Tip #121: The General Material Designator (GMD) in Evergreen

The General Material Designator, usually referred to as the GMD, describes the class of material to which your resource belongs. The GMD appears in the 245 field following the title proper, in a subfield h.
The GMD is not a term that individual catalogers can “make up”. GMDs to be used in Evergreen are restricted to those found in the AACR2. U.S. libraries use list two under Rule 1.12.

GMDs are not used in Evergreen for print items unless they happen to be a component of a kit.

Below are some of the common classes of materials found in the Evergreen database and the correct GMD for each:

Books on CD: [sound recording]
Musical CDs: [sound recording]
DVDs: [videorecording]
VHS tapes: [videorecording]
Blu-Ray: [videorecording]
CD-Rom: [electronic resource]
DVD-Rom: [electronic resource]
Playaways: [electronic resource]
Kits: [kit]

If appropriate, add a GMD to the 245 field, in a subfield h. Subfield h follows the title proper but precedes subfield b. This means a GMD goes in between the title and subtitle. Subfields n and p are also part of the title proper, so the GMD follows these subfields.

Here are some examples:

245 04 $a The Partridge family. $n The complete first season $h [videorecording] : $b come on get happy.
245 00 $a Cougar town. $n The complete first season $h [videorecording] / $c ABC Studios.
245 00 $a Wolverine $h [videorecording] : $b chasing the phantom.
245 10 $a Forge $h [electronic resource] / $c Laurie Halse Anderson.
245 00 $a Super street fighter IV $h [electronic resource].
245 10 $a Theodore Boone $h [sound recording] : $b kid lawyer / $c John Grisham.

Always place the GMD in brackets. There is no punctuation preceding the |h and the GMD is always in all lowercase.

Do not ‘enhance’ a GMD by adding a descriptive term. The GMDs [videorecording DVD], [videorecording Blu-Ray], and [sound recording CD] should not be used in Evergreen. Patrons and staff can look at the physical description or edition statement in the record summary to determine if a videorecording is a videodisc, sound disc, sound cassette, videocassette, or Blu-Ray.

Many records have migrated into Evergreen with incorrect GMDs. If you see [DVD], [videodisc], [videorecording DVD], [large print], [book] or anything else that is not AACR2 approved, please take the time to correct the record.

Information about using General Material Designators can be found in Chapters 2 and 3 of the Evergreen Procedures Manual.
Originally published on February 17, 2012.

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MARC Fields