500)
Imperfections (590)
Copy number of limited edition (590)
Original wrappers, Paperbound, Spiral-bound or Stapled (590) (n.b. read carefully)
Dust jacket (590) (Not Used)
Belly band (590) (Not Used)
Uncut [i.e. untrimmed; not to be confused with unopened] (590)
Provenance (590)
Binding information (590)
Bound-with notes(590)
In case with notes (590)
Manuscript material in printed works (590)
Material shelved separately (590)
Accompanying material (590)
General Notes
Bibliographical variants (500 sometimes in combination with 590)
Limited edition notes (500 sometimes in combination with 590)
Signatures (500)(Rarely used)
Issued in case (500)
Added engraved title page (500)(Rarely used)
Illustrated title page (500)
Citations of standard bibliographies (510)
Local Processing Notes
Local processing notes (852 ‡x in MFHD)

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Access Points

Name and Title Access Points(1xx, 246, 7xx)
All name and title access points required by the latest national standards (DCRM(S) and RDA as interpreted by the Program for Cooperative Cataloging Policy Statements (LC-PCC PS) are made. Additional name access points may be made to bring out contributors and contents of the item which are deemed important to the collections being cataloged. Generous access is made for titles, editors, illustrators, and translators.
Library of Congress Subject Headings (6xx)
For items receiving full-level cataloging, subject headings are assigned according to the Subject Headings Manual.

Local Tracings

In addition to all applicable standard LC subject headings, local tracings for provenance, binding and imprint are made when called for by local policies. See also special tracings for Serials.

Form and Genre Headings (655)

Certain form and genre terms are always added when called for by local practice . Other applicable standard form and genre terms may be added on a case by case basis when this does not slow down cataloging productivity and are generally retained if present in copy. See also special tracings for Serials.

Series Added Entries (4xx, 8xx)

Serials in series are rare but when encountered, added entries are made according to latest Yale cataloging policies. Current policy is to follow the PCC or LC tracing decision, preferring the PCC decision if both are present.

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Call Numbers

Each curatorial area has its own practices for serial call numbering, as outlined in Curatorial Areas. But two common practices should be observed:

  • Multiple Copies:
    • Curatorial Areas: In all Curatorial Areas (YCAL, WA, etc.), when a serial title includes multiple copies that require multiple MFHDs, the same call number is used, with a $t in the MFHD and a trailing copy number (that is, a copy number at the end of the call number) in the marking.
      • Example for copy 2 MFHD:
        852 8 1 ‡b beinwa ‡t 2 ‡h Zc72 ‡i C124
      • Example for copy 2 marking:
                Copy 2
    • General Collection: With Year/Number call numbers, when a serial title includes multiple copies that require multiple MFHDs, a new call number is given to each copy. Prior to 2021, multiple copies were frequently given the same call number, with a ‡t in the MFHD 852 and a trailing copy number in the marking, so catalogers should be aware of this legacy practice.
  • Do Not Add: In some cases, such as serials with a name collection call number (eg. Bailey S105) or remaining in an archival collection, no further issues should be added to that call number. In such cases the cataloger should add a ‡x DO NOT ADD TO THIS CALL NUMBER in the MFHD 852. If further issues of the serial are received, a new call number and MFHD will be created.



Multiple MFHDs

Serials routinely have more than one MFHD (e.g., more than one copy of an issue, bound volumes with overlapping issues, etc.). In these cases, a ‡t will be used in the MFHD for each copy. This differs from the policy for monographs where a ‡t is rarely used in the MFHD.


852 8 1 ‡b beinwa ‡t 1 ‡h Zc10 ‡i +R213


852 8 1 ‡b beinwa ‡t 2 ‡h Zc10 ‡i +R213


Give a note in ‡z of the 852 to indicate when one or more copies of the same title are bound together

  • Copy 2 is bound with copy 1


For serials titles bound with other titles see section 1.2, “If a component of a multipart or serial has been bound with other titles,” in Bound-With Volumes.    


Punctuation, Bracketing, Compression

In recording serial holdings (the MFHD), Beinecke generally follows the YUL Technical Services procedures outlined in the Cataloging @ Yale manual, section on Multiparts, Serials, Series & Integrating Resources.  These practices are in turn based on the ANSI-NISO Z39.71 Holdings Statements for Bibliographic Items standards.


Some common practices to remember:

  • A comma used at the end of a line indicates a gap in holdings:
    866 4 1 ‡8 0 ‡a v.3:no.2(1965:Mar.),
    866 4 1 ‡8 0 ‡a v.3:no.6(1965:June)
  • A semi-colon used at the end of a line indicates a non-gap break (eg. if numbering is repeated):
    866 4 1 ‡8 0 ‡a no.184(1825:Feb.20)-no.186(1825:Mar.6);
    866 4 1 ‡8 0 $a no.186(1825:Mar.13)-no.188(1825:Mar.27)
  • For issues that have both standard enumeration and an alternative numbering scheme (usually whole numbering), use an equals sign to separate the two numbering systems, and include chronological designation (if present) with the standard enumeration.
    866 4 1 ‡8 0 ‡a v.5:no.46(1851:Nov.13)-v.5:no.47(1851:Nov.20)=no.254-no.255,
    866 4 1 ‡8 0 ‡a v.5:no.50(1851:Dec.11)-v.5:no.52(1851:Dec.25)=no.258-no.260
  • “new series” is abbreviated “new ser.”


Bracketing Omitted Designations: If a serial issue lacks enumeration, but this information can accurately be determined, Beinecke follows YUL Technical Services practice and will bracket that information in the MFHD.  Likewise, if a serial that normally carries a chronological designation has an issue that lacks the designation, but this information can accurately be determined, Beinecke follows YUL Technical Services practice and will bracket that information in the MFHD.


Example: Band 1 of a serial lacks enumeration but clearly constitutes the first volume and has chronological designation.  Band 2 has enumeration and chronological designation.  Band 3 has enumeration but lacks chronological designation, but the cataloger is able to determine chronology based on frequency.


866 4 1 ‡ 0 ‡a [Bd.1](2002:Aug.)-Bd.3([2002:Okt.]


Prior to April 2021, Beinecke practice was to include a 515 note in the bibliographic record but not bracket the supplied information in the MFHD, so catalogers should be aware that many MFHDs in Voyager will show this legacy practice.


In a few areas, Beinecke practice differs from YUL Technical Services, as follows:


  • Compression: When compressing holdings, YUL Technical Services eliminates subordinate levels where there are no gaps.  Beinecke does not compress the subordinate levels:


866 4 1 ‡8 0 $a v.1:no.1(1976:Jan.)-v.1:no.12(1976:Dec.)


  • Bracketed Correction of Errors: If there are errors in the numbering or chronological designation, YUL Technical Services will transcribe the errors in the MFHD and provide bracketed corrections.  For Beinecke this practice could become cumbersome for material that has numerous errors (eg. underground or protest serials).  Thus, Beinecke will instead generally provide an appropriate 515 note in the bibliographic record and then silently correct the errors in the MFHD:


515     ‡a Numerous errors in numbering.




515     ‡a Issue for 1990 called v. 2 but constitutes v. 3.





866 4 1 ‡8 0 ‡a v.1(1988)-v.9(1996)


Catalogers may use their judgment and provide bracketed corrections if they believe the specific situation so warrants.


Item Records

Captions: Because YUL Technical Services’ item records are used to create labels for material often housed in browsable stacks, captions such as “no.”, “v.”, and “new ser.” are included in the record.  Since Beinecke’s stacks are not browsable, captions are not used in Beinecke item records. 


Compression: Unlike in the MFHD, in the item record Beinecke follows YUL Technical Services’ more liberal compression practices.  For example:


            Enum:              1:1-4    [holdings encompass v.1, no. 1-4]

            Chron.:            1970:May-Aug.          


Series: For serials issued in series, Beinecke handles the item record differently from YUL Technical Services.  The item record should match the marking on the piece, which usually entails using a Roman numeral (see the Marking of Volumes page for additional guidance).  Thus, for a “new series,” although the MFHD will record it as “new ser.,” the item record (as well as marking on the piece) will record it as “II.”  For example, “new series 1” through “new series 5” would be recorded as:


            Enum:              II.1-5

            Chron.:            1981:May-1982:May


Free text: If multiple serial issues are bound or housed together, the cataloger may consider entering descriptive information in the Free text field, which can be especially helpful for bound volumes.  Some potential examples:


            Free text:         Bound volumes

            Free text:         Loose issues in box; box full

            Free text:         Loose issues in box; box not full

            Free text:         Loose issues in Gaylord

Serial Adds

Beinecke subscribes to various current serial publications; these issues are added following the instructions for Currently Received Serial Adds­. Beinecke also receives many more issues, by gift or purchase, to complete holdings or as additional copies. These issues are added following the instructions for general Serial Adds.

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Legacy Practices

Multiple Serial Titles Classed/Housed Together

Serials frequently change title, as evidenced by the “Preceding Entry” and “Succeeding Entry” linking entries in bibliographic records, commonly referred to as “earlier/later title.”  Prior to 2021, if earlier/later titles had continuous numbering and similar sizes, they were often classed and housed together.  Beginning in July 2021, earlier/later titles are no longer routinely classed and housed together; however, catalogers may need to add issues to older holdings or may encounter “latest entry” serial records in the OPAC that require earlier/later titles to be classed/housed together.  Catalogers thus should be aware of the below practices in case existing housed-together serial records need to be updated.


(For a serial title that is bound with another serial or a monograph, see section 1.2, “If a component of a multipart or serial has been bound with other titles, follow this procedure,” in Bound-With Volumes.)




When multiple serial titles are housed together, each bibliographic record will have a MFHD for the issues appropriate to that title, but the box can have only 1 item record.  A host record (usually the earlier title) will be selected, and the item record will be attached to that MFHD; the item record will include information for ALL the issues contained in the box.  Generally there is no $z made in the host record MFHD.  For the guest record(s), the MFHD(s) will be linked to the item record using an 856 field, with a $u and a $z.


On the guest record(s), add to the MFHD as the last variable field:


856 4 2 ‡u<Orbis bib. id number of the host record > ‡z To expedite request for use in the Beinecke Reading Room, click here and request earlier title “Sample,” with which this title is housed



If only some guest issues are housed with the host:


856 4 2 ‡u<Orbis bib. id number of the host record > ‡z To expedite request for use in the Beinecke Reading Room, click here and request earlier title “Sample,” with which no. 8-12 of this title are housed



The wording of the 856 ‡z is not prescriptive, and catalogers should adapt the language to best fit the circumstances at hand and minimize potential patron confusion when requesting an item.


NOTE: In the guest record MFHD, the 852 ‡b will NOT automatically flip from beints (or beintsw, etc.) to lsfbeir (or lsfbeiwr, etc.) when the box is sent to LSF, because the guest MFHD does not have an item record attached to it.  Thus, the cataloger must remember to manually change the 852 $b in the guest MFHD at the time of cataloging (unless the item is going to 121 Wall, in which case the $b beingen will remain unchanged).


Example 1: Earlier/later title, with all issues housed together in 1 box.


Title 1 (host; earlier title): International males advertiser (bib ID 13940531):


852 8 1 ‡b lsfbeir ‡h 2019 ‡i +S64
866 4 1 ‡8 0 ‡a no.1-no.4


Title 2 (guest; later title): Spartacus (bib ID 13940535)


852 8 1 ‡b lsfbeir ‡h 2019 ‡i +S64
866 4 1 ‡8 0 ‡a no.5-no.15,
866 4 1 ‡8 0 ‡a no.19,
866 4 1 ‡8 0 ‡a no.24
856 4 2 ‡u ‡z To expedite request for use in the Beinecke Reading Room, click here and request earlier title "International males advertiser," with which this title is housed




Item Record: Attached to Title 1 (host) MFHD:


Enum: 1-24
Chron: [Date for full range would be here, if applicable]
Free text: Loose issues in box; box not full



Example 2: Hypothetical Record with 2 titles housed in 3 boxes.


Title 1 (host; earlier title): Collecting the book [boxes 1-2]


852 8 1 ‡b lsfbeir ‡h 2021 ‡i S132
866 4 1 ‡8 0 ‡a v.3:no.8(1981:Aug.)-v.7:no.6(1985:June)


Title 2 (guest; later title): Collecting books and ephemera [boxes 2-3]


852 8 1 ‡b lsfbeir ‡h 2021 ‡i S132
866 4 1 ‡8 0 ‡a v.7:no.7(1985:July)-v.14:no.12(1992:Dec.)
856 4 2 ‡u ‡z Click here to request v.7:no.7-v.10:no.12, which are housed with v.6:no.1-v.7:no.6 of earlier title, “Collecting the book”



Item Records:


Attached to Title 1 (host), box 1 (containing just Title 1):


Enum: 3:8-5:12
Chron: 1981:Aug.-1983:Dec.
Free text: Loose issues in box; box full


Attached to Title 1 (host), box 2 (containing Title 1 and Title 2):


Enum: 6:1-10:12
Chron: 1984:Jan.-1988:Dec.
Free text: Loose issues in box; box full


Attached to Title 2 (guest), box 3 (containing just Title 2):


Enum: 11:1-14:12
Chron: 1989:Jan.-1992:Dec.
Free text: Loose issues in box; box not full


This is a complex situation that can be confusing to both patrons and catalogers. Again, the wording of the 856 ‡z is not prescriptive, and catalogers should adapt the language as the situation warrants.