Tip #157: Dates on a DVD bibliographic record

Three dates are important when cataloging DVDs: publication date, copyright date, and the original production date.

Only one date is used in the 260 field of a DVD record. The preferred date is the publication date. If none is found, use the copyright date.

  • To find the publication date, look for the latest date on the DVD packaging. You can use any date you find, even the one for layout and design. Then assume this date is the publication date. Put it in brackets in the 260 field because you are just assuming it’s the publication date and don’t know for sure.
  • If you can’t find a publication date, look for a copyright date on the disc surface. It will be preceded by the copyright symbol.

The original production date should always be given in a 500 note.

Coding the fixed fields:

  • If a DVD contains the same material as the original film released in the theaters or shown on TV, then both the date used in the 260 field and the original release date shown in the 500 field belong in the fixed fields. Date1 is the date used in the 260 field and Date2 is the original production date given in the 500 note. The date type (DtSt) is a ‘p’ because the content is identical to the original work but the medium is different (video instead of the original film). When deciding if this rule applies, you can ignore the addition of minor elements such as trailers or biographical notes. Old movies release with the original trailers as the only ‘bonus feature’ would fall in this category.
  • If there is a change in content, then the item is considered a new work and only one date, the publication or copyright date shown in the 260 field, belongs in the fixed field. The date type (DtSt) in this case would be a ‘s’. Most anything is considered a change in content, and almost all current DVD releases fall into this category. Interviews, commentaries, “Making of…” features make the DVD a separate work from the original. Even the addition of closed-captioning is considered significant enough of a change in content.


245 00 |a How green was my valley |h [videorecording] / |c Twentieth Century-Fox ; directed by John Ford.
260 __|a Beverly Hills, Calif. |b Fox Video, |c c1993.
500 __|a DVD release of the 1941 motion picture.
500 __|a Includes original theatrical trailer and rare Movietone news footage.
Fixed fields: DtSt = p Date1 = 1993 Date2 = 1941

245 00 |a Sherlock Holmes |h [videorecording] : |b a game of shadows / |c Warner Bros. Pictures presents ; in association with Village Roadshow Pictures ; a Silver Pictures production ; in association with Wigram Productions ; a Guy Ritchie film ; written by Michele Mulroney & Kieran Mulroney ; produced by Joel Silver… [et al.] ; directed by Guy Ritchie.
260 __ |a Burbank, Calif. : |b Warner Home Video, |c [2012]
500 __ |a DVD release of the 2011 motion picture.
500 __ |a Special features: Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson: a perfect chemistry ; Moriarty’s master plan unleashed ; Holmes a vision on steroids.
Fixed fields: DtSt = s Date1 = 2012 Date2 = blank

Originally published on November 16, 2012.

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MARC Fields