Tip #148: Date1, Date2 and Dtst fixed fields for a book MARC record

If the book you are cataloging has a publishing date, it goes in the Date1 slot of the fixed field.

If you can’t find a publication date on the item, then put the copyright date in the Date1 field.

If both the publication date and copyright appear on the item, and the dates are different, then you have the option of putting the publication date in Date1 and the copyright date in Date2 OR just using the publication date in Date1 and leaving Date2 blank. Most catalogers these days choose to only use the publication date even if both dates are available. However, if you think both dates might be important to patrons and staff, don’t hesitate to add the copyright date to the record. It’s up to you.

Information in the fixed fields are a reflection of what is found in the variable fields. This means that if you choose to put both the publication date and copyright date in the 260 field, then you should also use both dates in the fixed fields. It also means that you can’t add the copyright date to the fixed fields unless you also add the date to the 260 field.

Whether or not you use one date or two determines how the DtSt fixed field is coded:

  1. If you only use one date (either copyright or publication), then the DtSt fixed field is coded ‘s’, for single date.
  2. If you use both the publication and copyright dates, which means there’s a date in both the Date 1 and Date 2 fields, then the DtSt fixed field is coded ‘t’.

One more thing: If the record already has both dates in the 260 and the fixed fields are coded correctly, you should not change it even if you think just the publication date is necessary. The cataloger before you must have thought having both dates was important.
Originally published on September 14, 2012.


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